Suitability and Benefits of Implementing Lean Production on Road Works

Joao Gaio1 & Nuno Cachadinha2

1MS.c. student, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal, Phone +351914146494, nuno_gaio@hotmail.com
2Assistant Professor, UNIDEMI, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal, Phone +351212948557, ncachadinha@fct.unl.pt

Abstract

Lean Production (LP) has been implemented all over the world for the last years, while Lean Construction (LC) just recently began to be implemented regularly in the construction sector. Some companies are currently testing LC methods, but the majority is still unaware of its potential. The purpose of this work is to assess the applicability and benefits of using Lean construction to road works, by means of the elimination of waste. This article is based upon a literature review on Lean principles and on case studies in Portuguese roadwork companies. Value Stream Mapping of the production process on site was carried out in different jobs and companies, in order to assess the generalization of the observations, results obtained and of the solutions proposed. Finally, the results and conclusions obtained were validated in one road works job site. A characterization and analysis of the waste types and forms in road works was achieved, and the Lean tools that reduce or eliminate them identified. This study sets out to identify the main problems and wastes present in road works, and assess how and to what extent LC provides solutions to their correction or elimination, introducing simple modifications in the processes.

Keywords

Lean construction, waste, road works, Value Stream mapping

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Reference

Gaio, J. & Cachadinha, N. 2011, 'Suitability and Benefits of Implementing Lean Production on Road Works' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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