ABB Robotics Advances Building Automation To Enable Safer, Sustainable Construction
– 9 in 10 construction companies predict a skills crisis by 2030, with 81% saying they will introduce robots within the next 10 years, while safety and the environment are both catalysts to accelerate investment in construction. robotic.
BANGALORE from India and ZURICH, May 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – ABB Robotics Boosts Automation in the Construction Industry with New Robotic Automation Solutions to Address Key Challenges, Including the Need for More Affordable and Eco-Friendly Housing, and to Reduce Environmental Impact construction, in a context of labor and skills shortages.
Robotic automation offers enormous potential for improving productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility in the construction industry, including the automation of modular home fabrication and offsite building components, welding robotic and material handling on construction sites and robotic 3D printing of houses and custom structures. In addition to making the industry safer and more profitable, robots improve sustainability and reduce environmental impact by improving quality and reducing waste.
“With so few construction companies using automation today, there is huge potential for us to transform the industry through robotics. Unlike in building cars or assembling electronics, many techniques used in construction have not changed for generations, so we are developing new solutions to meet industry challenges, ”said Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Quiet Automation business line. “This new customer segment will expand our portfolio as part of a broader strategy to accelerate expansion into high growth segments such as electronics, healthcare, consumer goods, logistics and food. and beverages, to meet the growing demand for automation across multiple industries. “
In a global survey1 commissioned by ABB from 1900 large and small construction companies in Europe, the United States and China, 91% said they faced a skills crisis in the next 10 years, and 44% said they had difficulty recruiting for construction jobs. Improving health and safety on construction sites was a priority for 42% and the same percentage said the environment is a key driver of industry change.
81% of construction companies said they will introduce or increase the use of robotics and automation in the next decade, while today only a handful of companies are benefiting from robotics. In the survey, only 55% of construction companies say they use robots, compared to 84% in the automotive sector and 79% in the manufacturing sector.
Industry forecasts for the total value of the global construction industry predict that it will increase by 85% to $ 15.5 trillion in the world by 20302, while ABB Robotics’ internal analysis of the robotic automation market potential over the next 10 years focuses on a high double-digit growth rate in key construction sectors including prefabrication and 3d printing.
Robots allowing a new approach
As the industry faces increased environmental regulations and the need for more profitable buildings, robotic automation reduces waste by improving quality and consistency, which is important when it is estimated that up to a quarter of the materials transported to a building site leaves like garbage.3. With automation and digital solutions, builders can also design waste early in a project through efficient building design and construction processes.
With over 200,000 vacancies for low and high skilled workers in the EU alone in the second quarter of 20204, the shortage of workers in the industry is a growing problem, as young people have delayed their construction careers by feeling that it is a dangerous occupation. Construction workers are responsible for around 30% of workplace accidents and are up to four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than other sectors, with around 108,000 deaths each year worldwide.5.
Robots can make construction safer by handling heavy and bulky loads, working in dangerous spaces, and enabling new, safer construction methods. Using robots for repetitive and dangerous tasks that people increasingly don’t want to do means automation can help support the job and skills crisis in industry and make construction careers more attractive. For the young.
“A new focus on health, safety and sustainability are catalysts for investing in robotics, while the shrinking pool of skilled labor means the construction industry needs robots to operate. help it cope with the challenges of urbanization and climate change, ”Atiya added. “We are putting our expertise and portfolio of advanced robots and digital tools at the center of the construction industry value chain with automation solutions for faster, more affordable and sustainable construction, while supporting the industry’s labor shortage, handling heavy and large loads. , access dangerous spaces and allow new, safer construction methods. “
Innovation already in use
Designed to improve flexibility, productivity and quality, the pilot projects include the automated fabrication of timber roof supports with Autovol in Canada, the robotic installation of elevators with Schindler elevators and the robotic automation of the production of prefabricated modular houses by Intelligent City, which increased production efficiency by 15% and speed by 38%, while reducing waste by 30%.
Skanska’s robot welding application has improved quality, employee productivity and safety by automating the fabrication of steel reinforcement baskets on site. This solution also reduced the cost and environmental impact of transporting bulky finished reinforcement baskets to job sites.
“It’s increasingly difficult to find people to do difficult and time-consuming tasks, which means we have to look further to find the workers we need,” said Ulf Håkansson, Technical Director of Skanska Construction. “Assigning these tasks to robots can solve this problem, allowing us to deploy our workers more efficiently. Automation also suits the experience and imagination of the next generation of engineers, who have grown up with the technology. technology and will be invaluable in helping us find new ways to use robots in our business. “
ABB is also working with several leading universities to co-develop new automated construction technologies, including ETH Zurich, a leading research university in Switzerland. At ETH, ABB supports research in the field of robotic manufacturing in architecture and construction and helped establish the world’s first collaborative robotic digital manufacturing laboratory in architecture, hosted at the Institute of Technology in ETH architecture.
This week, ABB’s latest large-scale robotic 3D printing technology for the construction industry is presented by Austrian architecture firm MAEID at 17e International Architecture – La Biennale di Venezia, to inspire architects on the possibilities of automation and 3D printing, stimulating innovation and enabling new ways of building.
For more information, visit the ABB website website. An “ Automation and the Construction Industry ” panel discussion will be available on the website from May 26, 2021.
1 ABB construction industry survey May 2021. Conducted by 3Gem Global Market Research & Insights, the ABB Construction Industry Survey of 1,900 CEOs or CEOs of Large and Small Businesses, including Residential and Commercial Construction, Component Suppliers, Contractors and Sub- contractors, architects and designers and consultants in the United States, Canada, China, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France & Italy. Realized on April 22, 2021 – May 12, 2021, 3Gem Research & Insights uses standard panel management systems and adheres to rigorous quality control procedures; offering double opt-in consumer and B2B panels, compliant with GDPR.
2 The Global Construction 2030 report (connect)
3 UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA (connect)
4 EU (connect)
5 International Labor Organization 2015 (connect)
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company driving the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive and sustainable future. By connecting the software to its portfolio of electrification, robotics, automation and motion, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to take performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back over 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by approximately 105,000 talented employees in more than 100 countries. www.abb.com
ABB Robotics and quiet automation is a pioneer in robotics, machine automation and digital services, providing innovative solutions for a wide range of industries, from automotive to electronics to logistics. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of robotics and machine automation, we have shipped more than 500,000 robotic solutions. We help our customers of all sizes increase productivity, flexibility and simplicity, and improve output quality. We support their transition to the connected and collaborative factory of the future. ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation employs more than 11,000 people at more than 100 sites in more than 53 countries. go.abb/robotics