Today's construction industry is more high-tech than ever. New tools make it easier to keep your crews safe, your equipment secure, and your overhead low. Here's a quick look at some hot new construction tech that's shaking up our industry and catching our attention - the stuff you’re really going to want to get your hands on.
9 Examples of Drool-Worthy Construction Tech Everyone Wants
When you've had a bad wind storm, earthquake or other issue hit your construction site, is it safe to send in your workers yet? Not that long ago, you had to do just that to determine site safety.
Now drones make it easier to perform remote site inspection, provide easier mapping and measuring services, and can even be used for marketing purposes.
Drone tip: create promotional videos of your workers getting it done to post on your website and share to social media accounts.
Mobile-Friendly Construction Software
It used to be that you could do your estimating and maybe a few other things on your computer, but today's construction software has come a long way.
The best aspect of today’s construction software programs is mobile-responsiveness. Now you don’t have to be sitting in your office in front of your desktop to use these incredibly helpful applications; you can use them on your smartphone or tablet while you’re out in the field, too.
From your initial estimating process and planning notes to punch lists and accounting, you can use most construction software apps on your mobile device, whether you're 40 feet in the air or anywhere around the world.
Driverless cars are coming to a construction site near you and, according to experts, they’re coming soon. Researchers estimate autonomous self-driving vehicles to be all over the road by 2035; some think even sooner.
You may not take a Tesla car through your construction site, but this electric self-driving industry leader is working on producing an electric semi with similar options to their cars.
Though you may not want to entirely exclude the driver yet, the low operating cost and many smart features make this a great option for construction companies who need to get things to and from a building site within a region … or even across state lines.
Driverless cars are coming to a construction site near you soon. Will you be ready?
Even your personal protective equipment is getting smarter!
Radios and cell phones with man-down monitoring that send automatic messages to a specific phone number, hearing protection that will allow you to hear human voices around you while blocking harmful levels of sound, and sensors built into our technology to keep workers safer are just a few of the ways PPE is getting smarter and more connected.
- Smart communication devices like helmets, ear protection, and face masks can aid communication.
- Smart cooling and heating elements can respond to external temperatures to regulate body temperature.
- Light-emitting garments like safety vests can provide high visibility for workers in dark or hazardous working environments.
- Environmental sensors embedded in clothing can detect gas, chemicals, heat, impact and more - even alerting supervisors if a worker is in trouble.
Yesterday’s PPE kept workers safer by minimizing exposure to hazards, while today’s PPE connects to the internet as well as other devices and delivers real-time safety information. Now that’s some tech to get your hands on.
IoT Sensor Connectivity
Is your forklift still where you left it, or is it being moved cross-country?
DeWalt's MOBILELOCK system sends you an alert when your attached machinery is being moved or tilted, senses vibration or is being tampered with. You also have the option of having it continue to silently send you location information or set off a loud alarm. Also acting as a temperature sensor, MOBILELOCK makes it easier for you to add heat to your paint storage, cool down chemical storage or determine that you need to get someone out to the site to turn vehicle engines over in extreme cold.
Magnetically attaching to your equipment, MOBILELOCK immediately alerts you if someone tries to steal it, and helps you track it down. A modern solution to the age-old problem of equipment theft.
Bluetooth-Enabled Power Tools
Several major tool manufacturers are getting on the connected bandwagon to make their power tool lines smarter. Batteries that lock when they pass outside of a virtual fence, tools that allow you to customize speed and torque settings to your needs and smart chips that make it easier to track your inventory all help keep your tool loss to a minimum.
No longer the sole purview of gamers, augmented and virtual reality is taking construction to a whole new level.
From providing clients with a virtual walkthrough of the final construction to giving construction workers an augmented view overlaying construction plans on the actual site, these devices and apps are making it easier than ever to get everything exactly where it needs to be while saving costs on changes down the road …. when the client decides that they really did want that wall in blue.
Safer (Smarter) Equipment
After backup cameras appeared in Toyota's production vehicles in 1991, they began showing up everywhere, including after-market options for existing equipment.
Smart lockout and tagout systems are now coming into play to prevent accidents on construction sites.
Sensors allow equipment to stop when certain conditions are encountered, preventing damage.
Digitization isn't just happening in the field, it's also changing how we do business in the office. As a major portion of our overhead costs, office expenses can be problematic for many construction companies.
New automation tools are streamlining the process, with a wide range of tools for marketing, analytics, sales, accounting, IT and many other areas where you may be leaving money on the table.
These systems are also becoming increasingly interconnected, automating your workflow.
The digitization of the construction industry is providing us with a whole world of new tools to help get the job done safer, easier and more efficiently than ever before. Which of these tools will you implement in your company's operations to improve overhead costs and efficiency?