Sub -zero RFID tracking solution enables reliable inventory control of serum

Its always good to start the new year with catching up on some stories we were unable to feature  until now, but are worthy of mention. In the summer of 2023 CYBRA Corporation, a the New York, USA-based developers of enterprise barcode label software and RFID tracking solutions, announced the release of its latest case study featuring an RFID-based tracking solution - Edgefinity IoT® tracking software - for the health and sciences industry.

Thermo Fisher, a global supplier of analytical instruments, life sciences solutions, specialty diagnostics, laboratory, pharmaceutical and biotechnology services, required a reliable inventory control system that would track the processing and transport of serum, which is kept in quarantine at sub-zero temperatures and require meticulous monitoring. 

An AIPIA member, the company needed to respond to quarantine disruptions by immediately alerting staff by sounding a siren, triggering a flashing light, texting and emailing as many as seventeen staff members. CYBRA’s Edgefinity® IoT RFID Solution ticked all the requirements boxes, it claims. In addition, CYBRA offers ultra precise tracking capabilities that include active and passive RFID and real time location services (RTLS).

The complexity of the warehouse space, combined with -20 Celsius temperatures, the liquid nature of the cell culture media and the amount of metal in the area presented a range of physics challenges for RFID tracking. CYBRA recommended Ultra-Wideband hardware (tags and antennas) for precision tracking, along with special batteries to withstand the sub-zero temperatures. The tags are reusable – the Thermo Fisher team can commission and decommission them as necessary, allowing for the RTLS tags to be reused when another pallet comes in

The IoT platform enables the rapid building of integrated applications that locate and help to protect people, assets and vehicles using RFID, RTLS and other sensor technologies. Notifications are managed by the Edgefinity IoT rules engine, which can be configured to be activated for events such as zone violation, temperature changes, unauthorized handling of inventory – even low battery conditions.

Using this solution Thermo Fisher can now track the movement and status of inventory in real time – on virtually any device with a web browser such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. When inventory is moved to a different department, the data on the tag records who handled the inventory, and when it was handled or moved. With all location data stored within Edgefinity, users can run a history playback report, which visually shows a map of items moving during a selected timeframe.

“From an inventory control perspective, I think Edgefinity IoT has all the features a manufacturing company would need,” says Shiza Khalid, manufacturing engineer III at Thermo Fisher. “It has timestamps of when an asset is brought online. You have real-time data to see where something is at all times…there’s a heightened sense of accountability too, because whoever timestamps it also has their user account linked to it. So, it’s a complete audit trail.”

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