Electrical contractors, like everyone else in the construction industry, will continue to seek to find and hire capable workers in 2020 and beyond. The term "capable" here refers to anyone who's eager and willing to work in an exciting and challenging job applying evolving technologies to the rapidly transforming construction industry. An emerging group of contractors are training a highly skilled workforce to develop an environment where wastes are nearly eliminated and instead, converted to productivity and profit.
Technologies like AI (artificial intelligence or machine learning) are being used to create new construction schedules by exploring countless scenarios. AI is also applying image recognition to analyze jobsite photos, identify materials at risk and identify “high-risk trends” in worker behavior.
Watch AI and Robotics track progress & monitor risks – increasing productivity and profits:
2020 will see a sharp rise in the elimination of paper forms, as the connected jobsite allows them to take advantage of digital forms. Digitization (think paperless) allows construction companies to deliver information "in the click of a button" all over the jobsite –and in real-time – with designers and owners not physically on the jobsite. AR and “wearables” are practical applications delivering relevant safety warnings when workers become tired and need rest. Critical data about temperature and pressure can be provided by AR as well, allowing workers to proactively identify potential problem areas with equipment. Exoskeletons increase safety by allowing workers to access increased strength and reduce hazard exposure, by avoiding direct contact, while on the job.
Last week we saw autonomous vehicles providing transportation to and from jobsites that have limited or no parking availability for workers. We have seen 3D printing transform from printing models a few years ago, to completing full-scale projects today, printing parts and components used in the actual construction of projects. Contractors will using eco-friendly materials in construction with more intent than ever. Robotics will speed processes, improve productivity and reduce delays in many areas of construction. New materials for construction are developing every day. With a highly skilled workforce, ECs will perform jobs more safely, cost-efficiently, and faster, which benefits the customer and greatly improves the final product.
Additional reading about AI developments:
- interestingengineering.com: 7 Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2020
- PhcpPros.com: Construction Technology Trends: A Look Ahead to 2020 and Beyond
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.