Fujitsu Launches Automated Identification Technology Solution for Aircraft Parts Suppliers Worldwide

MARCH 21, 2013, Tokyo – Fujitsu today announced that it has expanded and enhanced its automated identification technology (AIT) (*1) solution for aircraft parts suppliers worldwide, offering management of individual parts and accurate traceability of RFID and other AIT tags that are affixed to aircraft parts.

Fujitsu’s solution is comprised of AIT tags, readers/writers, middleware, and applications, and complies with the aviation industry’s rigorous environmental resistance standards as well as with ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5 (*2), a standard data format in the aviation industry.

By affixing tags to parts during the manufacturing process, aircraft parts suppliers can capture data about parts, such as manufacture date, configuration, and even maintenance service records, using the standards-compliant format demanded by the industry. This makes it possible to accurately trace a part’s lifecycle from manufacture to maintenance.

The solution results in more accurate and more efficient management of parts in the safety-oriented aviation industry, as well as a faster delivery cycle and reduced stock shortages thanks to greater visibility of the parts supply chain. It can also help maximize cash flow by reducing inventory – including channel inventory – and work-in-process.

Since the development in 2008 of a 64KB RFID tag – the world’s highest capacity, reflecting the demands of aerospace customers – Fujitsu has been leading the way in RFID technology in the aviation industry. AIT is increasingly being used throughout the industry for traceability and maintenance log management. Major air framers have started using RFID for maintenance operations and parts management.

Fujitsu has been providing a major air framer with a solution utilizing AIT, and is now expanding the solution to aircraft parts suppliers by affixing AIT tags during production to record and store part information and maintenance logs. The solution delivers enhanced management of individual parts and accurate traceability throughout each part’s lifecycle.

Key Features

1. One-stop solution

Fujitsu provides everything needed to roll out the system, including AIT tags, AIT readers/writers, middleware, and other products, as well as application development, system integration, and deployment services. This greatly reduces the customer’s workload in getting the solution up and running.

2. Compliant with international standards specific to the aviation industry

This solution complies with the specific international standards demanded by the aviation industry. Deployment of this service enables aircraft parts management in compliance with the standards demanded by the industry, ensuring that it can be used with confidence.

Since the aviation industry by its nature places such a strong emphasis on safety, RFID tags must satisfy stringent strength and security standards when used in aircraft. For example, an environmental standard and testing protocol has been established for aircraft RFID tags, SAE AS5678 (*3), while the data format is defined by the standards document ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5. Fujitsu is a full member of Airlines for America (A4A), the standards-setting body for the data format used in aviation formerly known as Air Transport Association of America (ATA), and is steadily adding support for the recently announced 2013 edition of the standard data format, ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5 ver. 2013.

3. Consolidation and analysis of parts information in the cloud

In addition to storing information about an individual part in the AIT tag itself, this solution can collect that information in the cloud.

Since AIT tags can store an individual part’s information, parts can be accurately managed even if they travel between multiple owners, or when no network is present.

Furthermore, it is also possible to collect this information in the cloud, enabling the information stored in AIT tags to be integrated and analyzed with information the customer has on parts warehousing and deliveries. This contributes to optimal inventory deployment and a more efficient global supply chain.

Solution Components

1. AIT tags

Fujitsu offers an extensive lineup of AIT tags as appropriate to the application. Customizations are also available if desired.

Tag type (user memory)

Features

High-memory RFID Tag

(64 KB/8 KB)

  • Highest memory capacity (64 KB), metal-compliant
  • Compliant with international UHF bands (EPCglobal (*4) Class 1 Generation 2 (*5))
  • Excellent environmental ruggedness (compliant with SAE standard AS5678)

Low-memory RFID Tag

(2 Kbit/512 bit)

  • Label-type tag (can be written/printed in label printer)
  • Security tag (shows removal attempts)
  • Seat cover tag (machine re, be tion to aviation-washable)
  • Non-flammable tag (compliant with SAE standard AS5678)

 

2. AIT reader/writer

Supports internationally used RFID frequencies. The RFID reader/writer comes standard with Fujitsu’s AIT middleware.

3. AIT middleware

  • Provides an execution environment compatible with international standards (EPCglobal, ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5), and can operate as a universal industry platform.
  • Guaranteed compatible with every type of AIT tag and multiple types of AIT readers/writers.
  • Includes functions for communicating with servers, and easily ties in with existing systems.

4. Applications/system support

Fujitsu can develop applications to suit each customer’s business, including total support for operations, maintenance, and deployment.

For More Information

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/solutions/ait/

Glossary and Notes

1. Automated Identification Technology (AIT)

Technology based on barcodes or RFID for automatic identification of individual items. Also refers to tools using AIT.

2. ATA Spec 2000 Chapter 9-5

A standards document promulgated by the Airlines for America that defines information exchange and processing sequences for information regarding aircraft part materials and reliability. Chapter 9 defines requirements for barcodes, 2D codes, and RFID tags affixed to parts.

3. SAE AS5678

A standard promulgated in December 2006 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) relating to environmental specifications and testing protocols for passive RFID tags to be used in airplanes. Classifies RFID tags into three categories based on whether their intended environment of use is interior, exterior, or power plant, setting specifications for each.

4. EPCglobal

A non-profit organization promoting international standards for RFID tags. Established in November 2003 and jointly funded by GS1, the international distribution-code standards body (formerly the EAN Association) and GS1 US, the American standards body (formerly Uniform Code Council).

5. Class 1 Generation 2

A standard promulgated by EPCglobal for communications between UHF-band RFID tags and readers/writers. The second generation boosts performance beyond EPC Class 1.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

 

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