Reefer Trailer Temperature Optimization using AKCP Monitoring Solutions
Reefer trailers and trucks have long been a staple of logistics providers. Better known as a refrigerated trailer, this transport method is equipped with refrigeration units. It has insulation to maintain temperature. They are the go-to delivery trailer for perishable items.
- food (ice cream, poultry, frozen meat)
- medical and pharmaceuticals
- military operations
- emergency and disaster response
A reefer trailer is the same as that of a regular one. And the distinguishing feature of the refrigerated trailer is its insulation all over. Its walls are made of insulation materials such as plastic steel or any other non-porous item.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the reefer trailer is its roof. The roof can reflect heat and UV waves. In effect, the barrier serves as a protective covering to maintain temperature. New refrigerated trailers nowadays are equipped with alarm systems to counter any error. It can also include tracking systems for regular monitoring of location and temperature.
The Anatomy of a Reefer Trailer
Because it serves as a cold storage transport, the trailer’s primary function is to keep temperature stable. Other factors such as humidity and air moisture also account for the trailer unit to dispel any heat. There are three parts of a reefer trailer that is integral to its operation.
A small engine unit runs the compressor. Its function is to draw gaseous refrigerants in. After drawing the gas in, the compressor pressure will liquefy it and be released into the air to fight off the heat.
Heat exchange happens inside the condenser. The liquid from the compressor will be brought to the condenser and will flow through the tubing to cool down. Cooling occurs when the outside air is drawn from the condenser.
The evaporator manages the cooling condition of the trailer system. From the gaseous refrigerant going into the condenser in liquid form, 12 then flow into the metering valve of the evaporator. The valve is the passage that controls the amount of refrigerant going into the evaporator.
Importance of Reefer Trailer Temperature
Considering the different items being transported by reefer trailers, it suggests a wide array of temperature conditions. This factory is an essential consideration in a logistics system. To maintain a stable temperature, a reefer trailer does not only rely on its refrigerated system. The use of containers is valuable in preserving reefer trailer temperature specific to commodity. A reefer container can stay cool through two methods:
- Cryogenic Cooling – using frozen carbon dioxide ice to maintain cooling
- Generators – diesel-powered generators attached to the container
Another fun fact is that reefer containers are white-colored. This is because white reflects light. The color of the container reflects sunlight thus, repelling the heat source.
Basics of Reefer Trailer Temperature Monitoring
More than container specifications, reefer trailer temperature monitoring is an utmost priority. Because of the different temperature ranges of a specific commodity, monitoring is a possible way of getting the best trailer temperature condition.
- it is an assurance that it did not compromise the quality of goods
- limit unsafe temperature conditions that can attribute to the perishable quality of the item
- prevent delivery projects consider currently saving costs
Significance of Reefer Trailer Temperature Monitoring for Pharmaceuticals
One of the essential commodities requiring reefer trailers is pharmaceuticals. Because of its biological ingredients in drugs and vaccines, its perishable quality is very high. Temperature conditions are a means to ensure that there is no chemical degradation in vaccines during transit.
There are common temperature conditions for pharmaceuticals such as:
- Refrigerated: 2˚C -8˚C
- Room temperature: 20˚C – 25˚C
- Cryogenic: below 0˚C to as low as -150˚C
These low temperatures ensure that drugs and vaccines are stable enough not to undergo a chemical process. Issues like emulsification or sedimentation of products is a detrimental indicator to a vaccine’s quality.
There’s so much value given in monitoring temperatures for refrigerated trailers. This is especially significant for reefer trailers carrying pharmaceuticals. The many advantages in committing to proper temperature monitoring include:
- Better vaccine administration
In maintaining the right temperature conditions, quality assurance of vaccines is achieved. With many communicable diseases requiring vaccine intervention, it is only proper that vaccines are of high quality when administered to their recipients.
2. Abiding regulatory compliance
Regulatory compliance is very evidence-based. Regulations are also rooted in safety protocols and standard environmental conditions. Complying with relevant regulations ensures the reliability of delivery. Regulatory compliance is a ticket conveying that transit follows proper guidelines.
3. Reducing vaccine wastage
Temperature fluctuations and is a bad determinant of quality assurance. Any change in condition compromises the vaccine itself. This can result in vaccine wastage or delivery rejection. Maintaining the correct temperature negates that risk.
4. Increase profit
With lesser rejects and wastes, vaccine delivery completion is successful. With good delivery turn-out, the return of investment is also maximized. Lesser accounts will subtract from wastes and rejects. Delays are negated as well.
Enhancing Reef Trailer Monitoring
- Sensors as temperature recorders
Because there is a big emphasis on regular monitoring of temperature, manual recording may not be a practical choice. There will also be higher risks of human error, especially in a transit setting. And because the location is remote, portable sensors can do the job. Sensors will serve as data loggers that’ll record, log, account for any temperature condition one needs.
2. GPS tracking system
GPS tracking is a significant addition to a comprehensive fleet management system. This enables monitoring of trailer locations. Different activities during transit are easy to track. As such, visibility can also be a good reference for driver performance. Time and motion studies are facilitated easier with GPS tracking to reduce delay and commit to delivery timelines.
3. Specialized sensors
Often, because of the remote setting, monitoring should cover all bases. These include other environmental indicators in a reefer trailer system. Some of the sensors that can be of a monitoring aid are:
- security sensor (ensure authorized access)
- environmental sensor (humidity, ultracold temperature, air pressure)
- power monitoring sensors (battery monitoring, voltage, inline power meter)
AKCP Monitoring Solution
Temperature monitoring for cold chain transport follows a wide array of regulatory requirements and good practices. Ensuring product quality requires monitoring to be at a granular level, especially in a transport setting. The likes of an AKCP Vaccine Transport and Storage System can’t track shipments from factory to delivery and the end-user. Through the use of wireless temperature sensors with calibration, the check features prevent potential error along the way. The sensors are portable enough to be placed in small container spaces to give users visibility down to individual items.
The capacity of an IoT cloud-based platform such that of AKCP’s Pharma-mon server enhances the monitoring capacity to a whole another level. Got deployed sensors can’t be saying to the server and will generate programmed reports as deemed necessary. The extra capacity from this platform includes:
- graphs and reports for digital signing for purposes of regulatory compliance
- simple drag and drop user interface to transfer shipments through the supply chain
- granular history, inventory, and alerts of reefer container
These remote control systems solidify comprehensive monitoring of reefer trailers. Incorporating these technologies can customize your monitoring needs to cover:
- power monitoring
- temperature fluctuations
- delivery stops
- route deviation
- opening and closing of the container
Enhancing reef trailer monitoring will result in more things that may be of little operational significance but provide great value in the bigger picture. This accounts for:
- Reducing costs
Because of remote control systems, efficient routes are planned out. This can save on fuel and toll costs. Efficient delivery routes will also save on labor expense. In effect, monitoring a lesser trailer mileage lessens wear and tear. As an effect, this negates the urgent need for engine maintenance.
2. Lesser Hassle
The function of tech is to ease operational life. While it may diminish human intervention, it also limits the occurrence of errors. Other than that, special skills are not necessary for integrating an efficient reef trailer delivery. All you need are go-to monitoring techs that will do the trick for you. There are lesser amounts of dedicated training and orientation.
3. Better customer service
Accountability is essential to logistics providers. In a reef trailer delivery, there are set conditions that the provider has to abide by. The reports and graphs are valuable information to fill in customers when they inquire. This assures them that delivery is safe and on track which is equal to good customer service.
A comprehensive reefer trailer temperature monitoring system eases a perfect delivery execution in the process. This accounts for delivery in the shortest possible time while maintaining commodity quality at par to regulation standards.