The value of temperature monitoring is often underestimated. In our last article, we discussed how temperature monitoring has a direct correlation to the success of your business. In this article, we would like to address specific temperature monitoring product groupings and their functions to determine the most effective approach to temperature monitoring in your business.
As a starting point, we have flagged a few key questions to assist you in identifying and selecting the most suitable temperature monitoring device for your specific application.
- Does the temperature monitoring device have to withstand harsh environments?
- Does it need to be weatherproof or waterproof?
- Do you require a calibration certificate?
- Does your device need to be World Health Organisation (WHO) certified?
- What is the measurement location?
- Do you require monitoring of storage facilities, or during distribution?
- What temperature measurement intervals do you require?
- Do you need to measure a range of temperature conditions or just a single parameter? In other words, both ascending and descending temperature or either ascending or descending temperature?
- Will you need to download data, and if so, how often?
- Do you require SMS and/ email notifications of a temperature threshold alarm warning or alarm breach?
- Will you be viewing collected data on a stationary or mobile device or computer?
Keeping this in mind, we can now begin to narrow down which products to use. To assist you in further making an informed decision, we have listed common facts and fallacies of several different temperature monitoring products:
- Fallacy: Altitude, heat and water-damage can affect the accuracy of the temperature indicating strip
- Facts: No, altitude does not affect accuracy; Timestrip® indicators are accurate to within ±15% depending on the model, provided they are used in line with the stated average temperature. If the product is stored at a higher than intended temperature the colour will advance at a faster rate than expected, and for lower than intended temperatures at a slower rate.
Timestrip® indicators are splash-proof but should not be submerged in water. They can be stored for 3 years and require no special storage conditions however cool dark, room temperature conditions with 20-80% humidity are ideal. All Timestrip® indicators go through extensive quality checks before they are shipped from the manufacturer. Central to this process are tests against defined specifications for run-time accuracy (how quickly the dye progresses through the membrane) and environment sensitivity (high heat and vacuum tests to check resilience to harsh conditions during shipping). A full pack of release reports is provided with each shipment. Further details are available on request.
- Fallacy: All data loggers can be reset to disarm and remove alarm settings when a breach has occurred.
- Fact: While many reusable data loggers can be stopped and started again, the Berlinger WHO approved Fridge tags cannot be reset once they have been activated. The alarm on the Fridge Tag display will remain for up to 30 days or until it is overwritten.
- Fallacy – USB temperature data loggers require software in order to download the reports.
- Fact: USB data loggers simply plug into the USB port on your PC and download the reports into PDF. No software is required.
- Fallacy: The infrared thermometer gives you the core (internal) temperature of the product.
- Fact: The reading displayed on the thermometer shows the infrared radiation of the surface. To measure the internal temperature, a penetration probe would be needed.
- Fallacy: The place that the infrared laser is pointing to is what is measured and the temperature of that which is displayed.
- Facts: The laser point can be directed at any product acts as a guide and depending on the make and model, the actual temperature reading could be above, below or around the laser point. It is important to know that your infrared’s optics is the optical range and the diameter of the area being measured changes as you move further away from the target. Understanding this will enhance the accuracy of the temperature measurements.
- Fallacy: The infrared energy emitted is the same for all surfaces
- Facts: Depending on what type of material the infrared thermometer is aimed at a difference or variance in the reading may occur. This variance is known as ‘emissivity’. Organic materials with an emissivity rating of 0.95 will give the most accurate temperature reading. The lower the emissivity rating the less accurate the reading will be.
For example, if a light-coloured, reflective stainless-steel container with an emissivity rating of 0.59 is filled with boiling water, the surface reading of the container will be approximately 38C rather than 100C. The opposite is true about a dark and dull iron container with an emissivity rating of between 0.91 – 0.96 when filled that with boiling water – the surface reading of this container will be very close to the actual 100C of the boiling water.
Real-time temperature monitoring
- Fallacy: All real-time temperature monitoring is challenging to undertake
- Facts: Berlinger SmartPoint’s log measurements, automatically download the findings and sensor measurements which are securely communicated to the central Berlinger SmartView web-application.
This provides an integrated real-time view on shipments and storage facilities to give the opportunity of correcting faulty processes immediately.
In addition, Berlinger Sensors come with WHO calibration certificates ensuring continued compliance monitoring at all times.
We trust that this information provides a better understanding of temperature monitoring solutions and what they offer. If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.