Modern innovations have led to massive changes in the world of agriculture and food production.
From massive farming operations to giant industrial factories processing any type of food you can imagine, we have come a very long way in the past century.
Even with high tech manufacturing processes and machinery advancements, the food processing industry still relies on metal identification.
What Are Food Tags Used For?
Machinery used in the food processing industry is highly specialized. Equipment like this is incredibly beneficial, but only when operated properly. Metal nameplates for equipment provide crucial information to operators and other workers.
There really are no limitations to what info is included on these nameplates.
Asset Tagging/Inventory Management
Many organizations harness the power of code scanning to modernize their assets and inventory. With just a quick scan, a wealth of information can be accessed instantly.
There is such a wide breadth of information accessible via code scanning.
Code Scanning can provide:
- Asset Location
- Date of manufacture
- Warranty info
- Links to websites or instructional videos
- Date of last inspection
- Safety info
- And More!
Barcodes can also be used to monitor inventory levels. This is primarily used in warehouses but can be applied to factories as well.
Warning Labels & Signs
Like all industries, food processing requires very high safety levels. Not only are workers in an industrial workplace, but producing food brings its own set of standards. There is extremely strict legislation in place to prevent mistakes from happen. One mistake could lead to a massive public health issue.
One of the essential methods to prevent accidents is by providing ample safety warning labels and signs. Safety labels are an effective way to educate workers to the risks and potential hazards they are exposed to.
These are just a few of many examples. The food processing industry is extremely varied. As consumer behavior, culture, technology, and legislation has changed, the food processing industry has been forced to adapt with change.
There are totally unique processes, machines, environments, etc. Likewise, there are such a wide range of uses for identification tags within the industry.
What Materials Do They Use?
Material selection when dealing with food products can be tricky. With FDA looking over your shoulder, you will want to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules or contaminating product.
Some of the most popular materials include:
- Stainless steel
- Lexan (Decals)
Every factory or plant is different, and each have to follow specific guidelines pertaining to their segment of the industry. This typically dictates the material selection that the organization ends up selecting. For example, shellfish harvest tags must withstand exposure to saltwater.
Which Processes Are Best For This Industry?
Do you want your identification tags to last just as long as your equipment does? Even when it might get exposed to food products?
If longevity is a concern, look no further. Photo anodized aluminum is rated for 20+ years outdoors. The specialized process embeds your design beneath extremely strong layers of the aluminum. This means it can hold up to weather conditions, industrial environments, and wear & tear. All while keeping your design legible.
Another process option for food process organizations is embossing. This popular option produces letters and numbers which are raised upwards in the metal surface.
Embossed designs are incredibly durable and able to withstand even the harshest industrial conditions. Plus, they maintain excellent legibility in tough environments.
Screen printed creates a topical layer of ink on the surface of the metal material. This design can be customized with any colors or logos.
While the process is versatile when it comes to looks, it does not compete quite as well in the longevity department. These nameplates are prone to wear quickly if exposed to chemicals or heavy use. All it takes is some heavy scraping for that ink design to be removed from the metal.
These nameplates work best when used for something like a warning sign. Their bright and vibrant multi-color designs means their message will stand out, and they can be put in a location which won’t see excessive wear and tear.
Metal identification serves a need in nearly every sector of industry and food processing is no exception. From crucial safety warnings to prominent labels on equipment, every organization in the industry can benefit.