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Better quality control, faster production at SEF SpaceHub

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 05:50

THE five-storey SEF SpaceHub is an Integrated Construction and Prefabrication Hub (ICPH) capable of producing more than 25 types of components - including columns, beams, planks, walls, facades, staircases, household shelters and prefabricated bathrooms - in a factory setting. These components can then be transported for installation on site.

The factory setting not only speeds up the production process but also provides better quality control of the precast concrete products. The highly mechanised and automated facility at Kaki Bukit also reduces the amount of manpower needed to build precast components by some 70 per cent.

In land scarce Singapore, the concept of an integrated hub allows for more efficient use of land. The facility was built at a cost of more than S$100 million and has a 30-year lease. It was officially opened on Sept 23.

According to SEF SpaceHub project director Raymond Chan, production at the facility has already commenced for five projects. These include a food hub, three nursing homes and a dormitory for his company's workers. He is also confident that the ICPH can secure its first HDB project.

The SEF's ICPH will be the first in Singapore to make use of a multi-tiered fully automated storage system. The storage system is capable of storing more than 100 trailers worth of completed components including bulky 3-D components such as household shelters. In addition, the system for tracking of inventory of precast components as well as the preparation prior to delivery, is also fully automated.

SEF has also integrated advanced Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to gather installation updates from project sites to achieve "Just in Time" production, in order to cut down on storage space needs.

"With the integration of the state of the art equipment and software, (the SEF SpaceHub) is probably the most integrated precast facility in the world, with the world's second fully automated racking system for the storage of prefab components," said Mr Chan.

"Like every other thing in Singapore, we are not happy to be just second, so we build ours to be the tallest in the world with higher capacity."