At Aircraft Interiors Expo, Airbus demonstrated SmartCheck – a system that has the potential to save time in the cabin with cabin checks.
We all know that there is a lot of emergency equipment in the cabin, and one of those checks before a flight to depart is to ensure that this kit is installed and waiting (such as life vests, O2 generators or containers and loose safety items like fire extinguishers, medical kits, portable breathing equipment ..). And it’s a sad reflection on the world that sometimes, this safety critical kit can be borrowed or stolen – or in the worst cast – not loaded at all.
Airbus introduced a concept called “SmartCheck”, that is a pretty simple idea at its core. It uses an RFID scanner and RFID tag attached to the items to allow for fast scanning and identification of items – both present or missing.
The scanning device confirms that each piece is present, serviceable and secure while flagging any missing, expired or nearly expired items, reducing the time required for this crucial check from hours to minutes per aircraft
If you think about it – this is a pretty simple concept in terms of what it does. The service has been developed in conjunction with Fujitsu.
Here’s an example – and it looks like any RFID tag out there (save the “Remove Before Flight” markers).
This being an RFID tag, it’s easy to attach a tag to an item and let it sit there passively until it needs to be scanned.
According to Airbus, it’s possible to scan through an Airbus A320 with an appropriate scanner in two minute minutes and an A350 in under four minutes to identify if items are in place, out of place, or due for replacement.
A gateway into the connected cabin? Maybe…
As we move to the dream and reality of a connected cabin, there will be lots of challenges along the way.
By adding a safety dimension to the connected cabin (which is what SmartCheck does) – the business case becomes easier for a technology like this to enter the cabin if it can decrease turnarounds, releasing staff for other tasks and improve the knowledge of the status of the safety-related items in the cabin.
With the possibility, this brings, as well as the ability to connect the results and identify parts that need replacing – something like SmartCheck could make the pre-departure checks a little bit easier.
The Airbus brief is at https://interiors-services.airbus.com/airbus-rfid-solution-cabin-emergency-equipment
Many thanks to Airbus for the briefing at AIX 2019
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