Support for Maintenance Processes Using RFID
Safety is of utmost importance during the transport of potentially dangerous process media in chemical processing plants. To ensure safety at all times, regular inspection and maintenance of hoses is required by law.
Intuitive software for easy verification
Among giant tanks and conveyor systems in chemical plants, thousands of hoses transport process media from point A to point B. Substances can include gas, oil, water, steam, and a range of chemicals. To ensure that these media are safely transported, legally defined regulations are in place for maintenance cycles of industrial and chemical hoses. RFID handhelds from Pepperl+Fuchs and ecom, paired with application-specific software developed by Neoception, make these maintenance tasks convenient and efficient, even in hazardous areas.
Chemical plants are subject to comprehensive governmental supervision to ensure safe operation. Because these high safety standards also apply to the hoses in use, regular checks are required by law. Proper maintenance requires interruption of operation, complete plant shutdown, and removal of the hoses being checked. This makes it all the more important for plant operators to save additional time and costs by keeping tests to a minimum.
In hazardous and industrial environments, documentation of the hose check can be easily done with an RFID handheld and application-specific software. To make this possible, RFID tags in the form of a UHF label are attached to each hose. Each hose is clearly identifiable via a UHF RFID tag, which includes the following information:
• Equipment number
• Test date/time
• Hose length and diameter
• Test pressure, and
• Date of the next inspection.
Using the RFID handheld and the "hose manager" software from the Pepperl+Fuchs start-up Neoception, the auditor is guided through the maintenance procedure step-by-step. Automatic identification and user-friendly software virtually eliminate errors. The results of the test can be seamlessly transferred to a back-end system and serve as the documentation and proof of the tests carried out. During the process of designing the user interfaces, care was taken to ensure that they were ergonomical and glove-operable.
More Benefits from Additional Functions
Additional functions help support work processes even better. The RFID handhelds also feature a localisation function that can be used to measure the distance to a detected tag on a bar graph. Besides detecting and localising RFID tags, it is also possible to read out a variety of 1-D or 2-D codes. The integrated 2-D imager allows users to assign additional information to particular components using barcodes or QR codes. When reading the tags, this data can be linked to the other test results. This way, “Mobile Workers” can retrieve all information on site and save it in a log file or online.
Highlights of the RFID handhelds for hazardous and industrial areas:
- RFID Handhelds available for hazardous and industrial areas
- Application-specific “hose manager” application simplifies maintenance
- Integrated 2-D imager for detection of 1-D and 2-D codes, and
- Localisation function for faster and easier tag detection.
Neoception GmbH is the new subsidiary of Pepperl+Fuchs, and for industry a new partner on the path toward digitalisation. From connecting products or plants with central data services to developing completely new business models, the company offers guidance and support.
Pix1: RFID handhelds enable maintenance processes to be performed and documented efficiently
Pix2: Regular maintenance is required to ensure that chemical plants are operating safely