Systems Offer Cradle to Grave Container Tracking
“We currently have 22,000 15-gallon returnable containers in service and in our chain of custody,” explained Dave Schoonover, Aqumix founder and current services manager, CPS/Timberland Chemical and Container Management System. “We offer cradle to grave container tracking of 15-gallon and larger returnables to the non-ag sector. With our tracking software, we tied the entire supply chain into one system supplying pertinent information to each entity. The barcode on the container has all of the information related to the container and the product. All the collected information can be retrieved in various reports via our secure website or with a smartphone application.”
Having seen the benefits to customers, Schoonover is confident he will see interest in the system by CPS Ag in the near future.
Thanks to a customer request for a way to fill shuttles and mini-bulks and track them with barcode technology, Kahler is already offering its tracking system to its agricultural customers. Commercial barcode scanners and printers were integrated with existing automated systems and software. With a number of systems now in place in Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota, Kahler expects demand to build rapidly once federal enforcement begins.
“We worked closely with the EPA as we designed the system to address regulations that were going into place and what kind of information our customers would have to be able to track for regulatory purposes,” said Kahler. “We also included management features that allow the software to monitor the unit at a refill point. The operator can input information, get the initial weight and the weight of material added and account for the sale so it can be billed direct to the customer.”
Records and Container History Available
Kahler’s web-based system is set up to be self-policing as well as customer friendly. If a container is close to its required inspection date, the operator receives a notification. If the container needs to be inspected, refilling is prevented until inspection occurs. The key to the system is the barcode applied to each container and periodically scanned thereafter. A record is kept of every action involving the container. Records can be accessed via the customer’s computer system or a wireless handheld computer with a barcode scanner.
“We have iPhone and iPad apps that can scan the barcode and pull up the container’s history,” said Kahler. “Once the retailer installs the web-based system on their computer or device, they can pull up the container’s record using their browser. We can send information on the product in the container directly to them.”