A Chinese oil field operator has deployed RFID to track 30,000 portable transformers in one of the largest RFID deployments in China’s oil and gas industry.
The oil exploration and production company is applying passive UHF read-on-metal RFID tags from Xerafy to all of its transformers to meet strict new regulatory requirements. The company plans to expand the RFID program to other asset categories including pipes, valves and machinery.
New safety standards developed by China’s State Administration of Work Safety that took effect in 2013 require oil companies to keep better records on assets and maintenance history. In addition to compliance, the company sought to upgrade its asset management processes because transformers are especially difficult to track and manage because they are moved frequently.
The company’s prior barcoding solution was inefficient and reduced overall profitability due to asset down time and equipment not operating at full capacity. With RFID, better recordkeeping will lead to improved asset maintenance and performance.
“This project is a great example of how RFID innovation can help companies create safer, more efficient processes,” says Dennis Khoo, Xerafy’s founder and CEO. “We have helped many companies in the oil and gas, nuclear power and other industries to RFID-enable challenging processes in extreme environments where other automation approaches don’t work.”
Xerafy’s Cargo Trak tags are being applied to transformers with permanent adhesive as part of a new automated inspection and maintenance management system that was developed and implemented by VictorySoft Co. Ltd., a Xerafy partner that specializes in IT solutions for the oil and gas industry.
Using mobile computers and RFID readers, inspectors and technicians can automatically identify transformers from up to 12 meters (39 feet) away. The exceptional read range for the Cargo Trak tags is an important safety feature for this project, because some transformers are mounted at heights where workers cannot easily reach or in areas that are dangerous because of heat, pressure and other conditions.
“By using RFID tags to identify the outdoor assets, the problems of accidental damage and lost bar codes or other markers are solved,” says said Xu Haiting, general manager of VictorySoft’s technical development department. “The RFID system has effectively improved the safety of field operations.”