Automated Construction Resource Location Tracking to Support the Analysis of Lean Principles

Tao Cheng1, Jun Yang2, Jochen Teizer3 & Patricio A. Vela4

1Ph.D. Candidate, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 790 Atlantic Dr. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, USA, tcheng9@gatech.edu.
2Ph.D. Candidate, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 777 Atlantic Drive N.W., Atlanta, GA 30332-0250, USA, junyang@gatech.edu.
3Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 790 Atlantic Dr. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, USA, Phone +1 404/894, FAX 404- 894-8269, teizer@gatech.edu.
4Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 777 Atlantic Drive N.W., Atlanta, GA 30332-0250, USA, pvela@ece.gatech.edu.

Abstract

This paper presents a research framework and preliminary experimental results to automated construction resource (workforce, equipment, materials) location tracking for the purpose of advanced lean planning and rapid decision making. Based on the statement “what can be measured, can also be changed”, the research hypothesis was formulated that advanced automated remote sensing technology can measure and improve work site performance and assist decision making. The initial research scope focused on testing emerging real-time location tracking and data analysis technology (Ultra Wideband and Video) applied in capital intensive construction site settings. A literature review is presented on existing observation techniques that have been used in the analysis of lean construction operations. The research framework and technology in context to lean construction is explained next. To better understand construction operations – and in particular construction site activities related to safety and productivity – location and movements of workers, equipment, and materials were recorded in real-time. Preliminary results to field experiments demonstrate the feasibility of tracking construction resources accurately and in real-time. An outlook and applications are presented of how the collected resource trajectory information can be used in project decision making. It is envisioned, that once site resource data is collected, processed, and linked to existing schedule and work task planning, the information can play a vital role for rapid implementation of lean principles in the operational environment of construction sites.

Keywords

Decision Making, Productivity, Safety, Tracking, Ultra Wideband, Workforce.

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Reference

Cheng, T. , Yang, J. , Teizer, J. & Vela, P.A. 2010, 'Automated Construction Resource Location Tracking to Support the Analysis of Lean Principles' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 643-653

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