Build quality and reliability are essential, key qualities of material lifting equipment. As a result, it is imperative that such products are regularly monitored and inspected to ensure that the equipment adheres to stringent industry regulations and standards.

There is a range of products in this field, especially in the RFID arena, that makes the track, tracing and identification of equipment more effective and efficient than before.

"The use of technology is constantly advancing and growing. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a means of identifying and tracking objects using a radio frequency transmission," says Sanders Roth, director of RFID at Holland 1916. "Customers can bring up that status of inventory, repair and working condition of any assets at any time."

The company’s most recent flagship product the firm is offering is its passive Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Data Drop. According to Roth, this can be provided in aluminum, stainless, with custom screenprinting, chemical etching, size, and read ranges. The company has also revised its RFID Pipe Tracker Tag, which has been successful in the oil and gas market.

"The primary benefit of RFID tags over generic ID tags is the fact that information stored on multiple RFID tags can be read simultaneously and automatically, while generic tags must be optically visible and scanned manually one-by-one," says Roth.

"RFID tags can be read or written to at distances of up to several feet, while in motion, in any orientation, through intervening objects, and without the need for line-of-sight. The mobile applications allows you to check your inventory and maintenance logs for any asset from your phone – 24/7," he explains.

RUD Chains embeds RFID technology into its product range, which enables customers to track, identify, inspect and trace all of its equipment.

The components are embedded with a RFID chip and in turn, are given a unique identification number, which is then tracked through the manufacturer’s RUDID- Easy-Check reader. This is designed to capture the product’s unique identification number and transfer it to the RUD-ID-Net application on the client’s computer, enabling them to manage the documentation and administration of their products.

Firms using its RFID technology can identify their chain slings and components while the product identification number can be effectively registered and managed.

The latest addition to RUD’s portfolio is the WBPG, which is pitched as the "next generation" hoist ring for heavy duty lifting usage. It can be supplied from 85- 200 tonne capacities, which makes it suitable for heavy engineering, offshore and also shipyard applications.

The hoist ring can be loaded from any side in the direction of the pivot, which makes it suitable for the lifting and turning of heavy loads. In addition, it offers threaded holes for the company’s Starpoint VRS, for easy vertical assembly.

For Australian-based firm Jtagz, its RigTag is a durable nylon tag that is used for the safety inspection of lifting equipment in a comprehensive range of mining and heavy industrial conditions. According to the company, these inspection tags can be personalised with your logo and sequential numbering. Jtagz has custom designed these products for the lifting industry, which is claimed to "go the distance" in such conditions.

Once the user applies the RigTag fastening system, it develops an almost unbreakable bond that permits tamper evidence if the tag is then removed and reapplied. Jtagz says the colourfast tag will never fade, craze or fail during service.

The company offers a 175mm RigTag, which has a variable length attachment tongue cable tie style, for customers validating lifting gear and above ground harness equipment. It also offers a 95mm WrapStrap tag, which can also be used for three to 12 month inspection validations.

RFID: The benefits to this technology
1. Save time -No need to re-enter data manually into spreadsheets or software applications, eliminate paper

2. Reduce Costs – no major risks or upfront costs, only subscriptions per inspector that can track unlimited number of inspections and assets

3. Customise and Standardize Checklists – Easily customize any checklist for any asset in just minutes. Standardize checklists across all inspectors globally

4. Detailed Notifications and Reporting – automatic scheduling with notifications about missed, failed or upcoming inspections

5. 24/7 Access to Electronic Records – instant access to online inspection records for inspectors, managers, and clients

6. No Missing Assets – accountability of tracking assets and equipment by job site or location.