Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

RFID Takes Wing in Aviation

Airbus and Boeing are turning to RFID to give their supply chains and manufacturing operations a lift. Tagging of parts could reduce counterfeiting and provide other supplier benefits.
By Bob Violino
Oct 01, 2004—The challenge: Track some 6 million parts made in as many as 33 different countries, and ensure that each one gets to the assembly line at the moment it’s needed or risk slowing down production of a $20 million wide-body jet. That’s what Airbus and The Boeing Co. are faced with every day. And federal aviation regulations require that each part and its history be tracked individually. It’s such a monumental task that the two archrivals have joined forces to automate the process by deploying RFID in their supply chain.

Airbus and Boeing, which together own the market for large commercial jets, have been holding industry forums around the world to drum up support from customers, parts suppliers and regulatory agencies for the use of RFID. Unlike Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of Defense, Airbus and Boeing don’t plan to issue an RFID mandate. “We’re not requiring suppliers to put tags on parts,” says Kenneth D. Porad, program manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ automated identification program. “We’re providing a road map to get there and taking a systematic approach to working together with suppliers.”

This year, Airbus and Boeing held forums with both suppliers and airline customers in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Munich, Germany. The seminars covered the technology’s potential benefits, as well as challenges. “We want to avoid the hype cycle,” says Porad. “There are big promises with RFID technology, but there has to be a business case.”

The business case has yet to be proved, but Airbus and Boeing believe RFID could dramatically reduce costs throughout the industry. The two airplane manufacturers expect to achieve internal efficiency in their facilities as they track parts and work in process. Airbus and Boeing should also be able to reduce the cost of receiving goods and including a record of those goods in databases of inventory, while reducing errors and improving inventory accuracy.

RFID should also enable the airplane manufacturers and their suppliers to reduce inventory across the supply chain, since RFID would provide better visibility of parts from the time they are produced until they are put on a plane. And RFID should allow everyone in the supply chain, including the airlines that buy planes, to authenticate parts that have been certified by regulatory authorities and thus reduce the possibility that counterfeit parts are introduced into the supply chain.

After the planes go into service, the technology could dramatically improve the way they are repaired. Each day, Boeing sends 4,650 shipments of spare parts to its airline customers worldwide. The airlines have an estimated $45 billion of unused spare parts on their shelves. RFID should provide the visibility that enables airlines to trim these inventories while ensuring parts are always where they need to be to keep the planes flying. It should also help repair shops reduce the labor needed to track maintenance cycles (some parts must be reconditioned or discarded after a certain number of miles flown) and repair histories.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,124 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco