Innovative Delivery Methods of Information to the Crafts

RT-327 Topic Summary
RT 327


This research team, under the guidance of the CII Breakthrough Strategy Committee, redefined delivering engineering information by supplementing three-dimensional visual aids to engineering drawings. The team considered how engineering information has traditionally been received by craft professionals in industrial construction, measured the impact of new delivery methods based on craft professionals’ recommendations, and discovered significant improvements in productivity.

First, to explore non-traditional ways of providing the craft with better engineering information the team traveled to industrial sites asking the following questions:

  1. How is the information (data and graphics) you need to do your job provided on a daily basis?
  2. What is the biggest challenge you face in getting the information you need to do your job?
  3. What are your ideas for improving installation and productivity at the jobsite?

Based upon guidance received during six large participatory meetings, RT-327 chose to field-test the productivity of two innovative delivery methods:

  1. Two-Sided Isometric
  2. Isometric with Three-Dimensional Model

The field-testing demonstrated productivity and accuracy gains during trials conducted with skilled pipefitters. It is highly recommended that owners adopt these two innovative methods to maximize craft labor performance and reduce the construction critical path.

In addition, this research explored areas of spatial cognitive ability. Different information mediums influence the ability to recognize shapes, and their orientation in space – important to reading engineering drawings. Moreover, the use of 3D information from engineering to supplement 2D information does help level the playing field in terms of all craft productivity.

In summary this research provides:

  1. Insight to traditional engineering information delivery
  2. Field productivity results using the chosen innovative delivery methods
  3. Industry relevant cost analysis (Return on Investment)

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Two-Sided Isometric Benefits

Use of two-sided isometric drawings results in a 16% improvement in installation speed. Other notable improvements include direst work up, indirect prep time down, and a reduction in errors. (RS327-1, p. 11)
Reference: (RS327-1)

2 : Performance Differences Due to Cognitive Ability is Eliminated

When using the two-sided isometric drawings, craft with lower spatial ability—as measured by the card rotation (left) and cube comparison (right) tests—performed as efficiently and effectively as pipefitters with higher spatial ability. (RS327-1, p. 13)
Reference: (RS327-1)

3 : Return on Investment

Two-sided drawings result in a $33 return for every $1 increase for engineering costs. Gains from Investment were estimated by improvements observed from installation rates. The cost to produce the Two-Sided Isometric was considered, however the time saved to compensate labor and operating equipment outweighs the added investment significantly. (RS327-1, p. 14)
Reference: (RS327-1)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved craft productivity, Improved cost

Research Publications

Innovative Delivery of Information to the Crafts - RR327-11

Publication Date: 08/2016 Type: Research Report Pages: 135 Status: Reference

Innovative Delivery of Information to the Crafts - RS327-1

Publication Date: 10/2015 Type: Research Summary Pages: 17 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Plenary Session - Removing the Blinders: New Perspectives in Delivering Information to the Craft

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 20 Event Code: AC2015

Implementation Session - Removing the Blinders: New Perspectives in Delivering Information to the Craft

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 35 Event Code: AC2015