The core requirement of any project developed by Emkan is sustainability, and the new Cold Storage and Sorting facility would be no different. One of the key challenges Emkan had to meet is that they could deliver a facility to the area’s community that would be self-sufficient – if not an income source for the local municipality.
Managing a Cold Storage and Sorting facility is no easy task, especially when the facilities’ whole purpose is to minimize the challenges farmers had to face to stock their produce. After considering many systems, Emkan picked Active Identity’s RFID solution based on the Envoy to manage the operations at the facility. The deployed system insured all the reusable fruit crates are tracked and accounted for in every transaction. This was a key factor for the success of the project since the crates used by the facility are food grade crates at more than 35$/crate. Farmers take the crates from the facility to the field, where the produce are picked directly in the crates. The filled bins are then stacked in pick-up trucks and returned back to the storage and sorting facility. The system had to provide an easy and accurate checking mechanism to manage and account for all the crates used, whether in the facility or with the farmer.
To do this, the crates were fitted with RFID inlays protected with a layer of epoxy. RFID readers and handhelds are used to track and record all transactions easily. Pallets of 20 crates are identified in less than 5 seconds, even when filled with the fruits; this has reduced the man-power needed to operate the facility even in peak times to the absolute minimum, keeping all costs controlled as well as providing a 100% clear audit trail for each and every crate deployed. The mobile devices are also being used to search for specific crates inside the fridge insuring that the right produce in being returned to the right farmer in a timely and accurate manner.
“Although we had some pretty high expectations, the system is performing just as we imagined it would” said Mr. Ramzi Abdul Fattah, Project Manager at Emkan. “The solution has allowed us to achieved 100% traceability for all our returnable transport items since its implementation.”