Building a vast infrastructure is always a tedious job. Examining and maintaining these infrastructures is another challenge for engineers. Even though technology has evolved to build best-in-class materials and adhesives, there is still room for improvement to improve the supply, develop and supervise the infrastructure. It is another miraculous use case where RFID can create a significant value for the users. Interestingly, this is a concept already in practice and, as such, establishes the possibilities for a brighter future.
Dutch Dam, Afsluitdijk Reinvented With RFID
Levvel, a construction consortium, has worked on rebuilding the Afsluitdijk dam in the Netherlands. Levvel has equipped all the concrete blocks with RFID solutions in order to monitor the blocks right from the supply chain to their installation and through their deployment. These concrete blocks are equipped with UHF RFID tags that offer a longer range, enough to communicate for such an infrastructure. Here, Levvel used several cranes at multiple points. On top of RFID tags in the blocks, the system also leverages GPS, IoT, and an end-user application creating one of a kind solution. It would be under observation to see if such a unique deployment can create significant value. If it does, it will be a groundbreaking addition to current construction techniques.
How Can RFID Be Useful For An Infrastructure Like A Dam?
RFID creates value to the infrastructure in several ways of implementations, auditing, and architectural health assessment. From the manufacture till the block’s installment, these blocks carry a unique identity with RFID. Therefore, every block on the dam can be traced through the cycle. Moreover, these blocks can share information on the block’s compound formation and come in handy for future auditing applications.
Furthermore, these solutions create even more value with the help of cranes that comprises RFID readers. Along with the reader, the crane also has a GPS positioning module. Combined, such a hybrid solution can allow tracing every block with its precise location of installment. Even further, the system can notify if any blocks require changes which expedites the auditing process. Moreover, it eliminates handbook counting for blocks, allowing easy management of the infrastructure. Each of the 75,000 blocks set up on the dam will be traced at the user’s fingertip with minimal effort and investment.
Furthermore, the system is complemented with the help of a middleware which can further improve the user accessibility allowing authorities to watch over complete infrastructure very quickly. Such a user interface allows monitoring of each & every block down to their exact end location. Such a combined outlook on any infrastructure is the first of its kind, but it definitely proposes significant value to the structure.
Such a system with technology deployment is remarkable considering the environmental conditions and the robustness needed in the infrastructure. Launched in 2018, this program is expected to be finished by 2022, as per Levvel. A passive UHF RFID card installed in each block requires handling pressure, stress, moisture, and several other environmental challenges. Therefore, it once again begs the attention to ease, effectiveness, and confidence that RFID as technology is offering currently.