Construction plant and equipment management research: thematic review

Edwards, David J. and Holt, Gary David (2009) Construction plant and equipment management research: thematic review. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 7 (2). pp. 186-206. ISSN 1726-0531

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Purpose – A literature review is presented in the subject of construction plant and equipment management (CPeM) to: delineate the subject; consider its development over recent years; and identify principal themes within it. The paper aims to close the gap in knowledge, by using these objectives as a mechanism to observe how research themes relate to primary CPeM functions, and to suggest future research direction.

Design/methodology/approach – A thematic review of CPeM academic literature (in the main, refereed journal papers published in English-speaking countries over the last decade) is undertaken; the nature of identified themes is discussed, for instance, regarding why they might have evolved as they have; and based on the foregone, themes for future research in the field are proffered.

Findings – CPeM is found well established within the broader subject of construction management. Eight principal themes are identified, namely plant maintenance; downtime and productivity; optimisation; robotics and automation; health and safety; operators and competence; machine control; and “miscellaneous”.

Research limitations/implications – It is proffered that based on informational/technological advancements coupled with growing environmental/financial pressures, future CPeM research will strive to facilitate even greater plant reliability and safer modes of working. It is suggested that “optimum production methods” and “minimal resource consumption” will become inherent theme goals.

Originality/value – This is the first time that CPeM research has been consolidated and reviewed for publication in this manner.

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