As part of its effort to provide traceability and temperature monitoring systems that give shippers “actionable data,” Intelleflex Corp. is launching a cellular-based tag reader and a cloud-based data services platform.
The Santa Clara, Calif., company unveiled the traceability and food safety product and service the first week of April. Intelleflex president and chief executive officer Peter Mehring said his definition of “actionable data” is information that is secure, accurate and timely.
“Our real-time solutions allow people to manage their supplies rather than merely monitoring them,” Mehring said. “Post-harvest is the most expensive time to lose produce because all of the growing, harvesting and packing work has been done.”
The Intelleflex MCR-6100 cellular multi-protocol radio frequency identification tag reader not only allows shippers to monitor post-harvest temperatures, it also comes with Global Positioning System tracking so users can prove where data was collected along the cold chain.
The product is in beta testing with select Intelleflex clients and is expected to be on the market by May.
The cellular readers can be installed at distribution centers so shippers can monitor their produce remotely. All that is needed is a power supply. Battery backup options are also available. Data is encrypted, but can be shared with trading partners via password-protected software.
The Intelleflex cellular reader software suite also contains a built-in Web server so readers can be configured remotely. The hardware has built-in detectors that continuously monitor the readers to make sure they are working and to allow for customized reporting.
The new cellular-based readers will be particularly effective, Mehring said, when used with a new cloud-based data services platform that Intelleflex has named Zest.
Mehring said he believes one of the best features of Zest is that it allows for data management through a menu format.
“You don’t have to be a programmer to manage your information with Zest,” Mehring said.
The Zest cloud-based data service will work with existing Intelleflex network readers as well as the new cellular-based readers. Mehring said Zest can also be used with non-Intelleflex products.
A key benefit of the Intelleflex cellular-based RFID readers and Zest service, according to Mehring, is that they eliminate two layers of technology: middleware, which includes onsite-servers, software and information technology infrastructure, and proprietary database servers.
A grower can collect temperature data beginning in the harvest field and through distribution. Data is stored on the Zest cloud-based platform. Information can then be shared with administrative offices for inventory management and quality control. Specific components of the data can be made available to insurance companies, shipping carriers or other interested business partners.
Zest is also in beta testing and should be widely available by this fall, Mehring said.