When dealing with larger and more complex construction operations, which are more difficult to manage using traditional project management tools, computer simulation methods have shown to be effective in designing and analyzing construction processes, regardless of the complexity or size. A simulation model can be built to describe the construction activities of a scope of work ranging from large, complex industrial projects to a simple room of a small building. Using simulation, engineers can test out different construction scenarios, estimate resource utilization and find bottlenecks, and forecast time and cost requirements without having to go to site. This paper describes the pipe spool fabrication model built at Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC).
On a large industrial project, pipe spool fabrication is a major component of the construction operation. It is also a relatively short term, complex construction process often riddled with uncertainty due to the intrinsic unique nature of its outputs and the numerous factors affecting its activities. As such, it is important for all stakeholders to have a good grasp of the performance of pipe fabrication shops and their ability to meet the site pipe installation schedules. The ability of computer based modeling and simulation to model resource and activity interactions, queuing, and uncertainties renders it a good fit for modeling the pipe spool fabrication process.