Decreasing time-waste in production through digitalization

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Master's Programme in Building Technology
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Master's Programme in Building Technology (CIV)
63 + 4
The low productivity of the construction industry has been in the headlines for years and now companies are waking up in the reality and become interested in enhancing the productivity. Lean theory enables to find waste sources in production and to replace non-value-added activities by value-adding activities. In the construction environment, the challenges are cyclical nature of construction, continuously changing working group, unstable environment and connection problems on construction site. Waste happens constantly and this research focuses in time-waste caused by lack of communication and real-time information flow. The research was limited to building phase, when work is ongoing on construction site. The research has two parts: literature review and empirical research. The literature review concerns communication and technological solutions concerning communication, defines waste and especially time-waste, and explores existing research concerning productivity and communication on a construction site. Empirical research is design science research observing current situation of a case company by interviewing and piloting. The first phase was interviewing and the questions were based on existing problems according to the literature and own experience. Interviewees were 32 including site workers, site managers, responsible site managers, and construction managers. Additionally, to the interviews, a survey was sent for site managers and responsible site managers to get more quantitative results. The objective of the interviews and survey was to chart nowadays’ situations of what kind of factors cause time-waste, use of digital tools to support work, information flow, and communication. The major time-waste causes and factors affecting information flow were found by way of interviews. According to the interviewees, time is wasted because of poor planning, searching materials and people, and working places’ unreadiness. In addition, many does neither use phones on a construction site nor pass the information in real-time. The solution proposals try to ease to make real-time observations, enhance informing, and decrease time used in searching.
Seppänen, Olli
Thesis advisor
Lund, Jan
time-waste, communication, information flow, productivity, real-time
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