The future: 330 microns square
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is set to play a growing role in refrigerated logistics operations. RFID is advanced technology designed to replace traditional barcode technology and the Metro Germany Group is already Europe's forerunner, using it throughout its entire process chain, with Nestlé UK keen to follow suit later this year. Data is transmitted through electromagnetic fields whereby each individual food product or packaged item is allocated its own identification number. The consumer unit is tagged with an Electronic Product Code (EPC) for less than five cents (USD - current cost) by means of a chip 330 microns square. This system allows all such ‘tagged' goods to be tracked at any given stage, be it in the production process, in transport, at checkout points, etc. Eliminating the need for line-of-sight scanning, it is even capable of monitoring parameters such as temperature and movement, optimizing the efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness of the refrigerated warehousing and distribution industry.