RFID is used to prove that necessary maintenance work on valves, actuators, drives, and other critical equipment used in chemical and pharmaceutical process equipment has been performed as required. In cases where this equipment supports safety-relevant functions, maintenance work must be documented according to specific rules and regulations.
Efficient maintenance of safety-relevant equipment to prevent unscheduled downtime.
RFID tags are attached to all critical process systems, making a variety of form factors and supported mounting options necessary. Mobile read/write handhelds require a long battery life, but more importantly, they need to be able to support application-specific user interfaces and run a custom program in order to make these applications possible.
The handheld read/write units are only slightly larger than a mobile phone and are easy to carry. These units read the RFID tags that are placed on each piece of maintained equipment, and it's easy to verify that maintenance personnel worked on the equipment. The information can be stored on the RFID tag or downloaded from a central control system.
This approach automates record keeping of regularly scheduled maintenance operations. Because this information is generated automatically, it helps to eliminate record falsification and non-compliance with required on-site verification and maintenance procedures. The handheld RFID systems allow the execution of customer-specific Java Script programs simplifying dialogs based on step-by-step maintenance procedures. For instance, when the tag is read, the user is prompted via the display to provide maintenance-relevant data that is input using the keypad. This data can then be written to the tag. Using a wireless Bluetooth or USB connection to a PC, the data records are also stored on the central control system.
RFID ensures the reliable operation of critical process equipment, increases productivity, and prevents expensive, unscheduled process shutdowns.