As technical and as simple as they can be, digital and electronic data loggers use two components to track and trace. These small devices are engineered to record changes in environmental conditions over a period of time. Simply put, a microprocessor, an internal memory for data storage and sensors are used to track data. To give power, a logger is often battery powered for use when an electrical supply doesn’t exist, and loggers are typically offered as single-use or multi-use devices. What makes a data logger so critical is its ability to use multiple sensor types to gather data on anything from temperature to humidity, shock, vibration and more.
First step: How a data logger is programmed
Data Loggers can be programmed to match specific sensor requirements based on the product needing monitored. For instance, if you are shipping a pharmaceutical product through the cold chain, a 2°C to 8°C must be maintained for a certain length of time, and a high / low alarm would be set. Based on the type of logger, a visual notification by LCD display or LED lights will let the handler know if there is a temperature compromise. Data can then be reviewed in detail to find out when and for how long the product was exposed to the critical temperature.
Step two: Downloading the Data
Depending on the technology within the logger, data is provided through USB or Bluetooth technology. There are typically two ways data can be extracted from a USB device. The device can be plugged into a USB port and a PDF of the data will be instantly generated or added software is necessary to download the data to provide as an Excel or PDF file. A second option is Bluetooth data loggers, which are recommended as they provide an added benefit to the user with increased temperature accuracy. In most cases an App or software hub is associated with the logger and used to download the data from the device. Unlike the USB logger, a Bluetooth logger gathers the data from the device without ever opening the box or plugging the device in to a computer or handheld machine. This method saves time in the supply chain process while ensuring a quality product is delivered.
Finally, How will it help?
Data loggers are critical in the Food, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Industrial industries where products being shipped are temperature sensitive. Once exposed to a certain environment for a set amount of time, products potentially become ineffective and unsafe to their consumer or end user. Data loggers can be used to guarantee quality and give confidence to you and your brand from manufacturing to administration.
With temperature accuracy at +/- .25°C, data loggers allow improvement and visibility in the supply chain process. This allows for corrective actions, including acceptance and rejections to be made from anywhere in the world and a clear history of data to be captured for years to come.
As you’ve read thus far, applications vary and are typically recommended from a product expert. Please reach out to our team for guidance on which type of electronic data logger works best for your supply chain needs.