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Kiremko Adds RFID to Potato-Cutting Machinery
The firm's KnifeGuard system can help food manufacturers reduce operational errors and more efficiently manage and maintain cutting blades.
Dec 16, 2016—
Kiremko, a Dutch engineering company that specializes in potato processing equipment, has launched KnifeGuard, a new RFID-enabled system for managing the knife blocks installed in the company's QuadraFlow potato cutter. A knife block is a replaceable cube-shaped unit containing a grid of razor-sharp knives, and is available in various configurations, depending on a potato's desired cut size. In a QuadraFlow machine, potatoes are propelled by water through a tube, where they are aligned and then pushed into the knife block, causing them to be sliced.
The KnifeGuard system includes a programming unit—a separate device that also contains an RFID interrogator and an LCD screen. A user places an RFID-tagged knife block on the programming unit, which, after reading the block's tag, displays a detailed record of its operation and grinding history. If the knife block has been used since the last time it was placed on a programming unit, its history is updated. This helps the operator to determine whether or not the block's knives should be re-sharpened.
Kiremko's KnifeGuard development crew investigated several RFID equipment suppliers, according to van Oorschot. After completing a series of tests, the team chose tags and readers made by Turck, due to the tags' and reader antenna's ability to withstand water and physical shocks, and to function when installed in a machine composed of stainless steel. Kiremko was responsible for the programming of the KnifeGuard software. The KnifeGuard system was introduced commercially only recently, but the company says reception has been positive to date.
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