Small monitor records temperature of medicines and vaccines in logistics chain
29 August 2013
Swiss company Escatec has announced is building nearly a third of a million temperature monitors a year for Berlinger & Co of Switzerland.
The monitors, which cost a few dollars each depending on the model, monitor the temperature of goods in transit and storage to ensure that they have not been subjected to temperatures that are outside of pre-set boundaries. They are one-time-use, disposable devices similar in size to a stack of six or so credit cards.
A key use is for medical supplies such as vaccines and drugs that can spoil if exposed to the wrong temperatures whilst in the logistics chain. This is particularly important for the "last mile" at the end of the distribution network, which may be in a rural location in the tropics where it is hard to ensure that storage temperatures are maintained. Other temperature-sensitive markets include foods such as ice cream and beer.
There are three models in the Q-tag temperature monitor range, all of which powered by lithium coin cells to give a service life of up to five years. The simplest model, the Q-tag Quad, has a display that indicates if the temperature has gone outside of the pre-set boundaries since it was turned on. The Q-tag CLm, records temperature changes and the times that they occurred, which are displayed on the built-in screen. The top of the range model, the Q-tag CLm doc, enables recorded data to be downloaded via USB for detailed analysis by computer.