”Rugged,” as in Rugged RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags, takes on a new meaning when interjected into the industrial market. Faced with environmental, engineering and accessibility challenges, companies involved in heavy industry are looking for efficient solutions to track and report inventories for inspectors, auditors and regulating agencies.
Holland 1916 has introduced a rugged RFID Nameplate Tag for automating the inspection and audit process for mining, construction, and oil rigs. The company partnered with Tri-State Wire Rope Supply Inc., to create an RFID inspection and audit solution for their clients.
Holland 1916’s stainless steel embedded RFID Nameplate Tags are attached to the location stations of the safety equipment. Inspectors and auditors carry handheld RFID readers to the safety equipment locations and upload an automated record of time, location, personnel, and equipment status to the inspection software. Tri-State serves as the inspection service, sending staff members to job sites to examine equipment in use, and to report that equipment's condition to the customer and sends reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Saipem, an Italian-based oil and gas contractor, transports many types of large industrial equipment around the world. Manually tracking these assets is cumbersome, inefficient and costly. Because an asset tracking solution was necessary to accurately work in the presence of steel and water and withstand temperatures of –50C to +50C, the company turned to Omni-ID Max passive UHF RFID tags.
Omni-ID’s Rugged RFID tags work on metal and plastic, allowing the company to track smaller components in addition to large industrial equipment. Operators can program and attach new tags on the spot. Tagging large pipe stacks, another key component of drilling projects, allows Saipem to monitor their use during every step of production and installation.
Mining is a perfect example of an industry with a strong need for real-time location technology that had not been realized until the advent of Wi-Fi based active RFID systems. Rugged RFID tags offer multiple benefits in this industry, including employee safety, asset management, traffic control for avoiding collisions and security.
CVRD/Inco, a mining firm based in Toronto, is an example of a mining operation using the mine's existing wireless infrastructure, along with RFID software for the tracking of items bearing Wi-Fi based Rugged RFID tags. The company turned to Ekahau for a solution. Vehicles and equipment are constantly moving through large underground areas that do not necessarily follow a pre-defined track. The Rugged RFID tags allow Inco to immediately and accurately determine the assets’ locations.
As a cost-saving measure, the system makes use of several “access points” installed at strategic locations in the mine. All workers are equipped with active RFID tags, which will be recognized and registered when they are within approximately 100 metres, which allows for guaranteed registrations at high-speeds. Even when 30 people are driving past in a bus, all will be registered automatically.
About Holland 1916
Holland 1916 is a product identification manufacturer for the industrial market. Holland 1916’s RFID division specializes in the custom design and production of rugged RFID transponder carrier solutions for extreme environments found in industrial OEM and service markets.
Omni-ID is an industry leader in passive UHF RFID tags. Using technology developed by researchers in the defense industry, Omni-ID offers a patented line of RFID tags that work in the presence of metal and water, materials that typically interfere with RFID operation.
Ekahau Inc. is a U.S.-based corporation, with headquarters in Reston, VA, and other offices in Saratoga, CA; Helsinki, Finland; Tokyo; and Hong Kong. For more information about Ekahau, please visit www.ekahau.com.