The construction and mining industries have long been synonymous with being ‘behind the times’, but the truth of the matter is very different. In fact, nowadays, these industries are often the first to adopt new technologies in order to more efficiently streamline everyday processes and create safer, more eco-friendly ways of working. One technology currently being integrated within mining and construction is automation. From driver-less vehicles, to automated, the industry could see a vast change in the near future, but what has automation done for us so far?
What Do We Mean By Automation?
While the idea of automated technology isn’t anything new, understanding just what it is and how it could help us in the future is the first step to adopting these technologies in the future. Automation is the name given to a technology that “allows a process or procedure to be performed without human assistance.” Essentially, this means that if a process can take place without the need for any control by a human and that all actions are automatic, it is automated. Smart and automated technologies are quickly becoming commonplace in the digital world, but for construction and mining, it is just the beginning
The transportation of tools and materials from A to B can often take a substantial amount of time and with a rapidly ageing and thinning workforce, finding a way to put resources and manpower where it’s needed rather than into driving, could save a significant amount of time in the long run. By automating vehicles, the ability to transport materials and more efficiently distribute resources could save money, time and, of course, ensure that the workforce are spread across much more valuable positions throughout the industry.
In a similar way to automated vehicles, the automation of equipment could help to streamline the mining and construction processes considerably, but even more so than that, it can increase safety. From machines that can extract specific minerals and rocks without the need for any human miners to go underground, to devices that can analyze safety and risk management to ensure that workers are kept safe at all times, automation could be the key to reducing injury and casualties in dangerous industries.
Drones are another technology that are shaking up countless industries across the globe and construction is looking to be no exception. By utilizing drones, miners and construction engineers can keep a better eye on what’s going on across the site. Automated drones, in particular, can collect data and craft analytics for workers to take and utilize when determining the safety or efficiency of any one part of the job. With regular checks through automated drones, keeping up to date with what’s going on and the risks involved is made much simpler and the entire process is streamlined.
While the future of mining and construction is impossible to predict, automation is certainly looking to become a huge part of the daily process. From driver-less vehicles to transport goods from A to B, to drones and other equipment that can more efficiently get the job done and analyze the risks without the need for putting workforce at risk, these new technologies could drastically change how miners and construction engineers work in the future.