InfraMarker RFID tag for monitoring pvc pipeline

Process for installing, reading, and geo-mapping InfraMarker tags


Placement and writing of the InfraMarker tags

Tag Install preparation

The field technician collects the InfraMarker tags needed for the project, an approved RFID reader/writer and  the InfraMarker app downloaded on a standard smart device . Access to the prjoject will need to be authorized by the customer to read or write tags for the infrastructure owner.        

Tag Placement

The technician arrives at the construction or maintenance project and visually confirms the asset point to be marked (a valve, stub, weld point, elbow, intersection or other key feature). The technician takes a picture of the asset point while the hole is exposed. The installer places the tag above the point but below disturbance level. The tag is then covered with sand (recommended) or standard backfill.  

Note: Tags in moist soil, clay, or near other tags or metal are placed as close to disturbance level as feasible to maximize read performance. Optional Berntsen fiberglass posts are available to provide extra stability to the tag and to provide more precise direction from the tag to the underground asset.       

Tag Writing 

The field technician positions the reader slightly above the ground over the tag and selects the ‘write tag’ option on the handheld computer to begin the tag writing process.     

The technician selects the template type (in-ground or above ground) on the InfraMarker app which produces the drop down entry options for the respective template. In-ground template examples are provided below:

  • Asset owner (e.g.  MGE)
  • Asset type (e.g.  gas, water, steam, fiber, cable, electric)
  • Asset material (e.g. In:  PVC, steel; concrete, conduit) 
  • Asset feature (e.g. weld, elbow, stub, intersection)
  • Depth from surface to asset  (e.g. 4 ft surface to pipe) 

The field technician selects whether the tag represents an “InfraMarked” asset (located visually and marked with an InfraMarker tag), an asset marked with an InfraMarker-enabled tag but not visually confirmed (usually with an InfraMarker-enabled above ground marker), or an asset that is point identified but not marked or visually located. 

The technician reviews the latitude and longitude coordinates of the tag location as displayed on satellite view of the handheld map. If the displayed lat-long pin corresponds to the tag location, the installer confirms the lat-long coordinates to be written to the tag and the cloud record. If the coordinates are not available or incorrect, the installer can move the pin on the displayed map to the correct location and confirm the lat-long coordinates to be written to the tag and the cloud record. If the technician knows the precise lat-long coordinates based on prior survey, the technician can enter those coordinates on the handheld.  

After data entry and GPS recording is complete, the full tag record is displayed and the installer is prompted to ‘write data to tag? (Y/N)’. The installer either confirms the data is accurate or has the option to reenter tag data. If the installer confirms the data is correct, the tag data is written to the tag. The handheld executes a ‘read’ operation and sends a confirmation message display of ‘write successful’ or ‘write unsuccessful.’    

After placement and data entry, the field technician takes a short (up to 15 seconds) video of the surrounding terrain to provide a visual reference for the location of the tag and asset  (e.g. “tag is in a right of way 60 feet to the eastern boundary of subdivision”; “tag now buried under paved road”). Once completed, the installer can attach the photo of the asset in the hole and a video to the data record.

Data uploading

Once the record is confirmed, all tag information including location video and comments, photo, date/time, user ID, handheld computer ID, and tag EPC are stored as a data record and uploaded to the InfraMarker cloud when an Internet connection is established.  

Data access

An InfraMarker licensee can view the map of InfraMarker tags through the InfraMarker website or there mobile device. The level of data available for updating, viewing and download depends on the access level.