News | April 24, 2017

Fujitsu To Supply Boeing With RFID Technology To Manage Aircraft Components

Supporting greater aircraft manufacturing productivity using Fujitsu's RFID labels that feature outstanding environmental durability

Fujitsu Limited recently announced that it has signed a contract to supply The Boeing Company with FUJITSU RFID Integrated Labels, as part of a Boeing project to implement RFID technology that improves the efficiency of lifecycle management for aircraft components.

With this project, by attaching RFID labels to major aircraft components from the manufacturing stage for all aircraft, Boeing will be able to manage individual components, achieve accurate traceability, and raise the efficiency of its aircraft maintenance work.

Fujitsu RFID labels have a track record with major aircraft manufacturers, and Fujitsu continues to provide this robust technology as the de facto standard for RFID part marking in the aviation industry.

Boeing manages information about an aircraft's constituent components and provides airlines with a component list called an Aircraft Readiness Log (ARL) at time of delivery, as a delivered configuration. In order for an aircraft to safely operate for as long as thirty years, strict configuration management of components is necessary, but because this task previously had to be done by an employee visually checking and manually entering the data, it required a great deal of time.

In response to these issues, Boeing is moving forward on automatically generated ARLs by using RFID labels, and has now decided to deploy the labels to its manufacturing lines.

Effects of Implementation
By attaching Fujitsu's RFID labels to the approximately seven thousand aircraft components that make up a single aircraft and automatically generating an ARL, Boeing aims to digitally manage component information and greatly improve task efficiency, including cutting man hours worked and reducing human error. In this way, aircraft delivery tasks are also becoming more efficient, supporting improved productivity in aircraft manufacturing.

In addition, by using the digitized ARL, airlines can ensure accurate traceability for components, enabling secure and rapid support during maintenance or when a fault occurs. Moreover, by using RFID labels in inventory management and stocktaking tasks, efficiencies in logistics operations and inventory optimization can also be expected.

About the Fujitsu RFID Integrated Label and Related Solutions
Using technology from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., the RFID Integrated Labels developed by Fujitsu meet the SAE AS5678 standard(1) environmental tolerance specifications demanded by aircraft, and adhere to the airline industry standard ATA Spec 2000(2) RFID data format. Given that these standards are highly rated, Boeing has now become the latest aircraft manufacturer to adopt Fujitsu's RFID labels.

In addition to RFID labels, Fujitsu provides a total package of related solutions, including RFID readers, data writing label printers, and software, enabling easy RFID deployments for customers.

[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 RFID label use in the three environmental categories of "Standard," "Robust," and "Harsh."

[2] ATA Spec 2000
A standards document promulgated by Airlines for America (A4A), formerly known as Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), that defines information exchange and processing sequences for aircraft parts, materials and reliability information. Chapter 9 defines requirements for barcodes, 2D codes, and RFID tags affixed to parts.

SOURCE: Fujitsu