When attached to cargo, Toppan’s temperature logger tag automatically records surface temperature at an interval set by the shipper. Of them frequency bands are available: UHF which facilitates communication over relatively long distances of about five meters, and NFC which is increasingly integrated into smartphones.
Log data (record of date, time, temperature, etc.) of the shipment to the final destination or to a given point in the route, which is read using a dedicated application, and the reading location traceability data is sent to a cloud-based management system to facilitate chronological tracking and management of temperature changes during transport.
Toppan temperature logger tag is equipped with a single-use battery and adopts a simple structure without data download terminal or display. Toppan therefore plans to supply it at less than a tenth of the cost of existing temperature loggers.
The label was used as a tool to measure and record the surface temperature of container boxes in a pilot test conducted between October 2021 and March 2022, which involved transporting Japanese sake from major breweries in Japan to cold storage. in China. Sales of the temperature recorder tag are expected to be launched in June this year.
Unlike general logistics, transporting food over long distances requires strict temperature management. Fresh products such as meat, fish and vegetables as well as refrigerated products such as dairy products and prepared foods must be transported at specific temperatures defined for each product in order to maintain freshness and avoid deterioration of the quality.
Temperature loggers that measure and record temperature at fixed intervals are widely available as temperature management tools during transport. Prices ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars per unit, however, mean that attaching them to each container is expensive, and the workload for retrieving them after use has also presented a barrier to their adoption.
This has LEDs to the increased demand for low-cost temperature loggers suitable for one-way use that do not need to be retrieved in scenarios requiring temperature management over long distances, such as international shipping.
The structure and functions of the label have been simplified. It features an IC chip with a temperature sensor and a single-use battery, and a smartphone app is used to adjust settings. As a result, the price is less than a tenth of that of existing temperature loggers that include a control panel and require battery replacement.
The temperature measurement interval can be selected from 22 options, ranging from once per second to once every 60 minutes. If the interval is set to 60 minutes, the history of temperature changes over six months can be recorded. A function to set a timer for the start of measurement can lighten the human workload by reducing the time spent performing tasks inside cold stores.
Toppan enabled an integrated solution by developing a dedicated app to read data recorded in temperature logger tags and a cloud-based management system that makes temperature records visible.
“This solution significantly reduces the cost of temperature management and visualization during long-distance transportation,” said Takamitsu Nakabayashi, senior director of R&D in Toppan’s safety business. “The lower price of individual temperature logger tags means that the number used can be increased to facilitate more detailed and accurate measurement.
“The solution is also easy to introduce because the tags can be read with smartphones, which expands the scope of quality control to a wider range of parameters,” Nakabayashi added. “In the future, we will also combine it with our identifier authentication platform to provide end-to-end service to optimize the entire supply chain, including things like product verification, traceability, and improved customer touchpoints.