Rotronic has recently released a cold chain logger which can be used to ensure items are kept at the correct temperature during transportation.
Transportation in general
One key aspect of today´s wealth in the modern world is specialization. So towns, regions or even whole countries focus on a few things they are really good at. This can be based on various factors; for example resources offered by the land, climatic conditions or specific knowledge that has been developed over a long period and has been passed on from generation to generation. As an example, Cuba provides brilliant conditions for the Corojo and Cirollo plants, better known as tobacco. Although smoking is quite popular among Cubans, their production of tobacco exceeds the local demand by far. On the other hand they lack other resources and goods. At that point trading, and therefore the importance of transportation, comes into play. In the case of the tobacco the transportation is not a simple task, since it requires a constant high humidity level to maintain the high quality expected from a Cuban cigar.
Like tobacco there are many products where special requirements for shipping have to be put in to consideration, in order to maintain freshness, internal integrity, colour quality or whatever other properties that could be affected by an inappropriate transportation.
Facts & figures:
A major step in the transportation industry was the international standardisation of shipping containers in 1955. This means that one container can be put directly from a vessel to a truck and transported all around the globe.
Today 28´000´000 ISO containers (20 feet) are permanently on the move, transporting goods from point to point keeping our economy running.
Every year 10´000 shipping containers fall over board.
0.16 Euro cents is the cost of transporting a bottle of Chilean whine to Europe.
Why the need to monitor transportation?
Various factors can have a negative impact on a product during transportation. Below are the most common parameters to be monitored to ensure product quality:
Controlling temperature is the key in transporting fresh foods, where the rate of decomposition is reduced significantly by maintaining lower temperatures. It is also important as proof of an uninterrupted cool chain for frozen products or to ensure the effectiveness of medication.
Monitoring humidity ensures that the growth of micro organisms in food and medications remains below critical levels. Controlling humidity also helps to maintain structural integrity of paper and cardboard or to avoid corrosion of metals during a long transatlantic journey in a shipping container.
Apart of being able to reconstruct when and how long a parcel`s flight was, pressure is also en essential parameter for products that have to be transported in a vacuum or pressured chamber. This method could for example be used when transporting biological samples or hazardous chemicals.
To guarantee that expensive machinery, glass, works of art and other delicate products weren’t damaged during transportation, monitoring of the G-force in all three axis is the solution.
The Rotronic LOG-HC2 can log light, temperature, humidity, pressure, and shock.
Light is a good parameter to determine if or at what time a container or package was opened. Also to ensure protection of light sensitive products such as vegetable oils, chemical substances or photo paper.
Philip Robinson Rotronic UK