Executive Briefings

Air France KLM Uses RFID Technology to Track Airplane Parts During Maintenance

Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) is the maintenance, repair and overhaul arm of Air France KLM, one of the top five airlines in the world. The MRO unit supports 1,500 airplanes operated by 150 airline customers, and its 300 facilities worldwide remove parts from those planes, repair or refurbish them, or provide scheduled maintenance. Tracking all of these parts posed a logistical challenge, but the company has deployed a radio frequency identification system to automate the process and cut costs.

Many parts must be shipped in special packaging typically consisting of durable boxes or cases lined with cushioning material. Tracking the packaging would enable KLM not only to monitor the parts within, but also to track packaging that was becoming lost, taking up necessary space in facilities and requiring too much time for workers to find when needed so that a part could be shipped to a customer.

To address the problem, KLM worked with Nefab, a Sweden-based multinational packaging company, to develop a Web-based solution known as Aviation Packaging Information System for managing the inbound and outbound flow of packaging between Nefab and KLM E&M. The solution uses fixed RFID readers in buildings and in trucks, as well as Nordic ID Morphic mobile ultrahigh-frequency RFID handhelds for use in areas where no fixed reader has been installed, or as a backup if the fixed reader system goes down temporarily.

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Many parts must be shipped in special packaging typically consisting of durable boxes or cases lined with cushioning material. Tracking the packaging would enable KLM not only to monitor the parts within, but also to track packaging that was becoming lost, taking up necessary space in facilities and requiring too much time for workers to find when needed so that a part could be shipped to a customer.

To address the problem, KLM worked with Nefab, a Sweden-based multinational packaging company, to develop a Web-based solution known as Aviation Packaging Information System for managing the inbound and outbound flow of packaging between Nefab and KLM E&M. The solution uses fixed RFID readers in buildings and in trucks, as well as Nordic ID Morphic mobile ultrahigh-frequency RFID handhelds for use in areas where no fixed reader has been installed, or as a backup if the fixed reader system goes down temporarily.

Read Full Article