How Sichuan Airlines Cuts MRO Inventory Time by 80 percent with SAP And RFID

Sichuan Airlines deploys an Automated Warehouse Management Solution with Xerafy RFID labeling solutions to track its 60,000 MRO parts and consumables inventory in SAP.


Sichuan Airlines









Sichuan Airlines is a full-service operator with a fleet of more than 100 aircraft and 10,000 employees. The Chengdu, China-based company maintains hubs in Hangzhou, Sanya, Beijing, Xi’an, and Harbin.

SichuanAirlines-RFID-label How Sichuan Airlines Cuts MRO Inventory Time by 80 percent with SAP And RFID

Challenges: Managing MRO Parts

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) warehouse management has become increasingly complex and time-consuming in the aviation industry. As MRO inventory volumes increase, manual tracking of parts and consumables can lead to inaccuracies as well as consuming hours of costly labor. High-value items may be frequently lost or damaged, and a full inventory count can take up to three months.


“Manual inventory management processes add enormous expense and time to airline operations,” said Michel Gillmann, Director Product & Marketing of Xerafy. “Xerafy’s Automated Warehouse Management solution for MRO has enabled Sichuan Airlines to track a wide variety of parts and consumables across their facilities and aircraft, generating real-time data that helps them reduce costs and make better procurement decisions.”

Solution: RFID Automation for MRO Parts Inventory

The airline selected Xerafy to help implement an automated warehouse management solution integrated with SAP’s ERP system. Xerafy Metal Skin labels have been deployed to track stock in/out operations, item movement, and stock transfer-ins via its Inspection and Warehouse/Inventory Management departments.

Sichuan-Airline-plane How Sichuan Airlines Cuts MRO Inventory Time by 80 percent with SAP And RFID

The Xerafy Metal Skin® labeling solutions offer a full range of high-performance RFID labels that are durable, flexible, and long-range

Using a combination of handheld RFID readers and fixed-position readers positioned at dock doors and other strategic locations, Sichuan Airlines staff are able to automatically record the movement of goods in and out of facilities, as parts and consumables are put away or removed from shelves, and during daily, monthly and yearly inventory checks. The information gathered through the solution can then be used for big data analysis to help make better purchasing and inventory decisions.

Sichuan-Airline-rfid-system How Sichuan Airlines Cuts MRO Inventory Time by 80 percent with SAP And RFID

Benefits: Automated Daily And Fixed Inventory Counts

Since going live with the new system in November 2017, daily inventory counts, which used to take two employees up to eight hours to complete, now can be completed in only two to three hours by just one person. Fixed inventory counts took five to six employees as many as 80 days to complete. Now that process takes just two weeks.

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Mr. Duo, Warehouse Manager at Sichuan Airlines

“The new RFID solution has made our inventory processes faster and more accurate,” said Mr. Duo, Warehouse Manager at Sichuan Airlines. “This solution has been quickly integrated with our ERP system, creating new levels of inventory visibility across our operations.”

The RFID system also makes it possible for Sichuan to identify the exact location of missing parts and consumables. In addition, the solution has eliminated manual data entry associated with the inventory process, which has eliminated data entry errors and made the information accessible much more quickly.

Xerafy is a pioneer in Industrial RFID, bringing to market several innovations that enable advanced industrial identification and automation capabilities. 


In addition to a complete range of field-proven RFID tags available off-the-shelf, Xerafy offers Custom RFID Tags services, covering everything from a personalization service bureau to custom-design engineering capabilities.

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