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Industrial Equipment Manufacturer Adopts RFID Solution

EBSE is attaching tags to materials and finished products to streamline the control of arrivals, departures, and maintenance of components for a project for SBM, a provider of offshore platforms and vessels to the oil and gas industry.
By Edson Perin
Dec 30, 2011EBSE Engineering Solutions, a Brazlian company that designs, manufactures and assembles large-diameter pipes and spools, boilers and other industrial equipment, is using radio frequency identification technology to track and manage components for a ship being built by SBM Brasil, for Petrobras.

"We do not have numbers to say how much we save or gain in efficiency, because the project is still very new," says Paulo Roberto Pereira Vallado, executive manager of the EBSE's services unit. "What I can guarantee is that we got out from under a mountain of paperwork managing our material supply chain, and this also resulted in agility."

EBSE is using RFID tags at its contruction site to track materials and finished products.

EBSE hired Technotag a company that develops, designs and markets mobile solutions featuring RFID technology, after two months of discussion about the proposed supply chain automation. "We wanted them to participate from the receipt of all goods until the time at which each fabricated module leaves to take its place on the ship," says Vallado. The Technotag would have to store the history of the job materials and equipment, in addition to data on parts maintenance.

"We are committed to Technotag. Despite never having offered this type of service, which was a challenge for them, it has borne fruit," says Vallado. "It's too early to tell if it's good or great. So far I can say that the service has been very good. Also, if I did not hire Technotag, I would have to have someone to manage the old process with Excel spreadsheets. I would have to generate a document for each product or piece of equipment," states Vallado, saying that RFID made EBSE paper-free.

With Technotag, EBSE managed to overcome a major difficulty in managing large projects: gathering information about the arrival and departure of materials, details about the tests and installation of equipment—steps that often require many professionals, a large volume of paper and slow access to data. However, the application of RFID technology with Technotag's Lynx System and Warehouse Management Mobile (WMM) software allowed a greater centralization of information and increased flexibility in these procedures.

Materials and modules are fitted with RFID tags. This allows the physical identification of materials upon arrival, enabling traceability and controlling the different stages of warehouse management (receiving, quality inspection, putaway, storage, location, ordering, sorting, shipping, control of local stock and inventory). The result is the reporting of materials inventory in real time.

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