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What to look for in a continuous monitoring system
Upon looking to implement a continuous temperature monitoring system, there are numerous factors to consider, how well suited the system is to your specific requirements is of course a key factor. The more tailored the system is, the easier it will be to implement into your companies standard operating procedures and the more effective the system’s alarming capabilities will be when introduced to staff.
Flexibility of a system, its software, and equipment can significantly influence the usefulness and adoption of the system, especially for multi-departmental applications.
In order to provide guidance for those researching temperature sensors, we have created a list of relevant factors to provide aid in the decision-making process.
The goal of this article is to ensure that the system you choose to implement will meet your current and future needs.
The sensors themselves are of course vital to the parameters being monitored. How accurate and reliable the sensors are, is a critical factor to the effectiveness of any monitoring program. Due to most systems being priced ‘per point’, understanding the situations where an individual sensor can monitor multiple parameters is important. Due to the various situations that you may want to monitor, it is also highly important that the sensors in your system can accommodate a variety of parameters, locations and equipment.
Battery life of sensors
The standard life of a battery used within a temperature sensor can seem like a minor detail, however, how the system utilises the batteries and the way that they are sustained and replaced will dramatically impact factors such as cost of ownership. Therefore, ensure you have considered the type of batteries that are required, the replaceability of the battery type, the availability and the cost of the batteries as well as the expected life of the temperature sensors batteries.
All sensors have differing levels or methods of alerting the user if conditions fall outside of the desired parameters. Frequently, it will be separate departments that are responsible for different pieces of equipment, even when located in the same area. Therefore, there needs to be a completely different alerting set up for the relevant departments. Alerts can become critical in scenarios where temperature sensitive products are at risk. Refrigerators, freezers and environmental control systems can and do malfunction and the correct alerting matrix can offer you vital time to intervene to avert a disaster scenario.
Many governing bodies across various industries are increasing their requirements when it comes to calibration of sensors used within a company’s temperature monitoring system. Some suppliers do not offer a calibration with sensors and where it is offered, the quality of the calibration can differ greatly. Many calibrations will be classed as traceable, however- the level of traceability is something to evaluate, UKAS accredited calibrations often being the gold standard for calibration.
With varying company architecture such as Wi-Fi strength and specific IT requirements, there are numerous ways in which a temperature monitoring system can be configured and installed. You will be looking to pair a compatible network and temperature monitoring system so that you gain useful and reliable information.
What is covered from system to system varies greatly. You must ensure that you review the warranty for continuous temperature monitoring systems as the terms of the warranty can have a major impact on costs.
To get the most out of any continuous temperature monitoring system, training and support are highly important. You need to be confident that the chosen system will come with full support for years following the initial set up. To add, the organisation you work with is must be structured so that it provides you with the ability to meet your needs in efficiently.
Data preparation and reports should be both simple, and automatic for a continuous temperature monitoring system. Many systems offer the user a flexible process to automatically produce reports on a daily or weekly or monthly basis and should be customisable based on your requirements and preferences.