Understanding Inspection Challenges in the EPC Industry: A Simulation Approach

Thais da C. L. Alves1, Kim L. Needy2, Kenneth D. Walsh3 & Deborah Chan4

1 Associate Professor, J. R. Filanc Construction Eng. and Mgmt. Program, Dept. of Civil, Constr., and Env. Eng., San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA, talves@mail.sdsu.edu
2Dean, Graduate School and International Education, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA, kneedy@uark.edu
3Dean, San Diego State University, Tblisi, Georgia, kwalsh@mail.sdsu.edu
4Undergraduate Student, UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil, dkchan_4@hotmail.com


How can the inspection task and its challenges be mimicked in a simulation? The purpose of the research was to use a simulation to highlight challenges and trade-offs faced by inspectors in the Engineering Procure Construct (EPC) industry. A literature review was conducted and results were shared and discussed with a group of subject matter experts (SMEs) who are part of Construction Industry Institute Research Team 308. A simulation was identified and modified to address important concepts related to the inspection process in the EPC industry. The simulation is more generic in nature to allow a broad-based audience to use it. Versions of the simulation were tested with students in a classroom setting and SMEs, their feedback was collected, and a final version of the simulation defined. Participants found the discussion about variables considered to be useful and the simulation to be a good representation of what happens in practice. Lean researchers often view inspection as a contributory or wasteful activity. However, inspection should be designed and managed like any other activity.


Inspection, Simulation, Nonconformances



Alves, T.D.C.L. , Needy, K.L. , Walsh, K.D. & Chan, D. 2016, 'Understanding Inspection Challenges in the EPC Industry: A Simulation Approach' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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