Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tagging in Iceland

A couple of weeks ago I was in Iceland to run another RFID project. The contect was the same as this project. This time we had more tools available, like handheld RFID scanners with embedded software to compose XML for upload to the project EPCIS.

In the previous project we attached the RFID tags directly to the fish boxes, but this time we tried a different approach. The fish was stored on ice in big tubs. These were stored in a cold store, and they were wet. So instead of trying to get a piece of surface that we could fasten the tag, we attached them to handles in the corners of the tubs with the help of some extra paper tags. So here you see me, dressed up according to the rules of the processing company, giving a tub of Sebastes marinus identity.

These paper tags proved to be very convenient. As the project progressed we could take them off, make notes and so on. Of course, had the use of RFID been integrated into the production, then everything would be automatic. But this was a pilot in a type of chain that is not among the first movers. So we had to do a lot of manual operations, and then we could make notes on the tags that helped us fill in the holes in the traceability model later on.

To cover the different roles of traced items we employed both SGTIN and GRAI type RFID tags. The finished products, that were airlifted to markets in mainland Europe, were equipped with SGTINs, while the tubs with fish and similar vessels that were being used in the productions, were equipped with GRAIs. This way the proper XML can decommission the tags, so that they can be reused later without being related traceability-wise to earlier uses.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lutefisk is upon us

Before I travelled to Iceland for the last week in October my wife served me lutefisk for dinner. As you can see from the picture I have helped myself to potatoes, mustard, mashed peas and bacon, in addition to the fish. It is simply so good. I may be disgusted by all the Christmas decorations appearing at the same time, but lutefisk is simply too good to be missed.

To our surprise even the kids liked it. Maybe we have gotten better at preparing fish meals, or maybe it has something to do with them growing up. Anyway, serving them fish based meals seem to have changed from a duty to a pleasure. Lets hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cowberry chocolate from Finland

On a visit to a tax free store on a recent trip I discovered that Fazer, the Finnish confectionery company, has sweets based on lingonberry, or cowberry as you and I like to call these jevels from the forrest. I had to buy and taste.

As you may suspect - I have tried to make something similar myself. Last year I was inspired by a TV program showing the process, and I ended up trying myself. Compared to the ones made by Fazer I prefer my own. But I am not very good at industrializing this type of production, so I guess my price per piece is much higher than Fazer's alternative.

Well, the ones I made last year ended up as Christmas presents. And I plan to to the same this year. So stay tuned for more!!!!!