For any oil field or rig, asset tracking is critical to properly maintaining and deploying equipment. But the reality is that many firms still rely on outdated, error-prone systems that slow down workflows and collect data using unreliable methods. In this post, we take a look at the top four ways RFID can help.
Deploying RFID in oil fields is not a straightforward process. There are a number of characteristics that tags must have to endure challenging conditions and rough handling. And all while still delivering consistent reads.
But if you tag your assets effectively, a properly deployed RFID system offers a number of benefits. Let’s take a look.
Assets on an oil field need to be identified and re-identified. For safety and logistical reasons, teams will track assets periodically, reverifying several times.
If you do this manually, it entails sending workers out to read and write serial numbers or scan barcodes. This is a labor-intensive task that can take hours or days according to the number of assets involved.
RFID greatly speeds this process. It does this by automating the collection of data. Workers can rapidly ID assets without reading serial numbers or aligning a reader with a barcode label. In the most extreme case, an RFID equipped drone could do an asset inventory, eliminating all labor from the data collection task. This reduces costs and frees labor for higher order tasks.
Minimizes Manual Error
In addition to being time-consuming, manual processes like these are prone to error. Oil fields are dirty, abrasive and highly variable environments. This makes it a problem to mark assets in ways that remain legible after they are deployed to the field.
When the legibility of asset ID markings deteriorate, workers make identification errors. Especially when you consider that it’s already easy to make mistakes when reading hundreds of legible IDs.
When you use RFID on your assets, you can collect higher quality data because you don’t have someone manually reading a serial number. Identifying an asset without manual intervention reduces manual error.
Simplifies Preventative Maintenance
Every oil field has preventative maintenance processes and schedules to maintain the quality of assets. But to maintain an asset, you first have to identify it.
RFID helps preventative maintenance teams by automating the identification of assets. This streamlines the PM processes, by making it more efficient to execute the processes you already have in place.
Improves Life Cycle Management of Assets
RFID combined with the proper software can greatly improve the quality of life cycle data. RFID enables the rapid, accurate and inexpensive collection of data about assets, so operators can keep better records of all of the activities related to those assets.
With this data, you can answer important questions about your assets, such as:
- Who manufactured the assets and when?
- Where are the assets deployed and for how long?,
- When did they undergo inspections and maintenance?
- What were the results of those operations?
This is vital data that helps the operator ensure the safe and profitable operation of their hardware systems.
RFID provides an automated, far more reliable way to track oil field assets. Using it can help oil and gas companies collect better data faster and streamline their workflows.