Infrastructure construction project managers are increasingly asking for precast product tracking capabilities and steel tracking solutions to be included in bids from prospective suppliers. Most often this is required by the project owner for asset maintenance purposes. This is the case in Seattle for the tunnel under construction to replace the Alaskan Way. It was also required for the new subway tunnel being constructed by the Toronto Transit Commission. (We are happy to report that the Idencia system is being used in both of these projects!)
RFID-radio frequency identification- systems are gaining a lot of traction in every day life due to their simplicity. An RFID chip is "activated" when it is scanned by an RFID reader, which simply means that the chip emits a serial number that is revealed on the screen of the scanning system. If you have used an automated toll booth, such as EZPass, you have been using an RFID system. When you pass through the toll booth the scanner activates the RFID chip attached to your windshield, recognizes your EZPass account, and submits a charge for the toll.
In precast product tracking systems and steel tracking solutions this serial number is used to identify the asset with which it is associated. In the case of Idencia the product manufacturer can create a database of information about the product as it is being manufactured by embedding (or attaching) an RFID tag, scanning it and then recording information at each step of the manufacturing process.
This is a picture of a tag embedded in a precast structure using Idencia's patented concrete tracking solution.
Project owners and construction managers want manufacturers to include RFID product tracking capabilities because this produces great operating efficiencies for them. Take the project owner for example. If they note a repair issue in a structure, they can now search their database for all other structures manufactured in the same batch... or with the same process... to see exactly where they might find future repair issues before they occur. For the construction manager, product tracking provides electronic records for inspections, quality control review and logistics efficiencies. You can read about the direction this is taking in our recent post WIll Precast Manufacturers Be Ready for Smart Bridges?
RFID product tracking also serves precast and steel manufacturers well through improved productivity. Once the product is tagged, manufacturers can use the information recorded to produce paperless quality control records, monitor production with smartphones, locate inventory in the yard with GPS functionality and track shipping.
If you are interested in reading about the future of product tracking and smart systems in infrastructure, we hope you will download our Smart Infrastructure Market Report:
You can also learn more about the Idencia system by downloading the Idencia Primer ebook or schedule a consultation by clicking on the icons in the right hand column. If nothing else, sign up for notification of future blog posts and we will be delighted to keep you informed!