How An Electrical Contractor Can Become Data-Ready For Prefabrication

How An Electrical Contractor Can Become Data-Ready For Prefabrication

How An Electrical Contractor Can Become Data-Ready For Prefabrication

  • Sethu Madhavan Anilkumar, Associate Product Manager
  • February 01, 2022
How An Electrical Contractor Can Become Data-Ready For Prefabrication

Modular or prefabricated construction, also known as prefab, plays a vital role in improving productivity in the construction industry. Proof of this was illustrated in Modular Construction: From Projects to Products, 2019. It stated that prefab can accelerate project timelines by up to 50% and reduce costs by 20%. In addition to time and cost savings, an off-site manufacturing-style production model attains a higher degree of safety and quality. In spite of the advantages, there is still an aversion to adopting prefab. Some reasons for this could be the upfront costs of setting up a prefabrication shop, technical expertise, data challenges, or a myriad of other things. In this article, we’ll explore what it takes for an electrical contractor overcome the initial data challenges and embark on a new prefab journey.

What Does It Take For an Electrical Contractor to Get Into Prefabrication? 

First, let’s understand how electrical contractors perform prefab jobs. Electrical contractors complete their prefab jobs in one of two ways to achieve time and cost savings; either using in-house shops or specialized prefab companies. Contractors rely on specialized prefabrication companies to avoid the upfront costs involved in setting up an in-house shop. These companies also help contractors overcome the technical challenges. Either way they choose, contractors build assemblies in a controlled environment, limiting human errors and rework. As a result, labor and material handling costs are reduced, and time is saved. On-site, prefabrication also reduces the installation times and inventory costs.

The on-site project teams and off-site prefab teams must coordinate and communicate information throughout the job to ensure the successful completion of the job. The key to the success of any prefabrication job is the Quality of Data that is available to carry it out. For this reason, for a contractor to be prefab-ready, they must first be data-ready.

How Can an Electrical Contractor Become Data-Ready for Prefab?

How Does an Electrical Contractor Become Data-Ready?

It should be noted that, in most cases, electrical contractors already possess the data required for completing a prefab job. However, they must restructure the existing data into a format compatible with prefab. We prepared the following table as an example to show the steps contractors can take to be data-ready for prefabricating Overhead Support Systems.

Table 1: Actions required by an Electrical Contractor to be Data-Ready for Overhead Support System
Data Elements Action Required to be Data-Ready Advantages
Standard Nomenclature Define a nomenclature to identify supports based on type, orientation, no. of tiers, etc. E.g., 78-SS-FD (7/8” Single Strut Facing Downwards) Improves communication
Strut Cut-Lengths Identify the counts of different strut cut lengths Saves labor and material handling costs by cutting in a controlled prefab shop
Rod Cut-Lengths Identify the counts of different rod cut lengths Saves labor and material handling costs by cutting in a controlled prefab shop
Assembly Counts Identify the counts of different support assembly types Enables kitting of parts and easy tracking
Assembly-wise Strut and Rod Cut-Lengths Identify the cut-lengths of struts and rods in different support assemblies Enables kitting of parts
Spool Sheets Generate spool sheets with assembly IDs Enables quicker establishment on-site and reduces installation times

The table is designed for a contractor planning to start their prefab journey. Firstly, it explains the actions the contractor needs to take to become data-ready for prefabricating Overhead Supports. Furthermore, the table includes the advantages of performing the actions. In the case of the contractor, they have all the data needed to execute the required actions. Undoubtedly, the same principles of data formatting and adopting a standard nomenclature can be extended to other systems for becoming data-ready.

As revealed by the table, prefab helps electrical contractors on all fronts, including procurement, material tracking, and installation. Yet, despite all its advantages, upfront costs hinder many electrical contractors from adopting prefab. Whereas, Sanveo’s flagship product AECInspire enables electrical contractors to kick off their prefab processes without these upfront costs.

So, what are you waiting for? Start prefab with AECInspire today! Contact us for more information and schedule a demo!

References:
  •  Prefabricated Underground Duct Banks (Source: www.ecmag.com)
  • Modular construction: From Projects to Products, 2019