Page 48

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

©stock.adobe.com/au/adam121

AND THE TRADIE TOOLBOX

Tim Phillips, General Manager, Drillcut

Like most other sectors, the electrical and construction industries are experiencing digital transformation. Deployed strategically, digital technology can help increase productivity and efficiency and mitigate risk and waste.

W

e’re still using tools and still building a lot of things by hand so it can sometimes be a bit difficult to see the digital transformation at a worksite. Looking closely shows how a tradie’s toolbox has changed and how it is set to change further in the near future. From general technologies such as smartphones to industry-specific innovations such as inventory management system and digital site plans, today’s tradies are a lot more high-tech than their predecessors. There has been an apparent reluctance to embrace new technologies in many parts of the electrical and construction industry, perhaps because of a fear that digitisation and automation will make a lot of jobs obsolete. However, digital technology is

making everyone’s job easier, both on- and off-site, and in some cases it’s creating new jobs and even new industries. Mobile phones have been around long enough to no longer be considered new and exciting, but they really have made a huge impact in the way we communicate, both on and off the job site. On a large project, it used to be that the only way to communicate was via two-way radio or sending someone from team to team, wasting time and leaving a lot of room for miscommunications and misunderstandings. These days, getting in touch is simpler and everyone is connected. One of the biggest digital game changers has been the advent and increasing ubiquity of digital site plans. Technologies such as Autodesk’s BIM (Building Information Modelling) allow access to the most up-to-date set of site plans to everyone who needs it without hassle and confusion. Where we once would have needed to print and store each new version, now everyone can access plans through their computer, tablet or phone. This also allows for tighter version control with all previous versions of the plans saved for reference. Digital site plans are also beginning to make it easier to accurately predict product requirements before a job starts. The program can precisely calculate the wiring and piping from the most current site plans, eliminating countless man-hours and dramatically reducing waste from extra product ordered ‘just in case’.

48 ECD [ELECTRICAL+COMMS+DATA] - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

www.ecdonline.com.au

Profile for Westwick-Farrow Media

ECD (Electrical+Comms+Data) Sep/Oct 2017  

For those working in and managing mid to large sized electrical, communications and data contracting and wholesaler firms across Australia a...

ECD (Electrical+Comms+Data) Sep/Oct 2017  

For those working in and managing mid to large sized electrical, communications and data contracting and wholesaler firms across Australia a...