Tag Archives: RFID technology

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RFID: fight efficiently against FME

In harsh environment industries, it is necessary to have a high security that means, the security of people, tools and equipement to prevent any risks of incidents and loss of productivity and quality. Indeed, sometimes tools needed for production or maintenance operations are not available, broken or poorly calibrated, etc. More than one construction site on four is delayed due to problems of FME and tracking that can cause a decrease in productivity by 15% to 30 %.

FME : the pet hate of the Energy industry

The FME or “Foreign Material Exclusion” is the risk of the presence of migrants or foreign bodies in facilities that can cause problems into the structures.

Nuclear power station

To avoid any problems, good prevention and solution can be implemented. It is very important in hazardous sectors such as the energy sector, to know where the equipments are at any time. However, the daily inventory management is done manually. This manual update is usually source of errors and time consuming, do not guarantee the reliability and the accuracy of information.

That is why RFID technology is the solution to fight effectively against the risk of FME and to allow industries to connect their physical facilities and equipment in order to have full visibility in real-time, location and state.

To fight effectively against FME risks, Nexess  has developed a series of solutions for the management and the traçability of material.

  • NexCap Smart RFID Counterallows the storekeeper to manage and record tools borrowings and returns from the warehouse with RFID technology. It has the capacity to do an accurate and automatic inventory of the contents of the warehouse, an automatic follow up of calibration and maintenance dates, an intelligent user identification and a remote monitoring.

RFID Counter

NexCap Tools NexCap Containers  NexCap Spare parts

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Management of Containers with RFID : Case Study SPIE Nuclear

Management of Containers by RFID

In 2013, SPIE DEN subsidiary of SPIE Nuclear launches a project for the setting up of a container management solution using RFID to facilitate picking and warehousing, improve and optimize the traceability of regulatory inspections.

Management of Containers by RFID

Automate Management and Control of Containers

The main objective of SPIE Nuclear is to “ensure the management of handling operations and the compliance of regulatory controls”, says Olivier Ventron, Field Operation Manager.

Indeed, a poor management of containers (damaged containers, indeterminate content, etc.) may have important consequences in terms of logistics. Therefore, containers should always be identified, localised and in a perfect operating condition.

However, the daily management of containers is done manually through spreadsheet files to know the movements and the location of containers, the monitoring of regulatory controls, etc. This manual update, “usually source of errors and time consuming, do not guarantee the reliability and the accuracy of the information contained in this spreadsheet”, certify Olivier Ventron.

Seeking for a management and traceability solution using RFID technology, SPIE Nuclear wants to guarantee the status of the storage area at any time : real-time inventory, automatic tracking of regulatory controls, geolocation of containers, logging movements etc.
This solution aims to ensure the traceability and the conformity of containers during daily operations.

SPIE Nuclear chose NexCap® Mobile Assets Tracking solution by Nexess, to carry out the monitoring of its containers with RFID. Nexess has an extensive experience of the traceability of sensitive material with RFID in many industries : Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, etc.

Management of Containers by RFID

Control agents can also perform external and internal visual inspections of containers and regulatory controls related to radiation protection.
Equipped with a mobile RFID reader, they can for example, monitor the status of each container, their movements and their contents.
Information entered on the PDA allow to update automatically and instantly the material properties of each container. Moreover, in case of non-compliance (damaged containers, indeterminate content, etc.), control agents have the opportunity to take picture of damaged equipment and save it.

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

Download the case study : Case Study SPIE Nuclear

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RFID technology: applications for the Aerospace and Energy Industries

The maturity of the RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology allows today to glimpse concrete applications in advanced industrial sectors such as Nuclear, Chemical / Petrochemical, Aerospace, Automotive, etc. Submitted to strong environmental constraints usually incompatible with wireless technologies, RFID technology is now hardened to allow industrial applications.

Industrial applications are made possible through a hardened RFID technology

Temperature, dust, metal, chemical products (and many others) are omnipresent elements in all sectors of industry and particularly in Energy and Aerospace. These elements are all disturbing factors for wireless technologies including RFID. 

Also, these industries are sometimes submitted to regulations and standards, adapted to their environmental constraints: ATEX (explosive atmosphere), EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility), Seveso (Directive 96/82/EC), etc. These regulations and standards require the use of certified compatible materials in these areas, which requires RFID tags and RFID readers to also be.

Several RFID hardware providers offer ATEX certified products for example: Xerafy, Omni-ID, NEXESS, Ecom Instruments, etc. (These products are available in our shop Nexess Online Shop).

Nexess has know-how and expertise recognized in the field of hardened RFID for industrial environments.

RFID applications in Energy sector

Power plant RFID technology

The Energy sector (Nuclear, Petrochemical, Chemical, etc.) is one of the most regulated and forced to ensure the safety of goods and people. RFID technology has its place and allows to consider multiple applications:

  • Traceability of materials submitted to regulation

From tools to fire equipments (fire extinguishers, RIA, SCBA) through spare parts, each of these materials is submitted to strict regulation and scrupulous monitoring in Energy industries.

RFID technology allows to make a unique and automatic identification (without vis-à-vis) of each of these materials, “connecting” them to their environment via an RFID tagThis RFID tag will be adapted to the environmental constraints in which it is submitted: metal, temperature, ATEX regulations, etc. In some cases, it may contain information (high memory tag).

A RFID mobile or fixe reader (PDA, tablet or smartphone) will allow to interrogate RFID tags remotely to know its characteristics or automatically detect movements (inventory, entrance / exit of a storage location, etc.). In case of portable reader, the user has a software plateform allowing him to interact with materials.

Fire equipment RFID technology

Examples of materials submitted to regulation: 

  • Fire Equipment
  • Slings and lifting equipements
  • Container
  • Spare Parts
  • Etc.

Nexess has an extensive library of software applications to ensure traceability and monitoring equipment submitted to regulation.

  • Reassurance of Operations and Maintenance activities

Energy industry requires rigorous operation and maintenance intervention to ensure optimum operational working performance but also a high level of safety of goods and persons.

RFID technology allows to make significant gains on Operating and Maintenance activities in terms of productivity, quality but also security.

Oil&Gas RFID technology

Examples of Operations or Maintenance activities using RFID in Energy:

  • Round lubrication (Pumps, Valves, etc.)
  • Repairs and Non Destructive Testing of Piping
  • Securing facilities by laying valves
  • Etc.

RFID applications in Aerospace Industry

Aeronautic RFID technology

The aerospace industry is recognized as one of the industry where manufacturing, assembly and maintenance process of equipment are strictest and the most rigorous. Production rates are very high and the quality must be maintained at its highest level. 

RFID technology allows to bring significant productivity gains thanks to the optimization of the supply chain but also gains of quality thanks to the control of capital goods. Here comes some common applications:

  • Management and traceability of tools

The tool is an essential means of production during assembly steps or during aircraft maintenance. It is submitted to regulations (calibration, maintenance) and requires special attention to fight against FOD (Foreign Object Damage) due to a miss tool in a part of the plane. 

Tool management is also a critical activity that can strongly impact productivity: tools research, loan / return, daily inventory, etc.

RFID technology allows a unique identification of each tool, an automatic following of movements, to detect tools remotly, trace their use, etc. via RFID cabinets for example (video).

NexCap XL RFID cabinet

Examples of tools in Aeronautics:

  • Hand tools
  • Torque Tools
  • Pneumatic Tools
  • Etc.

Nexess has the expertise and a range of products dedicated to the management and traceability of tools with RFID in Aerospace: RFID cabinets, RFID portals, RFID counters, Mobile readers (PDA).

  • Aircraft Cabin Management: Inventory of  security equipment (life jackets, O2 bottles)

Imposed by the regulations, each aircraft must have a regular inventory and update of all security equipment on board: life jackets, oxygen bottles, etc. This inventory, made by airlines technicians must allow to know in an instant if all equipments are on board and if their validity are correct. 

RFID technology allows to fit each of these equipments with RFID tags called “flyables” tags answering to the standards of Aerospace (ATA SPEC 2000) and containing information related to the equipment (manufacturer, expiration date, etc.. ). Using a mobile reader (PDA, tablet), technicians carry out an inventory of the cabin in few minutes, while this activity required 2 to 3 hours.

aircraft cabin RFID

(High-Memory RFID tags are available in our shop Nexess Online Shop)

The list of applications of RFID technology for the Aerospace industry is not exhaustive but we may include other examples:

  • Management and Traceability of GSE (Ground Support Equipment)
  • Monitoring of raw materials (rolls Carbone)
  • Management and tracking of containers (Maintenance Kit)
  • Etc.