Tracking Barrels is critical to identify, pinpoint and acquire details about the liquid a barrel contains. It contains gas, chemicals, and beverages that need extra care while handling. Choosing the wrong container or barrel during refilling or supply might have serious consequences, especially when it comes to hazardous chemicals. Only a robust tracking solution like RFID barrel tracking can prevent any error and track the barrel easily.

Here's the question that arises: why does it need to use RFID technology for barrel tracking despite the availability of other techniques like barcodes and QR codes?

To get the answer to the question, first, let's understand the problems that occur due to improper barrel tracking.

  • Slow transfer of inventory
  • Delay in stock allocation
  • No immediate access to barrel details
  • Difficulty in identifying and tracking the location of barrels
  • No real-time information

Besides these challenges, a few limitations of existing tracking methods have also fueled the popularity of RFID technology. Relying just on barcodes is not advisable for industrial applications because they fade, resulting in a short lifetime and causing significant maintenance expenses. An RFID tag attached to a barrel stores data digitally that does not fade and allows for adding more data to the tag. An RFID system can improve barrel tracking and identification.

How does the RFID barrel tracking system work?

RFID barrel tracking is an automated asset tracking system that can identify barrels without touching or moving them. The tags affixed to each barrel serve as its identity and contain all the necessary information about the barrel. At each checkpoint in the transit system, an RFID reader may read the information contained on the tag. The RFID system is suitable for barrel transit through air, sea, or road, regardless of the transportation distance. The tracking system's database should connect the barrel filling station to the end destination through the internet, allowing real-time tracking of the barrel's movement. That allows tracking the barrel as it travels across the world.

Steps Involved In RFID Barrel Tracking
1. Tagging

Each barrel or container must affix with an RFID tag. The tag has an electronic chip that can hold data and an antenna to transmit data to the RFID reader. The RFID reader/writer device uploads barrel data such as owner details, contents, volumes, maximum filling pressure, and destination to the tag. GPS-enabled tags are required for some applications to send real-time location updates. Some tags can hold additional circuits for this purpose. A typical RFID system can provide the following functions:

  • Tracking from the manufacturing facility
  • Live location updates of batches
  • Ease of finding barrels in batches
  • Sensor embedded tags can measure parameters such as temperature, pressure, volume, etc.
  • Adaptable for a wide variety of applications
Different Types Of Tags

There are two kinds of tags used in the barrel tracking systems: active and passive tags; both have their applications.

Passive tag

Passive tags do not require any power supply. The RFID tag gets energized by the electromagnetic field of the RFID reader. When a tag comes in the reader's electromagnetic field, the field provides the energy needed to transfer data from the tag. The frequency of the reader can modulate to increase the range of transmission. The same electromagnetic field reads and writes data in the tag. The tag won't respond if it is outside the range of the RFID reader.

Active tag

Active tags require a power source, which can be either a battery or solar power. The power supply modulates the RFID reader's field and charges the tag's extra circuits. Hence, the electromagnetic field of the RFID reader is required to communicate data to the reader. The RFID tag will boost the low-frequency signal to convey additional data from sensors or GPS circuits integrated into the tag.

Tags with sensors get attached to barrels carrying chemicals or gas used for sensitive purposes or medical usage. Such sensors may measure the temperature, pressure, and volume of material within the barrels in real-time and regularly update the RFID system. On the other hand, GPS chips are embedded into RFID tags to track the real-time location of the high-security barrels or containers.

2. Tracking

The RFID reader installed at each checkpoint or inventory reads the tag and updates the barrel location accordingly. A fixed reader installed in the inventory gates will automatically read the RFID tags when they pass through the gates, and it updates in the RFID database. This will aid in precisely transporting the barrels to their destination. Also, there are handheld RFID readers to search and locate barrels. Inventory managing staff don't require to check all the barrel details to pick a particular barrel. Instead, the handheld reader can show them the barrel's location they are looking for.

3. RFID database

RFID database records the tag details and transit updates from its filling phase. It automatically updates data regarding the barrel transit whenever the corresponding RFID reader finds a tag. RFID database functionalities are:

  • Keep track of barrel transit
  • Automatic update of inventory stock details
  • Send data to a handheld RFID reader to find barrels.
  • Send updates to the customer regarding barrel movement.

Benefits of RFID barrel tracking system

  • Automatic stock allocation to the database
  • Unprecedented traceability from the filling station to the destination
  • A single barrel or batch location's location is updated in real-time.
  • Additional circuit integration for the live monitoring of material status
  • Real-time transit updates for customers
  • It is simple to locate missing or misplaced barrels
  • Ensure that suppliers are using the same barrel to refill the same kind of chemical or beverage.

RFenergie solutions for barrel tracking

RFenergie offers comprehensive RFID solutions for container tracking, document tracking, toll connection, warehouse inventory tracking, laboratory equipment tracking, and other applications. We are proud to inform you that NHAI employs our RFID reader in their toll booth for FASTag toll collection. We have collaborated with several smart cities around the country to install RFID security, waste management, and inventory monitoring systems.

We provide end-to-end solutions for barrel tracking with a wide variety of RFID tags and readers. We offer tags in three frequency ranges: LF (Low Frequency), HF (High Frequency), and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). Users can make their selection based on the applications they want to use. UHF is preferable because it necessitates long-range detection. RFenergie provides both handheld and fixed RFID readers. Both the readers are suitable for the rugged conditions of barrel transit.