Prefabricated pipelines are by the definition pipelines that were assembled at a manufacturing site and transported to the construction site as a whole. Although prefabrication has been thought of as a low-end mass production, in reality it becomes more and more common, especially on larger projects where time is of the essence. Experience shows that prefabrication can take about four times less time than on-site fabrication and is now a common practice. It has also improved in quality and became available in a variety of budgets. How to enhance the speed of pipeline assembly by using pipeline prefabrications?
Less job, more time
Prefabrications are considered to speed up the job on-site by about four times. Why is it so much quicker with ready-made modules? Instead of having to weld small chunks of pipes on site, the construction workers need to do so once in a while. Twice as much work can be completed per one man-hour as the environment of off-site prefabrication is much more controlled and not dependant on factors such as the weather.
Also, manufacturers off-site have a wide variety of specific tooling available, while using it on-site wouldn’t be as easy. Finally, with close supervision, on-the-spot tests and many checkpoints, twice the productive hours can be achieved and the pipelines are a better quality overall.
Who needs prefabrication?
It’s always been said that prefabrication is reserved for large construction sites only and that it is of lower quality. However, it has proven to be cost effective due to the less amount of work that has to be done, not poor prefabrication.
Prefabrication is utilised to minimise all the different types of work that has to be done on site and maximise the predictability of the project schedule. It’s all much easier when you have prefabricated pipelines and all you need to do is put them in the ground, rather than weld every single joint on site [source: ENERGOP.com].
As such, prefabrications can be used by both small and large contractors and should not be written down as something of a lesser value.
The plus-side of prefabrication
The goal of using prefabricated parts is to reduce the risks in the variability of field labour whilst producing the best possible product and cutting the costs at the same time. Fabrication shops provide predictable productivity and in turn, reduce exposure to variable labour risk.
Also, fabrication shops allow a cleaner, more organised environment with proper tooling and efficient shop layouts that allow the pipes to be manoeuvred quicker and more safely than on site. In addition, the quality of prefabricated pipework is typically more consistent due to the planning, tooling and controlled working conditions.
On site pipe joining and assembly plays a huge role in the overall project schedule and total installation costs. Prefabricating offsite, productivity and efficiency goes up, as there is less job to be done by men on the construction site.
One of the most common systems used for pipes is the grooved pipe-joining system, where pipes can be cut and grooved and valves fitted to pump assemblies offsite. Working in such a way helps you avoid the risk of loss or damage to components on-site, whilst reduced materials handling lowers the potential for accidents.