RFID Tagging is Here to Stay

By Barrie Kirkman



During the recent Achema exhibition, while visiting the BVAA stand, I became involved in an impromptu discussion on the merits of RFID tagging of valves and associated equipment. This debate involved myself, the BVAA team, dedicated user Grant Harris of Heaton Valves Africa, and Hiten Kantelia, MD of 4hSolutions Ltd, who market a solution called Assettagz. The discussions even drew in other visitors to the stand!


Hiten explained that Assettagz is a smart asset management solution that can identify and give full visibility of valve status, including inspection history and pre-planned maintenance schedules. This can not only reduce paperwork but it can also help with meeting legislative requirements, such as the relief valve protocols and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations.
A listener on the stand was impressed in the paperless environment, where it is possible to view the status and location of every valve. It uses the very latest auto-ID methods including RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and mobile computers, which potentially outshine any bar code system.
I believe that inspection managers will breathe a huge sigh of relief as potentially gone are the days of trawling through endless paperwork for valve inspection sheets. As well as the obvious benefits of an automated system at the inspection and maintenance stage, it also means faster initial valve deployment, as the same smart tag and one central database can be used throughout the entire supply chain by all parties (manufacturers, distributors and end-users).

4hSolutions focuses purely on the specific issue of managing different types of assets and are experts in handheld, RFID and web technology. Their asset management product is in use with many companies helping stores and inventory management, hire systems, workshop inspectors and field based maintenance engineers.
As one customer puts it: The tagging system has cut our post-inspection administration down from 3 or 4 days to 1 day, with absolutely no paperwork. I firmly believe such systems are here to stay.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 11


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