Benefits of Batch Size Reduction: A Case Study in a Residential Project

Caroline P. Valente1, Germano A. Montenegro2, Felipe L. Brito3, Clarissa N. Biotto4, Bruno P. Mota5 & Fábio K. Schramm6

1Civil Engineer, Lean & Green Coordinator, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, caroline@crolim.com.br
2Civil Engineer, Project Manager, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, germano@crolim.com.br
3 Civil Engineer, Project Supervisor, Construtora C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, felipe@crolim.com.br
4 Architect, Sistema de Planejamento e Produção - SIPPRO, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, clerwice@gmail.com
5Civil Engineer, Sistema de Planejamento e Produção - SIPPRO, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, bruno@pauta.eng.br
6 Architect, Associate Professor, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas-RS, Brazil, fabioks@ufpel.edu.br

Abstract

The line of balance (LOB) is a tool used for long-term planning of projects, especially because it highlights visually, several information such as work place, sequence of activities, number of teams and work in progress (WIP). Because the LOB makes transparent workflows for project managers, this tool can be used to simulate different alternatives and discuss plans and installment strategies. This research presents a continuous improvement of a previous study in the same issue (using line of balance on simulation of execution strategy) published in 2008 at the IGLC Conference. This article aims to indicate through a case study at a Brazilian construction company, improvements that can be expanded to project’s management through reduction of batch sizes and balance of workflow. The methodology for developing this paper includes: literature review regarding the concepts of just-intime and line of balance, in order to identify which variables should be modified during the simulation of different scenarios; characterization of the company and the project to be studied; simulation of two scenarios with changes in the variables chosen; analysis of the simulated scenarios; choose the scenario that was leaner and met the needs of project managers, and, finally, identification of improvements from this new scenario. The results of this study reinforce the benefits suggested by the reduction of batch size, like reduction of amount of teams, increased repeatability, increased learning effect and greater control of project managers on site logistics. In fact, it was also identified a better adherence to production batch, reducing by 12% the project’s total term. Moreover, it’s possible to mention the difficulty of subcontractors to adapt to pace of the new LOB.

Keywords

Lean construction, line of balance, batch size reduction.

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Reference

Valente, C.P. , Montenegro, G.A. , Brito, F.L. , Biotto, C.N. , Mota, B.P. & Schramm, F.K. 2013, 'Benefits of Batch Size Reduction: A Case Study in a Residential Project' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Fortaleza, Brazil, 31-2 Aug 2013. pp 1029-1038

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