An American firm and French company announced a “pioneering” contract from Airbus to supply radio frequency identification tags (RFID) for application across the A350XWB fleet.
Chip developer Tego, Inc., of Waltham, Mass., and Paris-based MAINtag SAS will provide two designs of their jointly developed “FLYtag” product line, initially to tag some 1,500 parts on the new widebody. Tego is supplying the 8 Kbyte memory chip specified by Airbus, which is designed to the Air Transport Association (ATA) Spec 2000 data standard. MAINtag provides the tags, conforming to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) AS5678 aerospace standard.
RFID uses radio frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and tagged components. The tags developed for use on aircraft are “passive,” without a dedicated power supply.
Airbus on Nov. 26 introduced a maintenance, repair and overhaul strategy supporting RFID adoption for “value chain visibility,” with tracing of both flyable and non-flyable components over their total lifecycle. The A350XWB will be the first Airbus aircraft to use the passive RFID tags on flyable parts.
“What Airbus has done here is provide a contract vehicle and a pricing model to allow the industry to get up and running pretty seamlessly,” said Timothy Butler, Tego president and CEO.