DMM iD – Answers to some questions

We have recently been implementing DMM iD for customers for the first time. In this article Ian shares answers to some of the questions that have come up about this exciting new technology.

DMM iD is the start of a revolution in personal protective equipment (PPE) inspection and inventory management. In a world first, they have integrated RFID technology into connectors (patent pending) and other difficult to mark PPE products, including ropes, harnesses and slings. The range of DMM iD products, together with the collection of retrofit iD tags, provide a comprehensive smart PPE solution.

“How well do the Dots stick on?”

Everyone who has handled the small rigging plate I have picks at the iD Dot with their finger nail. While talking to Scott at 5th Point I decided I had to answer the question conclusively once and for all so aggressively & repeatedly slid the plate, dot down, backwards and forwards across a joint in the concrete floor. This created significant friction and shearing forces in a way that was well outside the norms of the way you would treat PPE gear. The resin dot was obviously damaged but the 2 part acrylic glue held firm. Both Scott and myself were pretty impressed and consider this to be a tough test well passed.

I will now go through a process of replacing the dot to see how easy/difficult that is. Looks like I’ll just need to slice it off with a sharp blade and glue a new dot on.

“Will the chips work with other RFiD readers?”

Short answer “in theory yes” but due to the challenges of reading chips in small metal components testing with specific units is recommended.

Here is DMM’s reply to a query from a rope access company about a specific reader they use:
“For now the DMM iD reader is the only one that we know that works with our sub surface metal tags.”

A response from Honeywell to a technical query highlights the scale of the problem DMM have solved:
“Encasing an RFID chip in metal is likely to make the range small to non-existent. Even placing a tag directly on a metal substrate can severely affect its range. My recommendation would be that they either look at an alternative material for the carabiners or, at least surface mount the tag, though still bearing in mind my earlier caution on that option”.

(We all chuckled at the suggestion to look at alternate materials for hardware!!)

“Will powerful magnets like those used in some of the mines and other industrial work spaces affect the programmed numbers in the chips?”

From DMM – “I’ve had confirmation from our tag supplier that magnets have no effect on the tags. The reader may not read a tag when inside an electromagnetic field, but the info on the tag will not be effected by magnetic fields.”

“Will the tags last as long as the products they are attached to?”

Yes. The resin and plastics used in the Dots and Zipties is UV stable as is the 2 part acrylic glue. All products are IP68 and the tags have a 50 year electronics life span.

The epoxy dome of the iD Dot has been tested and can be recommended for use down to -40℃.

The rfid electronic specs state:

Low Temp. Storage -40℃ 1000 Hour OK
Temp Cycle -55℃〜125℃ 1000 cycle OK

So in general -40℃ is ok, with temperatures dropping to -55℃ not effecting the electronics

“Are the iD Helmet Stickers approved for use on plastic helmets?”

From the DMM iD brochure “3M adhesive approved for plastic helmets”

“Do the zipties come in other colours?”

The zip ties are currently manufactured in yellow as well as black. This will help being a contrasting colour to aid quick location of the chip during inspection. We understand some companies use a colour coding system for a visual indication and our recommendation is to continue using conventional non DMM iD zipties and electrical tape for this as it will reduce the changing of RFiD reference numbers in inventory management systems etc.

Ask any questions you have in the comments section below.

For information including a FAQ section use the DMM iD minisite as a reference

The user guide pdf has lots of information on the implementation of the system

For information on the rope access products available from DMM with with integrated iD chips got to