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ZEN Industries eNewsletter:
May 2022

Automation in Construction

Automation in ConstructionThe old science fiction allegory of robots replacing human workers has been put in a new light recently and is becoming more of a reality.

 With historic labor shortages, businesses are struggling and turning to automation to keep on track and remain viable.

Today, there are nearly five million more open jobs than there are available workers. Jobless claims are at a 52-year low. Even if that situation begins to improve, it speaks to a generational gap in needed labor.

The problem has gone beyond traditional fixes or solutions like increased pay, better benefits, and new training programs designed to draw younger people into the trades. Those things are still happening, but the need is turning out to be far more serious than those approaches are fully able to resolve. On today’s construction site, instead of robots taking away and replacing human jobs, they are becoming an essential means of keeping the workforce moving.

Rather than being put out of work, men and women are being moved up to positions that require experience, decision making, and good judgment. They are also the operators of machines replacing multiple on-site laborers, with robotics delivering a force multiplier to get the job done in the absence of large manpower pools.

Five Areas of Automation

Five Areas of Construciton AutomationOf course, automation does not solely refer to robotics.

Other examples of automation would be data management and workflow processes that help use existing labor more efficiently.

Adding approaches like building information modeling (BIM) allows planners and contractors to identify and resolve construction challenges and trade conflicts before a crew even goes on site.

The five primary areas of automation are:

  • Automation of physical tasks, from drilling and jackhammering to drywall and brick laying.
  • Automation of surveying and estimating using robotic total stations.
  • Crew wearables for data collection, communication, and safety enhancement.
  • Modularization and 3-D printing, delivering quicker assembly and less material waste.
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM), making onsite execution more efficient and error free.

All of this is taking place in an environment where the US Construction Industry alone is projected to grow by 8.8%, reaching $1.4 trillion dollars in 2022. This is driven in part by infrastructure legislation from congress proposing $550 billion in new federal expenditure over the next 8 years on road, bridge, and highway upgrades.

An IDC report published in January 2020 forecasts that demand for construction robots will grow about 25% annually through 2023.

How ZEN Industries Fits the Equation

How does ZEN Industries fit into this equation? An HVAC duct fabricator, ZEN Industries was founded in 1999, and we quickly realized that workflow efficiency, accuracy, and automation would be key factors in delivering our products on time and at the quality and price the market demands.

For us, it was never about replacing highly skilled labor with automation, but about making sure that every shop floor worker, account manager, and customer service rep had the tools they need to perform their jobs at their highest potential.

We’ve pursued that goal, both when it comes to the physical production of HVAC ductwork, and in our complementary services of shop drawings, HVAC estimating, and automating production requests.

Over the years, we’ve standardized our internal processes into a system we call “The ZEN Way.” We help our customers:

  • Stop duplications in the estimating process.
  • Eliminate field measuring and field layout.
  • Optimize field labor, so that the fewest and least experienced workers can handle installation.
  • Give back time to your PM, Superintendent, or Foreman to manage additional projects.

The ZEN Way delivers real cost savings between 25% and 35%. You can learn more about how ZEN Industries accomplishes these goals by reading our article “The ZEN Way.”

To learn how ZEN Industries can help make your project more efficient, call us at 877-600-0274, or visit our Contact Us page today!

Precise Materials, Delivered Efficiently

pre-sealed ductwork from ZEN IndustriesZEN Industries works with our customers to assure that we deliver precision ductwork orders. The right lengths, the minimum number of connectors, and the proper fittings you need all in one order.

We can wrap, precisely label, and ship orders such that there is no confusion on the job site and no time is wasted in sorting the delivery for needed lengths. Your order is basically a giant Lego set that is easily put together by number.

 On large projects, we can even time delivery to the floor or facility currently under construction.

Onsite labor can also be reduced with pre-sealed duct, saving installation crews from spending hours fumbling with chip brushes and cans of sealant. Automating the sealant process is infinitely more efficient than applying sealant by hand, where, to seal each piece, you may have attend to 2 or even 4 longitudinal seams, depending on the shape. Our Pittsburgh roll former delivers the perfect amount of sealant, bonding along all longitudinal seams with cold seam sealant.

Partner with ZEN to Do More and Earn More

Let ZEN Industries be your partner in the HVAC Industry as an experienced, high-quality manufacturer of HVAC duct of all types. Our goal is to partner with our customers in a way that makes the entire workflow from order to installation a seamless exercise in time and cost savings..

As an experienced fabricator of HVAC duct for over 22 years, ZEN Industries supplies traditional Rectangular Ductwork as well as Spiral Ductwork, PCD Ductwork, and Industrial Welded Ductwork.


Success is All About Great Service

Founded in 1999 on a set of unbreakable core principles, ZEN strives to provide top-quality fabrication, advice, and planning for our customers.

The quality of our HVAC duct work is of the highest caliber and our price is competitive with the best in the industry. Of course, ZEN Industries gains its edge with unbeatable service, and service means people - it's about our experienced personnel and the relationships we build with each and every customer.

At ZEN Industries, we believe success is all about great service. Our affordable HVAC shop drawings, estimating services, and duct fabrication can be reached at 877-600-0274, or visit our Contact Us page today!

Learn more at www.ZENindustries.com

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