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An integrated real-time control system for structural steel fabrication projects Open Access


Other title
Steel, Structural
Building, Iron and steel
Real-time control
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Azimi, Reza
Supervisor and department
AbouRizk, Simaan (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Lee, SangHyun (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan)
Examining committee member and department
Lee, SangHyun (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan)
Tavakoli Afshari, Mahdi (Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering)
Qiu, Zhi-Jun (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
AbouRizk, Simaan (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Mohamed, Yasser (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Dawood, Nashwan (School of Science and Engineering, University of Teesside, UK)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Off-site structural steel fabrication has become increasingly popular in industrial construction projects over the past decade due to advantages of higher productivity, better quality, better safety and improved time and cost effectiveness. The fast paced nature of off-site structural steel fabrication environments, constraints induced by the construction site, and the existing limitations within the shop, make the control process of off-site construction quite challenging. Successful delivery of off-site structural steel fabrication projects requires a reliable monitoring and control system. A key factor for the success and effectiveness of such a system is its ability to perform real-time monitoring and to evaluate and analyze project performance fast enough so that in the case of deviation the appropriate corrective actions can be taken in a timely manner. New achievements in automated data capturing systems and computer simulation techniques provide a reliable platform for effective project monitoring and control, as they can respectively reduce the time required to obtain as-built data and simulate different scenarios for possible corrective actions ahead of time. The functionality of control systems can be greatly increased by integrating these two techniques; however, such a feasibility has not been examined in great detail. The primary objective of this research is to address this issue by proposing a framework for new generation of project monitoring and control systems focusing on integrating automated data acquisition systems and computer simulation techniques that could be a robust decision support tool for project managers. The second objective of this research is enhancing control process in the dynamic environments of off-site construction shops based on the control theory concept. The proposed method makes project managers capable of prompt non-linear data analysis and of predicting the behavior of the performance of the off-site construction fabrication shops. This leads to promptly determining the best corrective action in the case of variance to achieve the desired performance of the shop with minimum cost. To illustrate the feasibility and practicality of the proposed framework and enhanced project control method, they were successfully implemented in an actual off-site structural steel fabrication shop.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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