The average person would most likely associate log cabin construction with pretty traditional technologies. Like, say, hand saws. Or, in really cutting edge circumstances, a carpenter’s square to get the angles right.
But Finland-based Honkarakenne, maker of log houses uses more sophisticated technology than the one Abraham Lincoln was born in, has adopted an RFID tracking system to enable fast and accurate construction of their custom-built, woodpecker-attracting homes.
Using a system created by UPM Raflatac, Honkarakenne labels individual logs with RFID tags during production. The precise labeling enables several unique buildings to be manufactured simultaneously without mixing up the logs. The tags are checked multiple times during production, providing automated machinery with instructions for processing the logs. Before shipments, the tags are checked to make sure all work has been performed, and that a complete inventory of a building’s elements are shipped to the builder. At the construction site, the tags indicate the proper location for each log.
“Unlike the bar code technology we used before, the RFID tags do not require a direct line of sight with the reader and they function faultlessly even in demanding industrial environments. We have achieved excellent read rates, so it is no longer necessary to identify logs manually. This, in turn, has accelerated our processes,” says Olavi Piispanen, Maintenance Manager at Honkarakenne.
Honkarakenne began experimenting with the possibilities of an RFID tracking solution in a pilot program in 2007. The experiment had positive results, and now the company uses up to 2,000 RFID tags a day in its production.