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Hook Tracking in Abattoir


Introduction:  Greenlea Meats require all their product to be tracked through their plants to be sure that all contents of their saleable product can be tracked back to suppliers and animal numbers.  Various products had been used over the years but Greenlea wanted to automate it better to make it more accurate and cheaper.

Tait Controls were approached for a solution because of their experience with RFID systems. 

Trials were done on available components and a SICK reader and Tag were found to be effective.


Solution: RFID tags mountable on metal surface were used to mount on the meat hooks.  These were to be read at key points around the processing plant.  The hook information could then be transmitted back to the plant product tracking system.  Tait Controls designed a control system to match the hardware.  A CompactLogix L30 processor was chosen because of the number of ethernet I/P nodes it could attach to, and the ability to be programmed to send and receive data to other ethernet TCP IP nodes and transmitting the hook information to the product tracking system.

A control cabinet was also designed to house the controller and other equipment need to control the reject system.  Meat hooks were the RFID tags could not be read had to be rejected from the system to be repaired.  Other information from ear tag readers was also gathered and reported to the product tracking program.

This system was engineered to use one controller to gather all the ear and hook information from the plant floor to report and to also operate the hook reject system making it a cost-effective solution for the customer.


Installation: Tait Controls installed and commissioned all the control cabinets, RFID readers and cabling required for this installation.  Tait Controls designed bracketing for the readers and got these made by a local engineering workshop. 

A controller program was designed and commissioned to process hook read information.  Ethernet TCP IP connections were set up and opened for connection to the production system.  Data was buffered if connections were lost and transmitted when connections were restored.

The new system was implemented during the plants annual week shutdown.

Greenlea Meats case study  | Hamilton | Tait Controls
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