Why is the Construction Industry Adopting RFID?

  Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is increasingly being used for diverse applications such as retailing, health, aviation and security because of its ability to identify and track valuable assets and objects even in rugged and harshest of environments. Construction industry is also beginning to realize the benefits of RFID technology in increasing efficiency, managing assets and meeting operational challenges. A construction site is a perfect example of where RFID technology can be used in countless applications. Throughout the last several years, several RFID solutions have been developed for use in the construction industry. Now- a-days there are a variety of ways in which construction companies are taking advantage of RFID. The environment and working conditions are very different for each and every construction site. There are myriads of construction parts and equipment on-site, in laydown yards and in on-site warehouses; there are laborers, other personnel coming in and going out; and there are fleets of vehicles – all these things and personnel are permanently changing their position in the workplace. Moreover, theft, misplacement, and unauthorized use of equipment is also a big challenge at construction sites. This is where RFID can play a pivotal role – from tracking assets, equipment, personnel to ensuring safety of the work place. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which RFID technology can be used at the construction site.

RFID for Tracking Tools

Thousands of tools and equipment are used at large construction sites. If not accounted for properly, these tools can often get lost. RFID systems can be extremely beneficial in locating and tracking valuable tools – from hand tools to large machinery used at a site; it can keep tools from disappearing from the work site. Additionally, RFID enables a construction company to know on a daily basis where the tools are, how frequently they are being used, in what application they are being deployed, which tools have been checked out, and which employee checked them out. Thus, implementing RFID offers significant savings to companies, as it reduces the expense of having to buy or rent new tools as well as eliminates the downtime of waiting for new tools to arrive.

RFID for Management of Materials

Many factors can affect the duration of a construction project and cause delay, however poor materials management can have a major impact on site activities. Tracking of building materials and supplies is critical to keep a project on schedule and within budget. Shortages of materials, delays in supply of materials, damage and wastage of materials, and lack of storage space, all can compromise the quality and speed of work. At construction sites it is crucial that materials are delivered on time, stock levels are well managed, the construction schedule is not compromised, and that wastage is minimized. With RFID you can keep track of what is on-site, what is off-site, what needs to be ordered and what quantity is required. RFID can also help in reducing the practice of keeping excess inventory.

RFID for Tracking Personnel

Using RFID technology is a great way to locate and track the workforce present on a construction site. RFID can help construction site managers and supervisors to keep tab on the identity and the coming and goings of workers. Also, supervisors can track on which part of the site the employees are and also can make sure that employees work only in areas they are authorized to be in. An RFID-enabled system can also eliminate the need for timeclock-based attendance. Employees with RFID tags can be directly scanned by the RFID Readers while entering the construction site and thus record their attendance. There would be no need for employees to log time.

RFID for Worker safety

Worker safety is always the most important consideration at any construction site. As we know a construction site is a harsh and rugged workplace, especially industrial and explosive environments (such as oil and gas facilities), so safety of workers and protecting them from potentially harmful situations is an important concern. RFID can play a critical role on a jobsite as it can help managers to know where each worker is at any given moment, and alert them if workers enter unauthorized areas or do not have the proper safety training to be in that specific area. Furthermore, in emergency situations such fire or natural disasters, RFID can help rescuers to reach trapped workers easily. Applications of the RFID technology in the construction industry are limitless. RFID can play a pivotal role in improving accuracy and productivity in all phases of the construction process. Interested? See our RFID systems such as Access Control and Personnel Tracking to learn what we can do for you.]]>


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