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They since expanded the system to track RFID parts at five additional stations that aren't manned around the clock, so that any time a maintenance person takes a part off the shelf, it’s tracked.
They know where the parts are, reducing extra purchased inventory for maintaining bin parts.
"It helps us from having to borrow a part from another airline. "This allows us to keep our pipeline more clean." While tracking inventory is similar to how retail uses RFID, the tags are slightly different.
People actually steal these things from planes," said Bill Hardgrave, provost at Auburn University and founder of the RFID Research Center.
"Or it might say the oxygen mask on seat 14C needs to be swapped out." Delta had a tough time tracking parts used throughout the day, to make sure they had enough on hand for backfilling.
For airline parts, the tag price is more like 28 to 30 cents a tag.
Introduced in 2016, RFID for baggage is the company’s most public-facing project.
As of this spring, Delta had issued around 110 million tags, said Lorow, which have increased efficiency and passenger satisfaction.
Delta had the lowest number of mishandled baggage claim reports for US airlines in May 2018, at 1.54 per 1,000 passengers.
Behind the scenes, though, Delta’s foray into RFID began with its logistics operations, and has yet to lose steam.
In 2012, Delta added tags to emergency equipment "in the tube" of each plane.