Food must be distributed quickly and reliably. Continuous cooling must be provided.
The throughput of the food logistics chain must be increased and distribution errors must be reduced so that the freshest products arrive at the store.
RFID tags must be easily attached to a variety of transport and storage bins. The tags have to be read/written using both stationary and handheld readers.
Products are easily and reliably tracked, and continuous cooling along the entire logistics chain can be determined by logging storage locations with a time stamp. Efficient handling of bins and containers increases the throughput of the cold storage facility.
Modern food storage and refrigeration facilities make use of large vertical storage facilities. Typically, these facilities have high-speed, high-throughput automated storage and retrieval systems that reduce the distance a product needs to travel while increasing the storage density. It's extremely important to reliably track products as they travel from the producer through these intermediate storage and logistics facilities.
To meet these requirements, material handling and conveyor systems are equipped with RFID readers that support automatic routing and provide the ability to obtain an up-to-the-minute view of the available products. Data on the RFID tags can be modified anywhere along the logistics path to enable a high degree of handling flexibility. The tags can also log producer information, quantity, and quality of the product as well as the intended destination.
Perishable items must be processed according to the first in, first out (FIFO) principle, eliminating extended storage times that would otherwise result in costly losses. Trucks access the refrigeration facility via a large number of loading docks and have to be processed efficiently. Since virtually every producer marks their products with their own labeling, this information is written in a consistent format to the RFID tag during the incoming inspection. Once written to the RFID tag, identification is automatic and fast, and information is processed without errors.
Low-temperature applications result in condensation. RFID solutions offer significant advantages over optical identification methods like barcodes.