15 May

Ng Way will participate with the Italian Aerospace Network at World Maintenance Forum

<p><strong><span id="result_box" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><span class="hps">Lugano,</span> <span class="hps">September 4 to 6</span></span></strong></p>
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<p align="center"><strong>Automatic Tool Control in Aerospace Operations using RFID Technology</strong></p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Wherever aircraft are assembled, maintained or operated, it is essential for each and every person to be mindful of foreign objects. If foreign objects exist in critical or sensitive areas like engines or flight controls, a serious safety threat can result. Serious incidents and even fatal accidents occur regularly due to foreign objects and every year more than $4B in direct expenses can be traced back to everything from soda cans to toolboxes.</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— The industry has used the term foreign object damage (FOD) for decades but in recent years the definition has been broadened to foreign object debris to refer to the hazard more broadly. The tools that technicians use to assemble and maintain aircraft and their components are actually a significant source of FOD. Every year tens of thousands of tools are misplaced or left in aircraft during assembly or maintenance activities.</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— The number of tools in a facility can range from just a few hundred in a small repair station to literally tens of thousands in large manufacturing environments. The FOD threat is well recognized and intricate tool control procedures are typically established to identify which tools are in use and who they have been assigned to. With few exceptions, those procedures are entirely manual and time consuming. They require frequent and regular inventory checks, tool check-out and check-in queues and dedicated tool attendants to manage and oversee every transaction.</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Despite the investment in people and time required by these processes, they have limited effectiveness and loosing tools still occurs regularly during all aerospace operations. When tools are lost, all assembly and maintenance activities must be stopped and the operators are diverted from their tasks in order to look for the misplaced tools.</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Looking for misplaced tools can last for hours, even days, and it can require to disassemble complete parts as every potential hiding spot for a missing tool must be explored.</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) is a mature technology and has exploited  widespread proliferation in a variety of applications. It’s used in credit cards, passports, toll passes and it is used extensively in the logistics, pharmaceutical and retail industries. Many organizations have been able to fine-tune their supply chains to optimize efficiency and minimize inventory waste by using the RFID technology.</p>
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<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Asset tracking is one of the main application of the RFID technology and it is particularly interesting for the aerospace industry. Benefits on process optimization and return on investment of asset tracking applications are already well proven in many different industries and, in the aerospace industry, one of the most important benefits that can be achieved is the improvement of safety. Aerospace, with its high value and long life assets, is one of the industry with the higher potential in terms of cost savings and optimization regarding the adoption of RFID-based asset tracking management. Starting from spare parts to life vest, RFID can be very pervasive allowing to track a multitude of different objects with the same effective technology.</p>
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<p style="margin-left:18.0pt;">Among all the asset tracking applications, tracking of work tools is one of the newest and more interesting due to the level of safety improvement it can be achieved. Work tools tracking is now possible due to the availability of miniaturized on-metal RFID tags and portable RFID reader with good performances. A complete inspection of a tool case can be performed in few seconds avoiding human errors and with the possibility to retain electronic records proving the execution of the inspection.</p>
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<p style="margin-left:18.0pt;"><strong>In the field of maintenance Aerospace technology can bring huge benefits </strong></p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Lost Tools Prevention</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Human error prevention</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Reduction in time Inventory</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— F.O.D Prevention</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Eliminate Manual Tools control Process</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Reduce High cost tools Search</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Calibration Tracking</p>
<p style="margin-left:36.0pt;">— Tools Case tracking</p>
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