University of Twente Student Theses


Optimization of the assembly process of modular construction using discrete event simulation : a case study in housing industry

Braaksma, B.J.J. (2022) Optimization of the assembly process of modular construction using discrete event simulation : a case study in housing industry.

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Abstract:Modular or industrialized construction can increase the productivity of the construction industry, and thereby tackle the current global housing shortage. Construction company Plegt-Vos adapted modular construction for their housing projects. Saris (2021) revealed that the crane efficiency of the onsite modular assembly process of Plegt-Vos is currently only 41%. Since the modular assembly process is fully dependent on the crane, a low crane efficiency can halter the construction process. Plegt-Vos strives for a crane efficiency of at least 60%. Therefore the main aim of this research was to develop a simulation model of the onsite assembly process of Plegt-Vos, to propose measures to increase the crane efficiency to at least 60% and to evaluate these measures using the simulation model. This study gave relevant insights into the modular onsite assembly process of Plegt-Vos. The main contributing factors for low crane efficiency were obtained from interviews. The assembly process was simulated using a discrete event simulation (DES) methodology and the input for the model was obtained from a case study project. Improvements have been proposed and evaluated based on the impact on the crane efficiency and total assembly time. The activities that have the most overall impact are using push-pull scaffolding, not unloading trucks with the crane, changing the amount of floor panels used, tighter planning and increasing worker experience. Although crane efficiency in itself was not significantly reduced in most cases, total assembly time was. Crane efficiency, therefore, does not seem to be a good criterion for overall assembly process efficiency. It is recommended to further investigate the measures presented in this paper, update the simulation model with more data and to adapt different performance indicators and/or change the way the crane efficiency is defined.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Plegt-Vos, The Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
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