Learn how to design and use wireless physical continuity solutions to detect when an asset or item is broken or its security has been breached.

Things break. That’s a reality. No matter how careful you are in the design of a product and in the usage of that product, there will always be a possibility of it getting broken.

This can have a small impact on you – a light bulb can easily be changed without further implications in your life – or it can mean a world to you – a faulty bearing in a machine can harm the whole machine and even other processes if it goes undetected.

So, while it is important to design and use products to avoid breaking them, most of the times detecting a product breaks is even more important – the sooner, the better.

Using physical continuity to detect broken assets

Checking for continuity is a good way to know when things are broken in lots of applications. The basic idea is for wireless and battery-free monitoring of continuity is to create an electrical circuit and check for continuity.

Schematic of continuity check solution with X1 RFID tag

Schematic of continuity check solution with X1 RFID tag

The X1 battery-free RFID tag, when used in conjunction with a wire without any switches, reads closed electrical circuit.

Integrating the wire (or any conductive material) in the asset to be monitored, when the asset breaks, the wire will also break, thus opening the circuit. The X1 will report this for the user to take the necessary steps to protect the asset, system or even a complete process.

Physical continuity for security

As an example, physical continuity is a very important parameter to control in security. In order to avoid unwanted access to areas and goods, one of the best solutions is to employ items that will break when the locks are opened.

It can be considered as an e-Seal solution. When monitoring lots of goods is critical, the X1 will help automatically storing the unique ID of each container and the associated status into your database. You will know which specific container was opened without having to be looking at each of them plus no errors will be made due to human intervention.

Other uses

It can be extended to other industries and applications such as monitoring if a piece of material breaks over time, a force cable breaks… You can also play with the wire flexibility (knowing exactly at which stress it will break) to detect if deformation of the asset was higher than a specific value at any point in its life-cycle.

There are lots of applications for continuity checks and adding wireless and battery-free capabilities to a continuity check solution is indeed a must for some of them.

Do you know about any application you think could benefit from using this kind of solution? Let us know about it and we will try and assess the feasibility of your ideas.