Ed Nabrotzky, Chief Solutions OfficerToday, the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has redefined business-to-consumer (B2C) industries such as media, retail, and financial services. IoT is drastically transforming the ways we interact. However, its applications are not yet realized in utilities. “The concept of IoT is applicable to every industry, but to a large extent utilities have not utilized any of the IoT technologies,” begins Ed Nabrotzky, Chief Solutions Officer, Omni-ID.
From telephone and electric companies to oil & gas organizations, tracking assets is a challenge. New York based Omni-ID is steering the IoT revolution in utilities and helping these customers meet the challenge of connecting with their user base. The company delivers comprehensive asset tracking and material flow management solutions with their Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) and e-paper technologies. “Creating smart assets that can be easily counted, inventoried, deployed and billed adds a lot of value. This is especially true when high value assets spread around wide areas or multiple yards like utilities do. Adding to this automatic location detection, ability to track maintenance or replenishment information by asset, and enhanced anti-theft/counterfeit protection–you have a real interesting proposition,” says Nabrotzky.
Omni-ID’s RFID based solutions are specifically designed to meet the unique challenges faced by utility customers. From temperature extremes to corrosive materials and explosive atmosphere, the company uniquely offers active and passive products that are certified for use in hazardous environments. “Ruggedized product designs are a key to opening new markets. Our rugged products are specifically designed for ship containers, utility poles, pipes, casings and trucks,” remarks Nabrotzky. These products can easily read from long distances without moving gear or clearing debris from barcodes–which often cause safety issues.
Our rugged products are specifically designed for ship containers, utility poles, pipes, casings and trucks
Many of their customers use both in a system which can survive in outdoor yards full of rain, snow, and ice.
Passive tags are used are used for relatively close area inventory counts or tracking movement through gates or portals. Whereas, active tags are used to locate assets over widely dispersed areas (up to several hundred feet) like docks, construction areas or yards. To ensure a seamless process, Omni-ID’s system solutions also include professional services and asset tracking software options.
In an instance, Saipem, a transporter for large industrial equipment was not able to manually track their assets due to cost and time constraints. The firm was in need of a durable asset tracking system. Omni-ID stepped in with ATEX-compliant, passive UHF RFID tags, to meet the system requirements. In addition, Omni-ID and ACM-e SRL then worked with Saipem to pilot the asset tagging system across a number of offshore oil drilling bases. In the end, Omni-ID aided Saipem with tracking locations of their valuable assets while saving money and improving control.
Omni-ID’s auto-identification solutions for utilities are used to automatically track and manage assets, store certification information and flag inspection or maintenance cycles—all without any paperwork. Responding to emerging trends including utility product authenticity through anti-counterfeit programs, and developing flexible solutions for open mobility devices at the software level are key themes for Omni-ID going forward.