Automation in Construction – The Key to Fast Startup

The construction business is one of the largest industries in the world, with an annual market capitalization exceeding $10 trillion. Despite its tremendous potential, many firms are struggling due to a shortage of skilled workers, weak productivity growth, and waste. New data shows that the industry is inefficient and wasteful, both in terms of human productivity and physical materials.

Today’s proponents of technology have pointed to a lack of automation and adoption of technology as the primary reasons for the industry’s poor performance. The construction process is one of the least digitized industries worldwide and has failed to significantly increase productivity of human workers in decades. All while productivity in sectors like retail and agriculture has grown by 1500% or more since 1945.

It’s time to shake things up in the construction industry. We think automation technology is the next big thing that will help construction firms thrive over the next 50 years.

Construction leaders have been focusing on education, training, and feedback, leveraging state-of-the-art technology, to provide predictive, quantitative, and qualitative measures to identify, correlate, and eliminate hazards before workers get injured or incidents cause collateral damage. Effective workforce management can help companies keep operations running smoothly, optimize resource allocation, prevent injuries and regulatory action, and avoid unexpected expenses as well as delays.

CAI recently partnered with autoLOTO, a tech startup, focused on lockout tagout in mission critical centers to deliver best in class technology-enabled services for their client base. CAI, a 25-year-old global services firm, recognized the need to deploy software alongside their professional services to meet the growing needs of their global client base, where shortened time pressures increase the challenges to stay within budget and meet ever-tighter schedule demands.  Some of the key attributes of autoLOTO’s software are:

Efficiency: autoLOTO’s patent pending software identifies equipment isolation points instantly. This decreases time spent searching one-line drawings, eliminates duplicated LOTO efforts, removes signing in and out of logbooks, and identifying the LOTO that completely isolates the system. Data collected from Pilot Programs at mission critical facilities has shown the application reduces man-hours associated with LOTO processes by 65-90%, depending on the complexity of the isolated equipment.

Decrease Risk:  autoLOTO’s proprietary architecture will show the user each energy pathway to the equipment they wish to isolate, identifies the proper PPE and appropriate approach boundaries and logs all live-dead live testing. Their complete LOTO integrated mobile process will identify and guide the user to correct a potentially life-threatening action as it occurs in real-time. This eliminates nearly all possible human error from the LOTO process. Data collected from Pilot Programs at mission critical facilities has shown that 40% of Electrical Safety Incidents on site could be prevented by the autoLOTO.

As we continue to see expert labor shortages, automation technologies are the way forward for the construction industry when it comes to enhancing productivity and boosting profits. The adoption and integration of automation tools may be the best opportunity for the construction business to drive profits in the coming years.

About the Author:

Jackie Karceski, Chief Technology Officer MBA, Santa Clara University & BA Political Economics, UC Berkeley, Certificate in International Economic Policy, Harvard University

Using financial and operational growth expertise, Jackie specializes in helping migrate from ideation to market success through digital transformation. She has over 30 years of experience in Business Finance, Operations and Strategy, Business Development, Funder and Angel Investment, Business Transformation, and Tech Startups.

As CTO of CAI, Jackie’s key responsibilities will be outlining our technological vision, implementing technology strategies, and ensuring that the technological resources are aligned with business needs.