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Indian Aviation MRO Company Expects RFID to Reduce Labor by 50 Percent
The system, provided by Dolphin RFID, is enabling Aman Aviation & Aerospace Solutions to reduce the amount of time workers spend filling out paperwork and inputting information, as well as to ensure data accuracy.
Each time an Aman Aviation worker provides service to a component, such as an inspection, maintenance or repair, he or she employs a handheld reader to encode the part's tag with data related to that service. The reader, meanwhile, forwards that information to the back-end software, either via Wi-Fi in real time, or when docked with a computer running the software at the end of a day or shift.
The Edge Wizard software then interprets and manages the collected data. Aman Aviation receives a Microsoft Excel or PDF file that describes the work conducted on each component. In the future, Sawhney adds, Aman Aviation plans to access that data on a cloud-based server.
Eventually, work conducted off-site on helicopters will be managed via RFID as well. A Near Field Communication (NFC) tag will be attached to each helicopter or component on that aircraft, and staff members will read every tag using an NFC-enabled device running a Dolphin RFID app. They will then link the tag ID with data describing the work they completed and upload that information to the server, thereby sparing them the need to fill out paperwork.
But the long-term goal, according to Aman Aviation, is to enable its customers—airline companies—to use the RFID tags to track their components, safety equipment and tools at their own facilities. Those that adopt the solution would be able to write data to the tags as parts leave the facility for maintenance (as an example), or when they are received back. They could use the handhelds to locate specific items, conduct inventory counts, or search for life vests, oxygen canisters or other equipment requiring inspections. "We [Dolphin] will be actively promoting the cloud-based concept to the airlines," Sawhney states, "as it would give them a better handle on the state of their inventory and maintenance state."
Since the UHF RFID system was taken live on its site, Aman Aviation & Aerospace Solutions expects that it will be able to reduce the total amount of labor time that its workers require to provide component and helicopter MRO services by approximately 50 percent. "It is time-saving and saves a lot of paperwork," Johri says. "RFID will help us a lot in time management, reduction of the manpower due to use of this technology and increased accuracy of the data and reduction of errors. This will definitely translate into increased customer satisfaction."
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