August 23 2013

ASRS provides traceability

Tracking Your Product In House With Automation

By: Staci Cretu, M.S.
Marketing and Communications Manager

Traceability is a major trend with food and beverage manufacturers, especially in light of the more recent FDA Food Modernization Act. The pressure is on to track food items during the supply chain as an effort to reduce spoilage or contamination. A strong warehouse management system utilizing Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) technology helps support traceability and recall functions, as well as overall operations. With AS/RS in place manufacturers have accurate real-time information of when a shipment came in, where it is going and when it departs the facility.

The power lies in knowing what products are in stock at all times as the accuracy with AS/RS systems is matchless. In the case of a recall, manufacturers can see which load came in from where and on what day to easily and quickly pinpoint the exact inventory that could be contaminated. With each load tracked and checked into the warehouse it is easy to know which products are in stock and which products have been shipped out, decreasing damaged, stolen or misrouted items. In addition, the time it takes for new pallets to be processed and moved out of the warehouse is dramatically decreased with automation, resulting in less chance for spoilage and waste. Also, because of stringent rules in place surrounding the handling of food items, these systems are all stainless steel construction, and washdown is an option for safe food handling. AS/RS technology makes valuable information about each pallet readily available for the operator and allows for complete tracking of the food and beverage product throughout distribution operations.