Where's the Meat
RFID is about problem-solving. Need faster deliveries, better loss prevention or just need to all-around improve business processes? RFID is the answer. Just yesterday at RFID JOURNAL LIVE!, I discussed this with the Can family/team at RFID Enabled Solutions. They told me a tale that clearly illustrates the problem-solving component of RFID implementation, and while it may not have the usual elements one might expect in a fairy tale, it definitely has the happily ever after.
The story takes place in a meat factory. The largest frozen and ready-to-cook gyro producer and distributor in Turkey, Bereket Doner, needed a new RFID solution. The company sought to control inventory, speed up delivery and enhance loss prevention, but were told time and again that RFID implementation was impossible due to the moist and frozen environment.
Enter RES. RES stepped in with an innovative solution to this environmental problem. They introduced RFID technology at the first step of Bereket's meat processing system by applying the RFID tags directly on the raw meat before it was wrapped and frozen to -40 degrees Celsius.
The Rotating Antenna
Next, they built a scanning 'tunnel' with the latest RFID reading antennas to facilitate order processing. With this new system, once an employee assembles a purchase order pallet, it is wheeled into the new tunnel where its contents and weight are automatically verified against the purchase order. This takes a mere 30 seconds. If you weren't impressed by the 30 seconds number, how about this one? 100. The RFID tags are read with 100% accuracy.
Getting a reader to read an RFID tag through a monstrous slab of flesh in a cold, moist environment is a challenge. Rather than overcomplicate the situation, RES stepped outside the box to solve this problem with an age-old strategy— simplify. Because the tags were on the flesh and often sit prior to delivery for a few hours, the moist and the cold and the flesh made for dead zones. How do you solve this problem? Simple and brilliant, a rotating antenna.
Volkan Turk, IT Manager at Bereket Doner, said, “Not only did RES end up developing a unique, easy to implement solution, but they 100% stood behind their work. We now have full control of our production and deliveries, and there hasn't been a single customer complaint since implementation. We truly believe that if RES says they will do it, nothing will stop them.”
Moist, cold environments and slabs of meat. Not your traditional fairy tale. But certainly a happily ever after. This story illustrates an interesting point. When people think about RFID, they think automated technology solution. Rarely is the human ingenuity that goes into each and every implementation considered.
As it was put so aptly in the RES Booth by Temucin Can, “RFID is an art, we don't have identified solutions.”
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