After discovering the valuable information and data barcodes can provide during a trial project, a major U.S. airport decided to develop a full location inspection and asset maintenance program using Camcode barcode tags.
Initially, the airport began adding RFID tags to locations tied to maintenance areas such as hallways, stairwells, restrooms to track inspections for a janitorial contractor. “We have obligations to provide data as part of our contract,” said an airport spokesperson.
However, the RFID tags began to be an issue. “RFID technology limits our choices of devices and adds complexity of software,” according to the spokesperson. “There were layers of compatibility issues and any future development would always be tied to compatibility requirements. Barcodes are easier and depend on cameras without any additional configurations. Barcode technology is proven and gives us more flexibility and more options.” Switching to barcode technology allowed users to scan the barcodes with a handheld app, which ties the location to the time log and inspection performed.
“Barcode technology is proven and gives us more flexibility and more options.”
In this instance, the barcodes are unique identifiers back to the database and do not hold any data themselves. But once data from the app started to come in and members of the facilities team saw what barcoding could do, they decided to create an inspection log and start gathering more data where paper tracking processes were performed. For example, management began to go out and perform inspections in public areas. They used the barcodes to identify locations where safety or appearance issues occurred and reported them back to maintenance.
Building on the success of the location tracking project, the airport began a new project to track maintenance on individual assets. For these assets, such as air handlers on ceilings, the airport needed a durable barcode label solution. “We need something that will work outside and inside, won’t fade, can be pressure washed and scratched,” said the airport spokesperson. The airport selected Camcode’s Metalphoto® barcode labels for its durability needs. In addition to identifying assets in the field, these labels will also replace all RFID tags from prior projects.
“With Camcode we had the ability to test different tags, multiple sizes and adhesives, and apply them in our environment…and test them for a good amount of time.” “We have confidence with the tags.” Once the tags are installed, the airport maintenance team will be able to go to an asset, pull up a work order in the app, and scan the barcode to that work order. The work order is time-stamped to show that maintenance has been there and they’ve completed the work. Using the barcode, the app will match the asset to all the maintenance functions that must be performed.
According to the airport spokesperson, “the ability to scan a barcode onsite at an asset is a huge time saver for us.” “Because there is little to no connectivity in various areas of the airport, the work is done offline. Going forward we can schedule the maintenance issues right as we see them.”