Perishable foods, beverages, and medical supplies all require reliable temperature monitors to prevent spoilage. This means that meats, milk, vaccines and many essential medical supplies must be stored in settings where a constant temperature is set and monitored at all times. The device used for this task is a data logger. In this article, we will look at the important role data loggers play in the foundation for cold storage distribution and monitoring.
What Is A Data Logger?
A data logger is a device that contains probes or sensors that measure various environmental conditions. Typically, data loggers monitor temperature, pressure, and humidity. They can be placed in harsh conditions and still provide consistent and accurate readings of the environment around them. They provide data storage space for the conditions they’re monitoring, and their data can be collected for download later. Many models can be accessed remotely for instant data collection for analysis. Data loggers can also be set to send an alert should the environmental conditions they are monitoring fall outside of predetermined parameters. The alert permits human intervention to restore the correct temperature, humidity, or pressure. Many different industries rely on data loggers to keep sensitive assets safe as they travel through the cold chain.
Benefits of Using Data Loggers
Here is a shortlist of reasons why a data logger is a tool worth considering as a cold storage solution.
1 – They Assist With Regulatory Compliance
Data loggers are a simple solution for transportation and logistics shipping companies to provide proof that product temperatures did not slip out of the safe parameters required for specific assets. The same information provides these distribution services with proof that products were stored properly at the correct temperature while in storage between transportation trips. The data logger software can be downloaded and everything from charts, graphs, and timelines can be printed to verify compliance throughout the cold storage delivery process. Not only do data loggers make this easy, but they are a reliable source of this information which will indicate compliance with regulated environmental conditions.
2 – Data Loggers Free Up Time
Before data loggers came along, environmental conditions were typically tracked by humans using measuring devices that were not very accurate. Depending on the conditions being monitored, it would have been very difficult to have someone enter into a cold or scorching hot setting to take readings of any kind. In addition, time intervals would have varied making the tracking even more difficult. Data loggers are constructed to withstand extreme conditions and can take readings at regular intervals without fail. This frees up time for you to concentrate on other tasks. Most data loggers can provide automatic data transmission via FTP or WiFi, easing the job of collecting the data and making it available when and where you need it.
3 – They Are Cost-Effective
The average data logger is portable enough to be set up in a space that may not otherwise be accessible. This means that once it is programmed and left in place, you don’t have to check it until it has completed the job you set it out to do. They operate on batteries, so you don’t need to place a data logger near a power source to operate. Plus, many data logger models can be accessed remotely to retrieve stored data instead of having to be taken into a lab and connected to a computer system to download data. Finally, data loggers are constructed of durable materials so they withstand harsh conditions and continue collecting environment data for extended periods. The sensors and probes can be replaced when needed.
4 – Data Loggers Provide an Accurate, Traceable Record
We’ve touched on this already. But before data loggers came along, the tools used to monitor temperature, humidity, and pressure in locations where sensitive assets were being stored were not as accurate as tools available today. Data loggers use digital technology that can identify even the most minute change in conditions that may signal a trend or issue that will need attention. Analog measuring devices, although effective, just do not provide the level of accuracy that is required in today’s world of strict compliance guidelines in cold chain transportation and storage. This Dickson article notes that data loggers are a key part of getting an accurate record of the temperature of a sensitive product over time.
5 – They Make Data Easier To Understand
It is difficult enough to keep facilities in the cold chain at prescribed temperatures for long periods. It is also difficult to try to make sense of pages and pages of data collected as part of the process. What data loggers do in this case is provide a better visual representation of that data through the software used to download and translate the information being collected. Charts and graphs are far easier to understand than countless rows of numbers and other numeric values. By looking at a chart or graph created from the information collected by a data logger, decisions can be made faster on correcting issues that may exist. All of this can be done in far less time than required to analyze numbers. Data loggers make understanding the data easier in the long run.
Sensitive assets require constant temperatures as they travel through the cold chain from where they are created to where they get used. The most reliable tool to track and monitor the environmental conditions during the process is a data logger. There are many different types of these devices but they all provide means to collect data from temperature to humidity or pressure. With built-in memory, a data logger can provide information that can be downloaded and examined to identify issues before they arise. Data loggers are reliable, accurate, and durable and they are the logical and most cost-effective of the cold storage solutions.