RFID Reaches The Sky
It is well known to people in the industry that the airbus maintenance facility in the changi airport is RFID enabled for quite some time. Now Airbus is taking to RFID to the skies.
Airbus A380 double-decker aircraft,the world's largest and seats 555 passengers, will have passive RFID chips on removable parts such as life vests to help ease maintenance processes.
Informationweek reports,10,000 radio-frequency identification tags will take to the skies, affixed to everything from airline seats to brakes. The tags will contain serial numbers, codes, and maintenance history that should make it easier to track, fix, and replace parts. The jet is equipped with radio-frequency identification chips and was built using Carbon Fibre Manufacturing technologies to reduce aircraft weight, ultrasonic scanning systems, and a combination of other technologies. The benefits of RFID-tagging airplane parts include reducting the time it takes to generate aircraft-inspection reports, which still require a lot of paperwork "RFID could be used to do routine checks before a flight, for example, making sure that a lifejacket is under each seat," Airbus began RFID-tagging its ground equipment and tools four years ago and plans to implement similar RFID technology for maintenance and identification of removable parts on the A400M military transport aircraft.
Singapore Airlines will be the first airline to accept the A380 for commercial service in 2006. The all-cargo version of the aircraft, the A380-800F, will be delivered to FedExin 2008. Boeing has a similar commercial jet project in the works. Last April, Boeing launched the 7E7 Dreamliner program, where time-controlled, limited-lifetime parts, and replaceable units have been identified with RFID "smart labels," consisting of a microchip and an antenna and store maintenance and inspection data. This information is useful in maintaining airplanes because the service history of a part is stored on the RFID label as it goes thorough different stages of its life cycle. From the ground to the sky, RFID is poised to make a revolution - making remarkable change in supply chain efficiencies and in the process transforming performances in time, cost, quality dimensions as more and more implementation begin to demonstrate.. RFID shall be one of the top three technologies that would make a difference to business in the next three to five years..