We can reduce your costs in maintaining temperature control for your food safety plan, and increase its reliability. Rather than focusing on saving a few dollars by using cheaper and cheaper products, we focus on saving a lot of dollars on the labour to maintain the system.
The development of a defined solution comes after collaboration between your food safety consultant, your IT department, your operations people and our staff. We believe that our company is the only one with the vision to take you to a ‘future solution’.
The issues of temperature
There are two issues:
Safety – regulations require the temperature control of hazardous food, and defines what is required. Whether you seek to gain information about the history of product before you receive it, or only to take responsibility while the product is in your control, it is a policy decision.
Quality – perishables such as fruit and vegetables become unattractive before they become dangerous, and so appearance and shelf life dictate what scrap rate applies to the product. The temperature history, before receipt, has a direct impact on the shelf life, but the results are often invisible.
An ideal solution
Temperature is measured using different technologies, but fundamentally there are two groups – fixed installations and moving installations (transport). In these installations there are three ways to measure – fixed monitoring systems, hand-held instruments and mobile data loggers.
An ideal solution will minimize use of the hand-held measurements, automate the handling of the hand (instrument) acquired data, and have one database that combines all the data so that any product lot can be tracked, sorted and displayed in one file. Data review and notification of alarm conditions should be automatic.
This solution depends on development of a database that can store the information, where data is acquired automatically or semi-automatically, and data has some reference to allow it to be retrieved when required.
Some unique devices that may be part of the system
Evidencia RFID temperature loggers – these low-cost devices allow you to achieve a full temperature history from field to customer’s trolley, or processing room to display cabinet, allowing safety and shelf life to be absolutely in your control. The loggers can be read at any stage and as many times as required, and contain the WalMart 96bit ePC code space used to identify the product.
Comark N5000 hand-held terminals – these are used to acquire hand-held temperature data, schedule the safety program, prompt corrective action, allow acknowledgement of sanitation programs and upload data to the system automatically from a cradle.
RampX DC database monitoring and alarm systems, with LAN connections and remote connection via a WAN or GSM network – this product would allow centralized monitoring of all temperature-controlled fixed installations in your nationwide system. It can be connected to remote terminals, for monitoring trucks via the GSM, or 3G network, where data is stored whenever the vehicle is out of reception range, and downloaded with alarm analysis as soon as it comes back into range. This product will interface with a wide range of hardware to allow any measurement to be monitored.
Wireless, network and wired fixed systems
We have the products and ability to use RF wireless sensors to eliminate wiring in stores or warehouses. Other solutions include Ethernet modules to connect temperature or other sensors into an existing computer network, and wired systems use RS485 two wire cables to connect hundreds of inputs, including temperature, on to one pair cable through low-cost converters.
What the future could look like
Like any project, there are parts that can be implemented easily and quickly and parts that are developed and refined over a period. We would suggest the project would continue to reduce labour requirements as it evolves over the medium term (years). The extreme attraction is that you embark on a process that meets future needs.
- Increased reliability of data and systems – goal 100%
- Reduced employee time for data acquisition, input and analysis – goal zero
- Assured compliance with laws and regulations – goal full compliance that will stand any legal scrutiny by expert witnesses
We offer a full range of conventional temperature measurement equipment, so if you have ideas and need to know if and how they can be implemented we could have an initial meeting to see if our products would be of use to you.
ECEFast has over ten years’ experience in food safety instrumentation as a sensor manufacturer and is the only supplier in the field with a NATA temperature laboratory. We have an internally developed web server database with browser access and a range of hardware to cover different acquisition technologies.