Recently, Peggy Smedley and I had the opportunity to attend the Topcon Roadshow Media event in Carol Stream, Ill.—and there were a few key takeaways that demonstrate how technology is reshaping the construction industry.

Scott Langbein, director of marketing, Topcon Positioning Systems, kicked off the media event by illustrating that there is a $36 trillion gap in global infrastructure funding, and that intelligent construction is contributing to shrinking the gap in a global perspective.

This common theme extended the entire event, as a panel of representatives including Bill Painter, Topcon, Jerry Bickner, Topcon Solutions Store, Anthony Cerisano, GOMACO Corp., Dale Sensenig, ATI Corp., and Andy Werdin, Ligchine Intl. Corp., discussed concrete applications relating to meeting growing infrastructure demands. Some key takeaways include:

  • The fact that DOT (Dept. of Transportation) realizes that the smoother the surface, the longer that road will last, and thus many are tightening the specs.
  • Safety is front and center of most companies, and lasers can help improve safety on a construction jobsite.
  • Machine control is evolving, and there is a greater need than ever before to have more skilled operators on projects—but the worker shortage is a real problem that the industry needs to address.

I think this touches on a lot of key topics that we have been talking about here at Constructech all year long. We recognize that there is a funding gap that needs to be addressed—and technology is the key to help solve much of our challenges today.

Further, there is a skilled worker shortage in the industry today that is only continuing to grow. Technology can, of course, also help in this area, but we also need to come together as an industry to discuss how to solve this—otherwise we are going to quickly discover that we don’t have the resources to get the job done.

What are your thoughts? How can we address the global infrastructure funding gap? In what ways can intelligent construction help? Also, as machine controls evolve, how can we tap into a younger, tech-savvy generation, and encourage them to consider careers in the construction industry?

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor