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Construction robotics startup Canvas signs up huge drywall specialty contractor

Construction robotics startup Canvas says that California Drywall – ranked the 9th largest drywall specialty contractor in the US – has joined the Canvas Innovation Partner Program.

The company joins three other top interior and exterior wall system contractors:

  • Daley’s Drywall & Taping;
  • Nevell Group; and
  • KHS&S.

That is in addition to three self-performing general contractors:

  • Webcor;
  • Swinerton; and
  • DPR Construction.

All Canvas Innovation Partners are highly technical builders moving the industry forward by embracing innovations that radically improve project outcomes.

With Canvas’s new worker-controlled robotic machine, California Drywall will be able to make drywall finishing safer and more attractive to a shrinking pool of skilled labor, while realizing unmatched metrics for schedule, cost, quality and safety.

Two California Drywall tapers recently graduated from the Canvas Certified Finisher training program. The machine is currently being used on a California Drywall project for a confidential tech client. Following this tenant improvement in San Jose, California Drywall will be using the Canvas System on a large, new hospital project in San Francisco.

Steve Eckstrom, California Drywall president, says: “We first met with Kevin and the Canvas team in 2017.

“Back then, we saw its potential. Today we see the Canvas System’s evolution delivering safety and quality benefits, and they are closing in key productivity metrics.

“We are excited to work with Canvas on these first two projects, providing our crews with a tool that can improve their work experience and ensure their safety, while also providing our clients with the highest possible quality outcomes, combined with cost and schedule certainty.”

The Canvas system automates two of the toughest parts of the drywall finishing process: mudding and sanding. After completing training, Canvas Certified Finishers can complete a project in less time, while producing predictably high-quality finishes.

More importantly, the machine minimizes and sometimes even eliminates the harsh working conditions that deter new workers from pursuing the trade and can cause others to leave the industry early.

The Canvas system improves worker air quality by capturing 99.9 percent of the dust produced in the sanding phase; eliminates messes; eliminates musculoskeletal injuries by taking on the heavy lifting of machine sanding; and greatly reduces the opportunity for falls by enabling workers to tackle riskier elevated work from ground level.

Kevin Albert, Canvas CEO, says: “We are grateful to early adopters like California Drywall.

“These trailblazing firms clear the way for others, while reinforcing their own deep commitment to technology and its ability to drive better outcomes for people and projects.”

Albert adds that California Drywall’s return on investment for being an early adopter of the Canvas System will pay big dividends, as the company and Canvas’s other Innovation Partners will receive priority access to the machines.

To date, Canvas and its Innovation Partners have worked together on more than 40 projects all over the Bay Area and are already expanding to southern California.

Albert adds: “Our primary mission while developing the Canvas System was to build a machine worthy of putting in workers’ hands.

“I’m proud that the jobs we have done demonstrate how Canvas makes life better for drywall finishers and sets new benchmarks for efficiency on our customers’ landmark projects. Most importantly, I’m thrilled that this dramatically expands the number of workers training on and using our machines.”

Canvas was founded in 2017 by leading roboticists who teamed with longtime construction experts to pioneer a bold new way to build, starting with drywall finishing.

The team spent three years continuously improving the product and building out its patent portfolio before launching publicly in November 2020. Canvas’s machines, in the hands of skilled workers, make drywall finishing safer, higher quality, and more predictable so jobs stay on schedule and within budget.

Members of Canvas’ partnership program will adopt the machines through training and collaboration on jobs.

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