Dublin-based Aerospace Software Developments (ASD) is the largest provider of RFID tracking solutions on aircraft in the world with a suite of products used by the largest airlines both on-board and off.
ASD’s cutting edge RFID technology provides a quick, efficient, accurate and cost-effective way for airlines to track the movement of items and people, manage rotables and other life-limited components, and monitor the security of aircraft.
The company, founded in 2004, has found international success for its innovative products, counting the leading operators in the aviation industry – Emirates, Delta, American, Lufthansa, flydubai and others– among its clients.
It recently announced that flydubai has begun using the latest version of its RFIDAeroTrack software to monitor the cleaning of aircraft seat covers through technologically advanced RFID tags that are attached to individual seat covers to provide a unique identification. This enables the airline to keep track of the seat covers at every stage of the cleaning cycle and life span via RFID handheld scanners and labels.
Dave Browne, Managing Director of ASD, says: “We’ve worked closely and successfully with flydubai for seven years. In 2014, ASD implemented the first RFID solution in the aviation sector in the Middle East at flydubai to track the presence and expiry of emergency equipment on aircraft. Since then, ASD and flydubai have successfully implemented RFIDAeroTrack to address a number of flydubai business requirements. This latest enhancement demonstrates our ability to innovate and implement functionally rich, cost-effective solutions.”
Commenting on the partnership, Mick Hills, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance at flydubai says: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help us to improve efficiency. RFIDAeroTrack provides a solution to help manage the cleaning of our seat covers using the latest developments in technology and we look forward to the benefits that this service will provide.”
Those benefits include aiding compliance with safety regulations and supporting the management of precautionary measures in relation to COVID-19. In addition, the application reduces the time to manage the removal and return of clean seat covers, as well as unnecessary cleaning costs by monitoring the number of times that a seat cover is cleaned.
ASD is an Enterprise Ireland-supported company and the agency’s Dubai Market Advisor, Alan O’Mahony, congratulated the team on their latest success: “Even through very difficult times in the aviation industry it is testament to the innovation and service levels of ASD to secure another contract with flydubai in a remote capacity. This valuable piece of kit will allow flydubai to streamline their maintenance activities and optimise costs in a time when liquidity is imperative to allow airlines to rebound and recapture market share.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on the aviation industry but, according to Browne, the industry seems to be using the downtime to review its work practices, which is good news for ASD.
“I think airlines have a little more time to review where improvements could be made. We’re currently implementing a number of projects for customers in the US and South Africa that allow for the tracking of additional components on aircraft and on-ground activities such as tool tracking and management of work packages from out stations to the airline’s records department.”
Diversifying products and markets
“Initially, when assessing RFID opportunities in aviation, we assumed that on-aircraft component tracking and compliance was the biggest problem area. Based on this we developed RFIDAeroCheck – our first RFID-based solution for aviation. RFIDAeroCheck now allows for the tracking of over 60 different component types on aircraft such as life vests and oxygen generators,” says Browne.
“Having successfully implemented a number of RFIDAeroCheck based projects, customers then identified other opportunities for RFID technology on-ground. Based on this we developed RFIDAeroTrack, which allows for tracking of tools, test equipment, mechanics, basically anything that can be RFID-tagged.”
Over the past 10 years ASD has built upon its initial solutions and now has a suite of six products including RFIDAeroTag, which allows for the printing and encoding of tags, and RFIDAeroSecure, which allows for the placement and tracking of security labels in various parts of the airplane. Drawing on its significant expertise of RFID technology, ASD also offers a range of consultancy services.
All ASD’s solutions are standards-based, GS1-accreditted and SPEC2000-compliant. In fact, RFIDAero was the first GS1-accredited RFID software solution in aviation.
Having won international success in the aviation sector, ASD is now turning its attention to healthcare.
Applying the same innovative approach, the company has tailored its technology and created a range of RFIDMedical branded products that can track everything from wheelchairs and beds to clinical samples, patient flow and vulnerable patients.
“Moving forward we see the healthcare space as very important for us. There are a considerable number of potential applications in that space. At the minute our RFIDMedical technology is deployed within Ireland but the goal is to further develop the products and then roll them out to Europe and beyond,” says Browne.