Challenging suppliers to seek a  wider knowledge resource

 #constructionindustry #sustainable #architects #localauthorities #contractors #developers #innovation #buildingtechnology #MMC #modular #suppliers #adhesvies @LiquidPlastics

We hear a lot in the media relating to Offsite Construction, Modular Buildings and Modern Methods of Construction – the success of this approach is key to the future success of our construction industry. The challenge for component or material suppliers is to be able to transfer their ideas and knowledge to the specifiers and manufacturers.  It has been my experience that we have an abundance of companies in the UK with innovative ideas for Offsite Manufacturing in the construction industry, but they may be failing to access a much wider knowledge resource.

Many material and component suppliers from diverse industries have something to offer for offsite construction, even if their heritage is not from a construction background. I see my responsibility as bringing positive ideas to the table and helping manufacturers to avoid reinventing the wheel. Here are two examples from my own organisation’s experience.


Adhesives Create Opportunities
My first example is the rail market.  In the 1980’s most trains and carriages were constructed using traditional joining technologies (welding, rivets, and other mechanical fixings).  This limited design possibilities and with a greater reliance on a very skilled workforce, created a restriction on what could be achieved.  With the main train manufacturers, Sika worked on providing elastic bonding systems which helped in so many ways.  It allowed design flexibility as alternative materials could be used.  Mixed materials could be joined, with the use of bonded solutions allowing structural integrity to be improved dramatically.  Bonded processes allowed greater process repeatability which in turn improved quality and reduced the requirement for skilled labour.  The use of elastic and structural adhesives is now common amongst all rail rolling stock manufacturers.  I would make the same recommendation to the Offsite Construction market – there is an alternative to the mechanical fix norm.

Dramatically Improve Efficiency
The second example is the automotive Industry.  Whilst the offsite and modular building market still sees a degree of bespoke manufacturing, the trend is towards reducing components and design complexity, and increasing potential output.  The challenge again is that many traditional construction techniques are used where an automotive manufacturing approach will see reduced costs, higher levels of efficiency, and higher quality.  The automotive market provides vehicles of different specifications allowing customers to make choices but can still have a production line running at sub 60 seconds per work-station.  The automotive industry relies on building a critical mass of vehicles so any ideas that can level out the build process and reduce build time is welcome.  Whilst employing many engineers, the automotive manufacturers utilise a pool of highly experienced and knowledgeable suppliers to create ideas, new concepts, and novel ways to help them achieve their goals.

We Are Here to Help
I would therefore venture that the Offsite, Modular, and MMC market can benefit from a lot of great ideas and know-how from key suppliers. I would also say an investment in key partners is extremely valuable.  The challenge is for the industry to work together, to create collaboration, and more importantly to develop the right supplier partnerships.
For more information on Sika Offsite, contact James Taylor on 01707 363893 or visit the
below website.

AI has transformed our lives in a plethora of ways. Starting from advanced robots to simple household devices, it is hard to name an industry that does not involve the applications of AI. Most noticeably, AI has made a significant impact on the construction industry. AI-enabled construction robots are helping the construction industry realize its true potential by simplifying the laborious tasks and executing them with precision.

The construction industry primarily relied on manual-intensive labor with little to no automation. The main hindrance in using robots was the unpredictable landscape of the construction site. While robots can excel at repetitive tasks, a construction site requires adaptability and flexibility. However, the recent advancements in AI have empowered construction robots to analyze complex tasks and improvise based on what the situation demands. Construction robots are increasingly being used in building residential homes as well as commercial buildings. In this analysis by vHomeInsurance, we explore the impact of robots on the construction industry and the future for construction robots.

Construction robots are designed in such a way that they can be easily transported to the construction site. The main advantage of using construction robots is to save time, increase precision and efficiency, thereby leading to greater economic benefits. For instance, Hadrian X is a bricklaying automated machine capable of building walls of a house by calculating the necessary materials and movements without any supervision. It was developed by an Australian based firm by incorporating an intelligent control system. The robot can lay bricks at a speed of 1,000 per hour with 100% accuracy. It can also detect changes caused due to external factors such as wind and vibrations and create the design accordingly. It has been estimated that the bot takes 2 days to complete work that could otherwise take around 4-6 weeks when done manually.

Another hindrance to the progress of construction is linked to safety concerns and accidents occurring due to human error. Statistics reveal that 21% of work deaths in the U.S are linked to the construction industry. Many companies have been actively involved in developing robots that could increase the safety of humans. Most noticeably, Volvo has designed an autonomous self-driving load carrier, HX2, that can carry supplies and materials to the construction site without human intervention. It can also move heavy loads with relative ease. The autonomous carrier detects obstacles and humans with the help of the “vision system,” developed by Volvo. This could replace humans working in construction sites, thereby reducing the risk of fatalities.

The International Federation of Robotics and the Robotics Industries Association had predicted that the construction robotics industry would witness a CAGR of 8.7% from 2018 to 2022. The global market research company International Data Corporation went a step further and estimated a CAGR of 20.2% for the same period. While the numbers are not staggering, this is considered to be promising, given that the construction industry is one of the least automated industries. With the growing demand for residential and commercial buildings and the advancements in AI, it is safe to say that AI-powered construction robots will play a vital role in revamping the construction industry.

Source: Robotics Tomorrow