Among giant tanks and conveyor systems in chemical plants, thousands of hoses transport process media from point A to point B. Substances can include gas, oil, water, steam, and a range of chemicals. To ensure that these media are safely transported, legally defined regulations are in place for maintenance cycles of industrial and chemical hoses. RFID handhelds from Pepperl+Fuchs and ecom, paired with application-specific software developed by Neoception, make these maintenance tasks convenient and efficient.
Chemical plants are subject to comprehensive governmental supervision to ensure safe operation. Because these high safety standards also apply to the hoses in use, regular checks are required by law. Proper maintenance requires interruption of operation, complete plant shutdown, and removal of the hoses being checked. This makes it all the more important for plant operators to save additional time and costs by keeping tests to a minimum.
In hazardous and industrial environments, documentation of the hose check can be easily done with an RFID handheld and application-specific software. To make this possible, RFID tags in the form of a UHF label are attached to each hose. The following data is saved on the tags:
The hose information is read by the RFID handheld and then documented via the “hose manager” software from the Pepperl+Fuchs start-up Neoception. The auditor is guided through each test step by step, which ensures that no steps are forgotten. All results are recorded and then made available in a report file that can be uploaded to the ERP system wirelessly. For added convenience, the user interface is designed to be glove-friendly.
The RFID handhelds also feature a localization function that can be used to measure the distance to a detected tag on a bar graph. Besides detecting and localizing RFID tags, it is also possible to read out a variety of 1-D or 2-D codes. The integrated 2-D imager allows users to assign additional information to particular components using barcodes or QR codes. When reading the tags, this data can be linked to the other test results. This way, “Mobile Workers” can retrieve all information on site and save it in a log file or online.