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Automatization in construction
Future trends as well as new market characteristics such as skills shortages, cost pressures as well as stringent safety and environmental regulations make the need for offsite and onsite construction optimization a priority more than ever. To meet these challenges, Wienerberger has extensified research into prefabrication and robotic systems for construction automation.
Prefabricated wall panels
Architects, construction companies and masons face various challenges on the construction site: Strict quality regulations, high amount of waste, safety risks and lack of skilled labor. To counteract these challenges as well as to increase quality and speed, prefabricated wall panels are made in the factory and are assembled to form a unit on the construction site.
With prefabrication, in the future one can add value to the wall by directly accounting for insulation, piping, electricity, paint & more in the prefabrication process. Wienerberger is actively involved in developing and testing prefabrication solutions for many types of buildings and sizes with:
In Wijnegem, a sustainable neighbourhood with 62 social apartments was built.
Bringing the precision and repeatability of traditional indoor robotics into uncontrolled outdoor environments such as construction sites has up until now been an insurmountable challenge.
Robotic construction technologies are now coming to market to address the increasing skilled labour shortage and enhance the efficiency of construction delivery. Wienerberger has entered into various partnerships and research activities to bring bricklaying robots and their inherent benefits to its customers.
Current research and development in the field of robotics:
Wienerberger entered into a global partnership agreement with FBR, an Australian robotics company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Their machine Hadrian X quickly and efficiently builds walls for family homes and commercial structures up to 2,5 storeys.
The current iteration of the Hadrian X can build a standard family home in approximately two days, with the next iteration (currently being manufactured) designed to lay an expected max speed of 60 square metres of wall per hour. Wienerberger Porotherm blocks have been sent to Australia and have been tested with the Hadrian X to ensure highest quality in the automated construction process.
Together with the Czech startup KM Robotics and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (Czech Technical University in Prague), Wienerberger is developing a mobile robot, which has proven particularly effective for long walls and in infill masonry where prefabrication by a crane is limited. The aim is for the mobile robot to move independently in a building and erect walls - with a higher quality and speed than a bricklayer could do on site.
The afore R&D is co-funded within the project: „Research and Development of a Robotic System for Automated Masonry from Clay Blocks“, ref. FW03010304 under the TREND Progamme of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, from the Czech state budget.