The transition of the concrete paving industry from a manual labour intensive industry, to a fully automated operation

John. T. Dean, Nashwan Dawood

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

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    The paper deals with the cultural and technological changes involved in the conversion of the operational procedures
    from manual high safety risk operations to full automation, where the risk of accidents is virtually eliminated. The
    process of change starts with the study of very flexible and agile manual operations, evaluates the wastes involved
    and describes the processes introduced to eliminate them.
    Automated systems that use the latest technology are introduced in an innovative manner to ensure that the
    automation is capable of changing product type in a lean, flexible and agile way. Radio Frequency Identification
    (RFID) technology is implemented to initiate changes in robotic operations, equipment changeovers and ASi safety
    networks (electromechanical interface for data transfer) are used to ensure that the human machine interface
    activities are safe. Device networks are introduced as an integral part of the system control and data acquisition
    (SCADA) system which produces key performance indicators direct from the production line. Potentially high levels
    of downtime associated with the introduction of high technology devices is dealt with by the use of low voltage
    “plug-in” and “screw-in” sensors to de-skill maintenance operations.
    The paper outlines how a major reduction in manpower is achieved by removing virtually all manual processes from
    concrete paving production. The transition to automation is outlined and consideration is given to the social factors
    involved as a result of introducing car industry production methodology. Cost reductions from the research enabled
    a major precast producer in the UK to compete successfully in a global market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication Proceedings of the 1st international conference: The transformation of the industry – Open building manufacturing
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9780860177104
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2007

    Bibliographical note

    Author can archive publisher's version/PDF. [Email from Events Manager at CIRIA]


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