Dowel specialist Fischer wants to modernize the construction site

Fischer Baubot

The robot is intended to support construction workers in their work in the future.

(Photo: PR)

tumlingen With robots, intelligent dowels and integrated planning software, Fischer wants to modernize the work on the construction site – and thus open up a new business area. Owner Klaus Fischer sits in the front row at the presentation at the headquarters in Tumlingen when his managers present the latest invention of the family company. With electro beats, artificial fog and a light show, the medium-sized company impressively stages its latest product.

With the Baubot, Fischer has built a robot that can drill holes on the construction site and screw dowels fully automatically – even in ceilings five meters high if necessary. The successes so far are impressive: in a pilot project – the wiring of a tunnel – the robot, which weighs 1.2 tons and is 90 centimeters wide, is said to have provided as many holes with dowels as five construction workers in the same time.

“We have always been innovative, but today is a milestone in our company’s history,” says the 72-year-old family entrepreneur. Fischer initially tried to build a dowel robot himself, but then found the Viennese start-up Baubot. The entrepreneur was so enthusiastic about their technology that he took over the majority of the robot manufacturer a year ago and had the Fischer robot developed by Baubot founder Herwig Hengl.

In 2023, Fischer will start with three such robots for pilot customers, initially in “full service” – the medium-sized company will therefore assume liability itself. “We want to perfect the device with the customer,” says Fischer. Later, the dowel specialist wants to lease or sell the robots conventionally.

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Future models should be able to do more than just drill and dowel. Hengl is already working on other robots that can use 3D printing to produce concrete parts on site. In addition to construction, the fastening specialist also wants to digitize the planning and operation of buildings.

Smart washers with sensor

Fischer wants to be the first company in the world to offer systems with which buildings and systems can be monitored digitally. Washers with an integrated sensor and intelligent dowels can independently report overloads when connected to a transmitter unit and software. The aim is to monitor sensitive infrastructure such as wind turbines in real time in the future.

In the future, Fischer will also supply planning software that records all screw connections in a building during planning and thus calculates the material thicknesses actually used more precisely and therefore more efficiently.

Fischer owner Klaus Fischer

The Baubot is to be used on numerous construction sites in the future.

According to its own statements, the medium-sized company registers 20 times more patents per year than the average in the German economy. Three years ago, company owner Fischer set up an innovation campus to develop not only patents but also new business ideas. The Black Forester does not want to reveal how much he is investing in his digitization strategy. Nor what sales he expects from the new business areas.

He is a bit more open when it comes to the turnover of the company as a whole: “We will make more than one billion euros this year.” Despite cost increases in the double-digit million range, the return is good. Despite the gloomy prospects in the construction industry, Fischer feels well prepared for future competition. Because other companies in the construction industry are also upgrading. Würth recently opened a new innovation center for 70 million euros.

More: Outlook for construction is gloomy – companies report financing problems

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