The following is a guest post by Megan Wild, a residential home improvement specialist.
When it comes to leading and overseeing a worksite, it’s important for managers to have full knowledge and control over the day-to-day activities of the build. This is especially true when it comes to jobs that require the use of advanced, heavy or otherwise expensive construction machinery. Not only is effective and diligent management critical to ensuring the health and safety of your construction crew, but it also serves to boost the lifespan of your valuable construction equipment.
The construction industry has seen a number of recent innovations and advancements regarding technology in the field, especially throughout the latter half of 2015 and early 2016. Some of these innovations, like the increasing use of tablet computers and Wi-Fi connectivity, have already been integrated into other industries. When used in construction, these innovations make it easier to store, share and transport blueprints, maintain communications and even edit documentation on the fly.
In fact, some app developers are releasing highly specialized apps meant for tablets, smartphones and laptop computers that can be used on jobsites — or from wherever. These apps offer construction managers and superintendents the ability to edit and create computer-aided drawings, automate inspection processes, oversee project timelines and more.
Other technologies, however, are still new to the mainstream public. Remotely operated drones, for example, are a relatively recent introduction into the consumer market. These devices are able to scout and survey new jobsites, monitor the overall progress of large worksites and even provide direct supervision over workers. Although prices for heavy duty drones still reach into the thousands, the benefits of such a device may very well offset your out-of-pocket costs.
In order to provide their customers with streamlined access to the latest innovations, products and services meant to jumpstart the process of managing a construction site, the team with Cat has recently unveiled their suite of Equipment Management Solutions.
Referred to as Cat EMSolutions, these services are meant to aid in equipment monitoring, provide detailed monthly reports on your entire fleet of construction vehicles, offer suggestions regarding equipment maintenance and replacement and even help you provide general management of your entire construction enterprise.
Additional features include improved lifecycle planning, carbon emissions monitoring of your fleet vehicles and the ability to maximize equipment usage through day-to-day scheduling and preventative maintenance.
Caterpillar® EMSolutions are available in one of five different levels, or packages, which provide with you different features and options according to the level you choose.
Given the recent public interest in cloud computing, it should come as no surprise that the technology is now being used by construction managers and superintendents around the globe. Today’s cloud storage options give these construction site leaders the ability to access and store massive amounts of data from nearly anywhere in the world. Moreover, with the prevalence of cloud-based analytics and reporting, construction managers are able to access real-time statistics regarding productivity, profitability and more.
Possible Future Advancements
What the future has in store for the construction industry is anybody’s guess. However, one can look at the state of current and upcoming technology in order to come up with some ideas of what the future might bring.
Although it may result in the loss of thousands or even millions of full-time jobs around the world, robotic construction workers are a real possibility in the 21st century. After all, automated machinery and equipment has already become commonplace within the manufacturing sector.
We’re also likely to see a change in the type of materials used for construction projects. Aerogel, which is 90% air, has recently been introduced as a possible type of home insulation. However, while the substance itself is not new, the expenses associated with aerogel has, as of yet, prevented it from becoming mainstream in construction today.
Magnetic levitation technology, similar to that seen in high-speed trains of today, might even be adaptable enough to construct a multi-directional elevator that is free from the constraints of any kind of cabling system. Researchers from a German-based elevator manufacturer are already testing such technology.
Relying on Your Own Skills and Knowledge
Ultimately, the success or failure of a project falls on the shoulders of a construction superintendent or manager. While there have been some huge technological advancements that might allow for a more laid-back approach to the job, and even some technology that downright makes the job easier, this is still no substation for strong managerial prowess, dedication and team leadership.
Megan Wild is a residential home improvement specialist who focuses on sustainability. When she’s not hanging out with her dog, Tucker, you can find her writing ideas for her blog, Your Wild Home.