Northwest Aerospace News June | July Issue No. 3 | Page 55

PACIFIC NORTHWEST AEROSPACE ALLIANCE SPOTLIGHT To enable RFID, former systems required large rugged read- ers at a cost of $4,000 – $5,000 each; today’s systems can utilize smartphones and tablets as an RFID reader, hence the costs have fallen below $1,000. Furthermore, the volumes of RFID tags now being utilized in industry has driven the cost of a tag down from several dollars to less than 20 cents for some passive tags. Coupled with these cost reductions there have been many advances in IT and connectivity, including access to 4G and unlimited data. The rise of cloud-based software and data analytics have led to Statistical Analytics Systems (SAS) being embraced by more traditional man- ufacturing companies and hence a hunger for the data that RFID systems can easily provide. “Your systems are only as good at the data that you put into them … and if you have people hand-writing information and giving it to others by any manual electronic means, the data won’t be good,” - Gary Moe, president and founder, ID Integration. As companies now recognize the importance of good data and the link to improved operations and efficiency, the time to fully embrace RFID technology has arrived and the bene- fits are numerous. The use of RFID enables aerospace manu- facturers to effectively track work orders and inventory; this in turn improves productivity by reducing the labor hours wasted looking for misplaced parts and tools — especially important when a facility is operating with multiple shifts and lean headcount. They can also help to drive improved customer relations, as the inability to locate parts is the source of frustration for many auditors. JUNE | JULY 2018 ISSUE NO. 3 55