Executive Briefings

Airbus Expands RFID Part Marking Across All of Its Aircraft Families

In July 2009, Airbus became the first commercial aircraft manufacturer to announce plans to employ permanent radio frequency identification tags on parts for its A350 XWB aircraft. Approximately 3,000 serialized, replaceable, repairable parts with a limited lifespan were covered. To date, the company has received and successfully tested its RFID tagged parts as the first A350 XWB aircraft make their way through the production process. Now, Airbus is the first aircraft manufacturer to expand the permanent tagging of selected parts across its entire fleet.

Carlo Nizam, Airbus's head of value-chain visibility and auto-ID, explained that all seats and life vests on new A320, A330 and A380 aircraft being produced would be progressively tagged with permanent RFID tags, starting in 2013.

The annual volume of RFID part marking conducted under this expansion is estimated to reach 160,000 RFID tags - roughly 120,000 life vests and 40,000 seats for all aircraft families. This is in addition to the annual volume of 400,000 tags used for the A350 XWB when at full production.

"RFID part marking is another example of non-stop innovation at Airbus, and will enable the automation of multiple operational processes up and down the value chain," Nizam stated. "It's a benefit for all involved in managing components during their lifecycle: vendor, integrator, airline and MRO [maintenance, repair, and operations] service provider."

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Carlo Nizam, Airbus's head of value-chain visibility and auto-ID, explained that all seats and life vests on new A320, A330 and A380 aircraft being produced would be progressively tagged with permanent RFID tags, starting in 2013.

The annual volume of RFID part marking conducted under this expansion is estimated to reach 160,000 RFID tags - roughly 120,000 life vests and 40,000 seats for all aircraft families. This is in addition to the annual volume of 400,000 tags used for the A350 XWB when at full production.

"RFID part marking is another example of non-stop innovation at Airbus, and will enable the automation of multiple operational processes up and down the value chain," Nizam stated. "It's a benefit for all involved in managing components during their lifecycle: vendor, integrator, airline and MRO [maintenance, repair, and operations] service provider."

Read Full Article