Materials management is a vital part of success for any construction project. Challenges faced by construction firms globally include supply delays, shortages, waste, fluctuations in price, damages, storage space, etc. A sophisticated materials management system and the choice to search for a specific item can disclose the exact location of tools and equipment. Multiple RFID scanners assigned to various locations can also facilitate optimisation through effective inventory management. This facilitates placing orders for appropriate items and hiring required workers before the commencement of the project. This in turn helps to avoid delays or stalling that may happen as a result of ordering materials in the midst of projects.
Technological interventions like Radio-frequency identification (RFID) are having a transformative impact on construction projects. RFID is facilitating easy management of assets, reducing thefts and augmenting efficiency. RFID system comprises tags and readers. While the tags are affixed on the item that requires monitoring, the scanner conveys the tag to read data stored. RFID tags only become active when you place them within proximity to the scanner. Additionally, active tags have an internal power supply and the data encoded is also rewritable. Though priced higher, active tags have improved protection and lifespan over passive tags.
The technology can identify and track materials utilised in construction tools, like building, paving, remodelling, and roofing. This can also facilitate simplifying the estimation process as well effortlessly.
Overall, the implementation of RFID revolutionises the construction industry by ameliorating projects and works exponentially, passing the benefits to the clients. Furthermore, it helps to achieve good word of mouth, resulting in more business opportunities.
RFID: Adoption and Benefits
RFID provides insights on employees at the site, especially when a large number of people are present across different geographies. Additionally, it replaces the paper clocking in cards with a solution using biometrics for ensuring savings in administration and payrolls. Furthermore, its utility in safety compliance and productivity improvement is of remarkable standards.
Currently, applications like the E-ZPass transponder in a vehicle makes use of the technology. The roots of RFID technology dates back to the Second World War. Armies employed Friend or foe (IFF) systems using radar and transponders for identifying friendly aircraft employed RFID technology.
Composed of a reader, RFID is a two-way radio transmitter emitting a signal to the tags containing a microchip. The tags store and process information and use an antenna to transmit this information signal to the reader.
The construction business has seen the adoption of RFID technologies revolutionising the industry by easing several work-related processes in different aspects. Plummeting prices of RFID systems have also provided a thrust to their usage in the construction sector.
Do you have concerns about the company’s tools disappearing from the job site? RFID solutions are the answer to ensure effective monitoring of tools, employee usage and the duration of the tool usage. Subsequently, harnessing this mechanism facilitates tracking and maintaining everything from hand tools to large equipment effortlessly.
Let’s see an example of how this works. An employee must scan the badge to get access to a tool. This is done by scanning them with a reader. Furthermore, the employee needs to follow the same process while returning the tool on completion of the task.
You can also utilise RFID for tracking prefabricated sections of big buildings arriving on site before putting a new structure. Such a type of modularisation reduces project time and also labour costs. However, any mistake in the installation or delivery of an item can be expensive. Conventionally, you employ paper invoices or manual processes for monitoring most assets and their uses. But manual process leads to errors and increases the time taken for completion of the work. Furthermore, rapid technological advancements in the past decade lead to automation becoming a necessity for organisations in the modern world. The construction industry also needs to adapt very quickly to comply with the emerging standards to stay ahead of competitors.
A key component at any site is to ensure the safety of workers. RFID is revolutionising the construction industry as it not only optimises operations but also ensures the safety of millions of workers. Installation of readers near hazardous spots like elevator shafts or guardrails is an innovative technique to caution the workers. Project managers can use RFID readers to give alerts if staff are entering areas without proper safety training or authorisation. Furthermore, employing RFID technology facilitates sending alerts and equipment failure warnings to employees to prevent them from using faulty equipment.
Safety equipment manufacturers of fall protection also harness RFID, allowing safety personnel to ensure inspection and maintenance of such systems.
Managing Building Materials & Supplies
It is essential to keep a tab on building materials as well as supplies to the construction site. This helps to ensure both timely project management as well as cost controls. RFID technology helps monitor materials at the site as well as quantities for scheduling deliveries, storage or the suppliers. The biggest advantage of this system is replenishing stocks in a timely manner, thereby helping to prevent a stock-out condition. Furthermore, employing RFID technology also helps to reduce wastage of supplies by tracking and ensuring proper usage of materials and goods.
It is natural to sometimes not follow the clock and diligently punch in or out as necessitated by company systems. Monitoring or tracking employees and differentiating the errant ones to ensure proper payroll processing can be done using RFID tags. Scanning these tags through a reader at the entrance allows management to know the manpower numbers at the job site. Moreover, it also helps to track employee movement and the time spent on a task to ameliorate efficiencies.
Optimising deliveries and pickups
The untimely delivery or pickup of supplies can cause difficulties for your clients and earn you a bad reputation. RFID technology helps to track and maintain real-time details of your delivery drivers and trucks. This enables you to prepare a proper time schedule for your drivers, facilitating hassle-free deliveries and pickups.
The use of RFID tags in a plethora of applications after completion of construction significantly increased in recent years. This includes maintenance and inspection of RFID tags on HVAC systems. The pairing of RFID tags with sensors for controlling temperatures or lighting systems can reduce monthly costs, resulting in improved profits. Moreover, utilising these tags is not just limited to buildings under construction. Tags are present even in buried infrastructure like telecom cables and electrical cables for locating repairs and making timely replacements.
It is evident how RFID is rapidly revolutionising the construction industry. To fully utilise its benefits, you need to connect with the right company that delivers optimal solutions. Technowave, headquartered in UAE, with operations in the Middle East and India, is a trusted provider of innovative RFID technology. Established over two decades back, the company has offices across Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and India. Technowave provides specialised Auto-ID and data capture technology solutions using RFID technologies for addressing diverse business needs. Some of which are in-store automation, inventory tracking, fixed asset tracking, warehouse automation, yard management, etc. Technowave is also engaged in system study and gap analysis, tagging and labelling services, asset valuation and proof of concept amongst its different services.
Technowave, realising the importance of your investment aims to deliver technological solutions adhering to your needs and budget requirements. Our team of experienced employees with the required field knowledge will be able to assist you in procuring the required technological solutions for revolutionising your construction business and improving profits.