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Management of tools and tablets with RFID : EDF Golfech Case Study

Management, Tracking and Control of tools and tablets with RFID in the Energy Industry

Smart RFID Cabinet XL

Nexess was selected by the engineering service of EDF Golfech to provide a RFID solution to manage, track and control their tools and tablets, stored in warehouses across the production site.

This solutions deployed on the engineering service of EDF Golfech, allows service agents responsible for the tools and tablets to have an instant overview of materials movements (borrowings/returns), to know their availability and to ensure their monitoring (calibration/maintenance).

85% of the production of electricity in France comes from nuclear facilities. EDF Golfech production site, composed of 2 pressurized water reactors, produce annually more than 19 billion kilowatt-hours, representing 6% of the electricity production in France. In case of needs, it is essential that tools and/or tablets are operationnal and available immediatly.

The engineering service of EDF Golfech has over 50 references (tools and tablets) to manage and track. Each tool and tablet must be available and located, in perfect working order, at any moment.

Automate the Management, Traceability and Control of Tools and Tablets

Management of tablets with RFID

The main objective of the engineering service of EDF Golfech is to “drive autonomous the targeted management of tools and tablets within the service” ensures Sebastien Vidal, Engineering service Manager.

Indeed, a poor management of tools and tablets (material missing, defective or calibration dates exceeded) may have important consequences in terms of production, quality and safety. Therefore, tools and tablets should always be available and located in perfect working order, at any moment.

However, the daily management of materials is made manually through spreadsheet files to determine the level of the different stocks, the location of materials, monitoring of regulatory controls, etc. This manual update, usually source of errors and time consuming, do not allow to guarantee the reliability and  the accuracy of the information contained in this spreadsheet.
Seeking for a management and traceability solution using RFID technology, the engineering service of EDF Golfech wants to guarantee and ensure the availability and the good working order of each material, at any time : secure access to tools and tablets, real-time inventory, automatic tracking of regulatory controls, etc. This solution aims to ensure the availability and the proper functioning of material in order to maximize the productivity and quality.

The engineering service of EDF Golfech chose NexCap® solution by Nexess, to carry out the monitoring of their tools and tablets with RFID.

Nexess has an extensive experience of the traceability of sensitive material with RFID in many industries : Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, etc

Smart RFID Cabinet XL

This solution is composed of three elements :

Smart RFID cabinet XL allowing to store and manage entire movements of tools and tablets (inventory, calibration, maintenance, update) while limiting access to users.

Industrial Mobile Readers (PDA) Workabout Pro 3 from Motorola Solutions, equipped with UHF RFID readers 500mW.

NexCap® Software Platform, developed by Nexess with a business interface installed on smart RFID cabinet and a web interface deployed within the engineering service of EDF Golfech.

When identified through its RFID badge, the user can easily access the cabinet to borrow or return one or several tools and tablets.
Once the doors of the cabinet are closed, an automatic inventory of the contents is done in real time.

Service agents can consult directly on the cabinet the list of tools and tablets contained in each cabinet, material  borrowed or realise a location search on a tool or  tablet.

This is made possible because each device is equipped with an RFID tag (integrated in the tool or fixed on the tool or tablet) allowing the smart RFID cabinet to identify movements of each material, trace and time stamp them (who, what, when, where).

In the event of a material is missing inside a smart RFID Cabinet Nexess,  it will generate an alert.
Therefore, service agent, through a mobile player (PDA), could realize a particular search (tool or tablet).

Moreover, the NexCap® software plateform allows service agents to consult easily, through a friendly interface, all loggings of material movements: returns, borrowings, tools or tablets in maintenance, location of equipment, inventory, etc.

NexCap® allows the management and the traceability of materials in real time and the calibration and maintenance monitoring of each tool and tablet.

All data of movements traceability, controls, inventories and loggings are then remotely available with the NexCap® Web application.

NexCap® RFID Solution for the Management of Connected Objects

Nexcap® is a RFID solution for the management of connected products in the Industry. Equipped with RFID tags, materials are stored in smart RFID cabinets. Users have instant visibility of all inventory items they wish to manage and track: tools, spare parts, metrology devices, tablets, computers, etc.

Each smart RFID cabinet is composed of functionalities to manage connected objects and help users in their day-to-day activities : borrowing/return, proceedings scheduled tasks concerning the handling of particular material, realization of controls on products submitted to regulations, etc.

Operations carried out on smart RFID cabinet (connected via Ethernet or WiFi to application server) are tracked and logged on NexCap® Web Platform in real time. Inventories, monitoring reports, planned field operations, dashboard alerts, etc. are all features allowing to supervise and connect the “field” to the theoretical data from information systems.

NexCap® Software Platform is a real RFID middleware allowing at the same time the connection of RFID infrastructures (Cabinets, Counters, Portals, etc.), Mobile devices or even ERP software. This software is available in SAAS (Software As A Service) or hosted on the client information system.