Shale asset rental was experiencing long delays once equipment was received to turning the assets around to be returned to the field. When rental assets are returned they have often been repainted, covered with mud or other substances which makes reading the item serial number difficult or impossible until the item has been fully cleaned and the paint has been stripped. When critical items need to be turned around quickly, identifying the specific asset is critical to avoid spending time on an item which needs to be recertified, while another identical item is waiting. As RFID tags are readable through paint, mud and most other substances, tagging the assets with RFID tags would aid in identifying the item before expending the time necessary to adequately clean the item for immediate reuse in the field.
Passive UHF tags were used for several reasons: the UHF frequency bank allowed reasonable read ranges, usually 10’-15’ feet, small tags which could easily be attached to assets and passive tags to keep the tag cost low. Motorola handheld readers were used for their superior read characteristics and interface capabilities. A mobile interface to the SAP inventory control system allows the inventory to be updated directly in the field. This eliminated the manual process of identifying the part type and recording the serial number on a form, and then entering the information on the computer system, an error-prone system from transposition and asset misidentification errors.
Compression Test Pipe Tracking
Compression Testing was encountering unnecessary delays in finding different parts, such as pipes and valves to be used for testing in their labs. Often time was being expended to locate parts for a test which were already in use in another testing area.
Active tags were considered from the beginning to accomplish the location aspects of the tag. The largest difficulty was obtaining an active tag which could: be mounted on metal, withstand the high temperatures used in compression testing, and withstand the extreme vibrations encountered. By working with Votum Technology Group, an RFID Systems Engineering firm, and Wavetrend, a custom tag which could withstand the high temperature and vibrations was developed and utilized for the project.