The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 248,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Construction: Hydraulic accumulators dredging. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the construction industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the construction industry using innovation intensity models built on over 179,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, mullion-transom curtain walls are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Heat insulated glazing panels, drainage gully grating, and acoustic ceiling panels are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are abrasion-resistant decorative flooring and road construction milling tool, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry

Hydraulic accumulators dredging is a key innovation area in construction

A hydraulic accumulator is a device that stores hydraulic fluid under pressure and releases it as needed to provide power to hydraulic machinery. The accumulator stores energy when the pump is running and releases it when the pump is not running, thereby providing a continuous flow of hydraulic power to the dredging equipment.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of hydraulic accumulators dredging.

Key players in hydraulic accumulators dredging – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to hydraulic accumulators dredging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Caterpillar 248 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 132 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 77 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Heavy Industries 72 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 71 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan Infracore 46 Unlock Company Profile
Parker Hannifin 43 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 42 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 40 Unlock Company Profile
Liebherr-International 37 Unlock Company Profile
Deere & Co 36 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 29 Unlock Company Profile
Hydac Technology 24 Unlock Company Profile
Linde Hydraulics 23 Unlock Company Profile
Hydac System 18 Unlock Company Profile
Parker Hannifin 12 Unlock Company Profile
NOK 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kubota 9 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 9 Unlock Company Profile
Dana 8 Unlock Company Profile
Husqvarna 8 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 8 Unlock Company Profile
Guangxi Liugong Machinery 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sunward Intelligent Equipment 7 Unlock Company Profile
J C Bamford Excavators 7 Unlock Company Profile
HYDAC International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Poclain Hydraulics France 7 Unlock Company Profile
XCMG Construction Machinery 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sandvik 6 Unlock Company Profile
Interpump Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling 5 Unlock Company Profile
Danfoss 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The leading patent filer is Caterpillar, which has recently filed a patent for a hydraulic control system that utilises a hydraulic actuator and a first accumulator fluidly coupled to the hydraulic actuator. The use of an accumulator can bypass the need for a cooling system attached to the machine to cope with excess heat applied to the hydraulic fluid generated by the hydraulic process. The hydraulic system also includes a motor, which is connected to the actuator via a pump and fluidly coupled to the first accumulator. The motor is configured to receive the stored fluid from the first accumulator to drive the pump. Other leading companies in the space include Hitachi, Eaton and Sumitomo.

In terms of application diversity, the leading companies include JC Bamford Excavators, Sandvik and Deere, while in terms of geographic reach, Sunward Intelligent Equipment, Hitachi and Parker Hannifin are the leading innovators.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Construction.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.