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Grunnarbeid Manages Tools With RFID

The Norwegian construction contractor is using EPC Gen 2 tags and readers, as well as GPS and cellular technology, to track the location and status of tools on work sites.
By Claire Swedberg
As equipment is being transported from one site to another, the car equipped with the TraceTracker Asset system transmits its GPS coordinates at regular intervals. Since these locations does not fall within the boundaries of a project, both the car and the equipment is tagged with a state called "in transit". When the vehicle enters the premises of the destination project, the equipment's association with the new project is automatically established.

Without such a system, finding a tool required many phone calls to various sites, or even driving from one site to another, seeking the right tool. In some cases, a tool might have been rented when other versions of the same tool remain idle at a different site.

Grunnarbeid has equipped five cars with the same technology. The cars are used to transport tools to construction sites, for example supplemental tools that are not available in the container. As they drive to a site, the tagged items in the vehicle are read by the CAEN RFID reader and the their ID numbers and location is transmitted via cellular connection to the TraceTracker software, which shows their status as idle. If an item is removed from the car, as with the container version of the system, after several minutes the system updates the item's status to "in use" with the location at which the item was removed from the vehicle.

If the system proves to work as planned, Alstad says, he hopes to equip a total of 40 containers and 120 cars with the technology. The solution was developed specifically for Grunnarbeid, says Vevle, but is commercially available to other companies including not just construction firms but also any other company with multiple project sites.

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