Simulation-Enabled Intelligent Decision Support for Planning Precast Concrete Production Operations
Advances in engineering technology and requirements for sustainable development are main drivers for changes and innovations in the current construction industry. The paradigm shift to precast construction moves conventional field construction efforts into the controlled environment of an offsite manufacturing facility. These precast concrete products lend a significant advantage in execution of fast-paced construction projects, making construction schedules better organized, shorter, and less susceptible to environmental factors, while substantially reducing the number of skilled craft workers onsite and improving quality and safety performances. Despite all the advantages of offsite construction, planning and scheduling operations at precast production facilities still present distinctive challenges due to bespoke engineering design, variations in ingredient materials, concurrent execution of multiple projects, and finite limits of skilled trades and space available in a production plant. Thus, a well-formulated production plan for a precast operation plant is vital to deliver made-to-order structural components on site by respective deadlines while keeping production costs within budget limits. This research project is to adapt new planning and scheduling methodologies resulting from latest research and deliver practically feasible solutions with respect to achieving integrated project delivery in a typical precast concrete plant.