RFID Asset tracking system in the asset management of construction and infrastructure industries is an integral part of its success story. Organizations in the construction and infrastructure industry manage their asset tagging using barcode labels. But it takes more time to read and scan the assets for inventory which causes problems in the industry. Moreover barcode scanners are not able to read barcode labels due wear and tear of the barcode printed labels. UHF RFID labels replace barcode labels as it makes asset tagging, faster as each asset has a unique RFID tag id which can be read from the distance. RFID made asset tagging easier and faster hence asset tracking improved a lot.
Management of materials is very necessary for the smoothly running any construction project. The most common problems faced by the construction companies are supply delays, material shortages, wastage, and lack of storage space. Without proper planning and order, there can be many errors in the projects. RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) can help construction companies in overcoming the issues and frustrations that occur when managing and tracking the materials.
Various RFID components used in managing construction materials:
The traditional methods like paper-based tracking used for tracking materials have lots of problems. The RFID technology helps in overcoming these problems that traditional methods have. There are multiple components in an RFID based tracking system.
A basic RFID based tracking system contains tags and readers. The tags are attached to the physical materials to be tracked, and the reader communicates the data from the tags. The tags become active only in the presence of the readers. However, active tags are also available, which are active all the time, because they have a built-in power supply. The active is little costly but they also have better readability than the passive tags as they are active all the times.
Using radio frequency, the RFID reader communicates data to and from the RFID tags. The data is then shared with a software system, where it is processed and necessary business decisions can be taken. The RFID tags are placed on the stack of the metal roof panels. The RFID tracking system gives the accurate counts of the panels in the stack. The system is a great way to check the inventory and monitor quantities.
We can also track the location of the panels in a warehouse storage space. In case of multiple storage sites, accessing the materials becomes easy as typing in the information about the item reveal the exact location of the item because it was scanned and keyed in. A different approach will be using different readers attached to different locations.
Systematic analysis of the inventory would also reveal the requirement of the inventory before the construction project starts. The required items can be pre-ordered so the project can start on time, and not be interrupted by having to order the materials in the middle of the project.
Benefits of the RFID tracking system for the construction companies:
RFID based materials tracking system provides many advantages over the traditional methods like paper-based methods. Some of the advantages are:
- Capturing data in real-time
- Improving the productivity of the processes
- Reduction in the paper-work
- A decrease in material related issues like delay and over-ordering that increases the cost of the project
- Improved safety practices
- Better project timing estimate
We can say that using RFID technology to track materials can improve the planning of the projects. When the costumers have a good experience, the company builds good credibility in the long run. Smooth process flow results in good customer experience which in turn means more business.
Areas of construction where RFID technology can help:
Generally, any area of construction industry benefits from RFID. It can reduce the incidences of the lost and duplicate items. The roofing industry, internal and external remodeling, new home building, precast concrete installers, steel industry, garage building companies can all make use of the RFID in all areas of the materials and tool management systems.
RFID tracking system provides better projects in construction
With the help of RFID, one can improve the predictability of the project estimates. The RFID system can definitely help in the kind of project where the system has been used in one project and then a project of similar scope and size is acquired later. The data acquired from the previous project can be used to determine the material requirement of the new project. This analytics can save a considerable amount of time and keep the costs down for construction companies.
RFID can be used to separate different types of materials like bulk materials, engineering materials, and prefabricated materials according to the requirements.
Implementing RFID solution can reduce the cost savings
Overall, RFID can be used in how materials are tracked and managed in the construction industry. As more people know about the benefits associated with implementing RFID technology to track the materials, its adoption will increase considerably. When companies become cost-effective, they can provide better services to customers effectively.