This paper will demonstrate the advantages of using Lean Construction methodologies on projects, specifically Just In Time, to the entire process of fabrication, transportation, and installation of prefabricated concrete facades. The objective was to change the traditional process of mass production, with production of big lots of each different piece and the need of important areas for storage of the material waiting for installation. As Sven Bertelsen and Rafael Sacks (2006) propose on their paper presented at the IGLC 14 conference: “The construction industry must therefore be seen as an industry conducting an eternal chain of interwoven projects as any participant is involved in more than one project at the same time. The aspect distinguishing the construction industry from mass or customized production is thus not the individuality of the product per se but the fact that the huge variation in project outcomes makes it necessary for the industry to set up a new production process— and therefore a new production system for each project”. The proposed change was to fabricate very small lots of one- or two units of each different piece, send it to the construction site to be installed, checked for changes and adjustments needed, communicate those to production and implement the changes on the molds and on the production processes. This change is of particular importance because it is difficult to make sound decisions on materials management and supply chain management in regards to how much and when to order the materials on a construction project, combined with the uncertainty of it delivery (Tommelein 2006) IGLC 14, Tommelein and Li 1999).
Just in Time, Lean Construction
Cossio, J. G. & Cossio, A. G. 2012, 'Application of Just in Time to the Fabrication and Installation of Prefabricated Concrete Facades in Buildings' In:, Tommelein, I. D. & Pasquire, C. L., 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. San Diego, California, USA, 18-20 Jul 2012.