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Omni-ID Debuts Tags for Oil and Gas Companies
The tag maker has partnered with C-Logistics to market disposable RFID tags for offshore oil customers, as well as with Holland 1916 to manufacture and distribute metal-mount tags for tracking lifting gear and cranes.
Apr 19, 2011—Omni-ID, a company that specializes in passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags for harsh environments, has formed two new partnerships in the oil and gas sector, as part of a strategy to focus on four key industries (the other three being IT, logistics and work-in-progress). The firm is partnering with C-Logistics, a division of Edison Chouest Offshore (the largest private ship builder in the United States), to provide for the tracking of assets sent to and from offshore oilrigs by the offshore service vessel company. So far, C-Logistics is providing two new Omni-ID passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags—known as the Solo and the Pipe—for three of its customers, in order to track pipes and other items that are transported offshore.
In addition, Omni-ID has partnered with Holland 1916, a Kansas City manufacturer of durable RFID tags, to provide UHF RFID-enabled versions of Holland 1916's metal labels for lifting equipment, used in the oil and gas industry.
C-Logistics has "a very complex mix of assets," Reynolds says, which can include pipes, tools and equipment. The Solo and Pipe tags were designed with a long read range, so that a C-Logistics employee could drive a vehicle equipped with an RFID interrogator through its laydown yards, reading tags attached to equipment stored there—to locate pipes ordered by a customer for shipment offshore, for example—prior to those items being shipped, or for inventory checks.
C-Logistics has already been using Omni-ID's tags, as well as readers from Mojix, for Edison Chouest's offshore customers since early 2010 (see RFID Saves Oil Companies Time and Money). Like its previous tags, Omni-ID's new models are impact-resistant and offer a long read range; however, they are less expensive and thus more suitable for their intended purpose. The tags are meant to be used only once, or for a limited time, such as for equipment that is not moved often, or a rental piece that will not remain in the asset provider's custody indefinitely.
Logistics companies in the oil industry need the ability to read tags on sections of piping that may be stacked in groups of 50 or more. Workers can drive past these stacks with a vehicle equipped with an RFID interrogator. In such an environment, the Solo and Pipe tags have a read range of approximately 15 meters (49 feet).
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