PakSense Launches Small-Format Temperature Monitors
Published: February 10th, 2011
Silicon-based sensors support stable, low-drift readings.
The PakSense BIOmed Label product line features small-sized temperature monitoring devices that use silicon-based temperature sensor technology. About the size of sugar packets, the labels can be fixed to the surface of virtually any package configuration, enabling a closer approximation of actual product temperature.
Having provided the label technology for food applications since 2006, PakSense (www.paksense.com) has launched the patented small-format monitors for clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines, and other health related material transport.
All labels are made by PakSense manufacturing partners in ISO-9002:2008 certified facilities, says Amy Childress, marketing programs director. “The PakSense BIOMed Label represents a new class of temperature monitoring device for the life sciences industry. The versatility of the form factor opens up applications you can’t do with other available temperature monitoring technology,” Childress says.
The silicon-based sensor technology enables the flat form factor, says Theresa Willerup, director of business development.
“Many of the competitors in this space are taking ambient (external to the payload) temperature reads using bulky thermister or thermocouple-based temperature sensing devices,” Willerup says.
“(In cases where loggers are located inside the container), the packaging has to be made slightly larger to fit the device in, or they have to remove vials to get it in. With our labels, you don’t have to do either. We can help people maximize their packouts,” Willerup adds.
The labels allow a surface read of product temperatures compared with traditional monitors that are typically situated at the top of the packout. “Packagers have to account for the “hot spot” at the top of the box in their protocols. We bypass the need to compensate for the hot spot because we can sit right down between the vials,” Willerup says.
“We have had customers tell us the temperature readings differ significantly between an ambient reading and a reading by a label next to the product,” Childress adds.
Encased in waterproof packaging, the labels are glued-dotted for fixing to pallets, cartons, and individual items.
The line of programmable digital monitors comprises the BIOmed Temperature Indictator with one green LED and two yellow LEDs that flash to indicate an excursion event. The BIOmed Contact Label and BioMed Wireless Label collect temperature history for downloading and graphing using PakSense readers and software.
The Wireless label features proprietary radio-based RF that maximizes data capacity and read distances. Label data can be wirelessly downloaded to the reader on the US 902-928 Megahertz band. Data are captured within 300 feet line of site or 60 feet obstructed view.
Supplied pre programmed and ready for use, models are offered as standard skus or custom programmed to trigger based on combinations of time and temperature excursions. “We sample every minute so you get a much more detailed assessment of the temperature conditions during transport. If you are programmed to alert when the temperature exceeds 8° or drops below 2° for more than 30 minutes, the yellow lights will start to flash so the receiver can see immediately there is a problem,” she says.
Silicon-based temperature sensors benefit from the inherent stability of silicon, and fabrication using highly repeatable manufacturing processes. The sensors’ stability enables low drift in the accuracy of readings overtime, Willerup says.
“Sensors do not require on going calibration to maintain accuracy once we have calibrated them to NIST standards during manufacturing,” she adds.
The small form factor provides advantages as well in minimizing transport and storage costs such as for customers auditing centrally and avoiding the need to out fit locations with readers.
“We have customers that will put a label into an envelope. For shipping product to customers and in recycling and disposal through our PakSense GreenSense program, hundreds of labels can be shipped in a container the size of a shoe box,” Childress says.