The Benefits of Data Loggers for the Cold Supply Chain
A vast range of industries can utilize data loggers for environmental monitoring that helps with humidity, vibration, and even temperature tracking. From pharmaceutical laboratories to blood banks and even food manufacturing, data logging can ensure that environmental conditions stay in check.
- The ins and outs of data loggers
- Why they’re essential for environmental control in the cold chain
- How they benefit different industries
- The importance of real-time environmental data
- What causes delays in the cold supply chain process
Technology has made our lives easier in many ways while delivering endless benefits for society as a whole. Regarding industries worldwide, many companies have been using a wide range of technology to improve efficiency and overall capabilities.
Medical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and even aerospace and semiconductor businesses utilize the cold chain for many aspects of their operations. This requires substantial environmental monitoring; otherwise, the consequences could be significant. To help with this, data logging tracks many different environmental metrics, and you can monitor them in real time.
What is environmental data logging?
With the help of a data logger device from Marathon Products, those who work within a cold supply chain can keep track of different internal metrics such as temperature, CO2 levels, humidity, and more. Each of these has the ability to affect industries that work with food, medicine, semiconductors, and any other product that’s a part of the end-to-end cold chain process.
Better yet, using a data logger also provides remote capabilities so companies can monitor their data in real time, which helps guarantee a more profitable and efficient outcome. The data gathered from these devices will also lead to fewer mistakes as it can provide hindsight into a potential issue before it’s too late.
Different ways to use a data logger:
- Food transportation and processing
- Protecting sensitive medicine, vaccine, or medical equipment
- Keeping a building’s temperature and humidity regulated
- Monitoring air quality
- Reliability of engine, components, and parameters in the aerospace industry
Not only can this help improve the longevity and quality of products, but it can also act as a safety measure for employees and consumers. The number of applications that data loggers are capable of is greater than you might think, and they’re relatively easy to integrate into any industry’s flow.
Numerous use cases
Recording and tracking environmental data such as temperature, humidity, and the like is more about managing profit loss or product integrity – it can also help mitigate waste. When we look at the food industry’s cold chain, we see that 32% of shipments get rejected due to compromised products.
This alone dramatically affects costs, supply, logistics, and waste. Regarding the pharmaceutical industry, the integrity of certain medicines, vaccines, and medical products may be prone to damage without proper temperature control. Without data loggers, it’s almost impossible to maintain accurate reports of environmental changes.
The locations involved in a cold chain process are vast, and they’re likely to have different environmental conditions. Although many transit vehicles have refrigeration technology, many products require a sustained environment before and after, and refrigeration alone isn’t enough to maintain level temperatures throughout transit. The logistics of maintaining temperature is easier said than done, but data loggers offer information that allows businesses to be proactive, and companies like Marathon Products can help.
The proactive nature of real-time data
From indoor and outdoor environments to individual packaging, data logging can be used on a micro and macro scale. The data these devices generate can be monitored in real time while offering a comprehensive report at the end of a product’s destination. Companies can reflect on this data and refine aspects of their cold chain process to improve its effectiveness from point A to B.
The cold supply chain is much larger than most people understand, as it entails more than just cross-country transportation. We live in a global economy, and cold chain products get shipped in a variety of ways.
Some of the most common include:
- Insulated quilts
- Dry ice
- Gel packs
- Liquid nitrogen
Many of these methods to control temperature come with a time limit, and data logging can help monitor the environmental changes along the way. Some items have a much longer transit time than others. With the supply chain issues we all experienced during the height of COVID-19, it became apparent that environmental monitoring is paramount.
Expecting the unexpected
If the cold chain process was able to operate without a hitch on a daily basis, some aspects of data loggers might not be as helpful, but this isn’t the case at all. Almost constant disruptions, small and large, affect the efficiency of the cold supply chain.
An easy example would be the complications that the pandemic caused, but many other hindrances can occur every day. Some are more devastating than others, but you can find a few of the most common below.
No matter how far a product travels, it doesn’t take much to encounter various uncontrollable environmental conditions. Delays in the cold chain can come from a single day of bad weather or weeks of dangerous conditions caused by a sizeable natural disaster.
These events look different all over the world, and if they’re bad enough, there isn’t much that the cold supply chain can do to change that. With some delays having no end in sight, it’s crucial that companies use data loggers for monitoring a product’s environmental conditions with each passing day.
Considering how the cold chain is connected globally in our modern era, it’s relatively common for items and products to travel across different state and country borders. This alone comes with its own set of rules that can be pretty complex and potentially political.
This can easily throw a wrench in the progress of the end-to-end cold chain process, which can quickly lead to company and potentially industry-wide damage for those involved. This is often an issue suppliers and receivers face with international shipments.
Trouble with quality control
If a product’s quality were in compromising conditions for any reason, this could also lead to delays in the cold supply chain. Whether or not your company has to go back to square one, lacking quality control can generate a snowball effect of delays. In many cases, the quality of a product in the food and pharmaceutical industries relies on a controlled environment.
These use cases reveal some of the ways data loggers can help you keep track of the slightest change in your product’s environment in the cold chain. Without having access to the real-time data it provides, you’re likely to encounter the unexpected more often than you’d like.
The multi-faceted Marathon Products solution
With over thirty years of experience developing environmental monitoring devices, Marathon Products understands the global needs of the cold supply chain. The devices we manufacture display accurate readings for low and high-temperature applications, and each is tested to be 100% reliable and is beyond easy to use.
We can support the cold chain process for numerous industries with the help of quality CO2 sensors, temperature mapping data loggers, remote monitoring, and much more. Each of our clients receives a personalized service catered toward their specific needs, and every one of our products is 21cfr compliant.
Stay connected with Marathon Products to learn how we can help you monitor the environmental needs of your cold chain process. Don’t ship without us!