Press release: Franwell works with DoD to prove RFID temperature monitoring can improve Warfighter food supply
- Date of article:
- Monday, April 12, 2010
- Link to article:
Franwell, along with University of Florida and Georgia Tech Research Institute, is developing a solution for the US Department of Defense for Remote Environmental Monitoring and Diagnostics in the Perishable Supply Chain.
Shelf-stable (semi-perishable) combat rations are essential for enabling the individual Warfighter to perform assigned missions and survive battlefield threats. The current family of rations has been developed and designed to have sufficient shelf life under normal storage conditions (2 to 3 years at 80°F), however, under high temperature conditions there is significant degradation of the quality and nutrient content of those rations. The challenge is even greater for more perishable foods such as fresh fruits & vegetables (FFV), which can play an important role in promoting Warfighter health and morale. Extreme temperatures can shorten their shelf life so dramatically that providing perishable food products to the battlefield is almost impossible.
The introduction of highly functional, sensor-equipped radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the DoD supply chain can significantly improve food quality, safety, and security. In addition these new technologies can play a significant role in supply chain management. Pilot projects performed jointly by Franwell, the UF/IFAS Center for Food Distribution & Retailing and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center have found that additional functionality in order to improve military logistics, simultaneously provides valuable improvement opportunities for commercial food distribution and retailing.
By using wireless temperature sensors, remote monitoring (RFID), algorithms, and diagnostics, shelf life can be automatically calculated in real time using web-based computer models. With this knowledge, logisticians could plan for a steady flow of rations and other food supplies to support Warfighters in various theaters of operation despite potentially encountering extreme environmental conditions during transit. This knowledge will result in reduced losses, as well as reduced inspection time to determine ration serviceability.
For maximum applicability to the current existing military supply chain, this project uses commercially available and standards based RFID tags and handheld readers. This data is used in conjunction with shelf life models developed by UF for new First Strike Rations (FSR) to calculate remaining shelf life for use by logisticians in determining the proper utilization of the rations. A web-based system will then be used to provide real-time visibility of remaining shelf life of operational rations throughout the DoD supply chain.
“We are very pleased with the preliminary results of this project and the potential to make significant improvements in supply chain management for First Strike Rations,” said Stephen Moody, Team Leader for Individual Combat Rations at the Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center. “We are very much looking forward to our continued relationship with all of the project partners.”
Franwell, Inc. is a technology company dedicated to the development of leading edge products and services with a focus on supply chain solutions and RFID integration. Our staff provides complete consulting and system integration services to support the effective implementation of RFID solutions in a variety of industries, such as food , pharmaceuticals , and cargo .