One of the main issues with fire doors is identifying what a door is when the only information you have available is the door itself, no records and no compliance tag. This problem exists for the manufacturer trying to counter a warranty claim, a service company wanting to undertake repairs, a building/facility owner needing to provide certification to an authority etc.
In relation to passive fire protection, such as fire doors, data is king. Knowing what a door is provides the essential information needed to certify and properly service and maintain the fire door throughout its life.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is a very flexible technology which in essence provides a truly unique identification to an individual item. Having a means to uniquely identify items then allows us the power to then follow this item throughout its usable life and beyond.
This means that not only can we follow an item but we can also maintain an accurate audit trail of the item and all things which have occurred to it during its life. These things could be original manufacturing details, warranty conditions, approvals, service visits, photos of modifications etc.
Through the utilization of a central data store we can associate any amount of information against the unique identification of an item and not only associate any amount of data against it but also recall the information as and when required.
The ability to combine RFID technology with central data stores is further expanded with the use of an internet based portal providing access to the central data store. This ability then gives rise to information being readily available around the world regardless of location through a standard internet browser or via a portable mobile device.
Examples of what we can achieve with RFID
The following are examples of the application of RFID technology for the fire door industry. This is only a short list of the possibilities of this technology for not only the fire door industry but any industry.
Proof of product
- Identify an item with a RFID Tag containing a unique identifier
- Through an internet portal upload documentation relating to each product type
- Through a portable hand held device, scan the RFID Tag and enter the manufacturing details of the product
- E.g. Type, size, colour, shape etc
- Write data directly to the products RFID tag
- At any time, scan the product RFID tag and retrieve the data relating to the product as referenced against the unique identifier
- Allow authorities access to read data directly contained on the product RFID tag e.g. manufacturer, compliance details etc
- Prior to installation scan the product RFID tag and obtain the details of the product and ensure they are correct for the intended installation
- As details are held in the data store automate the generation of certificates and schedules relating to product evidence and compliance
Proof of Attendance
- Using portable devices to record the undertaking of inspection activities, the inspection can be designed to only occur if a successful scan of the product RFID tag is undertaken which by default requires the technician to be in close proximity of the products RFID tag
- If a product RFID tag is not scanned the system can allow the technician to proceed with the inspection but will send a status back to the central data store detailing that the product was not scanned to initiate the inspection activity
Remote data capture and data transfer
- Individual product maintenance requirements can be provided for each individual product or type of product and held in the central data store
- By scanning a products RFID tag the device software can communicate with the central data store and display the maintenance requirements for the specific product scanned
- Establish routine inspection dates for a product and have the central data store advise when things should be done or when things are not done when due
- Get alerts when warranties are due to expire so you an pro actively contact the client and see if they want ongoing service post warranty
Automated reporting and notifications
- Let the central data store crunch the data so you don’t have to
- Generate inspection reports based on data captured in the field
- Generate door schedules based on data held in the data store
- Automatically generate a report every time an event happens e.g. on warranty expiry send an automated email to the client advising them the warranty period is over and for any future issues contact company x, y or z
RFID technology is a way we can finally and comprehensively address identification issues in relation to fire doors and further provide added benefits to all stake holders who are involved with the manufacture, supply, installation, services and certification of fire doors by providing a comprehensive product history from manufacture to disposal.
Through the use of RFID technology we can build further integrity into the industry and protect the safety of people in buildings and facilities and also minimise the risk of premature product replacement.
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