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.

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