Aury Africa has introduced a radio-frequency identification (RFID) audit and inspection solution, ideal for use in mining applications. The RFID tags emit a unique electromagnetic field that, when scanned, is used to automatically track and trace objects and equipment on which it is placed.

Use of RFID tags can be made when inspecting plant equipment, mining machines, pumps, valves and pipes – in fact, most items of equipment that may require regular inspection. 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.

RFID tags each have their own unique identifier to ensure they can never be duplicated. Proof of presence is ensured because the person undertaking the inspection has to be within range of the tag when scanning with the mobile device.

Mobile scanning device
The RFID mobile scanning devices are fit-for-purpose, with apps available for iOS or Android mobile operating systems. One of the 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.

The device can be used to identify and perform inspections on equipment and conduct in-field certifications. It also enables users to capture GPS coordinates of assets, and keep track of where they have been previously deployed.

Fixed readers can be installed 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.

Digital images of failures, hazards, and processes can be captured using the device’s digital camera. This allows mines to keep a record on the status of the equipment, while the device allows users to access documentation and equipment manuals. All of this to ensure that the correct asset is being inspected, and that maintenance work is undertaken correctly.

All together now
Upon completion of the inspection, the results are synchronised automatically to the cloud for secure capture. This can be integrated into most enterprise resource-planning systems, such as Sap, Oracle, Sage, and Microsoft Dynamics.

This allows companies to develop an asset register of its equipment, capture standard specifications for asset categories, view the dates and times of inspections, and even monitor who undertook these.

Reporting is carried out in real-time and customised according to client needs. With this the system generates a summary report that can be sent out after the inspection, or at the end of the shift.

In essence, benefits of the system include that it provides for an effective asset-management register, ensures compliance with inspection requirements, and enables skills transfer, while allowing mines to develop both a digital and hard-copy logbook.

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