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Grunnarbeid Begins Full-scale Rollout of Tool-Tracking System

After testing the use of EPC Gen 2 passive RFID tags to track tools as they enter and leave containers and vehicles, the central Norwegian construction company is installing the solution across its entire operations.
By Claire Swedberg
Grunnarbeid had considered employing fixed reader portals at each of the warehouse's three doors, says Geir Myrold, the head of TraceTracker's Nordic region. Because some equipment is stored outside, however, the company decided that it was more realistic to provide Nordic ID UHF handheld readers, and to allow workers to read the tag of each item being removed or returned. "That solution was simple, and more practical for Grunnarbeid," he states.

"We hope this will allow us to reduce the use of rental equipment," Tellefsen says, since it will be unnecessary for the company to rent additional tools if it can locate the appropriate equipment that is onsite but previously unaccounted for.

During the pilot—initiated in the spring of this year, and slated to last for six months—a prototype of the device was installed on each of five containers and five vehicles (see Grunnarbeid Manages Tools With RFID). According to Grunnarbeid, the pilot proved that the technology could provide real-time tool-location data, which could then be utilized to reduce the amount of time workers spend searching for or moving tools from one construction site to another.

Once the full RFID system is completely deployed, Grunnarbeid will also be able to manage its maintenance and inspection schedules, by tracking which items are due for inspection on each construction site. Inspectors could use handheld readers to identify every item being inspected, and input details indicating which procedures were completed at that time. In addition, the software will provide historic records regarding how frequently a particular piece of equipment was used, so that if it were to fail, the company could determine which brands and types are more robust than others.

John P. Alstad, Grunnarbeid's general manager, is scheduled to speak about his company’s RFID deployment at RFID Journal LIVE! Europe, being held on Oct. 18-19, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

USER COMMENTS

HRAFN AS HRAFN 2011-10-01 01:59:40 PM
Any similar usages of RFID in construction anywhere? Please share if YOU know of any similar usages of RFID technology in the construction industry. Would love to have a discussion on RFID in Construction, what is done, where and with what results. -Geir

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