Boeing [NYSE: BA] has selected Intelleflex Corp.
to provide silicon chips to enable radio frequency identification (RFID) "smart labels" on maintenance-significant parts of the 787 Dreamliner
Smart labels use radio frequency technology for enhanced data storage and collection, and offer significant advantages over bar coding - no line-of-sight requirement and a dynamic read/write capability. Smart labels contain part identification as well as maintenance and inspection data in accordance with Air Transport Association standards. Intelleflex will provide the largest memory available in the industry with a 64-kilobit ultra high frequency (UHF) silicon chip for use on the 787.
"The use of RFID on the 787 Dreamliner will benefit our customers by reducing maintenance and inventory costs by providing detailed, electronic part tracking information on one small chip," said Mike Bair, 787 vice president and general manager.
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. 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 airplane parts.
"We are very pleased to be able to support this strategic parts marking initiative by Boeing," said Richard Bravman, chairman and CEO of Intelleflex. "It will yield tremendous advantages across the aerospace system in applications as diverse as parts manufacturing, airframe assembly, and maintenance operations. 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."
Intelleflex is a Silicon Valley company focused on delivering high-performance, high-reliability RFID integrated circuits, packaged tags and readers for worldwide adoption. Intelleflex tags and readers are designed to operate globally within the guidelines of internationally recognized standards.
Boeing has successfully completed two in-service evaluations of passive RFID smart labels on a FedEx MD-10 Freighter.