Data loggers enhanced for fast downloading, says US firm

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Quality control

Upgraded data loggers and probes can be used to monitor temperatures in wet and hot conditions, and also have USB enabled high speed data downloading, claims the US manufacturer.

The development of the new HT 200 watertight temperature data loggers and HT 220/HT 225 piercing probe models was informed by food manufacturers who sought features such as reinforced probes, user replaceable one-year batteries as well as USB-enabled downloading, said Kate Sonka, inside sales manager/marketing coordinator at Dickson.

She said that the data loggers are temperature resistant up to 125°C (257°F) and are food-grade units in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)​ and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant stainless steel cases.

Data loggers are used in many food and drink processing applications for the accurate monitoring of temperatures to improve product quality, increase productivity and document certification compliance.

And models with probes are used in applications where internal temperature, not just ambient temperature, needs to be monitored.

“A manufacturer of smoked meats, for example, would have to ensure that the temperatures at which microbes are killed are always reached – this enhanced instrumentation provides that assurance and the necessary documentation to demonstrate that the regulations have been adhered to,”​ explained Sonka.

She told FoodProductionDaily.com that the end user connects the data loggers to a computer and then utilizes Dickson software to quickly download, view and analyze the collected data.

"These are the ideal solution for anybody who needs to have the ultimate flexibility on where they place their data loggers.

“The instruments are designed to not only take the heat, but also are watertight and made of the clean food grade stainless steel that is important to so many real-world applications where temperature monitoring is required,”​ she added.

Meanwhile, UK company, Innovation Software Consultants claims that mobile data capture using its Tracesoft hand held computers improves efficiency and helps reduce waste on a production run, and thus provides significant savings in a time of economic uncertainty.

Stephen Mumby, director of the company, said its quality control system ensures that non-conformity in quality attributes of products can be identified immediately rather at the end of a production run, with the portable, easy-to-use units cablable of checking in real time that critical factors such as temperature, Ph levels, salt levels and bar code are not of out specification.

He said that companies in the food processing sector are particularly vulnerable to error, as high volume production lines can easily miss key production indicator quality standards, resulting in financial losses very quickly, in part due to dependency on antiquated paper based systems.

“Using the portable Tracesoft units, an operator can alert a line supervisor without delay via an email or SMS message if the computer has recorded a defect on a particular batch run; this is far speedier than the clipboard and pen method of measurement,”​ he continued.

Mumby explained that food companies can configure the hand held data recorders to suit their particular needs and the system monitors a food production line using accurate quality measurements from a pre-programmed historical database.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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