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Intermec, Infratab partner to aid perishable distribution

Intermec and Infratab announced the integration of Intermec rugged mobile computers and add-on passive UHF RFID (radio frequency identification) readers with Infratab’s Freshtime semi-passive RFID tags. This system provides the capability to monitor temperature, shelf life, and freshness of perishable goods—such as vaccines, food, chemicals, and flowers—for track-and-trace and insurance purposes throughout the cold chain, as well as intelligent in-the-field decisions based on the product’s current quality.

The system enables distribution managers and mobile workers to receive real-time alerts concerning quality of perishable goods and identifies when goods have expired or been abused. By providing better visibility into the supply chain, Intermec and Infratab help mitigate waste and insurance claims by accurately reading the temperature of shipments at all times.

Throughout distribution, perishable goods are subject to varying temperatures, which is the main factor in diminishing their quality. Therefore, prior to shipping, Freshtime semi-passive RFID tags are pre-programmed with information like the good’s high- and low-temperature thresholds. During preset intervals in distribution, tags record temperatures and calculate a good’s remaining shelf life. Alerts can also be established to notify distribution managers and mobile workers if a good is deteriorating faster than expected. Once goods are received, tags are read by Intermec mobile computers with handheld RFID readers providing access to more detailed information, such as the tag’s temperature history and length of time it has been in transit.

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