RFID for Aviation – Part 3: Lessons Learned From Recent Projects

Experience shows that when it comes to MRO, Supply Chain or On-Board, meeting industry standards alone is not enough: The key success factor is to identify and meet the specific operational requirements.

In Part 3 of this RFID for Aviation series, Xerafy takes a look back at learnings from recent implementations for clients in the Aviation industry.

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Airlines and aerospace manufacturers deploy RFID technology to both track goods within their supply chains and track maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) activities like aircraft component usage, hours of service, and repair / maintenance updates.

A recent project for an airline with a fleet size of 129 aircrafts involved tracking and managing 60,000 high-value items, in a warehouse fitted with 2,000 shelves. As expected, the selection process was focused on performance of the tags in this specific environment, as well as meeting aircraft safety requirements. However, the deployment phase signaled a change of focus, the team looking at the warehouse standardization process, as well as migrating the legacy information system to a new platform.

Varying Requirements for RFID Tags

Customer requirements, application requirements, and environmental conditions also play an important role, that go beyond the industry stringent standards designed to ensure safe operations and reliable performances: Memory, attachment methods, corrosion resistance, vibration tolerance, resistance to chemicals and solvents, tag color and shape, read performance.

For instance, because the tags may be attached to or encapsulated within the component, engineering documents will have to be modified to ensure the tags are mounted securely, that the tag housings will allow the tag life to match the component life (to ensure cradle-to-grave tracking), and that the tag will not interfere with normal component operation.

Another example: Manufacturers may have different data requirements for MRO. Standards like Spec 2000 and the U.S. Department of Defense Unique Identifier program lay out basic memory frameworks for the tags, but a manufacturer may require more detailed information for longer-life components that experience more maintenance cycles.

Join the conversation: What do you see as the Key Success Factor in your MRO Tracking project?

 

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