Technology can aid plumbers in performing the most difficult parts of the job, including allowing plumbers to see into pipes and drains without even having to venture into the belly of a building to collect data about the condition of its infrastructure. Such technological advances promise to make the plumbing industry safer, cleaner and more efficient.
Augmented Reality for Plumber
Augmented reality is layering digital data over a visual interface. It’s basically a far more advanced version of the same technology that allowed your child to play Pokemon: GO by allowing those digital monsters to layer over a picture of your living room. But in the field of plumbing, this highly evolved technology has real benefits.
Data provided by remote-controlled drones, smart-snakes and AR-enabled wearables gives plumbing contractors a more thorough picture of what they're dealing with. You might not be able to visually detect a crumbling drain system until you're already down there disassembling it, but with AR, you can detect it before ever even taking it apart.
Along with augmented reality, plumbers can create a digital model of the infrastructure of the building (BIM, or building information model) in modeling software and can generate a 3D visualization of the building using many points of data. This creates a quick and easy reference for large-scale or complicated jobs and can be useful to the client if more work is being done on site.
New AR Tech for Plumbers
Augmented Reality isn't exactly new tech, but its use in the construction and plumbing industries is becoming more universal. As the industries adopt this technology for new products to help plumbers and other contractors, new products utilizing this technology emerge.
One of the products to keep an eye on in 2017 is the Daqri Smart Helmet made by Skanska UK. The helmet utilizes AR technology by incorporating a clear visor on the helmet that displays 3D project and building renderings in real-time. The helmet also offers thermal imaging and can transmit information remotely to offsite team members and partners – a form of connected technology.
Connected Technology for Plumbers
Connected technology is another evolved platform that plumbers can utilize this coming year. A brand new digital recording monitor by RIGID, the SeeSnake CS6x and CS6xPak, can speed up and improve drain line inspections.
The monitors are equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receptors and transmitters, letting plumbers see drain line conditions instantly and share findings with their clients. The SeeSnake tech pack streams and records inspections to an iOS or Android device with an app designed to do so. The monitors and sensors are equipped with a water-resistant keyboard to control the camera and feature several functions that enable work in even the toughest, worst conditions.
Not only can this and other connected technology devices rolling onto the market streamline your work, they can save money on the jobsite by showing you exactly what needs to be done with minimal interference to the rest of the building. They also improve safety levels by allowing you to transmit info to those on your team.
New uses for newer technology, such as augmented reality wearables and connected technology, can streamline plumbing jobs. This increase in speed, safety and productivity saves time, money and potentially, lives. If given the chance to test new technology or invest in an AR or connected tech piece, go for it – you've got nothing to lose.
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