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Enhancing Visibility and Traceability

RFID is the only automatic-identification technology that is truly automatic. It can, therefore, collect data at a far lower cost than bar codes and other systems, providing an unprecedented level of product visibility and traceability. This track focuses on how companies are deploying visibility and traceability, as well as the benefits visibility provides.




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25 October 2012

12:45—Track Session
Grupo Vidrala Improves Efficiency and Reduce Errors With RFID
Grupo Vidrala, a manufacturer of glass containers used by the food and agriculture industries, is employing an RFID system—with EPC Gen 2 readers installed on forklifts, and tags affixed to loaded pallets—at three of its factories, in order to improve efficiency by tracking products from the point of production to when the goods are loaded onto trucks destined for customers. The Spanish-based company has been expanding its operations throughout the past decade, with the addition of three Spanish production centers, as well as plants in Italy, Portugal and Belgium. The firm's 13 glass-melting furnaces have the combined capacity to produce more than 3.5 billion containers. After introducing a SAP software system at all of its facilities, Vidrala began seeking other technology solutions that could tie into that warehouse-management system, in order to improve efficiency and be able to track every pallet. After completing its installation of the RFID system at plants in Spain and Portugal, management has been able to reduce the amount of time required for moving product, and to receive alerts in the event that errors occur.
Speaker:
José Manuel Delicado, Chief of Maintenance, Research and Development, Grupo Vidrala
Takeaways:
• How RFID has provided traceability of every pallet, eliminating errors in movements and shipping
• Future plans to expand RFID to the firm's Belgian and Italian factories
14:45—Track Session
Adding Value to the Cold Chain Via RFID
The shelf life of perishable products is determined not only by time, but also by temperature. Two cases of the same product, packed and processed simultaneously, could have significantly different shelf lives if one were subjected to higher temperatures. Strømbergs Plast, a supplier of containers to several of the region's largest food companies, is employing RFID to document the cold chain—not just preserve it. Learn how the company used the technology on a mobile phone platform to keep customers' products cold, while documenting temperature levels.
Speaker:
Knut Rinden, Marketing Manager, Strømbergs Plast AS
Takeaways:
• The benefits of utilizing RFID to add value to already established products
• How to leverage GPS, GSM, RFID and temperature tracking in the same application, in order to establish an accurate chain of custody
15:30—Track Session
Reducing Out-of-Stocks With RFID
The University of Parma's RFID Lab has completed the second phase of a project designed to test radio frequency identification's potential to increase turnover rates at retail and manufacturing organizations, by reducing and preventing out-of-stocks on store shelves. A variety of food and fast-moving consumer goods companies participated, including Auchan, Coop-Centrale Adriatica, Conad, Danone, Lavazza, Nestlé, Parmalat and Parmacotto. Indicod-Ecr, GS1's Italian representative, also took part in the research, and provided Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards developed by EPCglobal. The project mainly involves Auchan's distribution center, located at Calcinate (Bergamo, Italy), and at two of its retail hypermarkets. The DC affixed EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to approximately 5,000 cases of a panel of 60 fresh and dry goods. Learn how the pilot focused on the stores' replenishment processes, and how RFID was used to monitor stock levels, both in the stores' back rooms and shop areas, to reduce product shrinkage, as well as to optimize on-shelf inventory levels.
Speaker:
Antonio Rizzi, Ph.D., Full Professor - Industrial Logistics and Supply Chain Management, University of Parma
Takeaways:
• How RFID can be used in the prevention of out-of-stock events, as well as to potentially reduce product shrinkage and inventory levels
• Using the EPCglobal network for real-time monitoring and managing of supply chain processes, and for increasing store turnover
16:25—Track Session
Effectively Tracking Livestock With UHF Tags
The Danish Agriculture & Food Council conducted a three-year pilot at five farms using ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology to track pigs from a few weeks after they are born until they are sold or received at a slaughterhouse. The project, known as PigTracker, included five Danish pig breeders, with up to 3,000 animals receiving RFID ear tags at each location. The system was tested on individual herds at five different breeder locations, as well as at a single slaughterhouse, with each animal receiving an RFID tag attached to its ear. Farmers could access pig-related information in the software, which featured a graphical display showing which animals were located within each unit or pen, based on data collected by the handheld and fixed readers. Learn how the UHF tags' longer read ranges—up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) with fixed readers and 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) using a handheld device—make it easier to track animals that move quickly in multiple directions.
Speaker:
Niels Peter Baadsgaard, DVM, Ph.D., Chief Researcher, Pig Research Center, Danish Agriculture & Food Council
Takeaways:
• How the UHF technology works in a farming environment
• Potential future uses of UHF RFID as a farm-management tool, including the possibility within other areas of farming as an asset-management tool
17:05—Track Session
Tracking the Temperatures of Super-Chilled Meat Products Via RFID
SINTEF ICT, a Norwegian government research council, recently funded a project to improve and secure marine and agricultural food processing within that country. The project included plans to use technology to improve hygiene, cold chains and fresh-food traceability. The project was designed to study the ability of RFID sensor tags to track the temperatures of fresh legs of lamb as they were transported by truck from slaughterhouse to distribution center. Although the practice of super-chilling food products below the freezing point to stop bacteria growth is fairly commonplace with fish, few meat producers or companies in the supply chain super-chill meat because the temperature threshold is very tight. Temperatures must remain colder than 0 degrees Celsius, but not fall below -1.7 degrees Celsius, or else the quality of the fresh meat could degrade. Learn how RFID technology was used to track the temperatures of super-chilled meat products being transported from an abattoir to a distribution center in Norway.
Speaker:
Eskil Forås, Research Manager, Fisheries and Aquaculture, SINTEF ICT
Takeaways:
• The challenges faced during the project, including hardware-related problems
• Results, including whether the proper temperatures were maintained within the truck, and whether the online monitoring was found to be beneficial.



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All conference sessions are subject to change, and RFID Journal reserves the right to alter dates, programs and speakers at any time, as circumstances dictate. Sessions without assigned speakers indicate a target topic; every effort will be made to ensure that a program of equivalent standard and value is available.

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