Unilode to install digital Bluetooth pallet tags

Unilode, Safran and OnAsset have completed their joint development of digital Bluetooth pallet tags. The project provides a corner piece and attachment method for the digital enablement of aviation pallets.

The three parties started their collaboration less than a year ago to develop a unique design for a Bluetooth 5 digital tag, which can be fitted into a pallet to prevent mishandling and stacking problems that may occur with bolt-on solutions positioned externally.

Safran’s engineering team designed a complementary corner piece solution to house the antenna of the tag in the pallet corner, with the rest of OnAsset’s innovative digital device being entirely integrated inside the edge rail of the pallet.

Once the prototyping phase was completed, the team consisting of Unilode, Safran and OnAsset Intelligence engineering and electronics experts conducted a lengthy testing process focusing on structural integrity, regulatory compliance, operational safety and electronics performance, which was completed successfully.

Unilode’s new Safran pallets will be delivered with the integrated corner piece while existing units will be retrofitted to enable the provision of data on location and shock, which is important especially for time-critical and shock-sensitive cargo.

The technology is fully DO-160 compliant and approved for in-flight use, and Unilode will start rolling out its digitally enabled ULDs along with the global reader infrastructure to set its digital transformation programme in motion.

Benoît Dumont, Unilode chief executive, said: “We are proud that Unilode’s digital transformation programme is supported and enabled through a collaborative engineering effort with our partners Safran and OnAsset Intelligence.

“Our solution for the digital enablement of pallets is fully integrated and therefore safe, compliant with prevailing regulations, does not create a trip hazard for individuals or pose a target for forklifts and does not operationally impede on the use of the pallets by occupying a portion of the seat tracks.

“Unilode is in the process of securing its intellectual property rights in the pallet tag form factor and looks forward to rolling out its digital transformation programme, which has been recognised as a leading innovative idea through Unilode’s nomination as a finalist for the 2019 IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award.”


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