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Brazilian RFID Solution Tracks Airline Baggage

KeD Tecnologia, which develops radio frequency identification systems, was launched after one of its co-founders lost his luggage during a flight.
By Edson Perin
Sep 21, 2018

Brazilian RFID solutions provider KeD Tecnologia has released a complete system for tracking luggage via smart tags, following the determination by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that all airline baggage should be tagged with RFID by 2020 (see NXP, Other Companies Preparing for Influx of RFID Baggage Technology Requests).

With KeD's luggage-tracking solution, each bag receives an RFID tag that identifies it all the way to the airplane. This makes it possible to estimate the approximate amount of time required for a piece of luggage to enter an aircraft's baggage compartment, thereby boosting security and avoiding deviations during the process.

Felipe Stürmer
With this system in place, the company reports, a suitcase can be located inside an airplane quickly in the event of a passenger's exit from the craft, since an RFID tag is also attached to that person's boarding pass. In this way, there is an association between passenger and suitcase, and the traveler can thus be informed once his or her luggage enters the plane, greatly reducing the possibility of lost bags.

The solution was tested by Gol Linhas Aéreas in 2008. "Our project was tested and approved for its concept and practical feasibility during 30 days of execution at a Gol check-in at Congonhas airport," says Felipe Stürmer, KeD's RFID operations manager and part owner, "with passive tags and non-reusable tags."

The work was carried out with several equipment suppliers. "Using RFID technology to achieve the intended results depends on strategic location and a detailed study of possible interference," Stürmer says. "The biggest challenge was to identify integration with the existing baggage-control infrastructure, without RFID technology."

According to Stürmer, KeD was created after one of the company's co-founders, Afranio Kieling, lost his luggage. "On a trip abroad to attend a business meeting," he says, "[Afranio's] luggage was not found at the landing." The bags were located hours after his departure from the airport, but the idea of finding a way to avoid such discomfort and disappointment remained.

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