Throughout the cold chain, Tinytag data loggers are used to monitor food and pharmaceuticals. For one customer, stand-alone loggers have been used in temperature controlled transport, while radio data loggers have been used in cold stores, generating temperature alarm warnings if levels fall outside specified limits.
Leading refrigerated transport company Igloo
Thermo-Logistics uses both stand-alone and the
data logging system to ensure food and
pharmaceutical products are stored and transported in perfect
Gemini Data Loggers first supplied Igloo Thermo-Logistics with
small battery-powered Tinytag loggers some
years ago. Since that time Igloo has employed over 40 of
the loggers to record temperature within refrigerated
vehicles, providing evidence that Igloo is conforming to the
requirements of the company's pharmaceutical and food industry
Following the launch of Gemini's new radio-enabled
logger communication technology, Igloo incorporated a new
system at its facilities in both Watford and Leeds. The addition of
radio to the communication options has provided Igloo with a
highly effective, low cost monitoring and alarm
system that automatically takes real-time data
from multiple points in the company's cold rooms.
Commenting on the benefits of the new equipment, Igloo Managing
Director Alistair Turner says, "We are
now able to view live temperature data from all of our cold rooms
24/7 from any computer anywhere in the world. However, the system
also enables us to set alarms so that text and email alerts are
issued to key staff if any of the temperatures start to deviate
from the norm. As a result, we are able to deal with any problems
before they occur."
Radio System consists of a number of radio loggers
connected wirelessly to a receiver. The receiver is connected to a
central PC running Tinytag Explorer Connect
software that continuously collects and stores
data from the remote loggers. The radio loggers work
together in what is known as a 'mesh network,' in which all the
devices work together to send information to the central receiver.
It allows for continuous connections and automatic reconfiguration
around broken or blocked paths by 'hopping' data from node to node
until the destination is reached.
Each radio logger is a self-contained, battery powered unit that
can receive, log and transmit data to other radio loggers, and to
the central receiver. If one radio logger is out of range with the
receiver, its data hops to its nearest neighbour and hence finds a
path back to the receiver. If a radio logger loses connection with
all of its neighbouring radio loggers and is unable to find a path
back to the receiver, data is stored locally until communication is
"The mesh network capability effectively means that we have
found a way for radio to go around corners," says Gemini's
Nigel Palmer. "The radios have a 200 metre range and sensor
cables can extend up to 10 metres. This means that the radio
loggers can be mounted high above the sensor locations to maximise
Tinytag radio loggers were first installed by Igloo in late
summer 2010 and Alistair Turner has been delighted with the system.
He says, "We initially chose Tinytags, following a trial of
other products, because they proved extremely
robust - able to withstand extremes of
temperature and physical abuse. We therefore leapt at the
opportunity to try the radio loggers because they offered a
lower labour requirement with even greater
assurance for our temperature control systems.
"The simplicity of the new system meant
that costs were very low; we simply installed the
software, connected the receiver and mounted the radio loggers.
Then, with the sensors in position, we turned the radio loggers on
and the system automatically created the mesh network. Alarm levels
were configured at the central PC and since then, the
system has effectively run itself."
Looking forward, Alistair Turner believes that significant
further growth opportunities exist in the pharmaceutical industry.
"Temperature control is vital for all of our clients," he
says. "However, pharmaceutical goods are often very high in
value so accurate, reliable monitoring is even
more important in this sector. The Tinytag system therefore
provides our customers with an extra level of assurance that we
will meet their requirements."