At MILBURN, we feel like we owe it to our clients and our employees to consistently stay on the leading edge when it comes to technological advancements in the demolition world. After all, if we allow ourselves to become complacent and set in our ways, our competitors will leave us in the dust. The latest machines allow us to perform our work more efficiently, and also provide our people with a safer working environment.
One way we embrace the role of technology in our work is by deploying demolition robots, like the remote-controlled Brokk 160. These robots can be used on just about any job, from pulling out acoustic ceilings to dismantling drywall walls and concrete slabs. We typically use them for heavy-duty work in confined or restricted-access areas where we can’t use a full-size excavator, or when we can’t use a machine with an operator inside due to a fall hazard.
We use these robots frequently for leading-edge slab demolition, where we’re removing a slab but leaving the rest of the building intact. They’re also helpful for heavy concrete removal — they hit very hard, and remove concrete faster than other machines we’ve used for this purpose.
Another reason we love these robots is that they come in handy on tight job sites in downtown Chicago. On these jobs, we often have very little room to navigate, and there are times when larger equipment simply isn’t viable. They’re also a tremendous help when we have to avoid diesel or propane fumes in enclosed spaces, because the robots are entirely electric-powered.
When it comes to operating the robots, we entrust this task to a few of our best laborers, but only after some special training. We can’t just throw anybody on the controls, because there’s the potential to cause too much damage. We currently have three employees who are fully trained on these machines, and we have three more who are in various stages of the training process.
When we have outdoor work to do with robots, we’ll use that as an opportunity to train new people on them. We’ll start them on hammering out a floor slab, just to get used to the controls. Once they’re comfortable doing that, we slowly introduce them to the trickier tasks, like a partial slab removal on an upper floor of a building, for example.
The bottom line on these machines is that they make tasks safer and easier. If we can avoid putting a laborer on a jackhammer and use the Brokk 160 instead, we’ll do it. Demolition robots are just one aspect of how we use technology at MILBURN, but they’re a vital part of how we get things done for our clients every day. If you want to see specific examples of projects where we’ve used the Brokk 160, check out the TAO Restaurant and TRONC Prudential Plaza jobs on our “Projects” page.Back to all Blogs & News