Cox Industries is attaching passive EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags to wooden utility poles after they are manufactured at its Blackstone, Va., facility, in order to track their location and status within the yard in which they are stored and then loaded onto trucks bound for utility companies across the Eastern Seaboard. At the same time, in the city of Orangeburg, S.C., the Department of Public Utilities' Electric Division is applying similar tags to 20,000 poles, for use by its inspectors and maintenance staff.
Both solutions are provided by Sustainable Management Systems. Although the two applications represent different segments in the approximately 40-year lifespan of a wooden utility pole, says Barry Breede, Sustainable Management Systems' CEO, they could eventually be combined by means of a single tag, attached by a pole manufacturer to each log arriving by truck from a lumber company and used by both the manufacturer and the utility companies that are its customers.
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