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How prefabrication is changing the electrical industry
A select few electrical contractor companies are beginning to take advantage of prefabrication construction techniques in order to create new high standards of efficiency.
Prefabrication is relatively a new concept in the electrical business. Electrical contractors like Averill Electric are using new methods to meet tight deadlines and produce high-quality work for their clients.
Electrical prefabrication includes a wide array of all types of installations, from simple receptacles and switches to complex wall and floor equipment. This article will explain how prefabrication is used in the electrical industry and how it is a significant improvement from conventional construction methods.
What is Prefabrication?
According to Frank Averill from Averill Electric, the process of prefabricating a construction project involves building the individual components at an offsite facility and installing them at the project site. This enables electrical contractors to get a jump start on the project.
Prefabricating electrical components require good project planning. Prefabrication can succeed or fail depending on the quality of drawings and information in the shop. It requires a high degree of communication between the builder and the electrical contractor.
Most prefabricated components are small, but care must be taken to assemble larger parts accurately. When there are mistakes due to poor plans, the entire project could be disrupted.
Advantages of Prefabrication
Electrical prefabrication carries many significant advantages over traditional construction methods:
Prefabrication helps with worker productivity. Workers can specialize in one type of assembly and will bring expert knowledge to the table. There is less material handling at the site, and preassembled components can be sent to the job site efficiently.
Lean construction experts prefer prefabrication because it allows for far less waste to be produced. There are fewer scrap and trash materials to deal with at the job site, and it is easier to comply with lean building material separation requirements.
Reduced Labor Needs and Costs
Prefabrication reduces the time needed to complete individual tasks. Journeyman and apprentice electricians can be trained to produce specific types of assemblies, in a controlled environment. The repetitive nature of prefabrication allows for a greater consistency and quality product. Prefabrication shops can employ a higher ratio of employees with less experience and can be productive team members.
A prefabrication shop can help to compensate for a lack of trained electricians in the area. Apprentice-level workers can receive the necessary experience needed to move up in the industry while costs are kept down. Some estimates claim that prefabbing can save over 25 percent on labor costs.
Prefabricating a component is less expensive than building it on-site. This is a significant advantage when it comes to adhering to construction budgets, which can often balloon out of control when proper procedures are not followed.
Keeping a Schedule
Prefabricating electrical components help projects stay on schedule. When the process is used correctly, it allows contractors to become more productive and speed up the schedule.
Improved Supply Chain
When components are sent directly to the prefab facility, it is easier to keep track of them. The number of shipments can be reduced, and the influx of material handled more efficiently. Prefabricating consolidates the components that are usually delivered separately.
Increased Workplace Safety
The reduction in the amount of material that needs to be moved also increases safety in the shop and at the job site. Averill Electric Prefab shops are cleaner and neater than job sites, and there are fewer opportunities for workers to encounter hazards on the job.
How to Incorporate Prefabbing Techniques
When an electrical contractor wants to start a prefab shop, they must perform an honest skills assessment. They must decide whether they can handle the work in their current facility or whether they need to arrange for more space. Averill Electric successfully opened a prefab shop and uses it to meet many project deadlines.
In order to make prefab activities successful, electrical contractors need to be involved in every step of the general contractor’s planning process. This can help to reduce errors and give an accurate estimate of the cost of the work and how long it will take to complete.
Preplanning can help the electrical contractor understand how long the cable runs will need to be, along with mounting methods, material needs, and the methods needed for identifying, packing, and shipping assemblies.
The biggest barrier to prefabricated electrical work is the skepticism of field personnel. Individual electricians who work at the job site may be worried that their workload is being reduced and their hours are being cut. Individual workers should be reassured that the company will be able to get more work when they operate more efficiently, including more contracts.
The advantages of prefab electrical construction outweigh the potential issues. The process is more efficient, less wasteful, and less expensive than traditional electrical techniques. Averill Electric believes that electrical contractors should take a careful look at their business practices and decide whether a prefab shop can help them.
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