Drywall finishing robot saves time, prevents injuries

Ruth D. Adamson

Dive Brief:

  • A San Francisco-based startup has created robots on the jobsite a truth in the kind of a drywall taping and ending device that combines a 17-foot-high scissor carry with a robotic arm. The robot from Canvas is operated by people to apply tape, spray mud and sand for a Level 5+ end on walls even though reducing a 7 day work to just two.
  • Industrial contractors which includes Webcor, Swinerton and Suffolk Design have partnered with Canvas, whose drywall technological innovation has been applied at the Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco Global Airport, the College of California, San Francisco’s Wayne and Gladys Valley Heart for Eyesight, the Newark (California) Civic Heart and at the just lately finished Chase Heart Towers, adjacent to the Golden State Warriors’ new basketball arena in San Francisco.
  • Canvas a short while ago introduced a $24 million Series B funding spherical led by Menlo Companions that also bundled Suffolk, Alumni Ventures Group and present traders Innovation Endeavors, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Apparent Ventures and Grit Labs. That introduced Canvas’s cumulative funding to $43 million considering that staying founded in 2017 within just Otherlab, a San Francisco-based personal exploration lab.  

Dive Perception:

Canvas is a signatory to District Council 16 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, but it doesn’t pitch alone as a drywall subcontractor. In its place, the company trains and hires union staff for initiatives as a subcontractor.

Just one case in point was the 73,000-sq.-foot Newark, California, Civic Center venture. Webcor used Canvas robots to finish drywall in various rooms the place the robotic arm, operate by employees on internet site, taped, sprayed and sanded every single area to a Amount 5 complete, the best excellent benchmark in the field.

“It can be all computer system-produced. It understands how numerous millimeters to spray on the wall. No person is mixing mud, no person is spraying or keeping the nozzle. As a outcome, the wall seems outstanding,” explained Derek Stevens, drywall operations supervisor at Webcor, in a release. 

In accordance to a situation research emailed to Construction Dive, as a substitute of needing six times to produce a Amount 5 complete, Canvas allowed taping and spraying to be done on the initial working day, which meant there was only a solitary drying cycle essential right before sanding.

Use of the robotic lessened the cycle time for a Stage 5 finish by 34% and resulted in 99.9% dust recapture to produce a safer worksite in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic even though putting personnel at a lot less possibility, given that they failed to have to get the job done on the 17-foot ceilings manually.

Taking people out of the equation is yet another gain of employing the robot. According to Canvas, drywall ending and framing has the greatest prevalence of work-similar musculoskeletal dysfunction conditions amongst this sort of trades, with as lots of as 1 in 4 workers going through such effects.

Robert Williams III, enterprise supervisor for IUPAT’s District Council 16, explained a software like Canvas aids mitigate these impacts. 

“It is making significant union profession options, encouraging introduce earlier untapped communities to the trades and generating the function by itself safer and reducing the strain on the system,” Williams explained.

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