CAS DataLoggers provided its SwiTrace Temperature Data Loggers to a shipper exporting fruits and vegetables. Most of these products were very temperature-sensitive and could easily spoil if not kept in the proper environment. Therefore, it was essential to put in place a cold chain monitoring solution to track the temperature of these refrigerated shipments. The monitoring device had to provide an immediate indication at the destination if the product was exposed to temperatures outside of the acceptable range during transport. It also had to store enough data to provide an indication of when and for how long this happened. Finally, it was very desirable that it be able to supply a hardcopy printout upon receipt as proof of product quality and best practices.

The customer selected the SwiTrace I-Plug family of data loggers which are specifically designed for cold chain temperature monitoring. These devices are available in both single-use and multi-use models; in this case they decided to go with the multi-use version. Depending on the type of product being transported they could use either the IPMT8 model which has a built-in sensor and place it directly with the product being shipped or the IPMT8X which features a .5 meter external probe that could be placed inside the product shipping containers or crate.

Providing standalone operation, these transit temperature recorders run on a built-in lithium battery with a 2-year life. Each data logger’s memory stores up to 8,000 readings in internal memory. A selectable sample rate allows this memory to track shipments from 5 to 90 days in duration. The loggers feature 4 LED indicators which provide for immediate indication of multiple levels of alarming. Two push buttons allow the logger to be manually started at the origin and stopped at the destination or it’s possible to use the delayed start feature of the loggers to automatically start recording at a predetermined time.

It’s easy for shippers to configure sampling and alarm settings to match a shipment’s particular products and storage requirements using the free iPlug Manager software. After each delivery is completed, users simply connect the loggers to an office PC for printout. A key feature of these loggers is the ability to generate PDF temperature reports on their own without any extra software greatly simplifying use at the receiving end.

The IPlug data loggers have proved to be a low-cost solution for the customer’s cold chain monitoring of perishable product shipments and the multi-use models have proven to be very affordable compared with other transport data loggers on the market. Now the receiver can immediately determine if the product’s temperature has gone outside of specifications during transport. A comprehensive PDF data report can be printed out to show regulatory compliance, including the shipper’s HACCP programs, and, in the event of an out of temperature alarm, to indicate which parties are responsible to settle insurance claims and head off other potential problems. Additionally, the temperature data can be analyzed to fine-tune the cold chain and optimize product quality.

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