Development of an RFID-based Traceability System: Experiences and Lessons Learned from an Aircraft Engineering Company

E. W. T. Ngai, T. C. E. Cheng, Kee-hung Lai, P. Y. F. Chai, Y. S. Choi, R. K. Y. Sin
2009 Production and operations management  
T his paper presents a case study of the research and development of an RFID-based traceability system in an aircraft engineering company in Hong Kong. We report the system design and implementation, and discuss our experiences and lessons learned. The aim of the RFID system is to effectively support the tracking and tracing of aeroplane repairable items in the company. The study reveals eight critical success factors for the successful implementation of RFID systems, namely, create strong
more » ... nal and external motivation for improvement, stir up desire to keep abreast of the latest technology for global competitiveness, strive for cross organizational implementation, avoid major process changes/limit process changes, start with a small RFID project scope, facilitate equipment vendor's investment, use cost-effectiveness reusable tags, and transfer RFID skills and knowledge from university to industry. We also summarize 13 lessons learned, including three lessons concerning RFID implementation at strategic level, six lessons at management level, and four lessons at operational level resulting from carrying out this project. Given the contextual details of the study, the lessons learned can help other firms to better anticipate the hurdles they will experience, and make them aware of the possible ways to cope with such difficulties before embarking on the journey of RFID implementation. An in-depth case study of an RFID development project at an aircraft engineering company in Hong Kong was conducted to explore and identify the characteristics of an RFID-based traceability system. The case study presents a unique case providing details of the design and development of the RFID system. While the single case study has limited generalizability, it is useful at the initial stage of RFID system development. This case study, which allows a comprehensive examination of the RFID implementation Ngai, Cheng, Lai, Chai, Choi, and Sin: Development of an RFID-based Traceability System Production and Operations Management 16(5),
doi:10.1111/j.1937-5956.2007.tb00280.x fatcat:c2uq4gl5xjhv7pyfupircv7mam