We’ve all forgotten to put a tool away after completing a project. When it happens at your house it’s an inconvenience, because the next time you need the tool you spend time searching for it. Lost tools become very dangerous when they are left behind in the aerospace, energy or other safety-sensitive industries. Lost tools cause millions of dollars in damage to airplane engines. A metal tool left in the wrong place in a nuclear power plant could cause a shutdown.
Today many organizations are studying how RFID tool tracking can improve safety by automating foreign object detection (FOD) and support other maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes. For example, last year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued Guidance on Introducing RFID Into Airline Maintenance Operations, and GS1 Europe reported results of an RFID MRO improvement project in the European railway industry. Continue reading
Tools are vital to any industrial operation. Whether on a construction site or in an aircraft hangar, the ability to quickly access, use, return and track tools on a day-to-day, shift-to-shift schedule is critically important.
The advent of RFID in the tool tracking process — using specialized tools cribs and passive UHF read-on-metal tags that can withstand the rugged nature of industrial deployments —is substantially improving both the accuracy and the effectiveness of tool tracking applications across industries. Continue reading
Xerafy partner CoreRFID, an RFID solution provider that specialized in developing and delivering RFID-based systems, recently rolled out a solution for tracking IT assets at a UK college utilizing Xerafy’s Titanium Metal Skin.
Warwickshire College, located in the West Midlands region of England, turned to CoreRFID to help implement a new system for auditing the college’s IT assets. The college’s original system for managing IT assets was based on printed labels. Serial numbers from the labels were transcribed manually to spreadsheets creating a record of what equipment was where in the college. The audit process of checking labels and updating spreadsheets was both time consuming and prone to error, causing unnecessary costs and providing inaccurate information on the whereabouts of asset.
CoreRFID proposed a system using ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID tags attached to the assets. These carry an identity code that can be linked to each specific asset and can be read quickly and accurately by a handheld computer. The technology selected for the system included a compact, robust, handheld computer (the ATiD AB700) to could capture the details of assets and their location together with specialized tags designed specifically to cope with the challenges of IT asset tagging. Continue reading
A recent Aviation Week survey found that there is high concern among the global civil aviation aftermarket industry over the current state of tool control practices.
In a web-based poll conducted over the summer, respondents said the they were slightly concerned over the effectiveness of their tool concerned processes (6.15 out of 10). However, only 8 percent selected 0 or 1 (low concern) while 22 percent chose 10 (highest concern). Fifty of those who registered highest concern were airline carriers’ line-maintenance/operations support (37.5 percent were MROs, 12.5 percent were OEMs).
The survey found that while tool control practices and procedures need to improve, capital costs and internal cultural resistance are the two biggest obstacles to adopting new tool control practices. Continue reading
Xerafy has a long history working with embedded tag technology, and our proven RFID technology has allowed companies to track assets from the point of manufacturer through decommissioning, while providing a platform for enabling new asset-centric applications.
The benefit of embedding is also not simply limited to embedding at the point of manufacture. With innovations like embedded bolts and other post-manufacture add-ons, assets that previously were not tagged, or not robustly tagged, can now be tracked with a durable, high temperature resistant embedded metal RFID tag.
This method is already being used on sleds in an auto parts plant in Europe. Needing to track the sleds that carry auto parts through the paint process, the factory turned to Xerafy and the Pico-iN Plus embedded in the head of a bolt. The bolt is able to survive the baking process of the paint shop while providing a durable platform for the RFID tag. Continue reading