Kirchbach, Kim, Koskela, Lauri and Gehbauer, Fritz (2014) Digital Kanban for Earthwork Site Management. In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. IGLC 2014, 2 . International Group for Lean Construction, Oslo, Norway, pp. 663-676. ISBN 978-82-321-0459-8

In the manufacturing industry the use of information systems based on modern
communication techniques, such as Material Requirements Planning (MRP),
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Systems, is standard and has long been deployed with success. But these systems
depend on consistency in the production systems, which a construction site is unlikely
to offer. Furthermore the construction process is highly fragmented and in
comparison to the stationary industry very complex. Due to the dynamics of the
processes on earthwork construction sites, new flexible logistic concepts are needed.
This paper will present “digital Kanban”; a method to dynamically allocate the
best possible match of excavators and transport vehicles at earthwork construction
sites. With regard to the principles of jidoka, “intelligence” is transferred to a control
centre in order to detect abnormal conditions, enabling it to respond rapidly.
Excavators are pulling empty dumpers and dozers are pulling loaded dumpers. In
case more than one excavator is requesting a dumper, the current performance of the
excavators and their allocated dumpers at the present as well as the distance to be
travelled will be analysed. The digital Kanban cards are created at the last responsible
moment: If a dumper just unloaded or is fully loaded, it requests a Kanban card and
only then the Kanban card will be generated.
To quantify the optimization potential, results of stochastic simulations based on
the Monte-Carlo method will be introduced.

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