Screening and vibrating equipment solutions and services provider Aury Africa has introduced a radio-frequency identification (RFID) audit and inspection solution that is ideal for mining applications. These include inspecting plant equipment, mining machines, pumps, valves and pipes – in fact, most items of equipment that may require regular inspection and, in some cases, regulatory requirements.
RFID tags use an electromagnetic field to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects and equipment. This aids in flow-process inspection and maintenance, and ensures compliance with all regulatory reporting requirements. The microchips used in the tags can be embedded into different types of attachments, including cable ties, bands, buckles, and bolts. The flexibility of these attachments enables them to be welded, glued, or tied onto the required application.
“Aury Africa is currently integrating the RFID solution with our equipment through the assistance of our technical partner Thembekile Asset Management Solutions, which has many years’ experience in digitising workflow processes. This ensures that customers have access to real-time information, and also cuts down on unnecessary paperwork,” Aury Africa Director Sydney Parkhouse explains.
RFID tags each have their own unique identifier to ensure they can never be duplicated. The system requires a proof of presence, as the person undertaking the inspection has to be within proximity range of the tag with the scanning device to communicate the information securely.
These RFID mobile devices are fit-for-purpose, with apps available for iOS or Android operating systems. One of key features of the system is that the tag and the scanner do not have to be in direct line of sight for the transfer of communication to occur.
Through the use of the specialised mobile scanning device, one can identify and perform inspections on equipment and conduct in-field certifications. The mobile device has additional features that enable users to capture GPS coordinates of assets, and keep track of where they have been previously deployed.
In addition, fixed readers can be used to create ‘gateways’ whereby tagged equipment passing through the gateway can be read automatically. Typical uses of this functionality would be, for example, the transfer of equipment from one location to another.