Food and beverage IT specialist CSB-System International has created a full traceability system for leading German meat processor Vion Convenience that enables all the company’s beef products to be tracked from their retail packaging back to the original farm and individual ear tag. The system is compatible with the fTrace app, where consumers can access this type of information at the point of purchase via a smartphone, and could also be made available for use with other similar portals.
The CSB-System uses manual input via a CSB-Rack station or an EDI delivery notification to collect all data and history of every piece of meat delivered to the company. Each product is assigned a unique lot number and EAN-128 code which are used to monitor and confirm its progress through various processing stages, using relevant CSB-System stations, and ensure all steps are accurately administered, documented and controlled. Where a single raw material is used, the lot number stays the same. Where several are processed together, for example for mincemeat, a new lot number is created which links all the information of the various different products.
The same system is used to collate information for pre-packed meat and is used as well to link all the different packaging elements such as trays and foils. The new lot number for the pre-packed item is then automatically transferred to the weigh price labeller by the CSB-System which provides pricing details, ingredients and the content for the QR code for fTrace.
A totals printer at the end of each of the 13 lines in the factory is also controlled by the CSB-System. This assigns a unique SSCC to each box and all crates. In addition, a main SSCC is generated for each completed pallet.
This system simplifies the mobile picking operation which uses MDCs to communicate directly with the CSB-System. If full pallets are picked, only the main SSCC on the pallet label needs to be scanned. The CSB-System software keeps an inventory of items, books them to each customer order and generates a shipping label, which includes all relevant product and traceability information.
Once orders for a route are ready for shipping, delivery notes are printed at the picking control station and the CSB-System simultaneously sends the information to the carrier. This facilitates loading space planning and maximises the accuracy of completeness checks carried out by external companies. At this stage, product data is also transmitted to fTrace.
Dirk Kirchner, Vion’s Head of Production is very happy with the CSB-System traceability solution, which enables him to see a product’s lifecycle “at the touch of a button” both on his computer screen as well as on paper.
“This comes in very handy when talking to veterinarians or food retailers,” he explains. “With lot-number-based quantity statements we can even demonstrate ‘in black and white’ which raw material quantities were purchased, which products were made from them, in which quantity they were sold and how many items we still have in stock. We have created absolute fullest transparency within our operation. This gives us and our customers maximum security.”