ODIN Technologies to work with Airbus on using RFID in the Supply Chain

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Also posted on: The Holloway Angle

Airbus has selected ODIN Technologies for a multi-year engagement as its exclusive worldwide RFID hardware integration partner. ODIN will provide solution design, deployment, testing and support services for the first of three ambitious phases to provide real-time automated visibility across the Airbus value chain. Airbus plans to employ ODIN expertise for numerous projects throughout its supply chain and assembly operations, and make ODIN’s RFID services and performance optimization software available to Airbus suppliers and customers.

Aircraft manufacturing is an attractive fit for RFID technology. The value of each part or assembly to be tracked is usually quite high, which makes the relative cost of an RFID tag less of a consideration than in low-cost industries. The data-tracking burdens are also quite high, due to government and safety regulations that require manufacturers and airlines to keep detailed records on the history of each serialized part.

RFID tags provide benefits in the speed and accuracy of such data tracking, and the physical configuration of the tags can make them much more durable in a manufacturing or maintenance environment than barcodes. ODIN technologies is now helping Airbus design and deploy a network of passive and active RFID technologies throughout their organization. As an example of the size of the problem, ODIN notes that the recently-developed Airbus A380 aircraft already contains 10,000 RFID tags—and this was before the initiation of the comprehensive RFID program envisioned by Airbus.

An interesting feature of the ODIN project is the scope of Airbus’s program. They anticipate deployments in traditional supply-chain logistics, tool and asset tracking and work-in-process inventory management. ODIN Technology’s task is to work as a solutions developer for Airbus in managing fast-track roll-outs of RFID systems.