When our team visited Con/Agg 2017 last month in Las Vegas it was apparent how much technology is changing the future of our industry. Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator) helped prove how new technologies can be used to create stronger, more efficient machines. Although the materials may not be cheaper, they help cut back on production waste which will ultimately allow the construction industry to move towards a more earth-conscious model.
Smart systems have already made their way into our houses- from washers that tell us when our clothes are ready to refrigerators that inform us when we are out of milk. Intelligent equipment is the same idea; equipment that will warn us about safety, performance or quality issues. This equipment will keep our team efficient, and most importantly, safe.
From bulldozers to dump trucks, autonomous vehicles are coming to the construction industry. Like other technology trends, these vehicles will improve efficiency and decrease the risk of injury. In the future, drivers will be more like airplane pilots, simply guiding the vehicles, instead of controlling their every move. Autonomous equipment will also become more fuel efficient; vehicles will be able to continually move forward, instead of frequently stopping and starting, which requires more fuel.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a hot topic in the world of tech. Virtual reality is used in a wide variety of industries including retail, healthcare, military, business, and sports, just to name a few. How can VR be used in the construction and aggregate materials industry? The biggest impact VR will have on the construction industry is the ability to model buildings in a way we’ve never been able to model them before. Usually, architects have to physically build a construction project in a smaller way in order to really visualize the final product. With VR, construction projects can be seen in a much easier, less time-consuming way. This will help the industry make better decisions, with the entire picture literally in front of their eyes!
Drones will dramatically help the construction industry become more efficient and less wasteful. Currently, construction and mining companies use aircraft and manpower to survey land. Drones can complete this task more effectively and accurately. We are huge supporters in cutting down waste; drones will help our industry save time and energy, and improve safety by keeping people on the ground.
The ConExpo-Con/Agg was a great way to get a glimpse of the future of technology in our industry. We can easily imagine what’s next and are excited to be a part of it.