Bell Helicopter is a leader in vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for commercial and military applications, and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Today there are about 13,000 Bell Helicopter aircraft flying in more than 140 countries.
Owner of Bell Helicopter, Textron is one of the world’s best known multi-industry companies, it is a pioneer of the diversified business model. With total revenues of $11.3 billion, Textron is ranked 236th on the FORTUNE 500 list of largest U.S. companies. Textron’s network of businesses includes Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Jacobson, Textron Systems and other market-leading companies.
What was needed
Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, needed to implement a solution to meet the U.S. Department of Defense mandate that all DoD suppliers must mark any products valued at greater than $5000 with a unique serial number (UID) and relevant bar code. This mandate was established to help the DoD track and monitor physical assets through the DoD supply and logistics chain. In addition to physically labeling each part or product with a unique serial number and bar code, DoD Suppliers are also required to maintain a data repository, compliant with UID registry requirements. The supplier must be able to produce UID reports on demand.
At a minimum, the solution had to provide an enterprise-wide, web-based distributed data collection and production component, a scalable data repository, and an effortless way to produce tags for marking the parts. After determining that an in-house implementation would be far too costly to create and maintain, Bell Helicopter turned to Savi for assistance. Savi recommended and deployed Savi Technology to generate the unique IDs and barcodes and to store the needed information in an DoD-compliant UID registry.
Bell Helicopter opted for a phased implementation, starting with UID generation and management for 10 major parts from one aircraft. To facilitate permanent part marking, the Savi team integrated Savi technology software with Bell’s laser-marking equipment so that metal plates could be automatically marked with the required UID information for each part. The Savi technology repository met or exceeded all the DFARS and Mil Standards for the collection and storage of data and the production of reports that the DoD requires. Bell Helicopter quickly expanded its implementation to completely fulfill the DoD requirements.
At Bell Helicopter, the Savi solution completely achieved its business goals. Parent company Textron, aware of the success of Savi at Bell Helicopter, elected to implement Savi’s technology at two of its other divisions: Textron Marine & Land Systems, and AAI . Each company maintains its own secure sub-schema fully protected from outside intrusion. The companies populate the technology using secure Internet connections, where it is maintained in the repository until required by the DoD.Combined, these three large-scale DoD suppliers maintain Repository of over 42,000 UIDs.
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