Wrapping Down the Machines Conference


The next generation of tools, equipment, and machinery is on the horizon. To best prepare for that future, built industry leaders gathered here in Chicago today to ignite a continued conversation surrounding innovation in the community. The BuiltWorlds Machines conference hosted over two dozen expert speakers hailing from powerhouses the likes of Graycor, Komatsu, The Rabine Group, and many more. Efficiency, accuracy, and safety were all top of mind, tracing threads through each of the panels.

“We are over 200 percent more productive today than we were 15 years ago,” Gary Rabine of The Rabine Group said. “On the concrete side, productivity has gone up over 1,000 percent in the last 15 years because of the equipment we use in the field.” Eight person crews, Rabine explained, can now accomplish what 30 person crews couldn’t less than two decades ago.

On the Next Generation of Robotic Equipment panel, speakers emphasized that the technology their companies offer isn’t a slick marketing pitch, but rather, viable technological solutions for modern problems in the industry. “It’s important the industry recognizes that this technology is ready today,” explained Jeremy Searock, co-founder and president of TyBot. “This is not science fiction… I’m going to a job next week.” TyBot assists in rebar-tying, a back-breaking task that ends in much fewer workers comp claims when TyBot assists.

Naturally, conversations of automation and machinery replacing a human workforce came to the forefront of the Machines Conference as well. A recurring sentiment, as keynote speaker Ronak Amin of Komatsu argued, was that new technology can augment, not fully replace, a growing workforce. Komatsu’s remote-controlled machinery, Amin said, frees workers up to take on different tasks on the jobsite.

Discussions later in the day delved deep into safety. Panelists from Graycor brought attention to their call-to-action in the industry for safer tools, which included their recent destruction of tools deemed unsafe for their workforce. Yaron Schwarcz of Skyline Robotics detailed how his company’s innovative solution to window cleaning allows workers to no longer be suspended from tall buildings, hence providing a robotic solution that is equally, if not more effective than if a human had completed the same task in a dangerous position.

At the end of the event, BuiltWorlds kicked off its Tools and Equipment Forum by generating ideas for future discourse during the Insights Workshop. The new forum is launching out of the Machines Conference. To learn more, contact Sam Huffman at BuiltWorlds.