ID NEWS: Kraft to utilize RFID tracking technology

Kraft Foods, Northfield, IL, plans to adopt RFID (radio-frequency identification tag) technology to tag and track intermediate bulk containers through the supply chain, according to the RFID Journal.

The major branded manufacturer has extended its contract with TrenStar, an asset management company. The four-year deal calls for TrenStar to upgrade from barcode tracking to an automated RFID system. Trenstar will initially attach RFID tags to more than 1,000 800-liter stainless steel containers that carry fruit from suppliers to Kraft's North Lawrence, NY, facility for yogurt production. TrenStar will own all the containers and deploy a mix of hand-held and fixed RFID readers, to track the containers throughout the supply chain.

TrenStar will continue to use barcodes on containers but will employ a combination of hand-held and fixed readers at key points, such as unloading, to collect data. Significant error reduction is anticipated.

RFID technology has been under development at the Auto-ID Center headquartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is sponsored by a number of manufacturers and the Uniform Code Council (UCC). The new technology automates data capture in an aggregated load environment, making for greater visibility throughout the supply chain. (ID Management Report, 11/21/02)

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