Industrialization in Swedish Bridge Engineering: A Case Study of Lean Construction

Peter Simonsson1 & Mats Emborg2

1Ph.D. Student, Div of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden Phone +46 920 493140, FAX +46 920 491913, Peter.Simonsson@ltu.se
2Professor, Div of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden (see above), Head, research and development, Betongindustri AB, SE 100 74 Stockholm, Phone +46 8 6256200

Abstract

The purpose of the project has been to evaluate and possibly improve the degree of industrialization and productivity when constructing bridges in full scale. Earlier theoretical studies have indicated that, if prefabricated reinforcement, self compacting concrete (SCC) and permanent formwork are used the degree of industrialization can be increased markedly. To be able to realize this, Lean Construction principles prove to be important utensils during the planning and design phase as well as during the construction of a full scale project. Throughout the design and planning of this first full scale bridge project, intensive contacts between designer, contractor, client and material suppliers were established. The design team concluded that the production time at site could be reduced with up to 20 % and the number of workers could be reduced by virtually 50 % during almost half the project. This was realized by planning with Last Planner ideas, and designing the project properly using modern construction tools and materials. The design team also concluded that if the concrete class increased some of the very dense shear force reinforcement could be left out. The evaluated outcome of the demonstration project, i.e. potential productivity improvements, structural quality improvements, immediate feasible waste and cost reductions and the positive impact on the working environment, shows that the predicted benefits made were fulfilled.

Keywords

Bridge design, Concrete, Productivity, Industrialisation, Lean, Waste, Logistics, Full scale test, Prefabrication, Reinforcement

Files

Reference

Simonsson, P. & Emborg, M. 2007, 'Industrialization in Swedish Bridge Engineering: A Case Study of Lean Construction' In:, Pasquire, C.L, C.L. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 18-20 Jul 2007. pp 244-253

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