Machine-Learning Approach to Predict Total Fabrication Duration of Industrial Pipe Spools

Osama Mohsen*, Cristian Petre, Yasser Mohamed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In industrial modular construction, components fabricated in the shop are assembled into modules before being transported to construction sites. This approach offers improved construction efficiency, higher quality products, and the opportunity to work in a controlled environment that offers more predictable schedules. A distinct category of modularized construction is that of piping structures where prefabricated segments of pipes, called pipe spools, are arranged and attached to a steel structure to speed up on-site assembly. Determining when a particular pipe spool is ready for delivery to the site is affected by many factors, including material availability, workforce performance and availability, shop loading conditions, and shop capacity. These factors combine to produce a high degree of uncertainty when estimating the fabrication duration. This paper investigates the improvement of delivery time prediction of pipe spools that are fabricated in a manufacturing facility. The study's main contribution is to propose a data-driven machine-learning model that accurately predicts the total fabrication duration in a pipe spool fabrication facility. The developed model is expected to assist production managers to plan for the appropriate workforce and material delivery requirements. The proposed approach utilizes a combination of product composition and real-time loading status of the shop to develop and examine several tree-based machine-learning models. The approach was evaluated using records of 6,989 pipe spools. The overall prediction performance was improved by a reduction of 35% in the mean absolute percentage error compared to original heuristic estimates. The results also show a strong positive correlation of 0.8 between the actual and predicted values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04022172
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Fabrication duration
  • Industrial construction
  • Machine learning
  • Modular construction
  • Offsite construction
  • Pipe spool
  • Time prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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