RFID for Industry


In the trillion-dollar industry, success hinges on timely and error-freedelivery of product through a complex, high value supply chain. In this extraordinarily capital intensive business, a failure of even the shortest duration anywhere along the supply chain can instantly ripple into a multi-million dollar loss.

In this high-stakes environment, proper infrastructure maintenance as well as inventory and asset management are not just regulatory issues, they’remission critical for business health – and employee safety. Inspections, routine maintenance, and repairs must be performed on time on oil rigs, pipelines and downstream facilities to not only prevent the disastrous ramifications of afailure — but also to maximize the efficiency and lifespan of key infrastructure investments, where a single component failure can result in million dollar losses.

However, tracking assets, workers, asset maintenance histories and even the production and distribution of product are a challenge in far flung operations.The paper-based processes that are typically utilized are labor-intensive, costly, present significant opportunity for error and often result in the very slow movement of information to key decision makers. Lack of information visibility can threaten the health of the business, rapidly translating into inventory shortages that can result in unplanned downtime in the field, processin efficiencies that can result in reduced staff utilization and non-compliance with record keeping requirements that can translate into heavy fines or even theinjury of employees.

While bar code technology has helped automate these processes in other industries, bar code labels present serious limitations in the oil and gas industry, where harsh operational and environmental conditions are the norm. And line ofsight requirements force workers to manually scan each and every item —rendering item-level visibility of every asset, part, and tool impractical due tothe time requirements and associated labor costs.

Where bar code data capture technology falls short in this industry, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) succeeds. The next evolution in automated data capture technology, RFID’s automated bulk data capture and non-line of sight technology makes cost-effective real-time visibility of assets, asset location, employees and more a reality – with very little human effort. Time spent filling out paperwork, performing computer data entry, or manually scanning labels on boxes and pallets is significantly reduced or eliminated. Accuracy is dramatically improved, as is the utilization of a highly trained workforce. Any time lag associated with a paper trail and manual data entry times are eliminated. And RFID’s unique read-write capability streamlines record keeping and data collection — and provides access to the data recorded on the RFID tags at the point of business activity.

Friday the 23rd. PT Lean Design Electronics International
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