Protecting temperature-sensitive goods in transit requires on having the best monitoring technologies available. With so many options to choose from, how can businesses and manufacturers make sure they select the right ones?
Some of the most effective monitoring technologies for temperature-sensitive products are cutting-edge devices, while others keep things simple. The following are five technologies to consider.
1. Chemical Indicators
Chemical indicators are the perfect option if simplicity and functionality are priorities. This is one of the most established temperature monitoring technologies. It involves no electronics, only a harmless chemical reaction that will indicate whether an item has been exposed to temperatures outside an ideal range.
There are various chemical indicators on the market, but most use a color-code system. When the monitor is exposed to a certain temperature, an indicator paper will change color due to a temperature-activated chemical reaction.
Some chemical indicators use a progressive monitoring system, while others feature multiple indicator windows or color-coding. For example, many vaccines have chemical indicators on their bottles. The darkness of the color shows the temperature range it has been exposed to and the duration. Other chemical indicators are threshold-style. These simply have one color change once the sensor has been exposed to a certain temperature limit.
2. IoT Temperature Sensors
The most cutting-edge temperature monitoring devices available right now are IoT-enabled sensors. IoT technology is an important innovation in the sensor field because it makes the data collection functionality of sensors available for remote tracking. Wireless temperature sensors have found over a dozen real-world applications within industrial IoT. These highly-connected sensors are ideal for next-generation monitoring of temperature-sensitive goods.
Businesses can use IoT temperature sensors to remotely monitor the condition of their goods throughout production and shipping. These sensors can even provide real-time data so products can be checked the instant temperature fluctuations are detected. As a result, companies are finding that wireless temperature sensors with IoT functionality can reduce the risk of wasted goods and improve profits.
3. QR Data Loggers
At the crossroads of technology and simplicity are QR code data loggers. These monitoring devices use QR codes to easily store and report information collected by temperature sensors. Personnel simply need to pull out a smartphone or tablet and use their camera to scan the code. This is a great option if numerous people need to easily and quickly check temperatures. In fact, QR data loggers have been instrumental in monitoring COVID-19 vaccines during distribution.
Since QR codes can be as simple as a printed sticker or even a piece of paper, they are lightweight, mobile and difficult to damage. There are even dynamic e-ink QR code displays that can display multiple codes for several data logs in one place. They store information in the cloud for versatile access, and their information can be encrypted for maximum security.
4. Electronic Shipping Indicators
Electronic shipping indicators are a straightforward, reliable option. These monitoring devices for temperature-sensitive goods are recommended by the World Health Organization for vaccines and pharmaceuticals in particular. Electronic shipping indicators collect and display temperature data and are functional for up to 20 days. If the device senses a fluctuation, it will trigger an alarm that notifies shipping personnel.
Although these devices are only good for one-time use, they are an established technology known to work well. They have the reliability of a simple chemical indicator but with the added benefit of a notification system for staff.
5. Dashboard Temperature Monitor
A dashboard temperature monitor may be a good investment for businesses that want to ensure attentive monitoring for goods being transported via refrigerated truck. These devices check the internal temperature of the vehicle’s refrigerated area and allow the driver to keep an eye on things from a convenient dashboard display. If the temperature changes unexpectedly or shifts outside an acceptable range, the dashboard monitor will sound an alarm or notification. This way, the driver knows to pull over whenever they have a safe opportunity to do so and check on their cargo. Experts have identified an effective alarm system as one of the most important components of a good temperature monitoring device. Dashboard monitors utilize the presence of the truck driver, who is essentially the guardian of the precious temperature-sensitive goods while they are in transit.
Protecting Temperature-Sensitive Goods
Keeping temperature-sensitive goods safe while in transit doesn’t have to be complex. The key is to find a system that works for the cargo and staff alike. With so many inventory monitoring devices available today, there is a perfect combination out there for virtually everyone. The above-discussed technologies are helping countless businesses protect their products over ground, air and sea. When monitoring temperature-sensitive medical goods, organizations need to find common ground between the correct amount of connectivity and the right ease of use.