RFID Case Study: Detection and inventory of tools in the Aerospace Industry


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In the Aerospace industry, Foreign Object Damage (FOD), also called Foreign Object Debris, is a multi-million dollar yearly risk on the aircrafts manufacturers and maintenance companies (MRO).

FOD is a damage caused by tools, bolts, materials and other items mistakenly left behind inside the aircraft during the maintenance.  It can cause small issues as, in worst case, plane crashes and risks for human lives. The RFID is the ideal technology to mitigate the FOD risk linked to the tools.

Nexess is the perfect partner for aircraft companies to provide an RFID solution to manage, track and control their tools.


Major aircraft companies are looking to save time and money by getting in real time the whole inventory of their tools using RFID solutions. As any complex machine, aircrafts and helicopters must be maintained periodically. A commercial aircraft for example, must have relatively light maintenance every 100 to 750h of flight that lasts 8 to 24h if everything’s in order. Heavier maintenances have to be done every 3.000 to 20.000h of flights (20 to 24 months) and consists in more than 1000 inspection: deep check of every components and structure, calibrations, etc… and lasts up to a month. In other words; the aircraft is stripped to its core structure and rebuilt.

In case a tool is left inside the plane after the maintenance, it’s easy to imagine that the consequences can be serious, both in terms of costs and risks. For instance at the end of a rebuild, if a tool is missing, the mounting steps shall be undone one by one until the object is found.

On top of the FOD control challenge, entering the Industry 4.0 requires to improve the processes to reduce the costs and keep the highest level of competitivity. All starts by an accurate tool tracking, ensuring everyone gets the right tool, at the right place, at the right moment, bringing efficiency and peace of mind for the workers, that today can spend up to 45 min to start a shift when some key tools are missing (lost / broken / under calibration, etc).



Nexess has developed a portfolio of smart RFID products: drawers, cabinets, gates and mobile solutions along with an easy and secured RFID tagging procedure for creating efficiently a digital twin for every tool. The smart cabinets, based on an advanced RFID detection, ensure a 100% detection and a unique identifier for each tool, that are the basis of a FOD-proof solution.

All Nexess devices come with their administration software and are natively compatible with all the NexCap IoT solution suite, allowing you getting the best of the system:

  • FOD prevention
  • See in real time where are located the tools
  • Handle easily the calibration and maintenance
  • Find an eventual missing one on the field
  • Get statistics on usage and optimize your stock
  • Bring the right tool, at the right place, at the right moment, for the right person
  • No time lost during shifts
  • Control extra stock and save money
  • Prevent issues with the advanced monitoring system


Thanks to the smart cabinets from Nexess, technicians no longer need to search for the tools before they start to work. This saves the company a lot of time and money in terms of labor costs.

Also, the firm does not need to order excess stock that would otherwise be purchased if a specific item could not be found.



Nexess was founded in 2007 and provides solution for traceability and identification by RFID (radio frequency identification) Technology in the areas of Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Logistics and Oil & Gas Industries.By connecting industries to the Internet of Things, Nexess brings the industry in the ‘Smart Manufacturing’ era, providing a total real-time visibility of logistics, production and maintenance processes by connecting the physical environment plant through IoT technologies.


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