Publications / 2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA

Improving Construction Labor Productivity Using Automatic Rebar Tying Gun

M. Safa, J. G. Cardenas, D. G. Leblanc, D. Rose, and A. Shahi
Pages 150-155 (2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA, ISBN 978-1-5108-2992-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

Rebar tying is labor-intensive and expensive, with a high learning curve that restricts proficiency at the craft to a great deal of construction field experience. Obtaining this experience requires tasks that are taxing on the human body, often resulting in muscular and skeletal injuries. Previously, research and engineering controls for rebar tying/rod busting have been reasonably limited. The main contribution of this study is investigating the use of a new advanced technology to reduce the time, cost, and hazard associated with rebar tying. Hence, several experiments were conducted on the effectiveness of an automatic rebar tying gun by comparing the speed and cost effectiveness of this tool with the common industry practice of manually tying rebar with a spool of wire and pliers. The study results show that the automatic rebar tying gun could lower the learning curve, thereby reducing training times and minimizing redundant routines. By minimizing the amount of time invested in training employees, the possibility of saving time and money is apparent. However, risk reduction is also implied by the lessening of time invested in training employees. This is because resignations frequently happen before a return on the investment of training is produced, resulting in sunk costs. Various repetitive, often manual, movements required of workers have been observed to be reduced from the use of the rebar tying gun. The results of this study also shows that the automatic rebar tying gun has a potential to save time, money, and ergonomic liabilities without risking productivity.

Keywords: Automatic Rebar Tying, Labor Productivity, Rod Busting Process, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Construction Project