An International Comparison of the Delivery Process of Power Distribution Equipment

Jan A. Elfving1, Iris D. Tommelein2 & Glenn Ballard3

1Ph.D. Candidate, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215 McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, FAX: 510/643-8919, elfving@ce.berkeley.edu
2Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, 510/643-8678, FAX: 510/643-8919, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu, www.ce.berkeley.edu/~tommelein
3Research Director, Lean Construction Institute, 4536 Fieldbrook Road, Oakland, CA 94619, 888/771-9207, FAX 510/530-2048, ballard@ce.berkeley.edu: Associate Adjunct Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712

Abstract

This paper compares and contrasts the delivery and assembly processes of power distribution equipment on three projects. Included are switchboards, panelboards, and motor control centers. Two projects were from the US and one was from Finland, which also gave an opportunity to compare the American National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA) standard with the European Standard (EN) with respect to power distribution equipment and the delivery process. Data was collected by observation, records analysis, and interviews or workshops with owners, users/operators, architects, electrical engineers, project management firms/ general contractors, electrical contractors, and equipment manufacturers. Identifying and exploring the similarities and differences between projects, has greatly broadened the understanding about the delivery process for this type of engineered-to-order product for both the researchers and industry participants. 24 process performance measures were developed. The causes of the main differences among the measures were investigated. Even though the components of the equipment are acquired mostly from the same manufacturers, there were notable differences in the engineering and manufacturing methodologies in the U.S. and Finland. This had a significant impact on engineering lead time, manufacturing cycle time, and design changes and/or errors. Also the procurement methodology has a large impact on the power distribution equipment delivery lead time. Some of the areas of weaknesses identified are incomplete and uncertain input data, lack of systematically collecting input data throughout the process, lack of knowledge and resources to process information, adversarial process environments, and destructive incentives.

Keywords

Engineered-to-order product, equipment, lead time, standard, lean construction, manufacturing procurement, product specification

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Reference

Elfving, J.A. , Tommelein, I.D. & Ballard, G. 2003, 'An International Comparison of the Delivery Process of Power Distribution Equipment' In:, 11th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Virginia, USA, 1-.

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