If you tell anyone in upstream oil & gas operations (offshore or onshore) you have designed a RFID tag that survives drilling operations and ask if they could use it, their response would undoubtedly be: Absolutely!
Xerafy, InfoChip’s exclusive partner, has done exactly that for the oil & gas industry. Prior to the new Xplorer tag, over the past 10 years there were many attempts to create a UHF tag for use in downhole drilling that proved unsuccessful. Most previous solutions embraced either LF or HF RFID technology and have fallen short of expectations due to lack of read range, multi-scan and/or durability. It is important to note that most oil & gas operators are requesting UHF frequency because it gives the user the ability to do multi-scan reads and provides longer read range options.
The new Xplorer’s rugged design exceeds the harshest drilling operations that a pipe encounters. The Xplorer tag operates at continuous exposure to 500°F and 30,000 psi. The form factor design featuring stainless and PEEK® materials allows the tag to stay in the milled pocket for the life of the asset. It is the first UHF tag that reads from 3 to 7 feet with a fixed reader mounted to a handling tool or other object.
This tag enables drillers and ancillary suppliers to capture data that traditionally has been documented on a chief tablet (paper) and then filed into a filing cabinet. InfoChip has worked with Pepperl & Fuchs to integrate its UHF reader which is designed to operate in a Class 1, Div. 1 environment. This durable reader enables the new Xplorer tag to collect data for analytics that in the past has not been possible due to fragmented documentations systems that are not easily aggregated.
The new Xplorer will have a major impact on efficiencies and asset utilization for drillers and end users. We see additional applications for drilling risers, BOPs and many other severe-duty applications.