We like mentioning our standard Trolley Vision® system to people because we are proud of the work and research that has gone into it, but something we don’t touch on as much is the Trolley Vision® RF (radio frequency) system.
Rather than using a visual recognition system, the Trolley Vision® RF system works through radio interaction between an interface and the trolleys.
With our RF system, radio frequency tags are implanted inside an anti-corrosive, food-safe mold that is secured inside a trolley wheel made to fit customers’ monorails.
A radio frequency antenna is installed to send out an electrical field, which causes each RF tag to send back a unique harmonic response that can be determined by the interface and can be tracked through a database system.
It is a similar concept to our vision systems with a different approach.
This system tends to fit for operations that aren’t as speed-intensive because the frequencies being output by equipment in a high-speed environment can conflict with those being sent out by the antenna.
A good example of a proper environment is in smokehouses.
They don’t run at very high speeds because the trees that they hang meat from have to stop in the smoker from time to time.
While it is easy to make trolleys for Trolley Vision®, these plants might not have optimum visual conditions to have Trolley Vision® camera stations.
It is also a viable economic option for some because you don’t need as many antennae as you would need camera stations for multiple checkpoints, and the antennae cost less than a camera station as well.
Since the meat industry (carcasses in this case) is held more and more responsible for keeping track of their product, you really need a good tracking system to stay in the game.
Get in touch with us and we will let you know what type of Trolley Vision® system would fit your operation best. Request a quote for your system today.
Recently I wrote about a tool called Trolley Vision® that helps meat plants with Country Of Origin Labeling, Traceability, and operational efficiency.
There was no mention of the technology behind that tool, and that is the subject of this entry because there are two different approaches; one that is appropriate for large plants and one that might be better suited for small facilities.
Trolley Vision® is a system of assigning a specific identify to every trolley.
The method used in most plants has been the drilling of the trolley straps with a unique nine-hole pattern.
With over 40 million numeric identities available, no duplicates will ever be made.
The other approach is Trolley Vision® RF, with RF standing for Radio Frequency.
As you can see, each trolley is assigned a transponder configured for the trolley wheel.
This injection molded insert is carefully mounted for the best attachment possible.
As a trolley passes the industrial reader, the trolley is read and the information collected via the communication computer.
Antenna installation is simple. And the transponder installation can be handled by plant personnel.
When transponders need to be replaced, that is easily handled.
Traceability, yield and grade tracking, shrink measurements, and COOL requirements mean that meat plants today need a tool that accomplishes these goals.
Depending on the size of your plant and your budget, Trolley Vision® RF may be preferable over standard Trolley Vision®.
Radio Frequency (RF) trolley tracking has been around for years, it has been developed, tested, proven, patented and disproved more than once.
We have even developed, tested and sold RF trolley tracking systems, and they work and they work well.
The question is, “Will the systems available on the market today work in your plant?”
Before you get started even thinking about using a RF system in your plant, you will want a study done on what stray frequency levels you currently have floating around in your plant.
There is a cost associated with this, however you need this prior to finding a transponder frequency that will work and be able to be read.
Now you have done your testing and you have a frequency that works in your plant, your problems are over…or are they?
What if one of your drives starts to go out creating electrical noise??
These types of equipment emit a radio frequency all the time; once things change in the drive or motor, the frequency they emit changes, now we could have a problem reading the transponder that we did not have before.
Let’s say we are willing to take the risk, what else could possibly go wrong?
Well there are other things that can affect the readability of transponders like, florescent lights, CB radios, electric motors and more.
You need to find a frequency that is the least effected by interference from outside frequencies.
You could do one other thing; you can use a Read/Write Transponder.
You can attach information to these chips and get information off of them.
However, they do still have the problem of frequency interference.
What if you miss the read on one and/or are notable to attach a piece of information to one, you be the judge of what the result will be.
The read/write chips are better than the passive chips.
The question is, are they worth the chance of loosing valuable information, oh and by the way, read/write chips are more expensive.
If you want to start tracking trolleys, take a good look at RF; they’re worth looking at.
Then look at what else is available on the market to accomplish the same thing.
Consider Vision Systems such as Trolley Vision® that offer extremely high durability and reliability!