KEEPING TRACK OF
VALVES WITH RFID
Today, radio frequency identifica- tion (RFID) tags are attached to
pallets of goods shipped to Wal-Mart
stores, to equipment in military supply depots, to U.S. passports and to
people when they are patients in hospitals. In manufacturing, they’re
mainly used for supply-chain and
asset tracking. Yet RFID use in the
valve world is just beginning. This
article examines the technology,
explores how valve manufacturers
and users are applying that technology and takes a look at the results
tagging is achieving.
Tagging products such as valves saves time,
money and paper—and helps prevent
counterfeiting. And RFID technology has been
used for many years in other industries. So why
has it taken so long to catch on in the valve
industry? BY PETER CLEAVELAND
HOW RFID WORKS
Figure 1. The bracket-mounted RFID tag on this valve allows it to be tracked from a distance,
and connects to a complete database.
from low frequency to microwave, but the tags used with valves generally run at
ultra-high frequencies (UHF) of between 868 and 928 megahertz, depending on the
location of the system in the world.
Most tags used with valves are read-only: They are programmed when built or
installed and respond only with that information. There also are read/write tags that
can accept and store additional information provided by the reader.