Ease of use, new equipment, and exciting research are all part of a new article featured in the RFID Journal shedding light on the newest iteration of the InfraMarker system.

 

For a look into the new and improved RFID-enabled solution to asset management, here’s a brief synopsis of the article highlighting the key takeaways.

 

To read the article in its entirety, simply scroll down to the link at the bottom of the post.

 

Adding new a new layer of convenience to an already groundbreaking system

 

Using a unique combination of magnetic locators, RFID tags, and readers, previous versions of the InfraMarker broke new ground for a variety of industries in need of a better way to determine the exact locations of pipes and other buried infrastructure. 

 

With a new platform in place to build upon, the InfraMarker division of Bernsten International got to work developing an even more powerful system that went beyond tagging and locating to create a more connected platform for users.

 

The newest edition of InfraMarker, released this past month, introduces GPS technology and real-time cloud communication tools to bring underground asset management into the “Internet of Things,” as Berntsen International’s VP of R&D Bill Rushing explained to RFID Journal.

 

Streamlining the digging process

 

Simply put, unreliable legacy location technologies lead to high costs, slower project times, and a greater risk of accidents that put field crews at risk.

 

To address these shortcomings, the new InfraMarker combines GPS, RFID, and magnetic locators to reduce location times for underground assets by 80 percent compared to other systems.

 

Using GPS to find an asset’s approximate site location, field technicians can confirm their locations via photos and video embedded in the asset’s record––accessible via Microsoft’s Azure cloud storage service.

 

When the location is confirmed, magnetic locators are used to pinpoint the asset’s exact location and RFID readers are used to verify the asset’s identity. With such a precise system in place, crews can be sure they’re digging in the right place––reducing accidents and delays that occur when mistakes are made.

 

Cutting-edge technology brings a new level of connectivity to underground asset management

 

The backbone of InfraMarker is Trimble’s Juno T41 handheld computer, which features an RFID reader, antenna, GPS unit, and the proprietary InfraMarker software used to connect these systems together.

 

Compatible with Android-based smartphones, operators can control RFID readers to read and write InfraMarker tags in the field via Bluetooth without the extra bulk and weight of a traditional handheld computer.

 

All activity is then uploaded directly to the cloud for storage––including photo and video content taken directly from the operator’s smartphone.

 

InfraMarker’s RFID tags incorporate a magnet that in Rushing’s words “will last forever.” Three different versions of the tag allow crews to tailor the equipment to the demands of the specific environment they’re working in.

 

Tested for real-world efficiency in the field

 

What prompted the development of these new and improved connectivity features?

 

After testing the original InfraMarker system throughout the city of Thiensville, Wisconsin since 2012, the city was provided with “good insight into how personnel in the field would use this type of system,” and “helped us lead to develop InfraMarker as a more fully integrated system,” says Mike Klonsinski, Berntsen International’s director of business development.

 

Other research has corroborated the Thiensville’s assessment, including a study from Auburn University, which praised the system for it’s significant ease of use.

 

In short, the aim of InfraMarker is to add a new level of convenience and reliability to underground asset management, making it easier for municipalities, utilities, and contractors to conduct projects efficiently, reducing costly and sometimes deadly mistakes.

 

Interested in learning more about InfraMarker? Click here to read the full article on RFIDJournal.com.

 

Wondering if InfraMarker is the right asset management solution for you? Check out our Get Started page for more details about what the InfraMarker can do.