The Significance of Temperature Monitoring System to Logistics Operation
The name of the game in the logistics industry is securing commodity quality. Ensuring quality upon delivery is a must. It doesn’t matter whether delivery involves frozen goods, medicines, or high-value crops.
Monitoring the whole logistics operation is essential. It allows providers to follow rigid environmental parameters specific to commodities. Monitoring, as a whole, simplify the operational checkpoints.
Incorporating monitoring systems in a logistical operation is significant. It is a welcome development for current industry players. It facilitates better delivery processes in return.
The concept maximizes the use of technology to streamline processes as a whole. Technological tools enable monitoring capacities to ensure quality. These capacities may not be achievable in the usual manual monitoring setup.
What is a Temperature Monitoring System (TMS)?
A temperature monitoring system involves temperature controls in an environment. As an example, in vaccine delivery, the system pertains to all temperature controls. Monitoring accounts from warehouse exit up to the delivery point.
With the use of a proper monitoring system, temperature tracking is more manageable. Because of regular monitoring, controlling and regulating the temperature condition is also straightforward. A sound monitoring system allows for an uncomplicated flow of goods. Whereby tracking of goods is with granular monitoring visibility.
Features of a Good TMS
Standard systems need capacities that refer to real-time tracking. A critical facet of a monitoring system is its real-time tracking capacity.
Automatic alerts are an excellent visibility indicator. Alerts are signs that parameters are not within regulation range. Alerts can also signal security breaches. The automated alert relays provide for quick action steps to resolve any issue.
Like alerts, programmed notifications identify any change in temperature conditions. A notification is a signal that there are fluctuations in the temperature at the given time. These notifications can also serve as records for much-needed reports after.
Documentation is the backbone of a sound monitoring system. The data records are pertinent details that qualify if temperature conditions have complied. Generating reports in a real-time manner is an advantage for any logistics provider. As such, easy data analysis can follow. The analysis defines trends and patterns in line with any regulatory compliance.
Remote Temperature Tracking
The problem with the logistical setup is it needs remote monitoring capabilities. Often, tracking tools will lose signal limiting visibility. A sound temperature monitoring system considers these risks. Consideration of these risks covers them up with the proper monitoring solution. Incorporating sensors and data loggers with remote capacities are crucial.
Unforeseen incidents may happen during commodity transport. It will involve different features respective to the current monitoring needs. The flexibility of the monitoring system is a significant edge. The capacity to customize on whatever temperature needs is a crucial add-on.
Essential Indicators in a Temperature Monitoring System
Despite the many features in monitoring, some indicators are essential considerations. These aids in a comprehensive monitoring turnout.
- Periodic Temperature Record
A typical logistics timeline has a start point and an endpoint. A sound monitoring system will have to record temperature data within that timeframe. Often, providers need timeline intervals for temperature tracking. A complete temperature reading during those timelines can help make informed decisions.
The temperature data are evidential facts that ensure compliance with standard protocols. The data are reference points supporting that quality of products was not compromised.
- Granular Monitoring Visibility
Product logistics incorporates reefer trailers. Within that trailer includes shipment containers holding the product intact. Individual packages and bottles are inside cold-chain containers for some.
Sensors as temperature tracking tools must be portable. They should work to check the most minute vials or packages. Package-level monitoring is more often required as regulatory standards. Data loggers that are portable are of significant value. They can track the temperature of individual product containers. This is an indicator that monitoring is specific.
- Analytics Capacity
Data accuracy and precision are the end-all of a monitoring system. Both indicators carry out the reliability of the whole logistics operation. To be reliable, data consistency is a key to provide evidential information. Often, this evidence is necessary for users.
As such, faulty sensors and limited data loggers can compromise monitoring results. With false data, analytics will not be definitive. Data is a monitoring system’s commodity. It is vital to use calibrated sensors. Hence, observing accurate programming timelines is critical. Investing in a well-grounded temperature monitoring system is positive precedence.
- Incidence Reporting
A good monitoring strategy accounts for the worst-case scenario. Accounting for these scenarios, incidence reporting is necessary. It is an indicator ensuring that a monitoring system can check incidence. In the end, incidence reporting should cover all possible risks. It reports these incidences to paint a picture of the whole transit operation.
With incidence reporting, stakeholders can infer response mechanisms. The reports can reference action plans. With the proper response standards in place, it limits any complication occurrence.
- User Access and Friendliness
As data is pertinent information in the industry, security breaches are a no-no. A temperature monitoring system should adhere to user access standards. Adherence to these standards maintains data integrity. Data tampering and facility intrusion should not happen, though.
But even with limited access, the monitoring software should be simple for users. Monitoring and analysis should be straightforward for an average user. Moreover, the user platform should also allow ease in troubleshooting and configuration. This will hasten analysis further. It is an adaptability indicator that is significant to monitoring systems.
Parts and Functions of a Monitoring System
Monitoring hardware addresses the essential indicators to achieve a comprehensive monitoring system. The hardware parts incorporate specific feature tackles specific monitoring queries in the process.
- Temperature Sensor
The main actor in the monitoring system is a temperature sensor. They come in different types and specifications. The three most common sensors are:
- thermocouples (least expensive; less temperature accuracy)
- RTD sensors (ideal for freezers and refrigerators; resistance changes with temperature)
- thermistors (thermal sensitive resistor; exhibits an incremental shift in resistance)
Now, there is a need to digitize these sensors. There are attachable temperature measurement devices that function as:
- a digital reader of the temperature value
- records temperature data
- stores data for software relay
But, there are standalone sensors that do not need any reading attachments. The likes of AKCP’s temperature sensor can check the temperature. It can also track other environmental parameters. Reading parameters like humidity and door contact enhances the sensor’s monitoring capacity.
- Data Storage
- local memory (storing data through USB or memory card)
- local gateway (cellular network connection to collect and store data)
- local PC (link to a local PC to store and send data)
- cloud solutions (automatic transfer of data to servers)
Data storage may be a standalone mechanism or combination of solutions. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) paves the way for cloud solutions. The new solutions are now saturating the monitoring industry. This also hastens the transmission of real-time data.
Central monitoring software is a product of IoT. It capacitates the monitoring system to have a central eye. This focal point watch functions such as vaccine tracking, data graphing, and reporting. As an example, AKCPro’s Pharma-Mon is monitoring software. It can direct pharmaceutical logistics through comprehensive central monitoring.
- Power Source
The technology input has several power sources to run a comprehensive monitoring system. While electrical power is good, a remote setting requires a different power source.
Wireless sensors rely on battery power. Battery-enabled devices are ideal for remote monitoring. The main limiting factor, yet, is the battery life. Battery life should power through monitoring devices for long periods. Through this, the battery life should be adequate to the delivery timelines.
Power fluctuation, or worse, failures can be detrimental to the delivery operation. This is such a risk in the whole operational picture. To prevent the risks, specific monitoring devices also track power sources during delivery.
Monitoring System Intangibles
Other monitoring facets are significant in the whole spectrum of things. They may be invisible to the eye.
- Flexible Data Access
Allowing data access anywhere can ease out the process of remote monitoring. This limits the complicated incidence that doesn’t need person-to-person correspondence.
Cloud monitoring solution has changed our way of data dispense. It allows flexible patterns for users to relay and send data when necessary. This flexibility enables instantaneous corrective response to whatever alerts.
- Various Users
A logistic operation has many touchpoints. So, it requires many users to access the monitoring platform. Allowing many users can negate delivery delays. This is especially necessary for deliveries with specific turnover. Take note that capacitating many user access should not compromise any security risk.
- Backup system
Despite the top of the line data features, monitoring needs backup storage filing. It is imperative to plan an alternative course of action. The alternate route will be beneficial for worst-case scenarios. While cloud solutions can take care of backup storage, it is always best to have another storage. Make sure, though, that it is also foolproof and would not risk data security.
Investing in a Monitoring System
There are many ways to plan a temperature monitoring system. The tools and their functions should supplement the parameter indications. This kind of synergy establishes good monitoring standards. As such, these standards are vital, especially in a logistics operation. The consequences of negating a proper monitoring system may be costly. Investing in a suitable temperature monitoring system will cut that risk.