The Importance of RFID Asset Tracking in South Africa


RFID personnel and asset tracking enables companies to move materials more quickly, cost effectively, and efficiently.

Extech Safety Systems specialises in RFID personnel and asset tracking in industries with hazardous areas where normal asset tracking may not meet the required safety standards.  Let’s take a look at how RFID asset tracking works in order to explain how it is different in hazardous areas.

How it works
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are systems of stickers or plastic tags that were designed to improve upon traditional type of product bar codes. They’re significantly more useful than traditional product bar codes because you can change the ID for certain products or rewrite the tags dynamically.  RFID asset tracking works by assigning an RFID tag to every asset that you are going to be moving.

Radio frequency plays an integral part in the system as radio waves transmit information from the asset to the radio antennae.  Information such as the location and condition of assets are communicated by radio waves which are received by antennae and communicated to the system.

How is this different in a hazardous environment?
Many people don’t realise that radio frequency is a hazard in certain environments. Sparks caused by powerful radio waves are sufficient to ignite a flammable atmosphere.

Environments where this is an issue include:
*Tool tracking and audit in petrochemical industries.
*Managed maintenance and repair for gas extraction platforms refineries and similar environments
*Underground Mining where there is a risk of methane (e.g. Coal)
*Check out / check in gas or fuel containers

Safety compliant RFID asset tracking solutions are required in petrochemical industries especially.
Different wireless technology is used in these environments that use less power than traditional radio wave systems making it safe to use for tracking assets in explosive environments.
In South Africa RFID Asset tracking for hazardous areas is a specialized service provided by Extech Safety Systems (Pty) Ltd.

Extech Safety Systems is the sole distributor of Extronics intrinsically safe RFID equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Extronics are Master distributor for the Aeroscout tracking solutions. Extech can also assist with Hazardous Area wireless networking. Extech Safety System’s solutions are designed to improve the safety of workers while creating efficiency in production and asset management.

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