As highlighted in the April issue of gasworld, cylinder tracking is vital to keep track of a company’s prized assets – assets, which by default, are designed to be portable and provide a specific industrial gas.

But forget Electronic Product Code/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) tagging as the answer to protecting cylinders from becoming another product ‘lost’ in the supply chain. The cost and complications of RFID technology as it stands may be insurmountable for most industries. Instead, Lockhouse intends to use the devices already in everyone’s pockets to find and recover lost assets, as well as deliver critical information to end users.

Cassie Glessner, Marketing and Strategy said, “The founder of TrackAbout and Lockhouse, Jim Glessner, was on a trade tour overseas a couple years ago and met several international gas industry distributors who wanted a system that helps find assets when they get lost or stolen - i.e., fall outside the traditional tracking system grid. That’s when the idea for Lockhouse was born.”

“The idea expanded to take into consideration other pain points for industry manufacturers and owners that were also not being addressed - such as how to send and receive critical information about assets to and from end users - again, those outside the traditional tracking system grid.”

Explaining the idea a little more is Doug O’Dell, from TrackAbout, who presented the Lockhouse idea in Thailand at AIIGMA’s 36th annual event.

He said, “The intention of Lockhouse is simple. It’s like a medical record (for a cylinder) available to end users. Mobile devices - like smartphones, are the key. We are looking at getting the crowd involved to help you locate damaged, lost or stolen assets.”

Lockhouse provides a registry for gas cylinders that connects different data systems in order to create a more efficient information exchange between the industry and its users.

Lockhouse uses key attributes that cylinders possess (like serial numbers and other properties) to uniquely identify assets. The Passport Tag™ for that cylinder allows access to a cloud application delivering updatable information about each asset in real time.

This Lockhouse system enables manufacturers and owners to have the ability to add information, and receive feedback and GPS location from the operator of the smartphone, making the “lost” cylinder a thing of the past.

A universal, “one size fits all” system should mean that anyone and everyone will be able to get involved – from the busy company sales rep out in the field who discovers a cylinder in a poor condition to a filling systems company which is unsure who owns the vessel. Lockhouse is the “virtual neck ring” the cylinder industry has been longing for.