Use of Simulation to Analyze Block Manufacturing Methods

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Virginia Tech

In this study, a block manufacturing process is investigated using simulation as a tool to optimize resource utilization. First, the problem statement and the objectives of the study are established. Second, various data are collected by means of time studies, interviews, and physical observation of the operation. Activity durations are stripped and their distributions are obtained by using computer technology. When all required data are collected, STROBOSCOPE is used to create a model of the entire production process. The model is verified and validated to ensure that it performs as intended before running experiments. Results from experiments are analyzed by the use of spreadsheets and graphs. Recommendations with respect to the current operation and future changes are proposed. In both instances, the unit cost and the production rate are used as the criteria to determine the most effective resource usage. In conclusion, the minimization of production costs increases profit for manufacturers, reduces the construction cost for contractors, and results in lower prices to the end users.

Note: for more information about required softwares to run the simulation and the animation, please contact: Julio C. Martinez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (Construction), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0105, voice: (540) 231-9420, fax: (540) 231-7532, e-mail:,

block manufacturing, Simulation, stroboscope