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Al-Sudairi, A A (2007) Evaluating the effect of construction process characteristics to the applicability of lean principles. Construction Innovation, 7(01), 99–121.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Lean production; Process planning; Simulation
- ISBN/ISSN: 1471-4175
- URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/14714170710721322
Purpose – This paper seeks to test the applicability of lean principles to simple construction processes using discrete-event simulation. Design/methodology/approach – Quantitative construction data and process mapping of plastering and block-laying processes were first gathered and established from construction project through field observation and interviews with those involved in the selected projects. Then a simulation model was built to mimic the aforementioned processes to study the impact of certain lean principles. The simulation models became like an experimentation tool where lean principles (e.g. focus on actual objects and map the value stream) were introduced to evaluate their impact on such processes. Findings – Lean principles are effective not only in complicated processes, as proved in previous studies, but also in simple processes. Enhancing the flow of construction materials means the less time they will spend in the value stream and as a result the leaner a process will be. In fact, simple processes are good candidate for lean improvements. Research limitations/implications – Simulating lean principles did not bring different construction processes to the leanest level of performance. There are other factors that govern each process. Rework, uncertainty, labor skills, site conditions and location are some examples of such factors that need further analyses for leaner construction processes. Originality/value – Many studies focused on complicated processes to investigate the applicability of lean principles to construction. Results of these studies affirmed the great potentiality of such principles in improving construction processes. This study readdressed the issue of lean applicability to construction by focusing on simple processes, which are block-laying and plastering. Record 34.