Improvements in RFID tag durability have enabled grittier industries, such as oil drilling, to adopt RFID tracking technology.
Merrick Systems has developed an RFID tracking system specifically designed for the oil drilling industry. The system, called Rig-Hand, allows oil rig managers to monitor in real time down-hole components including drill pipes, casing, tubing, and risers using hand held readers and super durable low frequency RFID tags.
Merrick’s RFID tags are designed to weather the tough conditions of down-hole and undersea drilling environments. According to Merrick’s website the tags, which are about the size of a nickel, survived 33 trial runs in which they were subjected to temperatures of 343 F and pressure reaching 13100 psi. Merrick claims that the tags are readable through paint, dirt, drill fluid and mud.
Rig Hand also allows users to know where their drilling assets were manufactured, how long they have been used, and the amount of fatigue they have been subjected to, allowing rig managers to replace parts before they break during the drilling process.
So far rigs in the US, China, the Middle East, Brazil, and West Africa have adopted the Rig-Hand system.
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