December 11, 2019 Jody Seubert
Excellerate Project Spotlight: South America Confidential Client
Excellerate was proud to be involved in the construction of an industrial complex for a confidential client in South America. This client’s North and South America representative (based in North America) was very familiar with Excellerate’s in-depth design and construction manufacturing capabilities and the ability to take labor offsite, and recommended Excellerate to the South American project team.
The client requested that we design, manufacture and support the installation of a specialized structure that was the first of its kind being used by this client in South America. This structure had more than 1,700 unique assemblies that had to fit together precisely to form a complete homogeneous design. These assemblies required nearly 4,400 cut operations to be made, and these cuts were made in our manufacturing environment, not on the job site. Cutting operations on a job site are some of the riskiest operations in the construction industry. Moving them to a controlled manufacturing environment made the job site safer and made the productivity of the workers soar.
Through frequent early communications with the project team and utilization of cutting-edge scanning technologies, Excellerate was able to utilize our expertise in the complete design, fabrication and precise assembly of the structure, saving the client’s onsite electrical contractor more than 5,000 hours of labor through the duration of the project.
Prior to the installation’s projected start date, Excellerate sent a consultation team to the job site in South America. Utilizing scanning tools they brought to the site, they were able to create an actual model of the structure as it was being built. Robotic total station (RTS) is not a common technology used in the project’s location, and because it was not used on this project, the placement of certain HVAC ducts was off by up to six inches, leading to fitment issues between the ducts and the structure being built. The client’s project manager gave the HVAC duct installer 30 days to correct the issues. When the corrections were not completed, Excellerate was able to alter our design to work around the inaccurately installed ductwork.
So how does a structure of this size and type get from the Midwest US to South America? This was one of the most important aspects of this project and provided some great learning experiences along the way. The structure required the use of five sea shipping containers, which were loaded and sent via truck to a port of call, then via ship to the project’s location. Material handling and site logistics were also very important, as it was pertinent that we packaged and shipped the components in a way that would be easy for them to receive, unload and assemble more than 5,000 miles away. Through Excellerate’s BIM2Built technology, build documents were created to enable the on-site crews to track, assemble and install the grid as seamlessly as possible.
Cost is always going to be an important part of the decision-making process for our customers; however, several factors contribute to the advantages modularization bring to a project. Excellerate’s work on this project saved the customer approximately 5,400 hours on onsite labor, which is easily quantifiable. More difficult to quantify, but equally as important, are the efficiencies gained in fewer materials needed on the job site and completing the project on time. Most important is the safety factor, moving labor to a controlled environment with fewer safety concerns. These are some of the real benefits of construction manufacturing (CM) and modularization.
Excellerate’s work on this project was a true success in bringing schedule savings, cost savings and construction manufacturing to the project owner. In the end, the client saved an estimated 4-6 weeks of on-site labor for more than 20 workers, completing this phase of the project much more quickly and efficiently than their traditional construction process. This is a conservative estimate, and with the use of robotic total station technology by the teams on site, the savings could have been even more.
“Excellerate’s solutions made a huge difference,” said the client’s technical project manager. “Our project wouldn’t have made it to completion as quickly as it did without Excellerate’s help,” he stated.
Congratulations to all involved in this international Excellerate project. Thank you for a job well done!