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Identification Technologies in Energy, Gas & Mining

There are many applications for identification and sensing technologies that are driving a connected oil, gas and refinement ecosystem. Organizations in the industry are experiencing success to help automate processes, improve visibility across the operation, and minimize operational risk by embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). From operating an oil rig to tracking thousands of assets across a complex environment, visibility and accuracy are key to the success of the job and the safety of the crew.

Identification technologies like RFID, as well as next-generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensing and IoT systems provide the data needed to drive operational efficiencies, balance costs and improve worker safety. A number of industrial firms are investing in IoT applications to ensure a trusted flow of data that address numerous operational challenges which are crucial to operations. These include improving fueling automation across commercial fleet, quickly locating critical equipment across multi-site facilities and providing a safe, compliant working environment.

Choosing the right system and technologies to improve the operational efficiencies is based on the deployment requirements, environment and program objectives. These systems typically address ways to simplify asset tracking and supply chain logistics, ensure mission critical equipment is operating at optimum efficiency, and improve personnel safety. 

Simplify Supply Chain and Logistics:

Operations in the energy sector include a complex system of contractors, suppliers and thousands of assets that comprise the full operation. Management and tracking high volume assets such as tools, raw materials, and site supplies is improved using ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID identification systems. These systems provide supply chain managers with accurate visibility across the ecosystem, where otherwise a single missing item can stall production, delay delivery of supplies to drillers in the field, and incur unplanned expenses. Extending access tracking into high-value tools and other mission critical equipment like drilling bits, wellheads and tubulars is an integral part to the operation process as well. Bluetooth-based technologies provide the accuracy needed to quickly locate critical equipment, as well as the ability for operations teams to set policies using geo-fence and zones to improve accuracy and worker safety. These industrial IoT solutions also provide operations management with the visibility to analyze workflows based on asset location and receive the data needed to optimize process flow from workers to assets.

Maintenance, Inspection and Machine Learning:

Routine inspection, preventative or corrective maintenance of equipment at an oil refinery is crucial to complying with regulatory requirements and overall production output. A trusted identification system that incorporates multiple end-devices and technologies (such as passive RFID/NFC and active BLE) has accelerated the implementation of connected equipment networks.  These new, connected environments make it possible to exchange data and automate the overall equipment maintenance and inspection process, enabling operations managers to trust that work was performed, while also receiving accurate records for inspection audits and improving billing accuracy.  This is all made possible using HID Trusted Tag Services to secure IoT applications. For true machine learning, HID Condition Monitoring, enabled by Bluvision, provides BLE-based sensing technology and a cloud-based platform that delivers performance and condition data.  It also predicts critical failures before they happen to reduce downtime and extend the life of operational equipment.

Workplace Safety:

Continuous improvements to workplace safety and implementing a proactive emergency processes across the worksite is critical to comply with OSHA and other global safety compliance standards. Existing physical security systems used to manage access to buildings and workspaces by employees, contractors and vendors can help address this issue.  These systems can be extended to add real-time location services in order to create a more activity-aware solution. For example, HID Location Services, enabled by Bluvision, provides instant visibility to monitor the operation site, create area alerts, and monitor ambient temperature. Such location services also make it possible for security and compliance teams to receive the precise location of employees for mustering during emergency and “man down” situations.

These are only a few of the many applications that RFID, NFC and BLE technologies are enabling for oil and gas companies to create more connected environments in a trusted IoT ecosystem.   Click here to learn more or visit HID Global in stand #ID46 at SPE Offshore Europe being held this week at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.