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The tags, in addition to the devices to which they are attached, are being installed under some of the most hazardous industrial conditions — at oil and gas companies, petrochemical refineries and chemical manufacturing sites. By using RFID labels, businesses can automate the collection of each safety device's maintenance history, as well as ensure that all devices are being maintained, and that none end up missing.
PSE is a full-service engineering consulting firm that specializes in process control, industrial automation, process safety and safety instrumentation. Its customers are in the chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and oil and gas industries, according to Richard Pranke, PSE's principal.
PSE's customers tend to have hazardous materials on their premises that must be closely monitored as they are stored, to prevent any incidents such as leakage of a gas or liquid. Therefore, the companies use safety-instrumented system devices connected to tanks or vessels that might, for instance, track pressure and display an alert in the event that the device detects a problem. On a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, the companies send maintenance workers or inspectors around their facilities to ensure the devices are working properly, by performing procedures such as stroking (opening and closing) the valve.
Maintenance workers manually record what they do on paper, since hazardous environments prevent companies from allowing any laptop or other computer device into the area. In that way, employees cannot simply input data into a laptop or standard tablet.
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