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Lufthansa Technik Uses RFID to Expedite Aircraft Repair

At its German facilities, the aircraft-maintenance service provider is attaching EPC UHF tags to documents that accompany airplane parts, reducing the need for manual data entry.
By Rhea Wessel
For the pilot and the rollout of the paper-based application, Lufthansa Technik is using passive EPC UHF smart labels from UPM Raflatac. The tags comply with the EPC Gen 2 air-interface standard. Handhelds, readers and antennas are provided by Motorola.

In conjunction with the above-mentioned project, Lufthansa Technik has set up an RFID program management team to coordinate RFID activities for the Lufthansa Technik group companies. The program manager supports various RFID projects and advises on technology, suppliers and processes to avoid a heterogeneous RFID landscape across the group, and to bundle purchasing activities. The manager also follows technological developments and transfers that knowledge into the group while serving as Lufthansa Technik's representative in the ATA.

For the future, the Lufthansa Technik group plans to integrate RFID in a number of areas, such as cabin maintenance. For instance, RFID could help flight attendants check the expiration dates of life vests, seat belts and oxygen generators—tasks that consume a lot of time.

In addition, Lufthansa Technik also expects to use RFID on other internal processes in which bar codes cause problems due to dirt and other environmental conditions. Further upcoming fields of usage include the tagging of tools and special cases containing high-value aircraft components.

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