There are a lot of issues on any given construction site that may cause downtime. Understaffed crews, inclement weather, and delays in getting materials and supplies are among the most common reasons schedules can fall apart.
Some of these issues can’t be helped and others can be avoided by making the right decisions. For example, if you need to buy shoulder pattern eye bolts for a job, you’ll want to choose a domestic supplier that can reliably deliver within your timeline. While labor shortage is a real issue across the sector, some construction companies have taken the initiative to provide job training and work with vocational programs to recruit new workers.
A major cause of lost productivity that can be helped but isn’t always possible to work around is the breakdown or malfunction of equipment. Complications with machines hinder the team working with them directly as well as anyone who’s relying on their progress. Such productivity loss has been found to add up to costs of $350 an hour, which, in some of the worst cases, can amount to a $2800 hit at the end of an eight hour day.
Construction equipment manufacturers are looking at ways they can better meet the needs of their end users and help reduced downtime on the job site. They’ve begun making improvements to their products with these issues in mind. Tech capabilities that improve accuracy and match operational performance to the specifics of a project is one approach.
Milling machines are an important example for the construction industry. This heavy equipment is increasingly in-demand as state and local governments work to improve and preserve roadway infrastructure. In an effort to enhance performance, equipment manufacturers like BOMAG, Caterpillar, Roadtec, and Wirtgen are integrating more technology into their milling machines. They have started by transitioning from 2D milling, which relies on sensors and markers to determine milling depths, to 3D virtual mapping and GPS. These tools can be used to more accurately complete a job and ensure results closely meet with original plans.
With contractors seeking ways to manage cost and time, equipment manufacturers are also incorporating various monitoring tools directly into machinery. This allows for a clear picture of real-time machine usage, as well as diagnostics resources that are built right into the unit, enabling operators, inspectors, and supervisors to identify potential problems before they cause major downtime.
Technology and automation on the construction site have been said to be one of the possible solutions for a shrinking labor pool. Equipment that leverages the power of tools like 3D imaging, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have changed other industrial sectors like manufacturing. These assets may be even better suited to a high-demand industry where downtime affects more than just the company doing the job and precision and productivity make a huge difference.