Construction projects can be modelled, using TFV theory of lean construction, as combination of main activity network that are primarily transformations and feeding flow processes which supply input material to main activities. These feeding processes may include one or more sub-processes/ and operations with varying cycle time (C/T). The lack of synchronization between these sub processes/ operations results into construction bottlenecks which delay the execution of main activities. Mechanization of few processes/ sub-processes or operations in isolation create large variation in cycle time and shifts the location of bottlenecks. Thus, limited benefits accrue from mechanization, automation, etc. The present study proposes a framework to locate the bottlenecks through hierarchical process analysis and discrete event simulation. These bottlenecks can be eliminated through modifying cycle time of selected sub process /operation by changing resources allocation and by eliminating waste with the ultimate aim to enhance overall productivity. The proposed framework is demonstrated utilizing data from an automated railway track construction project. The substantial improvement in construction productivity was observed after synchronization of cycle time.
Lean construction, cycle time synchronisation, construction bottlenecks, discrete event simulation, automated railway track laying.