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Case Studies of Indian companies following Lean Construction

March 2019
When HCC was constructing the two-tier Bogibeel Bridge—the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge—placing the 125-m long fully-welded steel spans, each weighing 1,700 tonne, on the pillars embedded in the riverbed was a challenge. “On-site engineers had two choices for a more practical and economical method, either lifting the spans with floating cranes or erecting them with a launching truss,” shares Amit Uplenchwar, CEO, HCC E&C. “After weighing the pros and cons, the team came up with a third solution of pulling the steel trusses with a set of jacks and winches on the pillars. This eliminated the need to enter the river. Besides, it also ensured safer working conditions, precluded the mobilisation of a giant setup on either side of the river and accelerated the project’s pace. The strategy proved testament to the global practice of Lean construction, which is changing the way projects are executed from design to construction.”

Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction has implemented Lean for an IT park spread over 40 acre with a built-up area of 3.5 m sq ft. It required coordination among 46 contractors having more than 2,000 workers at a time. “The project was struggling with coordination issues within and among teams, and wastage of material and labour at the same time,” says SC Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction. “The implementation of Lean tools such as Last Planner System (LPS) helped in coordination and streamlining communication, while Value Stream Mapping (VSM) practices helped in reducing man days and improving productivity. Further, pull-based planning ensured optimistic targets, which is further reinforced by the rest of the tools, resulting in improved productivity; and a sense of waste reduction is nurtured in the team, which resulted in improved coordination and higher percentage plan completion.”

At one of Tata Realty and Infrastructure’s recent projects in Gurugram, a large SEZ project of about 5 million sq ft, “we have implemented Lean and created a Big Room,” says Prakash Patil, Secretary General, The Institute for Lean Construction Excellence, and Vice President-Projects, Tata Realty and Infrastructure. “We are using the Last Planner (r) System (LPS), Pull Planning, BIM etc, extensively here.”

- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA