RFID is Improving Safety Records
RFID makes all sorts of machinery more reliable
If you are anxious every time you step on board a plane, it may calm your nerves somewhat to know that RFID is helping to improve the safety records of airlines. A major European carrier is using RFID to support the process of maintaining and repairing aircraft parts. Each tagged part will carry key information about its ownership and maintenance history. This will help speed up aircraft repairs – reducing delays– and will improve the overall safety of aircraft.
Carmakers are taking similar steps to improve the safety of their vehicles. Key safety components such as brakes and seats can be tagged so that the car manufacturer can trace faulty goods back to the supplier and then demand repairs or replacements. In future it will be possible to link RFID tags containing a unique identification number, such as the Electronic Product Code (EPC), to critical information, e.g. date of manufacture, materials used and origin of components.
Tracking medical equipment
Even sophisticated healthcare equipment can be tagged with RFID to ensure it is functioning properly and to track maintenance and inspection information.
When medical devices have to be recalled, it is often difficult for hospitals to identify which devices of the millions in circulation are faulty. That’s because companies frequently produce goods that look nearly identical but have minor changes in features. In addition, it’s very difficult to track the make and model number of medical devices that have already been used in surgery, such as artificial hips or knee joints. One company is developing ways to RFID-tag the implants’ packaging so that product information, such as expiration dates, can be tracked accurately and patients can know that their implants are safe.
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