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The Energy Sector Embraces RFID

Companies that produce, refine and deliver energy products are beginning to get serious about using RFID to improve their operations.
By Mark Roberti
Aug 10, 2014

As I write this column, we at RFID Journal are making final arrangements for our RFID in Energy, Mining and Construction event, and I'm preparing for the long trip to Perth, Australia. The conference and exhibition will feature case studies by Bechtel, Petrobras, Weatherford, Woodside and other companies. This will be followed by an RFID standards workshop hosted by the Global RFID Committee for Oil & Gas.

The event will show that the energy and construction sectors are beginning to get serious about the adoption of radio frequency identification technologies. Large construction projects are mind-numbingly complex, with materials needing to show up at a job site in precise sequence. At RFID Journal LIVE! 2014, held in April, Bechtel was a co-winner of the RFID Journal Award for Best Implementation, for the project that the company will present at the event (see RFID Helps Bechtel Manage a Megaproject).

Bechtel is using RFID technology to track materials as they move through a complex local supply chain to arrive on Curtis Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, where three liquified natural gas (LNG) plants are being built. An active RFID system has helped Bechtel shorten cycle times, reduce costs and achieve transactional benefits during material-handling activities.

The three LNG projects sit side by side, with three separate owners, and all construction materials for these projects must be loaded onto transport ferries and moved across a harbor before reaching their intended final installation location. The RFID system helped the company track all the materials and kept the production on schedule. It's a massive project, and it showed how RFID could help companies manage such large-scale undertakings.

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