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Segregation of Simulated RFID Markers during Handling and Transport of Wheat

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 57(2): 555-563. (doi: 10.13031/trans.57.10335) @2014
Authors:   Ulrich Steinmeier, Max Neudecker, Annette Witt, Dieter von Hörsten, Matthias Schröter
Keywords:   Bulk good, Computed tomography, Marking, Shaker, Silo, Traceability.

The ability to mark bulk goods from different origins with RFID markers is of industrial interest, as such a method would improve the traceability of, e.g., cereals. However, due to a number of open technical questions, this method has not been utilized on a larger scale yet. This article studies the amount of segregation occurring between RFID markers, which are simulated as grain-sized plastic capsules, and marked wheat using two different setups. This segregation could occur during handling and transport due to the slightly different physical properties of the markers and the grains; it would then lead to erroneous results during subsequent quantitative analysis. In the first experiment, two samples of wheat, one marked with RFID dummies, were discharged in several steps from a test silo. A comparison of the marker concentration in the samples with the amount of associated wheat showed no discernible segregation. An additional statistical analysis allowed us to establish a relationship between the marker concentration and the error margin. In the second experiment, a mixture of wheat and markers was vertically shaken in a container, mimicking transport of wheat in large vessels. The position of the markers inside the container was determined by three-dimensional scans using x-ray tomography. We found that shaking induced some segregation due to sidewall-driven convection rolls, which indicated that the simulated markers were not optimally matched to the wheat grains.

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