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Solutions for Aerospace, Cold Chain and Retail

V-Tag for tracking assets and managing work-in-process; mobile LifeTrack app for keeping customers informed; UNO labels for EAS and inventory management.
By Bob Violino
Mar 20, 2016

An Active RFID Solution for Aerospace Companies
V-Tag can make it easy and cost-effective to track assets and work-in-process at large facilities.

A U.S. aerospace company that makes specialty products for commercial and military aviation manufacturers worldwide, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, had a problem. The company typically uses fixtures and tooling owned by customers and is required to account for them. Last year, it adopted the RFID V-Tag solution from ID Integration and InfinID Technologies to monitor some 3,000 to 4,000 tools at a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.

V-Tag offers a complete solution that is designed for easy deployment, says Peter Ginkel, ID Integration's VP of marketing and business development. Items are identified with active V-Tag asset tags, which transmit 2.4 GHz signals over a proprietary air-interface protocol. The asset tags communicate with V-Tag fixed tags, which can be attached to ceilings, walls or pillars, and the location of each fixed tag is stored in AssetWorx! software, which is part of the V-Tag solution.

Photo: ID Integration
The tags on moving assets create a wireless mesh network that transmits location data to a gateway reader installed within the vicinity. The software displays an asset tag's location on a map of the facility, based on which fixed tags received the asset tag's signal and also on the signal's strength, as received by the fixed tags.

The aerospace company is RFID-tracking the location of jigs and fixtures used in the production of its products, Ginkel says. "Since customer-owned tools are valuable assets, they are subject to auditing by the customers," he explains. At any given time, the tooling can be located in the main storage area, on the shop floor in production, and in calibration or other maintenance and rework locations, he says.

Photo: ID Integration
"Accounting for the tooling makes the auditors happy, saves significant time and insures that the company maintains a high rating by their customer purchasing and financial departments," he adds.

Another company that provides maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services to aircraft companies is using the V-Tag solution to monitor work-in process. The company needs flexibility to change its workflow for each customer. Factory production floors are frequently reconfigured to facilitate product flow and optimize production, Ginkel says. With V-Tag, fixed tags can be attached with Velcro, and easily relocated to accommodate any revised factory floor arrangement, he says.

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