Integrating Lean Into Modular Construction: A Detailed Case Study of Company X

Fatima El Sakka1, Karl Eid2, Tony Narciss3 & Farook Hamzeh4

1Construction Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, fbe04@mail.aub.edu
2Civil Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, kse07@mail.aub.edu
3Civil Engineering Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, twn04@mail.aub.edu
4Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, + 961350000 ext 3616, fax: + 61 1 744462, Farook.Hamzeh@aub.edu.lb

Abstract

Value stream mapping is a valuable tool in the lean toolbox that truly uncovers hidden waste in a process. Recent researches have focused on process improvement in various construction domains, but more research need to address precast concrete operations at the plant. This paper seeks to investigate the integration of lean principles in the fabrication phase of modular construction by using value stream mapping. The research focuses on the plant processes used to produce precast concrete pre-slabs and on means of improvement. It presents results from a case study of Company X’s precast plant. Data describing the current state of pre-slab casting was collected from plant visits, the current value stream map is drawn, and a future state map is then recommended. Indeed, alongside some effective lean concepts that are applied at the plant such as preventive maintenance and autonomation, some weaknesses are identified such as sizeable raw material storage, large batch sizes, considerable final product inventory and lack of “shine”. Appropriate remedial measures are recommended such as reducing batch and inventory size, creating FIFO lanes as well as applying 5S across the plant.

Keywords

Value stream mapping, lean principles, modular construction, precast operations

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Reference

Sakka, F.E. , Eid, K. , Narciss, T. & Hamzeh, F. 2016, 'Integrating Lean Into Modular Construction: A Detailed Case Study of Company X' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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