CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL TRACKING INVENTORY CONTROL SYSTEM USING SMART BLUETOOTH/NFC TRACKING DEVICES
MOIITAT, AMIR GHASEM
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Inventory control on a construction site is typically performed by an individual who regularly visits the storage area, directs personnel to forward components to the construction area, and reports to the site office about the quantities remaining in the storage area. Automating this process is expected to reduce mistakes and save significant time. In this study, the potential use of Bluetooth technology is investigated in construction inventory control as a tracking device. Commercial Bluetooth tracking devices were examined to understand the different devices’ capabilities and to extract usable attributes and characteristics about each brand. After an extensive examination of several brands, one of the commercial Bluetooth tracking devices with the most suitable capabilities was chosen for this study. The Android smartphone was selected to act as a scanner in the storage area and a basic workflow was designed around the Android smartphone and the Bluetooth tracking device. In addition, to improve the performance of the Bluetooth tracking device, it was paired with Near Field Communication (NFC) tags that expedited the material tracking process. The “hybrid” tracking device is introduced as the key element of the inventory control system and an Android smartphone is used as an in-house scanner that captures the tracking device’s information and sends it to a server for analysis. An automated inventory control system that is designed to use the proposed tracking device can contribute greatly to construction site productivity.