Improving Valve Maintenance and Planning with RFID Technology

A University of Arizona publication, A Brief History of RFID, traces the history of radio-frequency identification technology back to a Russian physicist in the 1940s and commercial applications began to appear in the 1960s. By the 1980s and 1990s the technology became commonplace in applications such as transportation systems, animal tracking and business applications such as logistics management.

I mention all this as background for how RFID technology is being applied in managing the wealth of data contained in valves. This data is used to optimize production processes, maintenance practices, and regulatory reporting. The traditional approach to collecting this data is to physically read the nameplates out in the process during walkdowns and periodic inspections.

RFID technology enables the digital transfer of valve information such as construction, service information, and regulatory certification. These tags affixed to the valve are intrinsically safe (FM, IECEx, and ATEX certified) for use in hazardous locations for both gas and dust environments.

With the RFID reader, you can access this information and load it into the Asset Connect Software application. This application is available for download along with future updates with the information you provide. The RFID reader reads and writes tags and records repair and re-certification notes in real time. This provides current and accurate equipment data enabling a more proactive maintenance and plant management approach. Operations personnel also can acquire hard-to-reach valves’ data from a safe distance.

There is a series of eight “how to” Asset Management Tag videos to show this technology and how it helps improve productivity and accuracy. Some videos show how to setup various RFID readers, such as CSL CS108, iRIFID500 and TSL 1166 & 1128 readers, with the Asset Connect app. Here’s one of the videos, Asset Management Tag: How to Locate an Asset Management Tag in the Asset Connect App (0:55sec) to give you a flavor for the quick, how-to information they contain.

Visit the Asset Management Tag page on Emerson.com to learn more about this technology and the types of data available to improve asset identification, personnel safety and maintenance practices. You can also connect and interact with other valve experts in the Valves, Actuators & Regulators group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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