Remote Product Monitoring

Aug. 1, 2007
This showcase examines some of the latest systems for tracking and managing controlled-temperature cargo from a remote location while the product is in

This showcase examines some of the latest systems for tracking and managing controlled-temperature cargo from a remote location while the product is in storage or in transit. In the spotlight are a smart label, a new RFID network to track shipments, data logging devices, and a refrigerated trailer monitoring system.

PakSense thrives as TXi label catches on

PakSense has been mass-producing its TXi Smart Label since October 2006. The Boise ID-based company has been in business since 2004, when founder Tom Jensen created what has now become a smart label for time/temperature monitoring of perishable goods.

By using a watch battery and a microchip, the cold chain monitoring process changed as food companies realized the benefit of a small inexpensive monitor for quality control and food safety. The Paksense Label's ability to monitor a product's temperature rather than ambient air is a key advantage.

Smart Label production has increased by 300% from October 2006, as the firm has doubled in size to accommodate increased demand, according to Alan Bates, chief operating officer.

PakSense continues to improve the TXi Smart Label and the reader that can graph and summarize a product's journey through the cold chain. It is also developing new products that will improve the way more industries can monitor different aspects of transportation and storage.

E-mail Larry Chase at [email protected] for complete information.

Savi, Emprevi launch RFID network

During ceremonies in Bogota, Colombia, sponsored by the United States Embassy, Savi Networks and Emprevi Ltda officially launched the first Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-based information network operating in South America that automatically tracks the location and security status of cargo shipments from in-country factories to seaports. The event signified the transition from a pilot testing phase to full operational production of the information network.

Emprevi, a Colombia-based provider of logistics and security services for major importers and exporters, contracted with Savi to build the information network. The network extends between Emprevi's customers' manufacturing facilities, intermediate transportation checkpoints, and ports. Real-time “actionable visibility” provided by Savi's web-hosted transportation security software helps to cut administrative costs, improve inventory management, decrease safety stock, and reduce the potential for drug trafficking and smuggling, theft, loss, or terrorist intrusions.

The network of readers capture data transmitted over radio waves from RFID-based e-Seals affixed to containers, and route the information to the transportation security software. In addition to ongoing location and security status information, the software also provides automated alerts on security breaches and other exceptions that users can receive via their emails, cell phones, or PDAs.

Carrier Transicold offers Sensitech monitors

Carrier Transicold now offers three Sensitech data logging devices that monitor condition of perishable products under refrigerated transport. A provider of cold chain visibility systems, Sensitech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carrier Corp, a business unit of United Technologies Corp.

Now available through Carrier's North American dealer network are the TempTale4 ambient temperature monitors, TempTale4 temperature and humidity monitors, and Ryan EZT strip chart recorders. These battery-powered devices allow temperature monitoring beyond the refrigerated travel time frame. They can travel with cargo from the point of origin to the final destination, providing greater peace of mind that shipment and storage temperatures stayed within acceptable ranges.

The TempTale4 monitors are each about the size of a cell phone and weigh less than two ounces. Featuring digital displays providing continuous readouts, they can be programmed to provide a visual indicator if time and temperature setpoints are exceeded. With Sensitech's Interface Plus reader, data can be quickly downloaded to a computer for analysis using the TempTale Manager Desktop software.

The Ryan EZT strip chart recorder is a one-time-use device that provides temperature validation at the end of a trip. Housed in a plastic case measuring about 6.5" × 2.5" × 3.5", the unit is adhesive-backed for mounting to a carton or pallet. At the destination, the receiver breaks the tamperproof seal, opens the monitor, and removes the paper graphic recording of in-transit temperature conditions. In case of a claims dispute, Sensitech backs the Ryan EZT device with free expert testimony regarding its operation, validation, and quality.

E-mail Anthony D'Angelo at [email protected] for more information.

Reefer fleet on PAR for greater visibility

PAR Technology Corp announced that J B Hunt Transport Services Inc has selected PAR's Refrigerated Trailer Tracking system for its fleet of refrigerated trailers. Under terms of the agreement, J B Hunt will roll out PAR's system on a continual basis in support of its expanding refrigerated trailer fleet.

The PAR system will provide essential information to J B Hunt on its refrigerated trailers' status, location, temperature, fuel levels, battery, and history. J B Hunt will be able to use this information to provide reliable and protected services to shippers of perishable commodities.

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