Maintaining an unbroken cold chain for temperature-sensitive products is always a challenge. But the complexities are fewer when you’re simply storing products as opposed to transporting them. Cold chain storage could require just a thermometer, clipboard, and the human resources for periodic monitoring; transportation requires temperature maintenance and continuous monitoring across multiple environments, a process that is also often subject to transport delays, infrastructure issues, and numerous personnel interacting with the product. Using a quality, connected temperature sensor won’t address all these challenges, but it will set your cold chain maintenance process up for success.
Monitoring sensors do exactly what you would expect: track environmental temperatures so you are informed about instances where the temperature has gone out of range.
Sensor technology as it pertains to maintenance of the cold chain can be quite simple. There are numerous models available, many of which monitor humidity levels in addition to temperature, and all with varying degrees of accuracy. The highest-quality sensors require no calibration and are extremely accurate. But keep in mind that not all types of products require exact temperature monitoring, so you may wind up paying extra for a level of accuracy you don’t actually need. Other things to keep in mind when choosing a sensor are:
Very few companies that offer sensor solutions make the actual temperature sensor chip. To find out more about the quality of any solution’s circuit component, ask the solution provider about the part they use in their device. You can then look up the parts’ datasheets and compare them to choose the best one for your needs.
Once you’ve chosen a temperature sensor, you need to build out processes surrounding its use. Things to consider include:
Also, keep in mind that your investment in sensor infrastructure could provide even greater return if you use it to measure other things that have an impact on temperature. For example, knowing the amount of current your refrigerator is drawing, compressor cycle times, and how often the door is being opened (or left open) can help you troubleshoot before problems manifest during transport. These measurements aren’t technically components of the cold chain, but they do make a difference.
Take a look at AirFinder. Our sensors provide real-time data using minimal technology, and they can be used to monitor a variety of environmental conditions in addition to temperature. Visit our product page or contact us to learn more.