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WebLEM Update: How to Apply the Work Activity Method for Labor Calculations. By: Tim Moormeier and Ron King. WebLEM Committee Members. Kevin Daubendiek – Humphrey Company, Houston, TX Paul DeBella – DeBella Mechanical, Santa Clara, CA

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WebLEM Update:

How to Apply the Work Activity Method for Labor Calculations

By: Tim Moormeier and Ron King

weblem committee members
WebLEM Committee Members
  • Kevin Daubendiek – Humphrey Company, Houston, TX
  • Paul DeBella – DeBella Mechanical, Santa Clara, CA
  • Bob Durr – Durr Mechanical Construction, New York, NY
  • Andrew Hosler – Performance Mechanical Inc, Pittsburg, CA
  • Ron King – Trimble MEP, Toronto, ON
  • Patrick Reilly – John W. Danforth Company, Buffalo, NY
  • Tim Moormeier – U.S. Engineering Company, Kansas City, MO
  • Nick Nikpourfard – Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Rockville, MD
what were some of the driving forces which lead to the development of this new method of laboring
What were some of the driving forces which lead to the development of this new method of laboring?
  • Inability to separate labor accurately into shop vs field
  • Inability to account for labor associated with back to back fittings
  • Inability to break down all labor components of a joint
  • Better cost control of labor activities in both the shop or field
how do we do it today
How do we do it today?
  • We establish shop vs field labor hours by:
    • Percentage method
    • Diameter inch method
  • Account for back to back fittings by applying a correction factor
  • Currently no way to break down the components of the joint
  • Some have improvised by determining a “Cap” equals one joint
what does a labor unit presently include
What does a labor unit presently include?
  • Example: 6” CS, StdWt, Buttweld, LR 90° Elbow. The WebLEM states 6.29 hours, which includes:
    • Receiving, unloading, stockpiling, distributing
    • Joining method
      • Type of connection – Buttweld
      • Qty of joints – 2
      • Type of material – Carbon Steel
      • Wall thickness – Standard Weight
what does a labor unit presently include cont
What does a labor unit presently include (Cont)?
  • “Normal” pressure testing – 1.5 X OP
  • Installation or erection
  • Note: The joint and installation make up the bulk of the unit
what s the challenge
What’s the Challenge?
  • No way to account for back to back fittings other than applying a correction factor
  • No way to establish meaningful hours for the fabshop other than applying a percentage or doing a diameter inch calc
  • No way to establish labor hours for components of the joint:
    • Cut & Bevel
    • TIG Root
    • Joint (buttweld)
    • Hydotest
    • Preheat/Postweldheat treat
    • Etc.
what could we do differently
What could we do differently?

Break down the labor units into tasks such as:

  • Cut & Bevel
  • Tig Root
  • Purge
  • Preheat/Post Weld Heat Treat
  • Handling of Pipe, Fittings, Flange, Valve, etc
  • Bolt-Up
  • Hydrotest
what should we call it
What should we call it?
  • The present method of laboring has been named:

“Component Method”

  • The new method for establishing labor hours for each task has been named

“Work Activity Method”

so how does the work activity method work
So how does the Work Activity Method work?

For the same 6” CS StdWt BW 90° Elbow, we now have these activities:

  • 6” CS StdWt Flame Cut & Bevel (single operation)
    • 0.40 x 2 = 0.80 Hours
  • 6” CS StdWt Buttweld
    • 2.48 x 2 = 4.96 Hours
  • 6” CS StdWt LR 90° Elbow Installation
    • 0.41 x 1 = 0.41 Hours
  • Total using the Work Activity Method = 6.17 Hours (excluding hydrotest)
  • Total using the Component Method = 6.29 Hours
www weblem org changes
www.weblem.org Changes
  • Home page change to promote new Work Activity Method
    • Video and Handouts
  • Introduction
  • Proper Use of the LEM
  • Basis Assumption
  • Correction Factors
  • Addition of the Piping Systems Folder
    • Folder reorganization within the Piping Systems
  • HVAC Hook-Up
  • Instrumentation
  • Misc Labor Operations
www weblem org changes cont
www.weblem.org Changes (cont.)
  • Plumbing Equipment
  • Plumbing Hook-Up
  • Treatment Plant Equipment
www weblem org changes cont1
www.weblem.org Changes (cont.)
  • New folders containing the Work Activity Method items
    • Bolt Up
    • Cut & Bevel
    • Drilling Holes
    • Fillet Welds
    • Fitting Handling & Installation
    • Flange Handling & Installation
    • HVAC Specialties
    • Hydrotesting
    • Joints
    • Layout & Flame Cutting
    • Machining Inside of Pipe or Fitting (Counter Boring)
www weblem org changes cont2
www.weblem.org Changes (cont.)
  • New folders containing the Work Activity Method items (cont)
    • Nipples
    • Pipe Handling & Installation
    • Plumbing Specialties
    • Preheat
    • Purge
    • Stress Relieving
    • Valve Handling & Installation
now let s see some examples and what this means to me
Now Let’s See Some Examples!And What This Means To Me?
  • Let’s compare the following:
    • Component Method style of takeoff
    • Work Activity Method style of takeoff to precisely determine the labor required
so now it s possible
So now it’s possible!
  • No need to adjust for back to back fitting situtations
  • Precisely account for all labor activities in the shop vs field
  • Ability to calculate all activities related to the joint

Bottom line; The Work Activity Method allocates the labor hours associated with the activities very accurately

what if the wam method just isn t for me
What if the WAM method just isn’t for me?
  • “I don’t worry about shop vs field or counting the joints…….”
  • “I just want to take off using the same method as in the past; counting widgets……..”
  • No Problem!!
  • Continue performing takeoff using the Component Method just as you’ve done in the past
but if the wam method is for you
But if the WAM Method IS for you
  • You can start using this method immediately
  • Remember to examine your labor productivity factors to account for this new method!!! You can’t use the same factors as used with the component method!!!
  • Be sure to read the Introduction, Proper Use of the LEM and Basic Assumptions
  • Visit each of the folders on the WebLEM contained within the “Work Activity Method” to familiarize yourself and don’t forget to read any footnotes
  • Start producing very precise shop vs field estimates immediately
  • WebLEM committee asks for your feedback
weblem committee update
WebLEM Committee Update
  • Formulating more WAM labor units
    • Cast Iron No-Hub, Copper Sweat, PVC DWV and Pressure, etc.
  • Reviewing the plastics section
  • Reviewing saddles, stub-ins and nozzle welds
  • Formulating Aquatherm labor units
  • Review “Quick Vic” coupling labor units