The oil and gas industry is constantly striving to improve its safety culture. The past several decades have seen a number of high-profile tanker, offshore platform, and well failure incidents that have had devastating environmental consequences and led to injuries and fatalities. Oil and gas companies are increasing their safety efforts, while the industry works with various regional governments to create workable standards and best practices. For example, members of the Nigerian government and oil and gas industry representatives recently held a seminar to help improve safety in the energy sector. And OPITO, an oil and gas sector safety training company, has seen demand for its courses more than double this year. As the industry continues to improve its operations, technology (including RFID) has a role to play in ensuring the safe operation of equipment at well sites and the safety of employees. In today’s blog, we look at how RFID improves safety throughout the oil and gas industry.
According to this article in the Oil & Gas Financial Journal, the industry utilizes the Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) for all offshore operations in U.S. waters. Using SEMS, oil and gas companies try to reduce human error and poor organization that can lead to accidents; continually improve offshore safety and environmental results; utilize performance-based operating practices; and collaborate across the industry to promote offshore worker safety and environmental protection. Continue reading
Each year the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) holds its annual conference, where leading healthcare executives and technology vendors can meet to discuss innovative approaches to the healthcare supply chain.
VueMed’s RFID and barcode solutions, VueTrack and VueScan, are software as a service (SaaS) inventory and data management systems that can help track and document the use of medical products, devices and supplies in real time.
Real-time inventory management is critical for hospitals, since their assets and supplies require high availability in order to ensure patient safety and staff efficiency. In some cases, use of those assets must also be well documented in order to meet regulatory and other compliance requirements. And by documenting the use of all supplies and equipment, hospitals can more accurately bill payers and potentially increase charge capture. Continue reading
An increasing number of aviation companies are starting to implement RFID not only for tool tracking, but also for improving safety by automating foreign objection detection (FOD) and supporting maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes. One such company is Aman Aviation, an Indian MRO company for aircrafts, who through its partnership with Dolphin RFID plans to drive the adoption of RFID-based best practices in the Indian civil aviation sector. The automated system using RFID will help Aman Aviation save time compared to paper-based record keeping and manual tool searches. RFID will also improve record accuracy and make tool status information available in real time which will reduce the amount of time airplanes spend on the ground, augment the number of trips they make, make air travel in India more cost-effective and profitable, and maintain high levels of safety.
MRO is one of the most extreme environments for RFID tags because it demands reliable performance for as long as the tagged tool, part or other asset is in service. RFID can provide the essential link between the physical items and the information needed to keep them running safely and efficiently. Xerafy rugged tags read reliably each time, even after years of exposure to temperature extremes, oil, dirt, hydraulic fluid, cleaning solvents and other challenging materials and conditions common to aerospace operations.
Xerafy, who has already worked with Boeing and Airbus for similar projects, was chosen for its high performance RFID tags and strong experience in RFID tool tracking applications for aviation and the industries. Its rugged tags — RFID Dot XS (a 6mm diameter round tag that is 2.5 mm thick with a read distance of 1.5 meters or 5 feet) and Dash XS (a 12 x 3 x 2.2 mm tag and has a read distance of 2 meters or 6.6 feet) — were selected by Dolphin RFID for the tool tracking application because of their small form factor and excellent read range as well as reading reliability when used on and near metal objects. Continue reading
Traditionally, RFID projects in the asset realm have been focused on asset tracking – they can tell you where an item is. It’s an operational function that exists separately from the use, optimization, or value of the actual item. But there are ways to use RFID data at a higher level, to enable true asset management.
In manufacturing, RFID systems are often used to track tools, equipment, machinery, bins/totes, and other items. In a hospital, the technology has been similarly used to track wheelchairs, IV pumps, beds, and other equipment. RFID’s value lies in reducing the number of labor hours spent searching for assets. In some cases, the RFID system is married to an employee ID and check-in/check-out process so that companies not only know where an item is, but who has it.
Providing true asset management functionality
But strictly focusing on location means that companies are leaving a significant amount of value on the table. RFID can provide location data, but it can also be integrated with other technology and systems to accelerate the return on investment (ROI) for RFID, and also create numerous new value opportunities for companies by enabling true asset management functionality.
This transition requires analytics tools that can examine the location data and turn it into usable business intelligence. This usable data can be opened up to stakeholders outside of operations or facilities management – finance, compliance, auditing, etc., as actionable data for true decisioning. Continue reading
Perioperative care presents a broad set of challenges when it comes to patient safety and provider efficiency before, during, and after surgery. Technology can help hospitals improve their chances of efficiently processing patients in the safest way possible through all phases of surgery. RFID, in particular, can play a significant role in both operating room productivity and patient safety.
Surgeries involve a number of complex variables, including multi-member surgical teams; a large array of supplies, instruments, and implants; and stringent sterilization and safety requirements. Complicating matters, perioperative clinicians and staff are often not directly familiar with surgical patients. This lack of familiarity and knowledge can lead to errors as patient misidentification, miscommunication of the planned procedure, and omission of known allergies or antibiotics. Patient hand-offs or transfers between teams can lead to even more potential confusion.
RFID can play an important role in improving perioperative care.
Using passive RFID tags on equipment such as beds, wheelchairs, IV pumps, and other items, hospitals can coordinate asset management technology with bar code patient wristbands to ensure the right patient is headed toward the correct operating room.
Using RFID on surgical instruments, kits and other equipment, staff can confirm that all the necessary supplies are present for each surgery before the patient arrives. Use of those tools can be monitored during surgery. Afterward, all tools and supplies can be accounted for via a quick scan with an RFID reader. This not only protects the hospital’s assets, but also helps prevent accidents such as leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient.
Post-surgery, hospitals can track and document all disposal or sterilization processes, which can help reduce the risk of infection. Continue reading