VINCI Construction UK has partnered with BRE, nPlan, Assentian and Skanska to develop PLASMA, a digital planning and supply chain management toolbox that has the potential to deliver 25% cost and time savings for projects.
The two-year project funded by UK Research and Innovation, the UK’s innovation agency, started in March 2018 and seeks to produce a proof of concept version of a toolkit that will improve efficiency in the construction process for planning and supply chain management. Built on a blockchain platform, it aims improve construction productivity via better project planning, improved supply chain collaboration, and analysis of supply chain and IoT data.
- Better project planning. The tool enables planners to create and quantitatively rehearse project delivery scenarios such as sequences, critical path and logistics. This reduces risk by taking account of context-specific restrictions and supply chain ‘pinch-points’, for example where increased capacity or automation could improve overall productivity.
- Improved supply chain collaboration. PLASMA enables supply chain businesses to collect, share and store ‘tamper-resistant’ data without the need for central control and management. This optimises complex supply chains and facilitates the tracking of elements such as task completion via existing IoT-based data capabilities. It also enables change managementand incremental payments to be made via smart contracts.
- Analysis of supply chain and IoT data.Task parameters such as cost, and time will be quantified for planning scenario optioneering and optimisation. The tool will also enable the development of quantified KPIs that are specific to construction supply chains, identifying best practice and the range of performance across the sector. KPIs can be linked to and benchmark a range of established performance improvement approaches, as well as innovations such as robotics and automation.
The project represents innovation in its truest form and its successful development will lead the way in delivering much-needed efficiencies for the sector.
Sam Stacey, Director of the Transforming Construction Challenge UKRI, said: “Projects such as PLASMA are funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and play a key role in advancing the transformation across the sector. It will help the construction industry work directly with talented innovators to explore new ways of working in construction that will speed up assembly, save money, and improve the quality of building projects.”