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Improving construction supply chains using load carriers - Effects of implementing a load carrier for reinforcement bars to construction sites

Karl Bäckstedt ; Philip Nordström ; Persson Mikael
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2015. 125 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2015:073, 2015.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Construction sites are characterized by lack of space, uneven stacking surfaces and temporary storage locations. Studies show that about a third of a Swedish construction worker’s time is used to find and sort material. Thus, actions should be taken to simplify sorting and handling of material. Delivery of reinforcing bars to construction sites is a cumbersome and time-consuming process, which would benefit from simplified material handling. The goal of the thesis was to investigate how the delivery process of reinforcing bars could be improved by implementing a load carrier in the material flow. A case study was carried out, involving a reinforcing steel producer, a construction company and a material handling equipment provider. The study investigated the flow of reinforcing steel from the producer to a nearby construction site, with the aid of a load carrier designed by the logistic solutions provider. The material and information flow in the supply chain were mapped and analyzed in order to explore the effects of the load carrier. The mapping of the supply chain was carried out in accordance with the lean framework material flow mapping (MFM). The findings explored a transfer of activities, from the construction site to the producer. The delivery of material at the construction site was simplified and time for handling material was reduced. However, the production site faces an increase in number of activities and time of order preparation. In addition, the load carrier implementation required reverse logistics to be incorporated in the supply chain. Resources in the supply chain were affected in terms of requirements and occupied time. The usage of the construction crane was significantly reduced, which was deemed as beneficial, as it was identified as a bottleneck resource. In addition, usage time of the truck was reduced by shorter loading and unloading processes. The load carrier implementation resulted in an increase in man-time at the producing site, while the opposite was experienced at the construction site. Also, the load carrier implementation required significant changes to the information and communication process in the supply chain. The aim with the analysis was to explore the positive effects of the load carrier and diminish the negative by suggesting a future state map of the supply chain including the load carrier. Thus, negative effects were targeted in the suggestion of the future state map. As so, a future state was presented to further develop the positive effects, while the negative effects were mitigated by reducing the number of activities, warehousing nodes and time in warehousing. Suggestions of changes to the load carrier were presented in order to better fit it into the supply chain’s activities. It appeared possible for the reinforcing bar supplier to expand the load carrier implementation into its value offering. However, a closer mapping of the cost of activities may be needed. Several barriers were identified, such as a supply chain wide understanding of the load carriers purpose, payment structure of transporters as well as strategy alignment of suppliers and customers.

Nyckelord: Reinforcing bars, Rebar, CAB, Material handling, Construction, Material flow, Supply chain, Load carrier, Packaging, Logistics

Publikationen registrerades 2015-06-29. Den ändrades senast 2015-06-29

CPL ID: 219087

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