Dougloid
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:53 pm

It is reported today by Flight International that Boeing is instituting a 'smart' parts tracking system with RF identification labels to be attached to aircraft parts on the 787, the better to trace them. A worthy effort and I applaud them. They are also working on a passive tracking system with Fedex on one of their DC10 freighters.

However. I suggested that such technologies were cheap and readily available back in 1996 when I published a law review article entitled Flying Underground:The Trade in Bootleg Aircraft Parts in the Journal of Air Law and Commerce at Southern Methodist University.

I opined at the time that if the UPS man who brings a package of sneakers to my door had the man-portable technology to scan and track my package from the point of origination to the point of departure, there was no principled reason why we should not be doing the same thing with traceable and life limited aircraft parts, in view of the risks involved from counterfeit and bogus parts.

The technology has only gotten better and cheaper in the intervening years. If we're able to track a 69 cent can of wax beans from the cannery through the distributor and supermarket to the point of sale. it's high time someone did something like Boeing, only cheaper and faster.

There. I have spoken.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:38 am

A question here.....is it possible for unscrupolous individuals (or campanies) to tamper with the RF chip so that the 'tracing' is no longer possible?
 
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N328KF
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:45 am

Just as an FYI, but this is not a Boeing-only system. This is one of the areas that Boeing and Airbus partnered up. They also share the same B2B network for parts. Outside of the scope of this, they teamed up on safety standards.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
boeingbus
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:51 am

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 1):
is it possible for unscrupolous individuals (or campanies) to tamper with the RF chip so that the 'tracing' is no longer possible?

You can just peel the rf tag off the part, its like a sticker. But why would anyone want to do that??? This is more for inventory control and traking and nothing to really do with safety. You would still need to following the FAA guidelines and processes when it comes to maintenance.

This just makes like easier for Boeing and suppliers... and customers for an automated inventory control.
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
aogdesk
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:06 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 2):
they teamed up on safety standards

Agreed. They've spent alot of time working on standards. As promising as RFID is for retail and consumer goods, coding & tracking of spares is a completely different animal.
Just think what a nightmare it would be if there were 150 different companies in the industry all applying their own proprietary RFID coding system.
 
ptharris
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:15 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 2):
This is one of the areas that Boeing and Airbus partnered up.

Holy Hell!  Wow! Say it isn't so! What will the a.net forums do if they partner up and no longer have anything to bash about in a A vs B thread?  duck 

Seriously, this is a great idea for Boeing/Airbus/any company. I'm curious if parts that are "re-serviced" will eventually lose this ID tag or are they "reprogrammed"?
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.
 
Kangar
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RE: Boeing Automated Parts Tracking System

Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:00 am

Even though it's not 100% tamper proof, and what system is?.......it's a big step forward in improving traceability and accountability. Well done to all involved I say. RFID is going to be everywhere soon.