Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, Ariz., home to the Air Force’s 56th Fighter Wing, has recently implemented a successful RFID inventory tracking system in its 25,000 square foot storage warehouse, according to Integrated Solutions Magazine.
Unsatisfied with the limits of the bar code system installed in 2003, the 56th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) at Luke AFB scrapped it in favor of a new RFID solution. With the help of American Ba rcode and RFID (AB&R), they settled on a system involving CribMaster Accu-Port and Last-Point-Read Tracking Modules, CribMaster inventory management software from WinWare, and readers from Motorola. The new system addressed many of the issues Luke AFB had with bar codes: real-time visibility of supplies, the ability to track routine maintenance and calibration schedules, and security and accountability issues.
The warehouse’s main duty is to send out 463L aircraft pallets (or “readiness pallets”) that carrying up to 10,000 pounds of equipment designed to support teams deployed in foreign battle zones. Readiness pallets contain everything necessary to survive for five days without base support, including weapons, ammunition, food, water, generators, fuel, radios, and so on. Upon order these must be constructed and ready to ship within 24 hours.
The RFID system not only helps base personnel know at a glance every item within the readiness pallet, it also alerts them when they have forgotten something, allowing for expedited pallet construction, and ultimately better equipped troops.
Additionally, Luke AFB reports that the time it takes to issue gear to base personnel has been cut dramatically; instead of forty-five minutes to an hour, the process is complete in fifteen minutes.
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