Synchronization of the Manufacturing Process and On-Site Installation in ETO Companies
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Traditional Engineer-to-Order (ETO) companies are typically engaged in the production of capital goods or building projects in the construction industry. While parts or assemblies are manufactured and pre-assembled in the factory, the completion and final assembly will be concluded on-site. In usual construction supply chains, manufacturing processes are disconnected from the installation on site and scale effects of large batch production and economics of transportation charges determine the assembly sequence on site. This fact requires from ETO companies in the future a close coordination and synchronization between factory and construction site. After years of research in the field of industrialization, prefabrication and pre-assembly in ETO companies, particularly the issue of Lean Construction on site was discussed in recent years. The ambitious objective of this research is to analyze and to improve the entire value chain to enable a more sustainable production system in construction. Thus, this paper focuses on the merging of manufacturing processes and installation on-site to realize a synchronous coordinated supply chain. The research was carried out and tested in practice in collaboration with several ETO companies in the construction-related industry.