Top 5 tips for temperature monitoring

Keele University Science Park, Staffordshire, UK: Telematics integrated with vehicle tracking means users can employ a combined system to gain a more complete picture of fleet performance, says David Thorley, global refrigeration specialist at Navman Wireless.

Telematics helps operators maximise efficiency and simplify record keeping whilst doing everything possible to ensure that temperature-controlled goods are delivered in perfect condition, he says.

Writing in the latest issue of Cold Chain News he offers five top for temperature monitoring advising operatots how to get tangible results from temperature monitoring.

“Having visibility of both the temperature and location of this product provides peace of mind for fleet managers and instils confidence in customers. Knowing immediately when the temperature deviates outside acceptable conditions can be the difference between an accepted or rejected load, this presents huge saving potential,” Thorley says.

“There are clear benefits in reacting to deviations in temperature; however, to gain the most value from these systems, businesses need to use the data to identify areas where improvements can be made and drive operational change, designed to prevent deviations from happening in the first place.”

The latest temperature monitoring solutions include numerous features, including real time temperature updates (across multiple compartments), temperature deviation alerts and customisable temperature reports (including graphical presentation).  This data is then linked with positional and associated event information such as fridge on/off and compartment door open/closed status which help give a more complete picture of refrigeration performance.  The key is to be able to utilise the data that these features provide as effectively as possible in order to improve temperature control and realise the best possible return on investment. Thorley, a member of the Institute of Refrigeration, gives his top five tips on how to get a tangible return from a temperature monitoring system.

David Thorley, global refrigeration specialist, Navman Wireless

Top 5 tips for temperature monitoring

1 Don’t just measure air temperature at a single point
A vehicle refrigeration system is designed to maintain the product temperature and to do this it is necessary to ensure that adequate circulation of air exists in the compartment.  Measuring temperature in both the air return to the fridge and about 2/3rds of the way along the compartment is recommended.  This will help to give a better understanding of fridge perform

ance, air circulation and load distribution than just a single air return reading. This in turn can lead to much better overall temperature control and save on fridge running costs.

2 Monitor important events

There are several key status events which in combination with temperature data will help give a much better picture concerning the operation of the vehicle refrigeration system.  The most common are fridge on/off, door open/closed and defrost on/off.  Simply ensuring that the driver always switches off the fridge before opening the compartment door can have a marked effect on maintaining temperature whilst at the same time help to save fuel.

3 Be prepared to challenge convention
Speak to your system provider and solicit his help on how to use the data you are collecting to make improvements.  Don’t assume that because you have always operated in a particular way that there is no alternative. Making simple operational changes can often deliver the greatest return.  One such example is ensuring that goods are thermally stabilised and only loaded onto the vehicle when at the correct temperature.  An obvious point maybe, but one so often overlooked.
4 To optimise savings look beyond the vehicle and driver
Reducing journey miles/time and increasing operational efficiencies are tangible returns that you should expect from improving vehicle utilisation and driver performance.  Additionally, improved temperature control should yield fewer load

rejections and less product wastage, saving costs and enhancing customer service levels.  Automatic data collection saves on administration costs associated with HACCP and Due Diligence compliance, plus an improved risk profile should reduce load liability insurance costs.

5 Demonstrate your professionalism and win new business
Improving temperature control and increasing operational efficiency will result in numerous tangible benefits and enable direct and indirect savings to be made.  The confidence that this can bring should put you in a better position to win respect from your customers and secure more business.

• Navman Wireless is a global supplier of vehicle tracking via GPS satellite technology.  Its most recent developments include smart telematics and temperature monitoring, products designed to fine tune driver performance and promote best practice across temperature-controlled fleets.