Automated production planning in panelized construction enabled by integrating discrete-event simulation and BIM Liu, H.; Altaf, M. S.; Lei, Z.; Lu, M.; Al-Hussein, M.
Panelization, a form of off-site construction with origins in the manufacturing industry, has emerged as a popular, more efficient approach to constructing residential projects. This approach transfers some of the construction activities traditionally carried out on site into factory production tasks, and divides construction management into factory production management and on-site assembly management. This change poses some challenges to construction practitioners with respect to project planning and management, such as how to efficiently create work flow, balance the production line, and satisfy various panel requirements to ensure smooth on-site operations. This paper thus explores an automated approach for construction planning in the production plant with the objective of improving productivity and balancing the production line, which achieves a seamless integration of building information modelling (BIM) and discrete-event simulation (DES). Specifically, a BIM-based special-purpose simulation (SPS) template for the production line is developed in Simphony.NET in order to facilitate more efficient modelling of the production line. The new simulation template provides a BIM-based interface which permits enriched information exchange between the BIM model and the simulation model. A case study of a production line for light gauge steel panels is presented to demonstrate the methodology. The simulation results show that proper production sequencing improves production performance, and that the newly developed simulation template is a useful planning tool for the panelized construction system.
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