A key goal in Boeing’s push to adopt radio frequency identification (RFID) labels for maintenance-significant parts on its planned 787 long range twin has been met with the award of the silicon chip supplier contract.

Under a deal announced yesterdat, US manufacturer Intelleflex will build the RFID tags subject to Boeing's final design requirements. Boeing says it has compiled these requirements and will release them within weeks. This will allow any label maker who can integrate Intelleflex’s chip into a product to provide Boeing suppliers with RFID systems.

“Intelleflex silicon chips and appropriate design information will become available in April to package into smart labels. Parts suppliers will apply the label during the manufacturing process,” notes Boeing in a statement. “Label converters will work directly with Boeing suppliers to design finished packages (silicon chip plus antenna, embedded into smart labels) to meet the diverse size, shape and environmental mounting requirements of the aircraft parts.”

The ultra-high frequency silicon chips have a 64 kilobit memory. “The extended memory feature will house critical information about the history of marked parts such as current part number, date of manufacture, serial number and country of origin, to be instantly available wherever and whenever needed,” says Intelleflex chairman and chief executive Richard Bravman.

Boeing 787 vice president and general manager Mike Bair says: “The use of RFID on the 787 will benefit our customers by reducing maintenance and inventory costs by providing detailed, electronic part tracking information on one small chip.”

Boeing has already attained certification for its RFID system through in-service evaluations of passive smart labels on a FedEx MD-10 freighter.


Source: Flight International