UK reveals 15-year vision to revolutionize construction
Highways England, the UK’s transport government body, has revealed the launch of a 15-year plan which aims to accelerate the use of cutting-edge technology in the nations construction sector, particularly for infrastructure work.
We’ve already seen connected and autonomous plants (CAP) being used to transform various activities across the country’s construction sector. A solid example of this is the adoption of robotic trucks on the recently opened A14 improvement, one of Britain's biggest road projects in recent years.
Driverless machines are estimated to push up productivity to the value of £400bn over the next two decades. Workers’ health and safety is also set to benefit from the use of these machines, bringing accident rates down considerably.
Highways England has teamed up with TRL and the Infrastructure Industry Innovation Partnership (i3P) to set out a roadmap to push for CAP techniques to become standard by 2035.
Chief Executive of Highways England, Jim O’Sullivan, said: “Connected and autonomous plant will make work safer and quicker. The Roadmap lays out the benefits and addresses the barriers to making this a reality. We are confident the Roadmap will help our supply chain to rapidly make this the norm on our worksites.”
The CAP roadmap was produced in collaboration with over 100 industry stakeholders. The main predictions of the technology adoption are as follows
- Slash fatalities by over a third
- Boost productivity by £400bn in the next two decades
- Annual savings of around £53bn surrounding new construction projects
- Assist with almost half of all construction activities currently performed
- Road construction to deliver benefits of over £3bn within the next 15 years
Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2, Britain’s ambitious high-speed rail project, supported the vision, saying: “This work charts an extremely exciting and potentially game changing route as to how we operate our sites as we build Britain. My challenge to our industry is to take the steps we can take today to improve our future, moving forwards together to make our people more efficient, and safer than ever.”
Nine workstreams focusing on key areas has been set out in the roadmap, Chief Technologist at TRL, Alex Wright, stated: “The CAP roadmap has been developed collaboratively with more than 75 organisations. Through a wide variety of questionnaires and workshops, we identified the actions required to overcome the various technical, business and legislative challenges to delivering the vision. Overall, the Roadmap brings together nine pathways which have been identified to deliver success by 2035. This includes elements from legislation, regulation and policy as well as factors facilitating finance and investment and an understanding of the skills gaps.”
Highways England is already utilising CAP plant in key areas. Also it’s only in the trial stages, the firm is set to roll it out across many more infrastructure projects into the future.
The trucks which were used in the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement project were programmed to follow a predetermined route as they drove along the road whilst detecting and avoiding any obstacles en-route.
The technology can also provide increased efficiency as they provide the potential to round-the-clock working whilst allowing jobs to be moved to other skilled areas.
Cordless power tools market to reach US$26.2bn by 2026
The revenue of the cordless power tools market will grow by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.54% reaching US$26.2bn by 2026, a new Aritzon report predicts. The report provides an in-depth analysis and insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the market, revealing that drills and fastening tools accounted for the highest revenue.
According to the research, this segment of the market generated an additional US$2.37bn expected to increase by a CAGR of 8.49% during the 2020-2026 forecast period. Other findings included APAC having the fastest growth in the cordless power tools market which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.34%.
The report divides the market into sections such as tool type, end-user, dynamics, and geography, as well as by country and major vendors, including Stanley, Black & Decker, Bosch, and Makita.
Under market segmentation, the report revealed that the industrial end-user segment, comprising both the automotive and construction industries, generated the most revenue in the cordless power tools market in 2020.
One of the biggest factors increasing the demand for cordless power tools was DIY, including home improvements and wood-crafting. In addition, the residential segment is expected to grow due to more homes and buildings being constructed.
In Geographical terms, America had the largest market for cordless power tools in 2020, a position it is expected to hold during the forecast period. The US is home to several large industries including aerospace, electronics, and packing, in addition to the construction and automotive sectors.
Speedy: The construction equipment and services provider
Speedy, a construction services and equipment company, has invested £10mn (USD) into new products to allow it to uphold its promise of a four-hour guaranteed delivery service. The company launched the service in response to rising customer demand for quicker site deliveries.
The company says the investment will add 25,000 new assets to its most popular products and boost the availability of equipment from its UK and Ireland-based service centres. In the past year, Speedy has made 13,000 four-hour deliveries, increasing by 30% year on year.
Dan Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Speedy, said: “The growing demand for our four-hour delivery promise reflects the value it’s providing our customers, helping them to be more productive and complete projects on time by giving them quick access to essential site equipment.
“This latest investment boosts the availability of our top products throughout the UK. It provides our customers with the reassurance that we can support them to get the job done on time so that they can avoid costly delays to the projects they are working on”, he added.
The four-hour delivery service means that the company guarantees w=equipment to be delivered to a customer anywhere in the UK within four hours of being ordered. If an item is delivered outside of this window, customers receive free hire for a week, Speedy says.