Articles

Radio Data Loggers Monitor Temperatures for Cheese Production and Distribution

Tinytag radio data loggers provide essential temperature monitoring for a leading cheese manufacturer during processing, cold storage and refrigerated distribution.

Wireless temperature data loggers are used during the cheese production process from initial monitoring of freezers storing cultures, through cold storage and warehousing, to temperature controlled distribution. Effective monitoring ensures quality standards are maintained throughout the cold chain.

Cheese making since 1911 makes Long Clawson of Melton Mowbray experts in the field, and their commitment to their origins, as an East Midlands dairy co-operative, has seen the group grow to a Ā£50 million turnover business. With three sites, the group have embraced new technology to perfect their art. Temperature monitoring has helped Long Clawson control the processing of their cheese to produce exceptional quality time after time.

The Tinytag Radio or Wireless Data Logging System by Gemini Data Loggers (UK) Ltd has provided a useful solution for Long Clawson. Data loggers are used to monitor temperature both on site and during transportation; helping to prove that a constant temperature is maintained during distribution. High standards of product need to be maintained throughout the supply chain and the loggers ensure that temperatures are recorded throughout and easily downloaded when back on site.

The loggers are also used to monitor temperature in the starter freezers where the cultures for the initial stages of cheese making are kept. "Maintaining correct storage temperatures helps ensure the starter cultures perform to their optimum in the cheese making process", comments John Burdett, Technical Manager of Long Clawson. "This helps us reduce waste and guarantee delivery and quality promises". It is no wonder that the company has a long list of credible awards for their StiltonĀ® Cheeses. John remarks on a further important benefit of the loggers: "They have an alarm that will notify a nominated person of a fluctuation in temperature during a non-active time, for example, over the weekend or late evening. This serves to address a potential problem, before it becomes one."

The radio loggers have their own local memory to avoid loss of data in case of dropped signals, and this is useful both in the warehouse and in distribution. In the warehouse, the user places each logger within 200 metres of another and there is no limit to the amount of loggers the user can have. This self-configuring army of radio loggers will transmit data back to the central base station or receiver. If the data route back is blocked by a temporary obstruction, for example a forklift truck, data will bypass the obstruction by being transmitted to a neighbouring logger and from there back to the receiver.

In distribution, the Tinytag Radio system provides an important advantage when delivery vans are away from the depot and therefore out of range of the receiver (which is connected to a PC at the distribution centre). Each refrigerated delivery van is fitted with a wireless temperature logger, which is able to store or cache temperature data as the delivery van slips out of range of the receiver while out on delivery. As the vans return to the depot and therefore back within range of the receiver, the logger resumes a connection and automatically sends all cached data to the computer. No driver action is required.

The Tinytag Radio or wireless mesh networking system is an intelligent system which allows the user to gather and collate data at one central point, rather than download each individual data logger. Data is collated using Tinytag Explorer software, which presents the information in various user friendly formats, viewable by any PC on the network.

As demonstrated by Long Clawson, the system works well in the food processing industry because of the need to meet the requirements of Food Safety Legislation and a company's own quality goals.

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