RFID Solutions in the Oil & Gas Industry

What RFID can help in Oil and gas business?

Today, oil and gas companies are deploying new technologies that promise greater efficiencies, and management is putting pressure on engineering and maintenance to reduce budget, labor, and operating costs while increasing production levels.

There is also a greater exposure to risks in health, safety, and the environment as operators face new challenges in unconventional plays and new geographies.

It is more important than ever to establish sound policies and practices to adhere to compliance requirements and manage risk and security violations efficiently and cost effectively policies and practices that are all critical to good asset management.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry by improving operations and increasing efficiency. Some ways RFID can help include:

Asset Tracking: RFID tags can be attached to equipment, tools, and other assets, making it possible to track their movements and locations in real-time. This can help reduce the loss or theft of valuable equipment and minimize downtime.

Supply Chain Management: RFID can be used to track the movement of goods, from the supplier to the warehouse and finally to the oil rig, making it easier to monitor the flow of materials, manage inventory levels and ensure that the right supplies are available when needed.

Safety and Compliance: RFID can help oil and gas companies to monitor and enforce safety regulations and ensure compliance with industry standards. This includes tracking the maintenance and inspection history of equipment, as well as monitoring the training and certification of employees.

Workforce Management: RFID can be used to manage the movements of personnel, making it easier to track their activities, manage schedules, and monitor safety compliance.

Environmental Monitoring: RFID can be used to monitor the environment and help prevent oil spills and other environmental incidents. For example, sensors can be placed on pipelines and tanks to detect leaks, and RFID tags can be used to track the location and movement of hazardous materials.

Overall, RFID technology offers numerous benefits to the oil and gas industry, including improved visibility, enhanced safety, and increased efficiency.

The RFID Technology in Oil and Gas

Technology has advanced to the point where we can now embed RFID tags in steel tools and assets and use the tag information as a unique ID that survives the use of the tool. This provides for the full pedigree of a tool to be kept and managed electronically down to the item level, providing info such as born-on dates, certification dates, days in use, etc.

Total lifecycle management of a part is possible, down to the unique tool by part number. Barcodes have provided the means to accomplish some of this. However, the data acquisition of a bar code has been repeatedly proven to be 10x slower than RFID.

To keep the oil flowing to meet customer demand in the global marketplace, rigs, pipelines, and other equipment must run at peak efficiency. In this environment, inventory accuracy is particularly critical. Overnight courier services cannot easily reach offshore or remote rigs to replace a shortage of parts needed for an emergency repair. 

Additionally, a barcode does not last too long in the lifecycle of a tool and becomes very difficult to scan after even just the first use. Our RFID software capabilities and mobile and cloud enterprise geospatial systems allow the oil and gas industry to transform its current processes from traditional paper-based systems to more efficient electronic systems.

The SmartX HUB system provides significant business value in cost reduction, compliance, material management, information exchange standards, and a reduction in both risk and liability associated with pipeline failures.

The RFID solution

Where barcode 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 affort. Time spent filling out paperwork, performing computer data entry, or manually scanning labels on boxes and pallets are 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 is eliminated.

And RFID’s unique read-write capability streamlines recordkeeping and data collection — and provides access to the data recorded on the RFID tags at the
point of business activity.

From exploration and production to drilling and refining, RFID can help companies streamline business  processes to better protect the health of
the business by:
-> Increasing employee efficiency
-> Increasing the automation of product movement and supply
-> Ensuring optimal use of all assets
-> Reducing inventory carrying costs
-> Protecting against unplanned downtime
-> Ensuring cost-effective regulatory compliance
-> Improving employee safety


How could pipeline asset management practices benefit from RFID, location-based data services, and cloud computing?

In the location-based, RFID, and cloud data services scenario, a materials manager can collect data from a handheld device (scan or photograph documents supplied by the manufacturer) in the field and link the documents to the manufacturer's RFID tag on the component (e.g. pipe, valve, or fitting). This data is then available for quick retrieval. In the case of a manufacturer recall of a pipeline component, field crews could be dispatched to the exact location of the faulty material.

By providing critical information necessary to manage equipment in real-time, downtime can be minimized. As maintenance is performed on the equipment, field and maintenance crews can update RFID tags with pedigree, task, and maintenance information
and update the RFID record on the cloud.

The inspector or project manager can view construction quality control data for a construction project from the field or from the office.

Quality control data can be captured for each of the installed components, as well as the specifications. Operators can generate compliance reports at a very granular level using a combination of both RFID and precise GPS coordinates and monitor pipeline integrity issues during the asset’s entire life cycle.

Pipeline operators can also view equipment maintenance history from the office or while in the field with the RFID reader.

Monitoring the location and status of physical assets through RFID and cloud applications also helps with inventory management. Deployment of materials into the field is more efficient because management can use real-time information to make asset procurement, supply, and deployment decisions.

Asset Tracking

In the oil and gas industry's large and geographically dispersed environments, asset tracking can be a highly labor-intensive and costly process. But RFID can automate the tracking of everything from consumable supplies and safety equipment to trucks, cranes, tools, parts, and even drill bits — from the moment of arrival in your facility to end-of-life.

Tracking begins at the receiving dock with mobile or handheld RFID readers, where assets are immediately identified, entered into your system, and visible in your inventory.

Now, no matter what your workers need, from tools and parts to equipment, the exact location is never more than a few keystrokes away. A quick scan of an RFID tag provides valuable verification that the correct asset was selected. For example, workers can easily verify that the suitable pipe is used at the right time, preventing a potentially costly error.

Another advantage of RFID is the ability to write data to the tag. Unlike the static information contained on a bar code, data on an RFID tag is dynamic, enabling, for example, a complete usage history to be embedded in the RFID tag on every pipe. This ‘wear-and-tear’ history provides the data needed for better decision-making. Drilling engineers have the information they need to better and more accurately project when to retire pipe, helping avoid the high cost of a pipe failure.

Shaping the future of Energy Asset Management together

SmartX HUB's oil and gas tracking is part of SmartX's Solution for Track & Trace and leverages IoT-RFID and Cloud platforms for data capture. Smartx hub's Solution for Track & Trace advances its past success in traceability technology by enabling multiple business use cases through applications and business intelligence.

SmartX HUB's global presence, coupled with its deep industry and business transformation expertise, has proven that the methodologies and experience gained from thousands of worldwide engagements help companies achieve accurate business results and innovation quickly and cost-effectively.

Contact us to get more information on how we can help you overcome the challenges to your business, or check out a free demo.


How can we help you?

Contact us at the SmartX office nearest to you or submit a business inquiry online.

Let us know how we can help you solve your business challenges!

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