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

The 95 Percent Solution

EPCglobal standards can help improve the safety and longevity of aircraft.
By Mike Meranda
Apr 01, 2006—Aerospace has one of the most extensive and complex supply chains. Consider this: A modern jet is made up of more than 6 million parts—from a tiny rivet to a large jet engine. But the supply chain that supports the initial manufacture of a plane comprises only a brief portion of the lifespan of a typical aircraft. What happens after a plane is assembled and delivered to a customer presents EPCglobal with the greatest opportunity to make a critical difference.

It's what we at EPCglobal US call the "95 Percent Solution," because 95 percent of managing the aerospace industry's supply chain occurs after a plane has been manufactured and is in service. Some of the challenges include tracking down spare parts quickly and tracking the maintenance records and performance of key parts. The fact that a modern jetliner can stay in service for three decades or more increases the importance of maintaining a robust supply chain over a long period of time. It's critical to keeping a plane in service and on time.


EPCglobal US has been working with Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other leaders in the aerospace industry to develop common RFID standards to bring real-time visibility, and thus security and efficiency, to their supply chain. Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor, and Boeing is the largest maker of passenger planes in the United States. The work they are doing toward the development of Electronic Product Code technology will impact more than the aerospace industry. It also will be felt in the entire defense segment.

"On any given project, Lockheed Martin, and any other defense contractor, acts as a prime contractor or a supplier," says Pete Cuviello, who leads Lockheed's RFID initiative and is a member of EPCglobal's board of governors. "In this business, we are all customers, partners and competitors at the same time. A significant impediment to an optimized supply chain among contractors are ad hoc communication methods."

We are currently working with Boeing, which joined EPCglobal US last year, on the best way to track parts and maintenance records. In October, the company announced that it would require many of its suppliers to begin placing EPC Generation 2 UHF tags on a number of parts used in its latest line of commercial airliners, the 787 Dreamliner. "Building world-class planes means more than assembly," says Ken Porad, who heads Boeing's RFID program. "It means supporting customers after the sale."



To achieve our goals, we are discussing the formation of an Aerospace and Defense Business Action Group with major aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers. Our aim is to develop common EPC standards to track and trace parts, and EPC tags that would enable line mechanics to access important historical performance data on individual parts on the tarmac, between flights.

We are looking forward to welcoming additional leading aerospace and defense companies into the EPCglobal community soon. Together, we can improve the efficiency and security of one of the world's most critical supply chains.

Mike Meranda is president of EPCglobal US.
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 504 words and 1 page. 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