CAS Dataloggers, Chesterland, Ohio, provided SwiTrace I-Plug IPST8 transit temperature data loggers for a fruit and vegetable grower and exporter who needed a temperature-monitoring solution throughout the cold chain.
The customer grows and exports fruits and vegetables to distribution centers and markets, making them highly vulnerable to contamination and spoilage. Maintaining the temperature of these products throughout the cold chain took the highest priority to avoid any health risks, including food poisoning.
To ensure maximum product shelf life, these products needed to be shipped under optimum conditions from the time of harvest until finally being sold to the consumer. Failure to manage and control the many stringent storage and transport conditions could prove to be very expensive if product was received in unacceptable condition for re-sale. The client could also face risk of not getting paid for the product, having to negotiate a reduction in selling price due to loss of shelf life or losing credibility with the receiver, all of which could result in extensive insurance and legal expenses. Therefore, it’s essential that accurate temperature records are maintained during shipping to document proof of adequate product handling until the products reach their destination.
The customer installed a SwiTrace I-Plug IPST8 transit temperature data logger inside each of its shipping containers. During shipments, the I-Plug recorded temperatures using an internal temperature sensor at a range of -40°C (-40°F) to 65°C (149°F). Monitoring was performed at a resolution of 0.1°C (0.2°F) and at high accuracy of ±0.3°C (0.5°F). The I-Plug’s internal memory stored up to 8,000 readings at a sampling frequency of every 30 seconds to every 60 minutes. After each delivery was completed, the client simply plugged the I-Plug into a USB port on a PC to generate a complete pdf report. Data was also uploaded to the cloud service for remote access by the shipper.
Designed for the transport and shipping industries, the I-Plug offered customizable alarm settings and a programmable start function and high and low alarm LEDs. Users could program the logger in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Additionally, the I-Plug was downloadable via USB with no special interface hardware required. With a durable IP51 rating, the logger was tough given its small size at 73 x 15 x 33 mm and lightweight of only 30 grams.
The customer also used the SwiTrace cloud platform for access to calibration certificates of each logger and to remotely view the data once uploaded from the destination. The logger's software also confirmed that correct temperature procedures was maintained throughout the process. The I-Plug configuration software was also utilized to configure the tolerance levels based on the products being shipped. Data transfer was supported to generic formats such as Excel for quick exporting and organization of information.
The client realized several key benefits from installing the SwiTrace I-Plug data loggers in all perishable product shipments.
The loggers easily performed all the monitoring needed for the fruit and vegetable consignments, so the customer would know exactly if and when the temperatures had gone out of specification and could identify which parties were accountable. The cold chain transport was confirmed on every printout of the logger's temperature record, providing further proof of the client's due diligence, to support the customer’s HACCP program.
The I-Plugs also provided the complete history of the temperature conditions relevant to the products' post-harvest condition, so the client was fully confident that the shipping risks were significantly minimized or reduced. This often resulted in protection from negligence suits, prompt settlement of insurance claims and negotiation of compensation from liable processors, transporters or warehouses in the event of problems. These out-of-specification conditions were also analyzed to control and document the customer's own product and service quality to continually optimize shipping.
The I-Plugs’ monitoring and recording features ensured the maintenance of the high-quality product, promoting the company as a quality supplier with a reputation for wholesome produce.