An international aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider is successfully avoiding foreign object damage caused by tools because of its new RFID-enabled tool tracking system.
Online PR News – 29-January-2014 – Hong Kong, China – A leading aviation MRO services provider with facilities in Europe and the U.S. has implemented an RFID tool tracking system from Xerafy and NG Way for foreign object damage (FOD) prevention.
Unattended tools are a leading source of foreign object damage, which costs the aerospace industry an estimated $4 billion annually (i), Boeing has reported the cost to repair a single engine that is damaged as a result of a foreign object can easily exceed $1 billion (ii). FOD can also cause injuries and damage to airport facilities and support equipment.
An international aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider is successfully avoiding foreign object damage caused by tools because of its new RFID-enabled tool tracking system. The system uses XS Series Dot-On and Dash-On read-on-metal UHG RFID tags from Xerafy embedded into tools, plus handheld RFID readers and NG Way’s ToolCheck software to record which tools are assigned to technicians, track tool locations and to verify that no tools are left behind when maintenance activity is completed.
"Our main objective is to ensure the safety during maintenance operations. The insertion of the tags on tools will allow us to eliminate any possibility of human error and will be a great help to search for any tools inside the aircraft," said the project leader from the MRO organization.
The company wishes to remain anonymous because it considers its processes to be a strong competitive advantage. The company has received Part-145 Maintenance Organisation Approval certification from the European Aviation Space Agency (EASA). Companies must develop and document quality processes and submit a Maintenance Organization Exposition (MOE) to earn EASA Part-145 status.
The pilot project began at a European facility in the last quarter of 2013 and the company plans to extend the system to other locations. It operates more than a dozen MRO, testing and product development facilities in Europe and the U.S. In the pilot program, 276 different tools are automatically recorded as they are signed in and out of tool cribs. The worker who checks out the tool and where it will be used are also recorded. If a tool goes missing, supervisors can check the log to see the most recent user and location. Missing tools are quickly located using handheld RFID readers, even if the tool isn’t visible. The system can also issue alerts when tools are not returned.
“Our main objective is to ensure the safety during maintenance operations. The insertion of the tags on tools will allow us to eliminate any possibility of human error and will be a great help to search for any tools inside the aircraft.”
The automated system saves time compared to paper-based record keeping and manual tool searches, improves records accuracy and makes tool status information available in real time. It has slashed check-in/check-out time and has significantly reduced time spent searching for tools because it reduces the possibility of human error. Integrating ToolCheck into the enterprise’s other asset management and resource management systems has created even greater savings, including reduced maintenance time and costs.
Xerafy RFID tags make the system possible because they are small enough to be included in every tool used, and provide excellent read range and reliability even when used on and near metal objects. The Dot-On XS is a 6mm diameter round tag that is 2.5 mm thick with a read distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet). The Dash-On XS measures 12 x 3 x 2.2 mm and has a read distance of 2 meters (6.6 feet). The tags can be mounted directly on metal parts or embedded in the metal at the point of manufacture.
“Xerafy was a natural choice,” said Moreno Poli of NG Way. “We tested many different types of tags, but Xerafy’s ability to read reliably and the minimum size of the XS series tags are unparalleled.”
"The success at this high-quality MRO provider is another example of how RFID can effectively prevent foreign object damage," said Xerafy founder and CEO Dennis Khoo. "The business case for RFID in this environment is clear and has been well proven in the aerospace, nuclear power and other industries. The main challenge is finding the right combination of tags and software that fit the customer’s work processes. That’s why Xerafy is committed to supporting a broad product range and expert partners like NG Way."
(i) U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fact sheet: http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=15394.
(ii) Boeing Corporation: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_01/textonly/s01txt.html.
Xerafy’s innovations have changed the price-performance ratio for RFID tags and made it possible for customers to track assets in a wide range of harsh environments. Xerafy provides read-on-metal tags that can be embedded directly into assets to meet a full range of needs for RFID asset tracking in the aerospace, industrial, data center, healthcare, energy and other industries. Xerafy is headquartered in Hong Kong and maintains U.S. sales and support offices in Dallas and Minneapolis, and additional offices in the U.K. and China.
Learn more about Xerafy by visiting http://www.xerafy.com.
Xerafy and the Xerafy logo are trademarks are registered trademarks of Xerafy in the United States and other countries.
About NG Way
NG Way is a company that creates advanced solutions for information technology and communication with a modern and innovative approach. Thanks to a qualified technical expertise and a deep understanding of market needs, expresses a business model that offers an intelligent optimization of internal resources and the provision of more specialized services. Headquartered near Milan, Italy, NG Way works both in the domestic and international market offering the best technology for cloud services, RFID technologies, data collection and geolocation systems. All services can be provided in the cloud, so any company can enjoy SaaS solutions.
NG Way partners with a number of leading AutoID companies. In each and every project, it is committed to designing the very best solution for its client, while maintaining a vendor-neutral position and vetting its partners with the exclusive aim of helping businesses achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.
For more information visit www.ngway.it