How RFID Is Transforming Agriculture Supply Chains

Taking advantage of the tracking capabilities with Radio-Frequency Identification

Chipset on a printed circuit board built for RFID
Chipset on a printed circuit board built for RFID
Unique Motion Graphics

How food gets from the field to the processor and then into the hands of the customer and end user is a complex series of operations that food manufacturers must navigate. Having the most up-to-date information about where their inventory, materials and byproducts are at any given time is essential.

The movement of the world’s food supply is dependent on the agricultural supply chain, relying on real-time insights into crop processing and production.

Food manufacturers have invested in Internet of Things (IoT) supply chain solutions to make sure they understand where their product has been and where it is going at any given time. There are many technologies that food manufacturers can choose from to enable the supply chain visibility they need, and RFID can build a base on which to expand visibility and layer on other IoT technologies inside and outside the facility.

What Is RFID Technology

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) depends on the use of electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to assets that companies value most. RFID technology only works if it is part of an RFID infrastructure. This infrastructure can assist with analysis of data and integration into enterprise-wide management systems. This means tracking your products from raw materials into a consumer-ready finished product. Obtaining that information in real time can be the difference between a product making it to market or expiring during shipping.

Why RFID Matters

A fully operational RFID system can provide you with large quantities of data. Adding a multiplicity of different RFID scanners to your production facility allows you to track how much product is being brought into your facility at any given time, figure out how or where it was modified, and whether it followed the proper processing procedure so its origins can be authenticated throughout the supply chain.

Tracking your products with an IoT solution like RFID allows you to implement a more efficient “first-in, first-out” (FIFO) shipping system. Tracking systems will allow you to have a clearer window into which products should be shipped to your food manufacturing partners first so the consumer-facing product is as fresh as it can be and doesn’t expire on the grocer’s shelves.

RFID systems and software create a solution that is scalable and repeatable, so you don’t have to reinvent the system upon business expansion. Given the trend of automation in other aspects of the food manufacturing industry, using those IoT tools to hone your understanding of what is going on in your food manufacturing plant and supply chain can be beneficial. The more you understand what’s happening with your products, the more efficient and profitable your operation will become.

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