Executive Briefings

Fish Processors Turn to RFID for Quality Assurance, Product Tracking

Food-processing technology company Marel has released an RFID-enabled system that moves fish through weighing, trimming and quality-control processes, while tracking data and identifying product for inspection, based on information collected by RFID readers and antennas.

The solution, known as Production Control Flowline for Filleting and Trimming (or ProCon Flowline), consists of a modular unit with a conveyor, stations for employees to conduct trimming, another station for inspection and two weight scales—all with built-in ultrahigh-frequency RFID reader antennas to interrogate tags built into baskets containing the fish.

Most fish processing is performed manually. The fish, often already cut into fillets, are delivered to trimmers who remove the animals' fins, skins and other refuse, and then forward the trimmed meat so it can be packaged and shipped to customers. The companies that conduct this business range in size from relatively small, with a weekly production of 20,000 pounds of fish , to very large operations that process 6 million pounds daily, using a vast array of trimmers working in multiple, long production lines. No matter an operation's size, Marel reports, companies can find it nearly impossible to track who is trimming which fish, how well this is being done and what should be inspected, in order to ensure high quality. As a result, processors have indicated to Marel that their work might proceed more slowly than necessary, and that trimmers might be wasting product by overly cutting the fillets.

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The solution, known as Production Control Flowline for Filleting and Trimming (or ProCon Flowline), consists of a modular unit with a conveyor, stations for employees to conduct trimming, another station for inspection and two weight scales—all with built-in ultrahigh-frequency RFID reader antennas to interrogate tags built into baskets containing the fish.

Most fish processing is performed manually. The fish, often already cut into fillets, are delivered to trimmers who remove the animals' fins, skins and other refuse, and then forward the trimmed meat so it can be packaged and shipped to customers. The companies that conduct this business range in size from relatively small, with a weekly production of 20,000 pounds of fish , to very large operations that process 6 million pounds daily, using a vast array of trimmers working in multiple, long production lines. No matter an operation's size, Marel reports, companies can find it nearly impossible to track who is trimming which fish, how well this is being done and what should be inspected, in order to ensure high quality. As a result, processors have indicated to Marel that their work might proceed more slowly than necessary, and that trimmers might be wasting product by overly cutting the fillets.

Read Full Article