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Ingredient Insights Through RFID Technology

RFID: The Key to Intelligent Ingredient Tracking

At HorizonPSI, we design Intelligent Ingredient Management Systems to track the location of all materials, from the receiving dock to the shipping dock. Accurate accounting of everything from raw ingredients to finished goods is essential. In addition to lot tracking and overall batch management, preventing operator error when hand adding ingredients to a recipe or batch is crucial for maintaining profit and production goals, as well as preventing a recall.

When designing Intelligent Ingredient Management Systems, we found the benefits to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to be overwhelming. Although RFID technology has been around since World War II, the demand and requirements for this technology are growing. RFID routines consist of three components: an RFID reader, an RFID tag and an antenna. When triggered by an electromagnetic pulse from a nearby RFID reader device, the tag transmits digital data, such as an inventory number, back to the reader. The reader can then act on that information based on the programming. There are active tags and passive tags and unlike a barcode, the tag does not need to be in line of sight to activate and can be read at greater distances. This makes ingredient tracking easier for the operator.

HorizonPSI manufactures a number of components that make hand adding ingredients into your process easy. We manufacture Minor and Micro bins and a variety of small bag dumps that allow for a smaller amount of ingredients to be introduced at the right weighments and time for different recipes. These “hand adds” require an employee to select the right ingredient for inclusion or replenishment. How do you insure you have picked the correct ingredient? This is where RFID programming can help.

Each station is programmed to accept a single ingredient or multiple ingredients, based on the recipe and your process. The RFID reader recognizes if the right bag, sack or box is selected. We recently custom fitted our Sanitary Small Bag Dump with RFID technology for a customer who didn’t want to incorporate several bag dumps to ensure accuracy, but was concerned about recipe integrity. Now when a particular recipe is run, the batch management controls identify the bag dump location, look for the correct ingredient by recipe and then open the equipment to accept the materials.

If you are looking for ways to improve the performance or accuracy of your process system, we would be excited to discuss what you are looking for and offer options to meet your needs.

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