Flexible Field Factory for Construction Industry [Online]
Assembly Automation

Purpose – The paper aims to present the concept, the layout design and the evaluation performed of a flexible field factory for construction industry. Both the concept and layout are focused on flexibility and mobility factors, providing a versatile system for manufacturing and assembly that can be transported to construction sites without need of special permissions. 

Design/methodology/approach – The design is based on the design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) principles, lean manufacturing, and construction industry experts' knowledge. 

Findings – The developed factory layout is dimensioned to fit in a standard 20-feet-long container. Simulation processes have been run to verify the viability of the system. The time estimates calculated in the simulations are compared with traditional in and off-site construction method estimates, providing quantified cost and time benefits. 

Originality/value – This paper presents the concept of the robotized field factory designed for on-site prefabrication, the design of which began during the EU 6FP ManuBuild Project. This reconfigurable and flexible system is oriented to the production of small and medium size modular systems. The viability of the field factory has been evaluated thanks to the application of a modular system for building installations called Service Core. Its design has been based on DFMA and lean principles as well as the expertise from construction partners from the ManuBuild Project.