Achieving a Lean Design Process

Javier Freire1 & Luis F. Alarcon2

1Graduate Student at Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Ingeniería, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile. jfreire@entelchile.net
2Professor of Civil Engineering, Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Ingeniería, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile. lalarcon@ing.puc.cl

Abstract

An improvement methodology is proposed for the design process in construction projects. Based on concepts and principles of Lean Production the methodology considers the design process as a set of three different models: conversion, flow, and value. Four stages are necessary to produce improvements and changes: (1) diagnosis/evaluation, (2) changes implementation, (3) control, and (4) standardization. The methodology suggests the application of seven tools in accordance to specific needs (detected and desired) on five potential areas of improvement (CAPRI): Client, Administration, Project, Resources, and Information. Results of an application included: an increase of 31% in the share of value adding activities, 44% reduction of unit errors in the products, up to 58% decrease of waiting times in the process, and an expansion of the utilization in the cycle times. In this manner, not only did the efficiency and effectiveness of internal engineering products improve, but also the whole project, by improving one of the main suppliers of construction.

Keywords

Lean design, design process, flow, value, value stream mapping, CAPRI, improvement methodology, design management.

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Reference

Freire, J. & Alarcon, L.F. 2000, 'Achieving a Lean Design Process' In:, 8th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Brigthon, UK, 17-19 Jul 2000.

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