Trolley Vision® RF tag: Maximizing Read Rates

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Oct 14, 2013

The carcass tracking tool known as Trolley Vision® is a proven method of positively linking vital information about each carcass as it progresses through a slaughter facility.  Yields, shrink data, and even trolley maintenance can be managed with Trolley Vision®.

trolley vision RF_01

There are two approaches to Trolley Vision®.  In one approach, we drill a unique pattern of holes in each trolley strap.  The other is called Trolley Vision® RF, in which the RF stands for Radio Frequency.

With either approach, you will not get a mis-read.  The difficulty is in trying to maximize read rates and to minimize no reads.

The challenges in maximizing read rates for the RF tag approach are:

  1. Keeping the transponder attached to the trolley
  2. Minimizing chip failure
  3. Delaying impact deterioration of the insert

trolley vision CTA

Our patented approach addresses all three of these problems.  Here’s how.

First, our two-part molded clamp attaches to the trolley by a screw that passes through the trolley wheel and the two pieces.  While this does not make it impossible for the RF tag to become detached from the trolley, it is a very secure method of attachment that reduces that likelihood.

Secondly, to help minimize chip failure, those molded pieces have a low profile and fit in the recessed cavities on both sides of the trolley wheel.  The embedded RF chip is contained in the molding opposite the trolley strap to add an additional degree of protection against failure.

Finally, it is important to be realistic about what happens to trolleys in slaughter facilities.  The rough treatment they receive can be seen in the nicks, dents, and grooves that appear in the metal.  It is inevitable that RF ID tags are going to be on the receiving end of impact damage, also  In order to delay the deterioration that will occur from these impacts, we encase the tag in a protective polymer to increase its longevity.  We chose to protect the chip in this polymer instead of steel so that the communication signal would not be compromised.

Over the years we have seen a multitude of RF solutions for the trolley ID application. While we know that we have the best RF application, our experience has also taught us that RF is difficult to maintain in a plant environment that has a lot of inherent radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference. Due to the high cost of a trolley tracking system, it behooves the purchaser to thoroughly evaluate the Trolley Vision® vision system whenever contemplating a radio frequency solution.

Whether your preference is drilled trolleys or RF tags, we have many years of experience designing trolley tracking systems that fit your needs and your budget.

Trolley Vision RF System

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