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Modularization Mitigates Project Risk


Ryan Zurkuhlen
Vice President of Modular Operations


Many engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors struggle with tighter margins and higher risk. This generally trickles down to an unfair allocation of risk throughout the supply chain. Incorporating a modular solution can help mitigate risks on projects.

In this article, we will cover reasons to consider a modular solution for your project and how S&B’s fabrication alliances support project success.

Common drivers for a modular solution

The drivers of modularization differ for each project and customer.  At S&B, we understand the critical need to properly analyze those drivers and provide our customers with the best solutions.

  1. Schedule and cost savings.
    Modular fabrication allows for simultaneous off-site fabrication and on-site construction activities in parallel, reducing project timelines significantly. Off-site fabrication can occur concurrently with on-site civil work and construction, resulting in faster project completion and reduced labor costs.
  2. Quality control.
    With modular construction, components are fabricated in a controlled environment, ensuring consistent quality and adherence to project specifications.  Inspections performed at the facility and standardized processes contribute to higher-quality fabrication.
  3. Improved safety.
    The controlled fabrication environment minimizes the risks associated with on-site construction, such as working at heights, congested work areas and inclement weather. Additionally, modular fabrication reduces the need for extensive on-site activities, further improving safety conditions while reducing the number of workers on-site exposed to such hazards.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration between an EPC firm and its fabrication partner is critical to the project outcome. At S&B, we have cultivated strong, collaborative international and domestic alliances for fabrication, which provides tremendous benefits including improved constructability planning, optimized processes, improved performance and cost savings.

When working in close coordination, module fabricators can provide us with valuable input regarding constructability challenges, transportation limitations, and on-site assembly requirements. This input helps us design modules that are easier to fabricate, transport, and assemble, leading to smoother project execution and reduced risks.

With early engagement, module fabricators can provide insights into fabrication lead times, production capacities, and delivery schedules. This information helps us plan the project timeline more accurately, minimizing delays and ensuring timely module delivery.

Our alliances encourage innovation and value engineering. By leveraging both S&B’s expertise and that of our fabrication partners, we can also explore new construction methods, materials, or design approaches. The result includes optimized processes, improved performance, cost savings, and enhanced customer value.

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