Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation has launched an app to allow for long-term traceability through automatic identification of Eccofloat® parts or vehicles throughout their product lifetimes. The new app uses Near Field Communication (NFC) as part of a passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system that allows customers to easily reorder products, look up product information and design new buoyancy, all from their smart phone.
Victoria Samples, Product Development Engineer at Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation, states: “The purpose of the Trelleborg’s Eccofloat® App and passive NFC RFID system is to allow for long-term traceability through automatic identification of parts or vehicles throughout their lives. It facilitiates access to information in remote locations and after the parts or vehicles have been in service in rugged environments. App users can find out the service depth, initial weight, volume, initial uplift and maximum service pressure for their Trelleborg Eccofloat® parts and vehicles.
“There are other added features on the Eccofloat® app that allow the user to scan QR codes as well as design new parts with the buoyancy design calculator simply using just the design depth and either desired uplift or desired volume.”
RFID systems are made up of hardware and associated software that are designed specifically for each purpose and environment. Environmental conditions play a large role in the selection process of the RFID system. For example, Eccofloat® must withstand harsh subsea conditions on smart vehicles, often located in remote areas. Passive NFC tags last a lifetime without a battery, are cost-effective and flexible, which aids in hydrostatic compression pressure resistance at the deepest depths of the ocean.
The Eccofloat® app can be used to read NFC tags with either Android phones with NFC support, OS version, 4.4 onwards or Apple iPhone 7, 8, X or Apple iPhone with NFC scanner for iPhone 5 & 6. NFC scanners are available upon request. To read a tag, there will be a designated location on the part or vehicle where the chip is embedded under the surface. The user can tap their Eccofloat® App to read at a contact of up to half an inch away from the designated location.
Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation manufactures a range of high performance, low-density syntactic foam solutions for deep sea buoyancy applications. These composite foams provide ultra-low densities through the selection of only the highest specification hollow glass microspheres called Eccospheres®. When Eccospheres® are combined with a rigid, high strength resin system, it makes Trelleborg’s Eccofloat® syntactic foam. These foams are used to prepare large buoyancy modules, which can be readily shaped to custom configurations for ROVs, AUVs and manned submersibles. Oceanographers also use Eccofloat® to suspend instrumentation in deep ocean studies.