Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Parker Hannifin Embeds RFID Tags in O-Rings

The solution was developed to prevent counterfeiting, but businesses also can use the technology to identify and track assets.
By Bob Violino
Jun 16, 2013

Parker Hannifin's O-Ring Division manufactures O-rings—doughnut-shaped components generally molded from synthetic elastomer materials, used primarily to seal fluids in everything from passenger cars to construction equipment and kitchen and bath faucets. They serve a critical function in many types of machinery, and can cost thousands of dollars. They're also easy to counterfeit.

It's the latter attribute that led O-Ring Division, based in Lexington, Ky., to consider using RFID to track O-rings and ensure that customers receive legitimate products. "Almost all O-rings are black and round, and it's impossible to visually distinguish a high-performance O-ring—for instance, one that is suitable for aircraft hydraulic fluid and will last the life of the airplane—from a cheap O-ring that won't," says Dan Ewing, the company's senior chemical engineer. "Sadly, there have been cases, some of them well-publicized, of unethical suppliers selling inferior product with fraudulent packaging and certification documents."

RFID-embedded O-rings can easily be stretched 50 percent or more to fit an existing application without affecting RFID tag function or seal performance.

In early 2008, Ewing says, O-Ring Division was challenged by customers to create a way to make it impossible—or, at least, extremely difficult—for them to receive counterfeit O-rings. "The incumbent practice is to rely on the package label, but this can be easily circumvented by an unethical supplier," he explains. "If the package could not be trusted, that left two possibilities: adding some form of identification to the outside surface of the O-ring, or adding some form of identification to the inside."

Anything attached to the surface or cut into the product could result in a leak, hindering the O-ring from performing its primary function. "We determined that adding identification within the rubber was necessary," Ewing states. "It quickly became apparent that RFID was the only viable means of conveying information that is stored within a rubber O-ring seal."

Developing a Multi-Use Solution
After speaking with key customers, Ewing says, O-Ring Division determined that in addition to preventing counterfeiting, there was value in using O-rings embedded with RFID tags to track large devices or assemblies. What's more, the company realized that encasing RFID tags inside soft, flexible rubber O-rings would protect the circuitry from almost any form of damage, including mechanical impact, chemical interactions, stray electrical voltage, and thermal shock, up to and including an open flame, for a short period of time.

Because this was a new use for RFID, Ewing reports, O-Ring Division decided its research and development team should work on the solution, until the technology was sufficiently developed to prove that it was functional. The company also formed an "evaluation committee" that included a chemist from research and development, a process engineer (to focus on how to make the parts) and a product engineer (to work on how the product would be used).

To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,082 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2015 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco