Construction & Real Estate

Abu Dhabi NFT goes digital for tower crane fleet management

Abu Dhabi-based tower cranes, passengers and materials hoists specialist NFT said it has 
deployed the radio frequency identification device (RFID) solution to track its large fleet of tower cranes.
NFT had in December concluded a deal with a UK-based company and its UAE local representative for RFID solution deployment, said a statement from the company. 
Under this system, all tower cranes, construction hoists and their respective parts and accessories are tagged and then linked to an asset tracking and management software. 
This in turn is then integrated with NFT’s software solution for Inventory Management and Asset Evaluation, it stated.   
If the Covid-19 pandemic has done anything, it’s accelerated the need for businesses to embrace digital transformation, said a senior official. 
"Having the world’s leading fleet of tower cranes spread across 300,000 sq m calls for an automated way of tracking our asset," remarked Plant Manager Amer Sneij. 
"Relying on a manual/offline solution was fine 20 something years ago when we had just a few hundred cranes spread across three medium-sized yards, but today with 2,500 tower cranes, 500 hoists, 10,000 plus accessory types and a warehouse filled with spare parts, the old way has become a challenge," stated Sneij.
With an average turnover of one crane delivered per day and catering to multiple destinations worldwide, technology has become a necessity for NFT, he added. 
Deputy General Manager Nagham Al Zahlawi pointed out that the objective was to minimise human error and wastage while optimising inventory managing, strategic planning and real time decision making. 
According to her, the IoT, RFID, Asset Tracking have become standard in the construction, logistics and oil and gas industries. 
"We believe that NFT’s strategy for modernisation and compliance with international standards of trading, allows it to be in the perfect position to adopt this technology and benefit from its operational efficiencies and cost saving," observed Al Zahlawi.
NFT said a customised cloud-based system had been developed from scratch to match its process of fleet tracking, storing, loading, inspecting, assembling, mobilizing and re-stocking. 
"For example, and to avoid loading tower crane parts on trucks or containers without any missing piece, an automated gate barrier at the workshop only opens when the reader scans all parts on board and signals that it’s good to go," explained Sneij.
"This is an important feature to add because the worse thing that could happen on site during installation was for us to deliver a crane part with a piece missing, like a pin. It can holt the entire installation, delaying the project for the client," he added.
Explaining the process, Sneij said: "Once the workflow was developed, two tagging teams were assigned to complete the job on the ground. The teams comprised a logistics manager, two logistics supervisors, two welders and four logistics helpers."
"The teams have successfully tagged 200 tower cranes from July to September and aim to complete the Phase One by Q1 2021. The next phase will be to track all construction hoists," he added.-TradeArabia News Service