Introduction of a Digital Earthwork Construction Site

Kim Kirchbach1, Dominik Steuer2 & Fritz Gehbauer3

1Research Fellow. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology and Management in Construction, Am Fasanengarten, Geb. 50.31, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, Phone +49 721 60848223, kim.kirchbach@kit.edu
2Graduate Student. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology and Management in Construction, Am Fasanengarten, Geb. 50.31, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, dominik.steuer@student.kit.edu
3Professor. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology and Management in Construction, Am Fasanengarten, Geb. 50.31, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, Phone +49 721 60842646, fritz.gehbauer@kit.edu

Abstract

The concept of the “digital factory” has already been successfully implemented in the automotive and manufacturing industry. An adaption, following lean principles, to the construction site seems promising. Combining sensors, information technology, and approaches of Building information modeling (BIM) allows a cross-linking of construction machines and therefore offers a higher level of information transparency. This enables construction machines a faster way of discovering changes through the dynamics of the construction process (change of soil class, weather conditions, etc.). Higher transparency and reduced waste can lead not only to a higher utilization of one construction machine but also to a higher efficiency of the whole process chain by the related lean management methods. The collected information can also be used for a new and dynamic type of allocation of the construction machines based on a flexible Kanban system. An improved constructive cooperation and coordination (e.g. reduced waiting or unproductive times) ensures that potentials will be exploited and a value maximization achieved. This paper will show a theoretical model, based on expert interviews and stochastic simulations. It provides an estimation of the implementation cost and running expenses in comparison with the mentioned potential for optimization

Keywords

Lean Construction, IT in Lean, standardization, visual management, Last Planner System

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Reference

Kirchbach, K. , Steuer, D. & Gehbauer, F. 2013, 'Introduction of a Digital Earthwork Construction Site' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Fortaleza, Brazil, 31-2 Aug 2013. pp 791-800

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