Dangerous Goods Conveyor Tracking
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) enforce UK legal requirements for the carriage of dangerous goods by air. In order to address these requirements a leading logistics provider needed to identify and track packages containing particular dangerous goods that might be routed by air - for example lithium batteries, nail varnish, aerosols, perfumes and other liquids. This ideally needed to be done at the time the goods were passing through the x-ray security screening process without the need to open any bags or packages.
The tracking system needed to be completely non-intrusive such that no additional manpower would be required and there would be no reduction in throughput at its air freight sorting and screening centres. Furthermore, local IT infrastructure was not available to transfer collected data back to a central system.
Codegate designed and built an RFID reading system that could be installed in front of the x-ray machine, together with a display fitted next to the main x-ray image screens.
At the start of the shipping process packages containing dangerous goods would be marked with a UHF Gen 2 RFID tag. Each tag was uniquely identified in accordance with a GS1 numbering format. As containers of mixed freight were fed into the x-ray machine the front end RFID reader would pick up the number of individual RFID IDs found on packages within the container. As the container moved into the x-ray chamber that number was displayed next to the x-ray screens enabling the screener to quickly verify it against the number of visible dangerous goods packages. If there was a discrepancy the container could be set aside to remove any dangerous goods packages that were not correctly labelled.
The RFID reader was housed in a protective enclosure with a single board computer, GPRS router and other electronics. Data could therefore be sent to the cloud via a mobile phone network. It also allowed Codegate to access the computer remotely in order to carry out diagnostics and software updates.