Tuesday 9 March 2010
Byrne Group?s management and control of more than 1,300 items of equipment, plant and tools has been recognised as one of the UK construction industries most innovative asset management techniques. The new approach has identified more than £300,000 in savings and contributed to improved safety.
Byrne Group beat-off stiff competition, which included global engineering giants ABB and Bosch, to win the prestigious Best Practice in Management category at the Plant Services magazine 2010 Best Practice Awards.
Work began in 2008 to improve the management and control of equipment, plant and tool assets on all of Byrne Group?s construction sites. Detailed research showed that by adopting RFID technology (radio frequency identification) utilizing Assettagz software with COINS Plant Manager system a holistic solution could improve performance.
Byrne Group?s Consolidation Centre in south London provides plant and materials, and warehouse and distribution facilities for the Group's construction sites. Historically monitoring and control was managed using manual systems, however, as part of Byrne Group?s continuous improvement programme the management of assets has now been automated with RFID.
All site staff are issued with RFID-enabled ID cards which are used in conjunction with handheld computers to track any equipment issued to the staff. The fully integrated system ensures that only assets that have been inspected and tested are issued and that the staff member using the asset has the appropriate training and authority to operate it.
Once an item is no longer required on-site, a site foreman generates a return request and the logistics department collects the item and returns it to the Consolidation Centre. On return assets are tagged as off-hire and contract management systems automatically updated.
Ultimate benefits include greater control, accuracy, and reduced costs. There has been an 87 per cent reduction in job cards processed at the Consolidation Centre with data now recorded at time of test. Loss and theft of equipment has been halved and savings of more than £300,000 have been identified.
Gareth Johns, General Manager at Byrne Group?s Consolidation Centre, said: "Until RFID technology was introduced we had to process more than 3,200 separate job cards every year. We've now got a robust end-to-end audit trail with a detailed inspection, maintenance and hire history. This can identify where assets are and demonstrate health and safety compliance within minutes."