RFID Solution: IoT Tracks Huge Concrete Blocks for Surge Control

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RFID Solution: IoT Tracks Huge Concrete Blocks for Surge Control

Building consortium Levvel (BAM, Van Oord and Rebel) has been commissioned by the Executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) to reinforce the Afsluitdijk. Levvel is tracking the blocks from curing to installation via an Aucxis RFID solution that includes embedded tags, as well as readers installed on cranes. The dike will be able to withstand surge overflows. This means that it is not serious when water surges across the dike during a heavy storm.

The existing dyke no longer meets the current requirements for flood protection. These ‘Levvel blocks’ weigh 6,500 kg each and have a wave retardant effect. Because of their symmetry and the regular way they are positioned, the blocks have a tranquil appearance that reinforces the austere and autonomous character of the dyke. Every block will be GPS chipped, making them easy to inspect and maintain.
The sluices at Den Oever and Kornwerderzand will be reinforced and flood locks will be built in front of the navigation locks on the Wadden Sea side. These storm surge barriers can be closed in extreme weather conditions to protect the navigation locks from the force of the water.
The renovation of the Afsluitdijk (“Enclosure Dam” in English) includes a new layer of blocks along 20 miles of the dike’s length, while management of the operations and long-term maintenance of those blocks is being accomplished by uniquely identifying each one digitally, from the point of manufacture until the blocks’ installation. The solution consists of Aucxis’s ATLAS Track & Trace technology to monitor each block constructed for the dike, as well as RFID readers supplied by Impinj, which are deployed at the manufacturing location, in the concrete block-drying area and on cranes that lower the blocks into place at the dam site. Idencia provided the UHF RFID tags embedded in the blocks, as well as data-tracking software.
Aucxis’s HERTZ middleware stores the data in the cloud. Levvel can access this information to obtain status updates, and in the future it could be used to locate the positions of blocks that might require repair or replacement. By tracking the blocks, Levvel can manage production and ensure required volumes are being met, while also monitoring when the blocks are cured and ready for installation, when they leave the site, and when and where they are installed in the dike, according to Lauran D’hanis, an Aucxis account manager and business consultant.
The Afsluitdijk, an iconic 32-kilometer-long dam and causeway built in 1932, protects parts of the Netherlands from flooding by the Wadden Sea and Ijsselmeer Bay. After nearly nine decades of use, the dike requires renovation, including reinforcement of its structures as water rises. The work is intended to address climate change-based challenges related not only to rising sea levels, but also to extreme weather. In addition, it is intended to manage excess water flowing into the Ijsselmeer from inland waterways.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat)

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