Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

5 Reasons to Use Industrial RFID in Your Meat Processing Plant

Posted by Bill DeCarlo on Fri, Feb 05, 2016

When you want to handle identification applications within meat processing facilities, there are numerous challenges you have to overcome:

  • Track & trace products through the entire facility
  • Track products through multiple processes
  • Trace products across various routing channels

5 Reasons to Choose Industrial RFIDHow do you achieve all this? As a trusted automation technology, industrial RFID provides a solution for this scenario and offers you several additional options depending on your specific application requirements. Here are 5 reasons why RFID will take care of all the tracking needs within your meat processing plant:

1. RFID is a hardy solution

RFID is a rugged solution that can take the wear and tear in a meat production plant. We have several RFID tags that withstand the extreme temperature ranges (-30 °C to +140 °C) in these facilities and carry an IP69K (high-temperature and water pressure) rating. Many more RFID tags are IP68 (water immersion) rated. In addition to favorable IP protection, the industrial materials used to make these tags tolerate conditions in meat processing plants better than barcodes. The problem with barcodes is that they can be ripped off, soiled, or fall off from the product. So whether it is one of the many harsh processes the product travels through, or a post-processing washdown, RFID tags can be used.

2. RFID does not need a clear line-of-sight

RFID also benefits meat processing production when it comes to hardware placement. Unlike other technologies, RFID does not require a clear-line-of-sight, as it uses radio waves instead of optical components. It does not need to “see” the tag to read it—the tag just needs to be presented within the range of the RFID reader. This gives you the flexibility to adapt your running RFID system at any time without complicated changes to your entire process line. Retrofitting plants with RFID is also relatively easy.

3. RFID technologies enable a wide field of view

With a variety of RFID technologies available, additional features can be realized within each subset. The possible field of view, for instance, is dramatically increased when using ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID systems. Not only is the read range increased, but the number of tags that can be read increases as well. In contrast to solutions that offer the ability to read one code at a time, UHF read heads can read and process up to 40 tags within their range at once. This multi-tag reading has proven to be very useful when a pallet of boxed product is loaded onto a truck and batch identification is needed.

4. RFID is cost efficient

RFID tags can typically be read an unlimited number of times. Unique information can also be written to a tag. Most RFID tags are so durable that they achieve over 1,000,000 write cycles, securing your investment in tags for the long term. At the central production facility of one of Europe’s leading meat processing companies, an impressive number of 90,000 animals are identified per week in different stages of the production process. In order to make this extensive identification process as cost efficient as possible, tags need to have a minimum service life of five years and work largely maintenance free—which the RFID transponders do.

Bonus content: Read the applicaton report 'RFID for Food Tracing in Meat Processing Plants'

5. RFID allows individual identifiers

While barcodes use a static number with a couple of identifiers, RFID tags can be assigned unique information held within their memory. There is a wide range of memory sizes used, ranging up to 16 KB. Identifiers can include ID, animal, origin, weight, length, date, and time—basically anything you require. These features give you the ability to decide what information is valuable to you and your specific process.

Questions about Industrial RFID?  Ask an Expert!

Topics: Applications, RFID

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