Further underlining its position as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of advanced coding and marking equipment for the food industry, Macsa ID UK’s (https://www.macsa.com/en-uk/) new INTEGRA Traceability Software ensures traceability of fruit and vegetable products from field to fork. This latest technology offers automatic calibration using RFID technology which helps reduce food waste by avoiding unnecessary and costly mass recalls.
Macsa ID’s INTEGRA Traceability is able to generate the entire traceability tree, starting from the harvesting of fruits and vegetables through to dispatch. It can provide any traceability report that may be required meaning that if a problem is detected at origin or in the field, the relevant shipments can be easily identified.
Equally, if any incident is suspected in a final product, it is possible to identify its origin and also to know which other products have been affected. As such, only the affected batch or batches need to be withdrawn from the market – avoiding massive product recalls.
Macsa ID has developed an app that allows the farmer to record the data that is most likely to affect the traceability of fruit and vegetable products in each of the plots or areas of cultivation. The system records this data in real time and then uploads them to a database in the cloud.
The data can also be stored locally on the device and then later uploaded to the cloud. This is useful when working in areas without mobile data coverage.
When fruit and vegetable products arrive at the factory for packing, an entry registration is generated via a voucher or production order. The food items are checked to see if they need to be quarantined due to conditions in the field. For example, the application of pesticides might cause the consignment to be withdrawn.
To facilitate and automate all processes, each incoming batch is identified with a RFID chip. This allows products to be read and tracked throughout the factory by strategically placed antennas that are able to identify the batch of fruit and vegetables without any contact.
The RFID chip is placed in the first container, which will then be sorted into the production line during the packaging process. The chips are encapsulated and shaped to resemble the product that is being processed. All chips have an unmistakable registration number and are reusable once the packaging process is finished.
Macsa ID’s powerful warehouse management software, INTEGRA Storage can be used to complement the INTEGRA Traceability module. It ensures control of all raw materials arriving from the field that can be distributed in any of the warehouses available to the customer.
INTEGRA Storage also manages location, batch and date of entry for each stored product, as well as alarms when maximum storage time is about to be exceeded.
Batch sorting of fruit and vegetables starts by depositing the container with the RFID chip. All the fruit that is sorted will be associated with the data linked to the RFID chip (lot, harvesting area, harvesting date, farmer, etc). It is capable of working with multiple lines of sorting, packaging and sizing equipment, and allows several batches to be processed at once.
Once the RFID chip reaches the encoding section of the packaging area, INTEGRA Traceability automatically changes the message of the marker / label applicator, personalizing the batch, expiry date, etc, of each product.
When production has finished, the RFID chip is detected and ejected by the antenna array. From this moment, the chip is disconnected from the batch and ready to be reused infinitely.
Using bar code readers, photocell counters and linking systems, INTEGRA Traceability software is able to connect all the boxes and containers that make up a pallet. Finally, it manages labelling by giving each pallet a registration number or SSCC (serial shipping container code), linking this number with all the lots and batches it contains.