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Bereket Doner Tracks Its Meat Products Via RFID

The Turkish company is using EPC Gen 2 RFID technology to track goods as they are loaded onto pallets and weighed prior to shipping, while also ensuring against theft by reading tags passing through doorways.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 19, 2012Bereket Döner, one of Turkey's largest producers of frozen and ready-to-serve meat products, is employing radio frequency identification to track its goods as they are loaded onto pallets, weighed and shipped to customers. Doner meat is similar to the Greek gyro. In Istanbul, the meat is cooked, seasoned, cut and boxed, and then stored in freezers prior to being shipped to restaurant operators—90 percent of which are located in Turkey.

Thanks to an RFID system provided by RFID Enabled Solutions (RES), the company can automatically identify each box of product. This not only improves visibility regarding when meat is weighed prior to shipment, as well as which customer's order is being filled at any given time, but also prevents shrinkage, since RFID readers at the doorways detect if unsold tagged meat is being removed. If that occurs, the system issues an alert before the potential thief has had time to leave the facility.

The solution includes RES' AIMS software, residing on Bereket Döner's back-end system, to manage data encoded to tags placed on meat before it is fully stretch-wrapped and boxed, according to Neco Can, RES' cofounder, president and CEO. The system also includes readers at a weighing station, he says, as well as in doorways. It was installed last year for use by the facility's morning shift, while the firm is now looking into expanding its use to other shifts.

To manufacture its products, Bereket Döner first processes meat, and then stretch-wraps it and shock-freezes it to approximately -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). The meat is packaged in boxes, which are moved into another freezer for storage at -18 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) until being pulled for orders.

Once an order is received, the meat—which typically weighs between 4 and 70 kilograms (8.8 and 154 pounds)—is removed from the freezer, loaded onto pallets and weighed. The details stored in the company's software include the meat's stock-keeping unit (SKU), production date and weight. To identify a particular product, Bereket Döner had been scanning the bar code printed on its box, but the company was concerned that the scanning process was excessively time-consuming. For example, if the product sat outside the freezer for too long (while the staff scanned the bar code of every box on a pallet) prior to being loaded, spoilage could result. What's more, the manufacturing plant had no protection against theft.

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