Infrastructure product tracking is starting to get a lot of attention for the efficiencies it provides to construction managers and project owners, but how do RFID tracking solutions make precast and pre-stressed concrete manufacturers more productive?
The NPCA was ahead of this curve when it published Inventory Control Comes of Age in the April 2011 edition of its Precast Inc. magazine. The article highlights the two biggest contributions to improved productivity from concrete product tracking, inventory control and paperless quality control:
"Inventory control can be a big headache for precast concrete producers. Project delays mean stock and custom precast products pile up in the yard. For every piece produced and stored, precasters must accurately capture and record: product name; casting, shipping and delivery dates; and installation placement code. Pre-pour and post-pour inspections also must be recorded to comply with industry standards and NPCA plant certification."
In stating the inventory tracking problem well, the article points to one of the greatest productivity benefits of RFID tracking: GPS locating capability. After embedding and scanning the RFID tag during manufacture, a database of information is created using the tag to specifically identify that piece. When the finished piece is placed in the yard to cure, the tag is scanned once again and the system establishes its geo-location. The manufacturer can then search for each piece scheduled for delivery and see excactly where it is in the yard. No more time wasted searching. No more deliveries in error.
Paperless quality control provides the second biggest boost to productivity from a concrete tracking solution. In the case of the Idencia system, the administrator creates a unique set of questions to be answered during the manufacturing process on a hand-held device. The answers to these questions create the quality control record for the piece being manufactured. (The system can even take pictures that are used as part of the QC record.) There is no paper involved and the manufacturer can then provide the DOT inspectors with limited access to the system in order to download the QC records for products delivered. Records are now more accurate and no time is spent doing paperwork!
A good tracking system should require no capital investment. Rather, it should be offered as a service that integrates seamlessly with your manufacturing process. If you would like to learn more about how we offer and price Idencia, please visit our home page. If you would like to learn how some of our customers have benefited from using the system, please download the Idencia Primer or click on the phone icon below to schedule a consultation.
As markets continue to strengthen, concrete tracking systems provide an opportunity to produce more revenues and be more profitable.