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Ryan Systems, a company founded by John Ryan, a retired quality-assurance administrator at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, has been heading up pilot deployments of a solution that employs radio frequency identification technology to track produce and its temperature as the food is shipped from Taiwan and California, destined for Armstrong Produce, an Hawaiian distributor of fruits and vegetables. The pilots, launched by Ryan Systems, were conceived while Ryan was employed at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Hardware and software vendors have donated their products for the pilot, which demonstrated how the produce's locations and temperatures could be recorded across the supply chain - not only while on trucks, but also on ships - and later retrieved via RFID. The pilots employed handheld readers to download the temperature data, while a future pilot, currently being planned, would involve a shipping container fitted with a device that can collect data (including temperature, humidity and any detection of contaminants and explosives) by means of a built-in RFID reader, and then transmit that information via satellite or cellular communication, thereby making the data available in real time.
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