Revolutionizing Oil & Gas Industry with RFID Tags

Tony Kington
Tony Kington, President & CEO



“Omni-ID pioneered passive identification and tracking technologies which are relied on by large organizations worldwide and will remain at the core of our business.”

Assume an inspector who walks the line on a busy 2-acre extraction range every morning. With coffee in one hand and an iPad in the other, he checks the situation of more than 13,350 equipment assets.

How can you place eyes on so much equipment every day? The RFID tags throughout the arm-span “check-in” with the app on his handheld device. When contracting in different oil yards, there was a strong need to provide visibility of all the tools and safety status to owners. A global Oil & Gas company attempted to automate that tracking with RFID.

To achieve its transparency and productivity goals, the organization moved forward with Omni-ID. Collectively, they established a viable path for digital transformation, combining with their existing ERP system, and securing rugged, secure RFID hardware that could survive in the harsh drilling environments. Today, just in their North American services alone, the contractor has more 500,000 RFID tags in the area, all feeding information into their mobile- and desktop-enabled app, which then sends critical data points to an SAP dashboard. Now that the system is working well and saving money, the plan is to take it to their eastern hemisphere operations.

Based in Rochester, NY, Omni-ID has produced original, patented technologies for on-metal and visual tagging to facilitate a broad range of applications to enhance asset tracking, supply chain management, and work-in-process. Omni-ID is the principal supplier of RFID tags and visual tagging systems for Energy, Manufacturing & Logistics, IT Assets, and Tool Tracking. Omni-ID’s versatile family of products presents a complete range of tags and auto-ID explications for tracking and identification challenges, with unparalleled accuracy, in any environment.

Omni-ID started as a research and development team formed in the 1990s inside QinetiQ, an international defense and security technology company. The team was replenished with exploring and challenging the boundaries of RFID. The outcome was a groundbreaking technological improvement — passive UHF RFID tags that produce near-perfect accuracy in severe environments, including in the presence of metals and liquids. This signified a fundamental shift in the way the RFID tags were viewed and broadly developed the practical use applications. Omni-ID was propelled as a stand-alone company.

Known for consistently producing industry standards, Omni-ID is the original creator and patent-holder of the on-metal passive RFID tag. In 2012, the company began ProVIEW — the world’s first visual tagging system — to replace paper-driven methods in manufacturing, providing not only the ability to track assets; but effective, readable instructions right on the tag, completely replacing the auto-identification industry landscape.

Today, Omni-ID has dramatically grown to become not only the leading developer and global supplier of high production, highly durable, passive & active RFID tags applied to improve workflow, asset tracking, and management but to developing and architecting complete asset management solutions for Fortune 500 organizations around the globe.

From developing inventory and supply chain management to compliance and real-time visual instructions – Omni-ID’s talented family of hardware and software products enables comprehensive end-to-end asset tracking and management solutions for business, IT, and manufacturing.

As steadfast innovators, it is no surprise to see Omni-ID as a leading force in securing the power and strength of ‘The Internet of Things (IoT)’ for tracking and monitoring objectives. The introduction of the ‘Sense’ range of IoT devices in January 2020 is the source of an exciting latest chapter that is set to develop and evolve swiftly.

Omni-ID’s skilled team of implementation experts can design and develop the right solution for companies– including the hardware, software, middleware, RFID physics, or IoT network protocol an organization requires.

The Power of Visibility

Powered by their unique software and award-winning and registered RFID technologies – this solution is specially designed for Oil & Gas and Industrial Supply Chain Companies. This total solution – tags, software, and readers – offers a standalone ensemble or integrates easily as a front end to the existing enterprise software. Customers get the process visibility they need for inventorying, positioning, and managing your equipment. Omni-ID, the inventors and patent owners of the industry’s first on-metal, durable RFID tags, have assembled a wholesome solution to automate asset management in the harshest and remote environments confronted by Oil & Gas operations.

RFID Tags for every requirement: pipes, drill collars, casings, safety equipment, slings, baskets, shackles, generators, shipping containers, trucks – and all things in between.

Strict adherence to rules: By complying with EPC standards, UHF permits the use of industry-standard handheld and implanted RFID readers and 3rd party RFID tags, protecting past investments.

Omni-ID Pro-VIEW’s application of UHF passive RFID technology will significantly improve safety for the workers, enhance their efficiency in inventorying assets, and reduce downtime due to lost or unfit equipment. With Omni-ID’s patented on-metal tag technology, tags are undoubtedly read at a distance – no more shifting cogwheel, scraping mud off bar codes, or climbing over material to get at ID numbers or barcodes. One pass with an RFID reader will concurrently read tags and automatically update inventory check-in/out, eliminating manual entry mistakes.

It also streamlines operations and minimizes stoppages or delay to find the location and history of material anywhere in your inventory – right from the field in real-time. Pro-VIEW also offers alerts and notifications to proactively schedule asset support and replacement – allowing you to stay ahead of equipment issues ere delivery to the worksite.

Products for Oil & Gas Arena

These new products proposed by the company are very different in terms of attachment style, robustness, and costs to meet the needs of both users who are looking for ultimate durability and others looking for certain specific characteristics at rates that make RFID adoption possible in some particular cases. Moreover, Omni-ID also launched an enhanced RFID tag for IT asset tracking.

Boasting an automated steel frame encasement, the 360° are RFID tags able to withstand the harshest environments and roughest handling. They feature a tether hole explicitly created to meet the needs of oil and gas and other heavy business applications. The 360° can be delivered with many customization services, which involve surface etching/printing on only one or both sides. These Gen 2 RFID tags can also be equipped with an optional, supplementary ISO 18000-3 Mode 1 HF RFID chip for dual-frequency / RFID conventional functionality.

The Forte is encased in a weldable steel case to withstand the harshest environmental circumstances and the most challenging mechanical stresses. These rugged RFID tags can be enduringly fixed to the tagged item for security and anti-counterfeiting purposes by welding, but can also be fastened with bolts/rivets or adhesive foam. These Forte are available in a single regional account tuned to work in ETSI and FCC regulated areas and provide high read administration for use in the oil and gas industry, in heavy machinery and production applications and metal part manufacturing administration. Also, on these EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, Omni-ID offers many customization settings, which include surface etching/printing on one only or both surfaces and the additional operational frequency option in acquiescence with the ISO 18000-3 mode 1 RFID model.

The Pipe Tags are high results, limited life RFID tags constructed to survive the harsh conditions typical of pipe and cylinder accommodation and transport at a low price. EPC Gen 2 RFID compliant, these tags come in two different regional variants optimized for the FCC and the ETSI frequency bands, providing read varieties of up to 15m when attached to metal surfaces. The unique clasp mechanism eases the attachment and removal operations for cylindrical objects and other difficult to tag parts.

The Solo is UHF RFID tags designed to develop the supply chain visibility of a wide variety of metal and non-metal assets. These low-cost RFID tags provide high-end production connected with the robustness that is needed in heavy-duty reinforcements such as tracking of rental or pooled assets to be processed multiple times in harsh indoor or outdoor conditions.

The Prox NG are Gen 2 RFID tags created to reliably track servers, blade servers, routers, switches, and other IT assets. They produce consistently, broadband (860-930MHz) read review meeting the FSTC requirements for RFID tags to be employed in IT asset tracking. The Prox NG tags feature a tether hole that allows secure attachment to hard to tag objects. The Prox NG tags stand out by a wide read angle for optimal performance with both handheld readers and fixed portals.

Moving with Time

Omni-ID, recently propelled a new range of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Long Range (LoRa) enabled tools. The new ‘Sense’ range of RFID devices utilizes sensors to transmit situational and status data over BLE, GPS, and open conventional Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) communication protocols, enabling the devices to be used within a variety of applications and IoT infrastructures. The tools are powerful yet energy-efficient and can be used for up to five years within rigid and remote operating environments. The first Sense range will include five devices serving two main purpose types: Conditioning Monitoring and Asset Management & Logistics, with more product varieties to follow through the year.

The Sense LoRa products extend long-range communications: up to 15km in flat, open space, or 3-4km in an urban environment, and have a compact battery that lasts up to 5 years. The machines can be operated using a call button form, or range finder, making them suitable for different types of facilities management and field service demands. When using the GPS and accelerometer points, Sense LoRa devices will give positional accuracy of 3-5m upon inclination.

In the Asset Management & Logistics product collection, the Sense BLE product offers a communication range of up to 200m and can connect to WiFi, LAN, or cellular networks and a cloud or locally hosted customer application server. These RFID machines can be used for logistics, distribution, and asset management within the automotive production, oil & gas, mining, cold chain position monitoring, facilities management, field operations, ports construction, emergency exposure, worker safety and accountability, and fleet monitoring.

“Omni-ID established passive identification and tracking technologies which are relied on by big organizations worldwide and will remain at the heart of our business alongside more current IoT product developments. New IoT devices alike the Sense family are complementary to the existing passive range and provide our customers to benefit from the connectivity and extended expanse of Bluetooth Low Energy, LoRaWAN and other LPWAN technologies to formulate intelligent IoT solutions that are built to last,” says Tony Kington, CEO of Omni-ID.