3M has expanded its family of RFID-enabled electronic utility markers with the 3M Near-Surface Marker and the 3M Full-Range Marker, to address the broad range of permanent marking needs. 3M RFID markers locate specific underground facilities precisely and efficiently. The new markers are designed for both shallow markings 2 ft (0.6 m) below the surface and deeply buried applications at 8 ft (2.4 m). Both are available as active (programmable) or passive (nonprogrammable).
When placing underground pipelines or cables, durable, anti-freeze fluid-filled marker balls containing an electronic tuned circuit and electronic marker RFID (tags) are buried above key underground elements. These markers use the new RFID technology (with custom RFID chip inside), programmable in the field, which stores details of that marking tailored to a specific company's needs. RFID tag information ranges from marker identification number and installer's name to the purpose and date of installation. GPS coordinates indicate where the elements are, making companies safer and more productive.