Some tools and technologies are very specialized. They perform specific functions that are valuable to only a few industries or, in some cases, just one. Other tools and technologies are omnipresent. They help all kinds of industries and can be found in use by many companies.
A good example of the second phenomenon is the data logger. This device is used in many industries to help companies get the job done. They are especially prevalent in highly regulated industries such as the food and beverage, aerospace, pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, and healthcare industries.
Why are these devices so prevalent, especially in these incredibly important industries? We will answer that question by going into more detail about what data loggers are and how they help companies across industries perform such varied tasks as maintain product quality, meet industry regulations and protect a company’s assets and bottom line. Here are just a few of the reasons data loggers are used in so many industries.
What Is a Data Logger?
Data loggers are sensors that record data such as temperature, humidity, pressure, force, moisture, speed, carbon dioxide, and other factors. Data loggers can also offer the ability to record several of these data points at once. One common combination data loggers record is temperature and humidity. Here’s a look at a few different data logger types.
Some data loggers need to be manually read with their findings manually recorded. They either have a display so a staff person can walk up to the device and read the data recorded or another device (like a computer or tablet) can be plugged into the data logger to download its reports.
Today, data logger technology is more advanced and many data loggers are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). This means the device is internet-connected and can transmit its data to a central monitoring system. This makes it easier, faster, and much more efficient to monitor data loggers in 2021.
As data logger technology, like most tech nowadays, becomes smaller and more cost-effective, single-use data loggers are entering the field. These devices are very small and can be slipped into a shipment or even into a package to monitor precise data on a granular level. This makes the data received even more useful and specific to individual items.
The fact that so many different types of data loggers can monitor so many different things is one reason you find them in so many industries. Another reason is that, depending on how data loggers are used and why, they can provide a range of benefits for the companies using them. Here are some specific examples of these benefits.
Data Loggers Help Maintain Product Quality
Environmental monitoring is very important in many industries because of its effects on the raw materials, processing, and final products in these industries. If the right environmental conditions are not maintained, products can become ineffective or worse, unsafe, for use by consumers. Monitoring the conditions within which these products are produced, distributed, and stored is a key factor of many industries’ processes.
The most relevant example of this in 2021 is the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. In the U.S., the first two approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna contain a sensitive biological material called messenger RNA (mRNA). This material needs to be kept very cold until it is defrosted and given to patients. The Moderna vaccine must be kept at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit); the Pfizer vaccine requires a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit). Data loggers are helping companies move these vaccines through the cold supply chain (or simply cold chain) while maintaining product quality and effectiveness.
Data Loggers Are Important for Regulatory Compliance
Maintaining product quality is not just about keeping products effective, it is also about keeping people safe. In the heavily regulated industries listed above, products that aren’t kept under the correct environmental conditions can cause severe injury or even death. In these cases, an unsafe product generally looks like a safe product which is why the government, often in the form of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), puts environmental monitoring regulations in place.
Not complying with these regulations can lead to loss of products (more on this below), fines, or even shutdowns. All of which cost businesses lots of money. One way data loggers help companies keep in compliance is with temperature or thermal (temperature and humidity combined) mapping.
This process creates a comprehensive map of the environmental conditions of a space under normal conditions and under stress and strain. This helps companies set up long-term environmental monitoring programs and allows them to put standard operating procedures (SOPs) and contingency plans in place so they are always in compliance with regulations.
Data Loggers Help Guard Against Lost Assets and Revenue
What happens when product quality is not maintained or regulations aren’t met? It varies by industry but the bottom line is, it’s bad for a company’s bottom line. When a company makes a mistake and material or products fall out of either compliance or generally recognized safe conditions, the first step to remedying this issue is to destroy the product.
No company wants to do this. Losing assets means losing revenue. The public relations and customer relations hit a company takes when this happens can make the situation exponentially worse. Data loggers help companies avoid this with their mapping and monitoring capabilities. IoT data loggers make this easier and more efficient than ever by making it possible for companies to quickly respond to problems before an emerging situation grows thereby costing companies loss of product and money.
It’s no secret that data loggers are used in many industries around the world. Why is this? It is because they have all different types of uses and provide a host of different benefits to different industries. They help companies maintain product quality, stay compliant with regulations, and avoid product and revenue loss. They also help keep you safe which is another big reason so many industries use them.