RFID tags to be used in flight!!!

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Content Copyright © 2010 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: The Holloway Angle

MAINtag SAS and Tego, Inc announced on January 12th 2010, that the companies’ jointly-developed FLYtag products will be used in a pioneering effort to tag thousands of aircraft parts across the Airbus A350 XWB fleet.

MAINtag were founded in 2004 and provides RFID tags, readers and software to major accounts for their industrial optimisation. They design and produce in house, rugged industrial RFID tags for challenging environments. Founded in 2005, Tego, Inc. produces high-memory RFID chips, tags and software. Its technology enables RFID applications that go beyond simple identification to allow rich storage of information and data tagged to assets for their life.

MAINtag will be the prime contractor for the jointly secured multi-year Airbus contract to supply next-generation RFID high-memory tags that can hold the complete birth record and maintenance history of aircraft parts, enabling new cutting-edge Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul applications. The combination of MAINtag’s expertise in tag manufacturing and Tego’s high-memory chip, provides the first standards-compliant, high memory and fully-passive RFID tags that help achieve Airbus’ goal of value chain visibility.

The A350 XWB will begin using MAINtag’s FLYtag solution, which incorporates Tego’s high-memory RFID chip (the TegoChip), to tag over 1,500 pressurized and non-pressurized parts and components on each aircraft. MAINtag and Tego will offer the FLYtag for use on all aircraft. The A350 XWB will be the first aircraft in the Airbus fleet that will use RFID on flyable parts and will be rolled out with the involvement of Airbus suppliers. The program will deploy ruggedized high-memory RFID tags on flyable parts, allowing improved aircraft configuration management and line maintenance, repair shop optimization, warehouse logistics, payload tracking and life-limited parts monitoring.

“We are very proud to have been chosen by Airbus, and are excited to work with MAINtag to deliver the first flyable parts RFID tags that will allow Airbus and its suppliers to get RFID in the air quickly,” said Timothy Butler, president and CEO of Tego, Inc.

As Aircraft manufacturers move towards being paid only when an airframe is in the air and not on the ground, then the ability to reduce the time spent in MRO whilst still maintaining the necessary safety requirements has become a priority. This solution has been talked about since around 2002 when I first became involved in RFID. This really shows how RFID has crossed the chasm and has become an important part of solutions to solve business problems in today’s agile world.