Contract Glaziers Weigh in on the Most Important Technologies

Autonomous vehicles are cool, but don’t expect to see them roaming around construction sites any time soon. While self-driving vehicles do offer potential for increased safety and efficiency, contract glaziers have their eyes set on a number of other new and emerging jobsite technologies. Some are very important to contract glaziers and are already in use. Others, though important, have not yet been adopted. There are also developments that contract glaziers see as important, but say they aren’t likely to employ in their operations.

USGlass magazine recently conducted a survey to learn more about the construction industry technologies contract glaziers see as most viable. From modeling software and 3D printing to augmented reality and autonomous vehicles, here’s a look at how some developments measure up for glazing contractors.

How important do you think each of these technologies will be in the future?

Given the advances and increasing complexity of architectural designs, it’s not surprising that modeling software ranks as one of the most important technologies for contract glaziers. Of those who took the survey, about 64% cited it as something very important that they’ve either already adopted or plan to adopt. Incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) technology is also important to contract glaziers, with 66% saying they either will adopt or already have done so.

If planning to adopt any of these technologies, when do you see your company doing so?

The next few years could be busy ones for contract glaziers, as many expect to adopt new technologies soon. IoT developments are among the first ones those companies plan to explore, with about 47% planning to do so in the next one to three years and 33% doing so within three to five years. Approximately 47% of respondents cited smart personal protective equipment (PPE) as being very important with plans to adopt in the future. Smart PPE equipment includes innovative wearables such as exoskeletons and sensor technologies. Almost all of those respondents, nearly 43%, plan to do so soon, within the next one to three years. Also worth noting, while half of the contract glaziers surveyed said they don’t think drones will be important on jobsites, of those who do and plan to adopt, about 40%, will do so soon—within the next three years.

How important do you think each of these factors are (or will be) for investing in new technologies?

And when it comes to technology investments, contract glaziers point to efficiency and safety as the most important reasons to do so. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being least important and 5 being most important, improving jobsite efficiencies scored a weighted average of 4.21 followed by improving jobsite safety (4.15) and the labor shortage (4.12) in third.

How challenging are each of these factors when implementing new technologies into the contract glazing practice?

Implementing new technologies, however, isn’t always simple. There can be a number of challenges. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being least important and 5 being most important, contract glaziers point to cost and training as the most challenging considerations.

Ellen Rogers is the editor of USGlass magazine. Follow her on Twitter @USGlass and like USGlass on Facebook to receive updates. Nick St. Denis, director of research for Key Media & Research contributed to this study.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.