Long Range RFID

I am looking for a solution for a client of mine that makes concrete pipe (large diameter) and stores it outside in a 65 acre yard.

What I'd like to do is tag each piece of pipe (you might have to glue the tag on...) and then be able to scan the yard from a central location to locate, value inventory, monitor movement etc.

Anyone got any suggestions?


Gavin Davidson

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Gavin Davidson
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Not sure how much it will help but there is a great report in Scientific America this month on this exact topic. May be worth a read.

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Do you want to scan the inventory from a single point in the yard or have interogation points where the pipes will enter/leave the yard??

If you want to count the pipes from a single point in the yard.....this might get expensive since per unit price for an ID device with that much power will be expensive.

If you want to count the pipes upon arrival (place a tag on each pipe and scan them as they enter the yard) and then scan the pipes as they leave the yard, that is something that can readily be done using existing technology. You could also identify the truck they were on and when the truck passed thru the gate.

If you needed to occasionally inventory the yard, you could carry a hand scanner, etc. that would scan the pipes as the person moved around the yard.

Larry Mackey

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What's to stop a guy from trucking pipes out the back door and leaving the tags behind?



Reply to
Walter Driedger

Nothing, except the considerable weight and bulk of the pipes.

If in/out scanning were acceptable, you could scratch large bar codes on the fresh pipe and use a laser scanner at the gate.

I suppose that if the barcodes were big enough, you could mount a scanner on a tall tower and survey the whole yard.


Reply to
Mike Halloran

Imbed tags when making the pipes, if cost effective, in quantify some are well under $ 50 and down to $ 5 if just returns say a serial number. Scanning from central location the problem. But could drive the yard daily / weekly to scan and also scan all pipes entering and leaving the yard. This is a standard SCADA tracking system and results go into a database where serial #'s are stored. Could even be broken down as to different types and their location. The tag read is a positive unit ID and relocate it in the database. The drive the yard daily / weekly to scan would correct the data base, system is self healing.

GE Fanuc CIMplicity w/ Tracker is designed to do just this and works w/ MS SQL.

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Am I missing something? Wasn't the original question how to locate tagged pipes within a 65 Acre yard?

I don't think this would be difficult at all. You would need a pile of transponders (one for each pipe with a range of the furthest distance from pipe to tower) and at least 2 towers in order to triangulate the exact location. This wouldn't be on the scale of a grain of sand, but it really wouldn't be that difficult to do this. In my opinion (since I'm not a software designer) the most difficult aspect would be the programming of the transponders. If I had somemore details, I could probably offer more assistance.

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I think this would be achieved most easily/ economically, with a database / GPS solution along with radio linked PC's


Reply to
Tom Morrison

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