Management and Transportation of Rebar Parts
How might we better store, organise and transport rebar parts to reduce the time taken to identify and collect the parts required for assembly of rebar cages?
Challenge Statement Owner
Background and Current Practice
Constructed modules for Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) need to be reinforced with metal meshes and reinforcing bars (also known as “rebars”). The figure below depicts an overview of the process to assemble the rebar cages before installing it into the mould:
Process to assemble rebar cages [Click image to enlarge]
For this challenge statement, we are focusing on Step 2A of the process to assemble a rebar cage (Identification, collection and sorting of materials required).
Currently, the bulk of rebar parts are placed on the storage area floors after delivery by the supplier. The heavy weight of the rebar parts makes it very difficult to implement a rack storage system that could potentially save space.
When the rebar parts are needed for assembly, the workers use a custom design trolley (see picture on the left) to collect the required parts and transport them to the assembly site. On the trolley, the rebar parts are sorted on racks for easier retrieval during assembly. However, not all parts are well sorted, and the workers need to re-identify some of the rebar parts through closer inspection and the use of a measuring tape. The (re)identification is not simple, as there is a schedule of 95 rebar parts to choose from, and some parts have similar shapes.
Opportunities and Key Challenges
A smart storage and management solution for the rebar parts would improve the identification and collection of the rebar parts by the workers.
One possible approach is to work with the suppliers to incorporate identification and tracking of the rebar parts as a post-production step in a cost-effective manner.