Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has awarded Skanska funding towards a £1million project to research real-time ‘tag and track’ methods. It has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of construction programmes.
The two-year research programme will look at methods of tagging different aspects of a construction project throughout its life, capturing data from multiple supply-chain partners in a standard format that is consistent for all.
Managing Director, Terry Elphick, said: “We are delighted to be involved in developing an understanding of how this technology will serve us better in the future.
“As a business we are committed to engaging with great innovative ideas, testing and trialing them to provide better information and increased reliability and efficiency in our project delivery.”
The project is being co-funded by a grant from Innovate UK, an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, for over £500,000. Skanska will receive just over £200,000 of this grant towards its project costs of approximately £400,000.
Ian Brixey, Skanska’s project lead said: “We’re extremely pleased to receive this funding. The outcome of the project has the potential to have a big impact on the entire construction and maintenance processes used by the industry.
“By using the latest digital techniques, we intend to get to a stage where the ‘marking’ of project components in the form of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags/barcodes facilitates real-time monitoring of the manufacturing process, delivery to site, storage and installation.
“Once in place, the tagged components will remain for the life-cycle of the project, providing accurate information to those that need it. This level of information allows progress on projects to be monitored against plans and timescales.
“The process will all be automated, so the tags will be linked with a programme schedule to ensure what’s needed is available and delivered when required, with any delays being identified by the system in advance.”
Skanska will work alongside its partners BRE, Multiple Access Communications Limited (MAC Ltd) and Leaderflush Shapland to develop the research.
The work will later be piloted with supply chain partners on real projects and its implementation will accelerate the uptake of building information modelling (BIM), contributing to an estimated 20% efficiency improvement..