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McDermott Sees Gains From RFID Tracking in Indonesia

The oil and gas construction company tested the use of RFID to monitor and track pipes being fabricated onsite, with preliminary results showing that the technology reduces the labor required to track inventory, while improving work-in-progress visibility.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 18, 2012McDermott Inc., an offshore engineering and construction firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, is reviewing the results of a 10-month-long radio frequency identification pilot. Once this is complete, the company hopes to expand the project to additional sites.

At its facility on the Indonesian island of Batam, McDermott fabricates metal pipes for installation within a processing platform or plant. The company tested the use of EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags to track the pipes throughout the fabrication process, as well as monitor the items stored in the laydown yard, in order to help improve planning, work execution, progress reporting and materials management.


McDermott's Michael Smith
Michael Smith, McDermott's global manager of industrial engineering, fabrication and marine global project services, says the pilot proved that RFID could be employed to track the metal items throughout the facility, whether indoors or outdoors. Supplemental read data collected during the fabrication process could help to improve multiple facets of planning, scheduling and work management. Based on the pilot's results, he says, McDermott could expect to recoup its investment within six months, by reducing the amount of labor workers spend conducting inventories, and by improving efficiency, since the company would know where each pipe was located.

McDermott is composed of engineering, procurement, construction and installation divisions focused on executing complex offshore oil and gas projects worldwide. The company provides fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems, and its customers include national and major energy firms. Each project is custom-made, with the materials used varying and dependent on the particular product, location and customer.

USER COMMENTS

Michael Smith 2012-04-19 11:38:20 AM
Article Follow-Up if anyone has additional questions feel free to contact me at: mrsmith@mcdermott.com
Material Movement 2012-07-10 11:16:20 AM
Time Commitment Mr.Smith How much time did it take to develop/prototype this tool? and how many personnel were involved?

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