4 Ways to Optimize Prefab for Mechanical Contractors
Written By Marina Lucier

Most mechanical contractors aren’t new to the concept of prefab. The Dodge Data Report & Analytics' Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report showed that 85% of MEP contractors are already implementing at least some prefab, with 75% of those using prefab reporting the positive impacts. Benefits of prefab include time and cost savings, safer work environments, and improved quality control all which result in higher ROI for projects.

So what’s going on with those mechanical contractors who aren’t seeing the benefits of prefab? Prefab teams can optimize operations by implementing various strategies and techniques. Here are some ways they can achieve this:

Automate Machinery for Efficiency:
  • Integrate automated machinery into the fabrication shop to streamline processes like pipe profiling and hangar fabrication.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of repetitive processes suitable for automation and invest in machinery that aligns with the specific needs of the fabrication shop.
  • Consider automated pipe profiling, welding, and other tasks to maximize efficiency.
  • Explore the latest advancements in robotics and automation and invest in training programs to familiarize staff with the new technology.
  • Leverage advanced technology as a selling point for attracting skilled labor and enhance the overall skill set of the workforce through exposure to automated systems.
Revamp Workflows for Optimization:
  • Analyze the entire design-to-fabrication process and identify areas for improvement.
  • Evaluate the flow through different work areas in the fabrication shop and identify opportunities for prefabrication to enhance efficiency.
  • Use data-driven decision making to improve project timelines and coordination.
  • Promote a culture of open communication and continuous improvement across the organization.
Integrate Design with Fabrication:
  • Improve collaboration between design and fabrication teams to reduce project turnaround time and minimize specification errors.
  • Ensure effective communication between teams and encourage joint problem-solving sessions.
  • Foster a culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration within the organization.
  • Leverage BIM software for improved communications between the shop and the design team.
Invest in Project-Tracking Solutions:
  • Adopt project-tracking solutions to gain critical insights into operations, leading to more accurate job costing and improved project management.
  • Explore and invest in state-of-the-art tracking solutions.
  • Address minor errors that accumulate over time and optimize workflows and resource management for better overall efficiency.
  • Leverage data collected from these programs to make decisions based on real-time information.
As a practical solution for mechanical contractors looking to optimize their prefab operations, we would like to introduce EVOLVE Shop. EVOLVE Shop is a cutting-edge shop management solution that has the potential to revolutionize the prefab process. With features that allow team leaders to track shop orders, access designs and BOMs on the floor with ease, and even automate the assignment of shop orders, EVOLVE Shop is poised to drive efficiency and collaboration to new heights within your organization.

By integrating this powerful tool into your operations, you can unlock the full potential of prefab and take your mechanical contracting projects to the next level. See how Worth & Co has improved their shop operations with EVOLVE in this video case study.

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