Automatically tracking engineered components through shipping and receiving processes with passive identification technologies

David Grau, Lei Zeng, Yang Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Knowing the production and delivery status of engineered components is critically important to plan for and execute construction operations. However, all too often contractor organizations are uncertain of what and how many components they are to receive at a given date. Such uncertainty negatively impacts construction efficiency. In an effort to increase the visibility of engineered components at the interface between supply chain and construction, this study analyzes the feasible utilization of passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies to automatically track the flow of structural steel components during shipping and receiving processes. To this end, empirical tests with metal mount, battery assisted passive (BAP), and passive-only tags were performed under distinct conditions. The results demonstrate that, under the adequate conditions, engineered components can be automatically tracked with passive-RFID technologies. In addition, recommendations for the investigation and utilization of passive devices to support construction processes were detailed in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012



  • Automation
  • Construction materials
  • Delivery
  • Fabrication
  • Identification
  • RFID
  • Receipt
  • Shipping
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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