Sopheon, Siemens Business Services Launch RFID Reference Source for Aviation Industry

Boeing and Airbus support availability of Web-based service to promote RFID standardization

Boeing and Airbus support availability of Web-based service to promote RFID standardization

Global Aviation RFID Forum, Munich — October 20, 2004 — Sopheon, an international software and services company, and Siemens Business Services announced today the introduction of a Siemens Compliance Direct Service jointly supported by Airbus and Boeing that will provide an industry-wide internet portal to selected reference sources for the implementation of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in commercial airplanes.

The portal will help to ensure that users are working with the latest sources on RFID standardization. Airbus and Boeing are collaborating to introduce this Web-based service into the aviation industry as a way of promoting standardization around RFID use.

The Sopheon and Siemens Business Services solution, called "Antenna," is expected to streamline and accelerate product development, ordering, procurement and manufacturing processes throughout the commercial aviation industry. It provides a medium for Airbus and Boeing to publish their own RFID standardized requirements to supplier organizations. The initiative follows successful piloting of the Sopheon and Siemens service at Airbus.

Industry analyst firm Gartner Group has forecasted that RFID may become the major technology enabler for the transportation sector in the next decade. Adopted by the aviation industry, the technology has been linked to an ability to ensure higher levels of safety, airworthiness and operational efficiencies for commercial airplanes. Standardization has been identified as a critical factor in encouraging widespread adoption of RFID technology.

Sopheon and Siemens Business Services, in association with Airbus and Boeing, are promoting the Antenna service this week to suppliers attending the Global Aviation RFID Forum in Munich. The Forum was organized, and is being sponsored, by Airbus and Boeing.

Kenneth Porad, program manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes' automated identification program, said that Airbus and Boeing have a common goal of facilitating implementation of RFID across the aviation industry, as well as many suppliers and customers in common. "It will be difficult to promote widespread adoption of RFID standards without an effective, enabling implementation strategy," he said. "Working with Sopheon and Siemens Business Services, we realized that a technology-based solution that encouraged uniformity was possible. We expect that the Antenna service will be embraced as the industry's platform for de facto RFID standardization."

According to Jens Heitmann, senior manager, systems standardization, process and methods at Airbus, his company saw value in making the same information that Airbus and Boeing use for RFID compliance available to the companies that supply to and buy from Airbus. "Airlines, parts suppliers, regulatory agencies and third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul shops can now turn to a single resource for access to the latest RFID standards and information, including procedures and practices defined by Airbus and Boeing. This is a significant move in our continuing efforts to ensure the highest levels of passenger safety aboard commercial aircraft."

The Sopheon and Siemens Antenna service is a subscription-based offering that replaces manual process for manufacturing companies and their customers. The solution is built around Sopheon's Compliance Monitor software, a component of the Sopheon Accolade product lifecycle management (PLM) suite. The technology enables location, capture, management and analysis of critical data from a variety of sources, including professional journals, news publications, Web sites, and internal libraries arranged by Siemens Business Services' Standardization Competence Center.