Earthwork Industry News Roundup: December 2019

This is it, the homestretch. In just two weeks, we’ll be celebrating the turn of the New Year and embracing the boundless opportunity 2020 has to offer.  

We all know December is a time for reflection as you’re setting personal resolutions, a time to think about what went wrong, what went right, the good, and the bad (and the questionable). It’s important to carry that critical thinking through to your worksite to make this next year more profitable and efficient than the last. 

This month, next year’s goals are top of mind for everyone in the earthwork ecosystem. Industry news outlets were quick to cater to the tech stack audits, operational changes, and forecasting integral to end-of-year planning. 

Aerial view of the working earth mover

As you’ll find below, there’s conflicting ideas about where AEC falls on the digital adoption wave. On one hand, construction and mining continue to embrace autonomous drones as a viable site surveying technology. But on the other hand, there’s question of how fluidly drone surveying feeds into the big data movement. 

We’re also bringing you some follow-up reading from last month’s article on 3D-printed homes, a predictive resource on the most common challenges debilitating the mining industry, and lastly a quick report on how robots are making waves on construction sites

Let’s check out what’s new this month.


Autonomous drones to lead the way in mining surveillance technology—report


Miners are expected to continue using autonomous drone technology as a complement to new IOT solutions to improve mine operation efficiency and worker safety, a new industry trend analysis by Fitch Solutions finds. Drones with autonomous capabilities and extended flight time will be preferred. .” 


Is the Surveying Industry Ready to Collaborate on Big Data?

From Entrepreneur 

Surveying is an important aspect of the construction industry, required in the planning and execution of most forms of construction. Conventionally, surveying has been considered as being a field of individual brilliance. Although surveyors have been very good at collecting data, a culture of sharing it has not existed. A surveyor has always worked on his own data, either gathered through various resources or his own intrinsic sources from a project. . ” 


How Robots Are Changing the Construction Industry

From Fortune 

“Along the banks of Lake Michigan, 20 masons lay bricks for a huge dorm, as big as three football fields, at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. Compared with those in years past, these workers are doing far less laying and “buttering” and, instead, are focused on quality and on cleaning up mortar joints. A robot named SAM handles the real grunt. . ” 


Oracle Plans Expansion of Construction Tech Lab

From Engineering News-Record 

After more than a year of testing construction technology on its mockup jobsite, Oracle Construction & Engineering is planning a major expansion of its Innovation Lab in Deerfield, Ill. Currently consisting of a re-creation of a construction site with some partially erected structural steel, a patch of dirt and a construction trailer, the site will soon feature an expanded testing arena with indoor and outdoor spaces. Going forward, it will also be used to evaluate new technologies related to Oracle’s utility and communication business units. . . .” 


These Adorable 3D-Printed Houses Could Solve Homelessness 


“In May, housing nonprofit New Story shared a rendering of plans to 3D-print an entire neighborhood. That vision’s now coming to life, with the Wednesday unveiling of the first houses in this project, in what’ll ultimately become a wholly unique community of 50 homes in Mexico. New Story created the 500-square-foot homes using the Vulcan II, a 3D-printer developed by project partner Icon, an Austin-based construction tech company. Each of the two-bedroom, one-bathroom houses took about 24 hours to print, which the companies spread out. . . .”


The 5 biggest challenges facing the mining sector


“In the five years since the Mount Polly mine disaster, British Columbia’s mining industry has focused on tailings pond management and obtaining social license for resource extraction projects.  Its other priorities include integrating new technology and hiring a demographically diverse workforce. Julia Gartley, a mineral process engineer at BBA Vancouver, outlines what she sees as the five biggest challenges facing the mining sector. . ” 

Terrain editing CTA


Keep Reading:

Using Up-to-Date Construction Data to Better Head Office Operations
Here’s How Engineers Are Using 3D Construction Site Surveys to Work Smarter
Construction Software You Should Know About

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