The construction industry has drastically evolved with technology advancements. In terms of electrical construction technology, there are innovations that you can expect to follow in 2019-2020. These modifications and inventions are created to promote efficiency, safety, and production on job sites.
Electrical contractors specialize in work related to design, installment, and maintenance of electrical systems. In the upcoming years, we can expect to see advancements in robotics, automated technology, augmented or virtual reality, and software programs.
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Automated technology is the future of construction technology because it uses AI to computerize functions that can be performed by humans, therefore reducing human error. With less human error, electrical work will be safer because of smart technology.
1. Robotics and Drones
The UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are known recreationally for videography, but this machinery is a very important electrical construction technology trend to keep up with. Drones are helpful on construction job sites because they can survey potential project sites, observe and inspect existing infrastructure, and monitor progress. The camera and sensors on the drones can enhance the electrical contractor’s performance with the ability to see different viewpoints and angles. Drones for job site observation and inspection mean the reinforcement of safety and elimination of hazards. In terms of management, drones are evolving to be used as a means of maintaining constant contact on-site. Drones can be mounted on buildings and provide video footage.
Internet of Things and 5g Network
2. IoT and Cloud Computing
IoT is a system of interrelated computing equipment, mechanical and digital machines that transfer data over networks without in-person or human interaction. IoT allows electrical workers to use internet-connected tools and software to connect themselves. IoT is also used to plan and coordinate other build activities to increase productivity and reduce error and delay.
Cloud computing is similar, but it delivers and stores data over the IoT centers for quick and easy access whereas IoT refers to the connection of devices via the internet. The cloud enables the data center to serve as the internet and for resources to be accessed and shared in a protected and scalable manner. Electrical construction can use these to stay organized and efficient.
Smartwatches have made an impact on the electrical industry. Smartwatches, Fitbit, and other wearables like Proxxi are produced to ensure and promote safety. Proxxi is a wearable that reduces the risk of electronic injuries and electrocution. It has an integrated sensor that notifies you with a vibration when one gets too close to high-voltage electricity. Smartwatches also allow GPS location stamps so that workers can clock in at job sites accurately.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
4. Smart helmet
DAQRI created a smart helmet and augmented reality glasses that allows engineers, architects, and contractors to see their surroundings in an optimized way. This helmet is equipped with sensors, cameras, and high-tech electronics that enable the electrical workers to know the location of ductwork and electrical cabling that is in the walls. Smart helmets offer depth-sensing cameras that detect dangerous proximities and alert with visual or audible alarms. Augmented reality’s vision is an electrical construction technology movement to follow because it is believed to have an industry-changing impact.
CAD is a Computer-Aided Design software for drafting or image creation. This program can be used to create two and three-dimensional models of parts and assemblies from their desired materials. Design engineers use CAD files for projects that require numerous parts and components to fit together for a large assembly.
BIM stands for building information modeling. It is an intelligent 3D model-based process the process of generating and managing digital representations as well as the digital and physical functions of places. BIM is different from CAD because it’s more than just a 3D model. It’s an intelligent version of CAD because it can reduce change orders, increase field communication, and collaboration. If a building needs to be renovated or remodeled and it was originally constructed with BIM, it is easier to make the restorations with the software.
Prefabrication and Modular Construction
Recently, because of the popularity with BIM software, prefabrication and modular construction re-emerged because of its increase in production with residential and commercial projects. In terms of electrical construction, the prefabrication methods are used for in-floor/in-wall products and switches. Prefabrication reduces the amount of time for installation of projects on-site, therefore increasing productivity and the volume of jobs that an electrical contractor takes on. Additionally, there’s a substantial amount of fewer scraps and trash on sites, because the preassembled electrical components are shipped in a complete fashion. Prefabrication companies service electrical contractors with wire bundling, and panelboard and transformer assemblies. Furthermore, it lessens the number of shipments and deliveries to job sites, which also reduces the total material and trash that needs to be moved or disposed of.
Technology is evolving, and it’s imperative to keep up to date with the current trends to ensure safety and efficiency on job sites. Construction technology is useful in all projects, ranging from residential houses to commercial industries. Be ready to anticipate electrical construction technology trends in software, wearables, IoT and cloud computing, prefabrication and automated technology that will overall increase productivity in the upcoming years.