An approach supporting real-time project management in plant building and the construction industry
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Make-to-Order (MTO) process chain types with a successive installation on-site are common in plant building and the construction industry. An off-site fabrication shop and an on-site installation characterize such companies. Usually, MTO-components have long lead times, which hinder a Just-in-Time (JIT) production and delivery to the construction site. As different from manufacturing, where production/assembly takes place in a controlled environment (factory), plant building and construction are exposed to a high number of unpredictable events. Traditionally, a weak planning of the execution process on-site can be mentioned. As a result, high and uncontrolled levels of Work-in-Progress (WIP) appear being the main causes of long lead times. Moreover, due to missed material, installation interruptions occur, which are the main causes for project cost explosions. In the paper, we propose an approach, which allows to schedule and monitor a building project in real time. Therefore, problems can be identified early on and improvement actions can be taken in time. The approach is based on design guidelines from Industry 4.0, like "Interoperability", "Decentralization" and "Real-Time Capability". At the end of the paper, we give a brief outline of the current software development.