Fujitsu Wins RFID Integrated Label Project from Airbus
Airbus selects Fujitsu technology to deliver dependable management and traceability of aircraft parts
As a single aircraft may contain several million separate components, thorough component management is critical in the aircraft industry. Traceability is required for every process that the component is involved in over its several-decade lifecycle, from design and manufacturing to servicing and disposal. Making this an even more complex challenge is the fact that the aircraft industry encompasses parts suppliers, airframe manufacturers, airlines, and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Over hole), so the tracking process needs to cover multiple companies and even multiple countries, often resulting in waste such as excess parts in inventory. Furthermore, ensuring that each of the numerous components is replaced with the correct article during maintenance is a time-consuming task for technicians. Moreover, while there is an urgent need in the airline industry to reduce costs in order to compete with other forms of transportation, there is also a need to ensure that component-tracking and maintenance is performed safely and securely.
To enhance transparency and visibility in its parts supply chain, in 2009 Airbus began using RFID labels on components for its state-of-the-art mid-sized A350 XWB, and expanded their use to all Airbus planes in October 2012. In January 2013, the company decided to move forward on its “Airbus RFID Integrated Label” project, which aims to replace the nameplates that had been used to display component information with highly traceable RFID labels.
About the Airbus RFID Integrated Label Project
In this project, Airbus will be attaching Fujitsu RFID tags to major aircraft components across all Airbus planes. This will make it possible for Airbus and its parts suppliers to confirm manufacturing and maintenance information for each respective aircraft component. Furthermore, making it possible to check storage information on individual parts and inventories at any time enables a top-level component resupply process that shortens delivery lead times, avoids redundant procurement, and optimizes inventory levels.
About Fujitsu RFID Integrated Labels and Solutions
Fujitsu RFID Integrated Labels meet the SAE AS5678 standard (*1), the rigorous standard applied to aircraft components for quality, and conform to ATA Spec 2000 standard ver. 2013 (*2), the standard data format of the aircraft industry. The labels are available in two types: 1-KB and 8-KB memory, and in three sizes (large/medium/small). Usable with metal and non-metal items, they can be applied to components produced by hundreds of parts vendors around the world. Read range is approximately 1.5 meter, and the labels support the frequency ranges used in the US and Europe.
Fujitsu has also been working to enhance its solution offerings, such as with RFID readers, encoding and printing solutions and system integration for customers’ existing ERPs. This should lead to greater visibility of component-related operations for the entire aviation industry, including parts suppliers, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and MROs. Please see (http://www.fujitsu.com/global/solutions/ait/) for more details.
Fujitsu is ready to receive orders for labels and all related products, which will be commercially available in the market from June 1, 2014.
Fujitsu looks forward to working with Airbus to drive RFID implementation for the aviation industry as its strategic partner.
For more information
Glossary and Notes
1. SAE AS5678 standard
Issued by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in December 2006, SAE AS5678 is a standard defining environmental specifications and test methods for passive RFID labels used in aviation applications. SAE has categorized and defined environmental specifications for using RFID labels in the three environmental categories of “Standard,” “Robust,” and “Harsh.”
2. ATA Spec 2000 standard ver 2013
A standards document promulgated by the Airlines for America that defines information exchange and processing sequences for information regarding aircraft part materials and reliability. Chapter 9 defines requirements for barcodes, 2D codes, and RFID tags affixed to parts.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.8 trillion yen (US$46 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu CEMEAI
In Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, Fujitsu is the leading IT infrastructure provider with a presence in all key markets serving large, medium-sized and small businesses. The company offers a full portfolio of IT products, business solutions and services, ranging from workplace systems to datacenter solutions, managed services, and cloud-based software and solutions. In CEMEA&I Fujitsu employs approximately 13,000 people and is part of the global Fujitsu Group. For more information, please see: ts.fujitsu.com/aboutus.
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Date: 12 May, 2014