Simulating the technical factors of precast concrete production

Gavin Long, Kim Elliott, Michael Mawdesley, Nashwan Dawood, John Dean, R Ahmed

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    Abstract

    The use of precast concrete in construction provides an example of successfully employing off-site manufacturing in the industry. The UK construction industry aspires to increase its use of off-site manufacture in line with the findings of industrial reviews (Egan and Latham reports). Innovation in the precast concrete industry is limited by the risks associated with change. There is scope for simulation to provide a tool for reducing these risks and enabling greater innovation and use of precast concrete.
    The Enterprise Simulation for Precast Concrete Operations (ESPCO) project intends to address this limitation by developing a virtual precast concrete manufacturing facility. ESPCO will adopt a flight simulator or sandbox
    approach to simulation allowing the user free rein in modelling a specific facility in detail or examining the effect of changing a single element of production such as plant equipment or materials.
    This paper describes work on development of a simulation of precast concrete production from a technical perspective. The simulation focuses on concrete as a material, modelling its constituents and the production processes that affect its properties. In addition to modelling current practice, the simulation aims to enable the input of novel materials or processes and examine their impact on the concrete produced. Findings from the research undertaken in the production of a prototype technical simulation are described. The integration between the technical and operational simulations being developed is also detailed. Preliminary work moving from a prototype to a full simulation of precast concrete production is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication Proceedings of the 1st international conference: The transformation of the industry – Open building manufacturing
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2007

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