RFID Case Study: KLM – RFID in packaging to track airplane parts
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) arm of Air France KLM, had a huge logistic challenge to track all of their airplane parts. They support 1,500 airplanes operated by 150 airline customers. They have 300 facilities worldwide which remove parts from those planes, repair or refurbish them, or provide scheduled maintenance.
Many parts are shipped in special packaging from Nefab a Sweden-based multinational packaging company. By tracking this packaging, it enables KLM to monitor the parts inside, as well as track packaging that gets lost.
To address the problem, KLM worked with Nefab, to develop a Web-based solution known as Aviation Packaging Information System (APIS) for managing the inbound and outbound flow of packaging between Nefab and KLM E&M to cut costs and automate the process.
To track all the packages, KLM choose to install fixed RFID readers in buildings and trucks. For areas where no fixed reader has been installed, they use the Nordic ID Morphic mobile RFID handhelds.
Cisper suggested fixed RFID smartspots from Intellifi to set up at the Nefab facility. These smartspots can capture data about packaging that Nefab ships to KLM. Also several different Intellifi smartspots were installed in KLM’s engineering department, logistics center, warehouse and shop, where maintenance is performed. All packaging used by KLM for the spare parts is tagged with one or two passive RAIN RFID tags.
The warehouse management and tracking software (developed by the Dutch company Scoretrace) updates automatically if an Intellifi smartspot captures the tag ID of a package.
Due to this RFID solution, KLM can track and trace the location of equipment. The packaging costs were reduced with 50%. Also the system is virtually 100% hands-free and can be paperless. This means KLM E&M’s employees no longer need to manually record when packages arrive which gives KLM quicker processes and savings.
Nefab is a Sweden-based leading provider of packaging solutions within the segments of Telecom, Energy, Industry, Vehicles, Healthcare and Aerospace.
ScoreTrace WMS is a software application that supports the managing of the stock in a warehouse.
Intellifi is the leading provider of easy and affordable identification and localization services. Intellifi has made identification and localization of people, items and assets as easy as it can be.
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Cisper Electronics BV with its head office in the Netherlands, is an international distributor of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) products and systems. The company focuses on sales of RFID hardware and tags to system integrators/resellers in Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.