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

RFID Cements Its Place in the Construction Industry

Real-world deployments show how manufacturers, engineering firms and builders can use the technology to fight counterfeiting, complete projects on time and within budget, and improve on-site safety.
By Elizabeth Wasserman
Oct 04, 2010Newmans Valve doesn't make designer handbags, new-release DVDs or prescription narcotics, but the Stafford, Texas-based company's products were the victim of counterfeiting one too many times. Newmans manufactures specialty valves for use in oil refineries, chemical factories, desalinization facilities and a host of other industrial plants. The valves range from a half-inch in diameter to one large enough for an adult to walk through upright; they cost $20 to $250,000 apiece.

Three years ago, a refinery in Chile accused Newmans of selling defective valves and threatened to have the company removed from a list of industry-approved vendors. Newmans sent a representative to Chile to investigate. "We didn't even know we did any business with this refinery," recalls Ginger Restovic, Newmans' COO. It turns out, the firm didn't. Newmans brands the name "NEWCO" in raised lettering on each valve it produces. The defective valves at the Chilean refinery were branded "ANEWCOR"—but the letters "A" and "R" had been ground down to make the valve look like a NEWCO.

Illustration: iStockphoto, Dreamstime

That was the last straw—Newmans decided to fight back, Restovic says. The company's weapon of choice? Radio frequency identification.

In 2009, Newmans began RFID-tagging valves produced at its factory in Yangchen, China. Passive RFID tags, encased in plastic, are riveted to the outside of completed valves. Each tag has a serial number tied in a database to a wealth of information about the valve—materials, internal parts, maintenance manual and results of performance tests required by industry groups, such as the American Petroleum Institute. Most importantly, it assures customers they are buying authentic Newmans valves, not counterfeits.

Counterfeiting is a growing problem in the construction sector. The Construction Industry Institute (CII), an industry consortium based at The University of Texas at Austin, has commissioned a study to examine the impact of counterfeiting on the industry. CII says known counterfeit products include alloy pipes, flanges, control valves, construction tools, castings, construction equipment and parts, and fasteners. More worrisome are the sophisticated counterfeit products that sometimes elude detection by the industry's quality assurance processes. Ironically, industry standards specifications for products used in industrial construction projects, such as required manufacturing materials and end-to-end dimensions, have made it easier for counterfeiters, particularly in Asia, where many of these products are now made, to replicate brand-name products.
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 3,362 words and 7 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