A system of active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags could help processors monitor temperature and humidity data as products move through a global supply chain.
RFID has long been touted as the future of logistics for all companies by allowing retailers and suppliers to track goods throughout the supply chain. The use of the technology offers processors a way to comply with new food safety requirements on traceability.
The requirements mean companies must be able to trace ingredients from source and products to the till, allowing them to pinpoint problems when a food safety incident occurs, and make recalls if necessary. Retail giants are currently rolling out traceability and RFID mandates to all their suppliers, with Wal-Mart currently working out traceability standards for all fresh products.
Savi Technology says its new RFID sensor tags can be put on metal, plastic, wood or cardboard containers to help processors automatically locate goods in he supply chain.
The RFID components also have up to 128 KB of memory storage for recording environmental status data. When commissioning the tags, users can set acceptable temperature and humidity ranges tailored to the characteristics of the particular food products to be monitored.
If the collected data rises or falls outside the acceptable range, the Savi SensorTag sends a real-time alarm to a fixed or mobile RF reader, and notification of the temperature or humidity change is escalated via signals sent through the Internet, cell phone or e-mail, allowing the problem to be addressed before spoilage or damage occurs.
The complete environmental event logs can be uploaded to handheld readers or to fixed readers at stationary sites such as yards and warehouses in the supply chain. This enables users to identify the time and location of unacceptable environmental conditions, or to confirm that acceptable ranges, and therefore shipment quality, are maintained, said David Kranzler, Savi's senior vice president of product development.
"By alerting users to problematic environmental conditions when goods are moving through the supply chain, these new active RFID products reduce losses due to spoilage or damage," he stated.
The Savi SensorTag ST-673, has a metallic mounting bracket for metal containers, engine frames and other metal assets that enables shippers, carriers and logistics service providers to monitor in real-time the location, temperature and humidity of perishables sensitive to spoilage.
The SensorTag ST-674, comes with a sleeve, allowing it to be fastened inside plastic, polycarbon, cardboard or wooden totes and containers or attached to pallets during transportation or on warehouse racks, shelves or other fixtures during storage.