Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is nothing new. It’s been used in underground locating for over 20 years, but up until now, the technology has been limited in what it can accomplish due to a lack of connectivity and data management tools.
As highlighted in a recent edition of Underground Focus Magazine, the InfraMarker’s breakthrough system is taking this valuable technology into the future with an innovative new array of tools designed to change the way assets are mapped, located, and managed both in the field and in the office.
We’ve underscored some of the main points of the article in a brief synopsis below. Click here to grab the original article found on page 32-33 of the magazine (page 17 of the PDF file.)
InfraMarker takes RFID technology to the next level
One of the biggest limitations to RFID’s role in managing underground assets was the belief that buried tags could only be used with low frequency RFID bands, making it impossible to read tags buried deeper underground.
Using new technology, however, Berntsen International’s newly expanded InfraMarker System makes it possible to read tags through soil up to 24 inches deep and in sand up to five feet.
What’s the result?
Smaller, lighter equipment, cheaper tags, and better compatibility with Class 1, Gen 2 tags; advantages that allow RFID systems to map all infrastructures––both above and below ground––using one system.
In addition to what we can do with this technology today, the improvements also set the stage for even bigger enhancements in the future such as sensor-enabled RFID tags capable of measuring environmental changes in real time.
Greater connectivity and accessibility than ever before
Up until now, RFID data has been limited in scope by a tag’s storage capabilities. These tiny snippets of data required field technicians to use field units to read this data and transfer it to a GIS or asset management system via cable.
Today, with the integration of cloud storage systems, the storage size of the tag is irrelevant. Modern RFID systems like the InfraMarker link tag data to information stored in the cloud, providing an almost unlimited amount of storage space.
Asset locators and managers are now able to attach photos, videos, documents, purchasing records, and more to each asset individually––streamlining the infrastructure management process immensely.
Modernized data management back in the office
In addition to a more efficient means of storing and transferring data, the information itself has never been easier to manage regardless of its format. Traditional systems require companies to customize file formats for each organization, making data sharing complicated and difficult to accomplish efficiently.
InfraMarker’s proprietary software supports a wide range of file formats both standard and customized, making basic infrastructure maps easily visible to contractors, government officials, and the general public while securing sensitive information strictly for internal use.
Thanks to advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, field data can be imported into a company’s GIS system in radically shorter time compared to older systems.
InfraMarker, for instance, can skip the file translation process entirely by transferring data from the field to ArcGIS in hours or even minutes depending on the conditions.
What's the big takeaway?
Although RFID technology was originally established decades ago, its use in subsurface infrastructure management has been stunted by limitations in connectivity, data storage, and system standardization.
Today, tools like the InfraMarker have been designed to solve these problems and push RFID-enabled asset management systems into the future by making this technology a viable option in a wide variety of practical applications.
Interested in learning more about the InfraMarker RFID Infrastructure Marking System? Click here to get started.
Interested in reading the full article featured in Underground Focus Magazine? Click here to grab the issue.