Work progresses in production trains in Fira’s pipe renovation line. This reduces project completion time by nearly 50% compared with the traditional way of working. Production trains have improved both productivity and customer and employee satisfaction.
“In traditional construction and renovation projects, subcontracts are scheduled separately for each work phase after competitive bidding – for example, everything from demolition to tiling in pipe renovation projects. When the team changes for each project, there is no learning. Instead, everyone starts from scratch. This slows project completion,” says Sami Kokkonen, Head of Pipeline Renovations at Fira.
That is why Fira has chosen to work in a modern and more efficient way: in production trains. Working in production trains means that precisely planned and scheduled work phases follow one another in the same manner as railway carriages. The same team continues from one apartment and site to another smoothly, as steadily as a train. This reduces the time required to complete pipe renovations in an apartment from 12 weeks to 6–8 weeks. In addition, material loss decreases when excess materials can be moved directly to the next site
The production train method is best suited for The production train halves project completion time relatively large projects with at least 50 apartments.
“The production train method is best suited for The production train halves project completion time relatively large projects with at least 50 apartments. Fira’s first production train started in 2013, and we’ve applied the production train model to all pipe renovation projects since 2016. We currently have four trains running,” Kokkonen explains
Customer and employee satisfaction through production trains
Production Train 4’s latest pipe renovation project covered 71 apartments on Kirstinkatu in the Kallio district of Helsinki. The project was completed in June 2021, one month ahead of schedule. From Kirstinkatu, the train continued to Suursuontie in the Maunula district, where the project covers 80 apartments.
“It’s important to us that everyone working on a project feels that they are part of Fira’s team, regardless of whether they are employed by Fira or one of its subcontractors. The production train model contributes to this and it is reflected in a high level of commitment among subcontractors: around 90% of the project employees have continued to the next site, while the corresponding proportion has been marginal in projects implemented through separate competitive bidding processes,” Kokkonen says.
According to Kokkonen, customers have also been very satisfied with Fira’s approach. The production train has proved an excellent concept that has considerably improved both productivity and customer and employee satisfaction.