Spec 2000 is a set of standards developed by the Air Transport Association of America pertaining to nearly all aspects of the aviation industry’s multi-billion dollar parts business. A goal of the standards is to streamline the sharing of information among airlines, parts manufacturers, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul organizations. The improved flow of information saves time, money, and frustration for the businesses involved. But most importantly, better communication and record keeping translate to greater safety for consumers and as well as aerospace workers.
A key piece of Spec 2000, outlined in Chapter 9, is traceability of aircraft components throughout their lifespan using Automated Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) methods. AIDC includes barcodes, 2-D Data Matrix, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — all of which are data-containing tags that are affixed to the part for its entire life. Information written to the tags is retrieved with automated reading devices.
The use of RFID tags for labeling aircraft parts is growing, as their many benefits are recognized. RFID tags come with varying amounts of memory, which are appropriate for different situations. RFID low memory tags contain a component’s, “birth record,” basic identifying information that is known when the part is manufactured. High memory tags can store a part’s maintenance and repair history in addition to its birth record. Mechanics can even leave notes on the tag for themselves or whoever works on the part next.
Consistency saves time, reduces errors
Standards for how the information is formatted are part of ATA Spec 2000 RFID. Using a consistent format makes it easier for workers to locate and understand the information, which again is an important safety consideration.
While storing maintenance information on the RFID tag is valuable for many parts, other components such as life vests or oxygen tanks don’t require such detailed record keeping. RFID low memory tags are a good option in these situations as a way to expand the use of RFID tags to more components while keeping costs down.
Other safety benefits arising from AIDC technology, including ATA Spec 2000 RFID, are improved accuracy of data; reduced time to fix service-related problems; reduced risk of counterfeit parts, and improved ability to identify and remove rogue parts.
Whether it’s RFID low memory tags or high memory tags, parts labeling puts critical information directly onto the component, where it can be easily accessed whenever it’s needed.
For further details, visit www.id-integration.com.
Streamlining Data Improves Safety through ATA Spec 2000 RFID