When constructing a subway tunnel in Finland, the construction giant Skanska wanted to monitor the personnel moving in and out from construction sites better. They piloted an RFID solution with Nordic ID readers and FideraID system. After the rollout, they are able to confirm the identity of the workers entering the construction site in a few seconds.
Skanska AB is one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups. They currently employ 48.500 employees in Europe and in the US. In Finland, their operations cover construction services, residential and commercial project development, including constructing the subway network in Helsinki area.
Fidera brings in a system and Nordic ID the devices
Fidera, a Finnish integrator partner, provided Skanska with a solution called FideraID. It is an access control system especially designed for construction sites. The RFID devices for the pilot were supplied by Nordic ID, and the pilot construction site was Lauttasaari subway station in Helsinki. A surveillance camera and two Nordic ID Sampo fixed readers were installed at both ends of the service tunnel which the personnel uses for entering and exiting the construction site. These readers were also installed at the entrance gates of buildings. Both RFID readers identify the person based on the RFID tag placed on the worker’s helmet. Depending on the reading order of the RFID readers it can be observed whether the staff member enters or exits the site. This automated system replaces the traditional timecard system and prevents errors in personnel checking in and out.
In addition to the fixed readers, a Skanska foreman carries Nordic ID Medea mobile computer for confirming the entered personnel’s identification. The mobile computer allows for example downloading a photo of a staff member and a tax deduction card information into the large touchscreen. Also checking if the occupational safety card and access permissions are valid is possible with Nordic ID Medea. With this application, the foreman does not need to visit the office and check the information manually from different folders. Therefore, the system decreases labor hours. In addition, the data gathered from the surveillance cameras is connected to the system, and one of the camera's functions is to calculate the personnel entering and exiting the construction site. The mobile computer gives an alert if the access data from the surveillance cameras does not match with the data collected from the RFID readers.
“We chose Nordic ID devices for this pilot as they are of excellent quality. They are both designed and manufactured in Finland. The largest asset of the devices is the personnel behind it – when we came up with challenges or had any questions, we called them and they were always there for us. We have been using Nordic ID devices for a few years now with no single problems faced with the readers. From a customer point of view, our system at Skanska with Nordic ID readers is working well as it saves time and confirms that the right personnel is at the site. It is exactly what the customer ordered,” explains Kimmo Ripatti, the chairman of the board at Fidera.
Anssi Siitonen, Production Engineer at Skanska, states that the system is ideal for construction sites. “The RFID system provided by Fidera and Nordic ID is easy to use, especially by the workers. With this system, we are able to monitor all the people entering and exiting the construction site. Our sites normally have 100 – 200 people visiting on a daily basis, and it is crucial to be aware of who are on the site - especially in case an accident occurs. It is unfortunate but sometimes we face those, and in those cases we need to give the emergency personnel an accurate list of the people inside. With this system, we are able to do it fast and accurately. For the site workers, the system is easy and care-free to use. Furthermore, the RFID readers connected to the surveillance camera give extra certainty for the access control.”
Hannu Heino, R&D Director at Nordic ID, is happy with the cooperation between the parties involved in the Skanska case. “From the RFID reader manufacturer's side, this has been an ideal opportunity for product development. The construction industry has a lot of potential in RFID business, and this solution has raised much interest as it works so well. This case, cooperating with Fidera, has opened a door into the construction industry. From the start, Fidera has taken care of the device testing by themselves, with our support backing up. This we have usually done in-house. If they found missing features in our systems they informed our R&D department who was then able to develop the software system further. The Skanska construction site was used as a pilot environment for the system, and the results are very convincing. ”