RFID technology becomes more widespread

RFID technology becomes more widespread

ATA SPEC 2000 RFID - The Role of an RFID Integrator

New uses are continually being found for Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology. The technology uses a radio wave-emitting tag attached to an object to track that object’s location and even store information about the object, such as maintenance records. The information is read with a device designed for this purpose.

In the waste management industry, a trash collection company in Norway has begun affixing RFID tags to customers’ trash bins. Readers on the garbage trucks will determine if the customer hasn’t paid their bill, in which case, the trash is left behind and a message sent to the customer explaining why. The tags can also alert the trash pickup crews if the weight of a trash bin seems inconsistent with what its intended contents, such as recyclables or yard waste. The tags can track how many bins are emptied along a route and how long it takes, making it easier to optimize routes.

For a business that’s thinking about incorporating RFID technology, an RFID integrator can be valuable in determining how RFID will fit with the business’ existing systems. An RFID integrator can find ways for legacy systems and new technology to work together seamlessly.

In the aviation industry, RFID is being increasingly employed to meet the Air Transport Association’s Spec 2000, a set of standards that include tracing aircraft components throughout their lifespan with automated systems such as barcodes or RFID tags.  An advantage of ATA Spec 2000 RFID as compared to barcodes is that a direct line of sight isn’t required to read tags attached to objects, for example, if they’re in overhead bins or the tag is difficult to locate.

In addition to ATA Spec 2000 RFID applications, at least one aircraft manufacturer has found that RFID is a great method for tracking tools. Cessna is using RFID to find tools on its metal shop floor, where thousands of tools are spread over a 10,000 square foot area. Workers type in the number of the tool they need, and readers above the workspace will indicate its location. Much less time is wasted searching for tools. The tags even signal when tools are due for maintenance.

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