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Learning From Airbus
Health-care providers and companies in other industries can learn from the holistic approach the aircraft manufacturer is taking.
Oct 18, 2010—Last week, we held our sixth RFID in Health Care conference, in Philadelphia, Pa. It was a great event, attended by dozens of hospitals, and the more than 100 attendees were fully engaged and asking questions. At the end of the conference, I was asked, "Is there anything health-care providers can learn from companies in other industries that are deploying RFID?"
Great question. I said yes, health-care companies can learn from Airbus. In fact, all businesses can learn from Airbus, regardless of the industry they are in. Let me explain why.
The goal, according to Carlo K. Nizam, Airbus' head of value-chain visibility, is to create "fly-by-wire" operations. Airplanes were once operated by levers and pulleys. Airbus pioneered the concept of controlling rudders and ailerons with electrical impulses, which was dubbed "fly by wire." Nizam uses the same analogy for running manufacturing, supply chain and other operations. RFID will provide visibility to allow the "pilots" of these systems to know exactly what's happening within Airbus' operations, and to then respond accordingly.
Paul-Antoine Calandreau, Airbus' flyable RFID project leader, will speak at RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2010, being held on Nov. 2-4, in Darmstadt, Germany. There, he will describe the next stage of the airplane manufacturer's ambitious plans. But hospitals and other companies can learn what Airbus has already done. Many facilities seek to use, or are already using, real-time location systems (RTLS) simply to track assets. However, the technology can be used as infrastructure to do more.
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