Blog Archives

How the food industry is taking advantage of automated monitoring to optimise working procedures and decrease workloads

When it comes to the food industry, no matter which area a company works in, food safety is always a major concern. The sheer scale of end-customer demand, coupled with strict time restraints, puts a huge amount of pressure on the food industry to ensure all produce is carefully monitored and regulated from farm to fork. Practically every point of the process, throughout production, preparation, storage and transport, has potential danger areas regarding spoilage through mismanagement or poor temperature regulation.

Monitoring temperature is a particularly important part of this process. Incorrect climatic conditions can have devastating consequences, and businesses often leave themselves at risk of incurring needless costs should there be a power cut, or system malfunction. This can lead to wasted stock or worse; a legal dispute.

Such costs can be detrimental to both production and reputation (should the tainted stock be distributed) and will ultimately have a negative effect on profit margins.

Within the food industry more and more businesses are opting to use automated temperature monitoring. For certain applications simply using a data logger and noting down readings manually is sufficient, for instance building monitoring where there is no danger of damage to stock and you simply need the records for reference purposes. When dealing with climate sensitive stock though, as is more often than not the case in the food industry, using an alarm fitted system which monitors conditions continuously is fast becoming a necessary requirement. With such a system in place, if there is a problem, you will be notified immediately, so you are able to react straight away, before it is too late. This is particularly useful if you don’t have staff on site 100% time, which let’s face it, most companies don’t the have resource for.

When first introduced, whilst the logic and practicality behind this type of solution is somewhat undeniable, systems were very costly and the quality manager or person responsible for food safety simply couldn’t justify the cost. This has often proved to be the stumbling block for companies looking to move to an automated system, instead sticking with more traditional temperature loggers, and taking manual readings. To an extent this is understandable, “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”, right? Admittedly, in the first instance investment is needed for such a system. In the long run, however, it will likely save the business valuable time and manpower.

For example, if in the current regime a member of staff is required to go around and take checks at numerous locations, this is a needless additional task which could be used for something more productive. And of course, as mentioned previously, the overriding advantage of employing such a system is to act as a contingency measure and protect your operation in the event of a problem or system malfunction. This could end up saving money in the long run, on wasted stock, potential product recalls etc. Another saying comes to mind: “But we’ve always done it that way”. This has been described as the 7 most expensive words for any business; failure to adopt new methodologies can hurt a business in the long run.

 

The above video explains the advantages of an automated temperature monitoring system

What’s more, as technology continues to advance at an astonishing rate, such systems are now becoming available for a fraction of the cost when this type of system first hit the market. Testo’s Saveris 2 for example offers a fully automated temperature monitoring system from under £100 with no additional costs for software. Therefore, it doesn’t cost as much as you’d think to ensure your peace of mind.

 

About testo Food Safety

Testo offer our industry knowledge as well as a wide range of equipment for food safety which will help you meet your quality requirements and give you the reassurance you are storing and cooking your food safely. Our instruments include temperature monitoring systems, data loggers, thermometers, cooking oil testers, PH meters and more.

Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, from farm to fork, Testo has the right instrument for the job. Want to find out more about testo food safety equipment? Why not visit our website www.testo.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.

5 advantages of using a temperature monitoring system

There are a number of ways to keep track of indoor climatic conditions. The most frequently used of these is the use of a small, basic data logger. For certain applications a data logger is sufficient, for instance building monitoring where there is no danger of damage to stock and you simply need the records for reference purposes.

If you have climate sensitive stock however, particularly if you’re not going to be on site 100% time, an alarm fitted system which monitors conditions continuously will benefit you massively.

There are a number of advantages to using a temperature monitoring system, below we have put together 5 key factors why they have been proved such an effective method for keeping conditions stable.

 

1) Save money

Employing a temperature monitoring system will save you money in the long run, on wasted stock, product recalls etc. If there is a potential problem, you will be notified immediately, before it is too late.

 

2) Efficient and convenient

All reports are put together for you automatically so you don’t have to lift a finger. These will be collated and sent to you each morning via email.

 

3) Accessible from anywhere

Reports can be sent directly to you via email, SMS or App so you don’t need to waste time checking each individual logger (or even going to the site for that matter).

 

4) User friendly

Some monitoring systems require time-consuming installation and maintenance but with a wireless system such as testo’s Saveris 2 it is very simple to get set up and started.

 

5) More affordable than you think

With testo Saveris 2 systems available from just £89 (ex vat.) it doesn’t cost as much as you’d think to ensure your peace of mind.

 

All in all temperature monitoring systems offer a low cost but reliable solution for those who need to monitor indoor conditions continuously. We hope the 5 advantages listed above go some way in helping you to find the solution that best suits your requirements.

This video explains the advantages of using a temperature monitoring system such as Saveris 2

 

Like some more info?

If you’d like some more information on testo temperature monitoring solutions or you’ve got a potential requirement you’d like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to us. You can either send us a message, leave a comment, visit our website www.testolimited.com or give us a call on 01420 544433 and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Visit testo at Ecobuild 2016

When: March 8th – 10th, 2016

Where: Excel, London

Stand no: E1254

 

About Ecobuild

Next week will see Ecobuild 2016 exhibition come to the Excel in London. Between the 8th-10th March you have the opportunity to attend one of the construction industry’s premier events, network with some of the biggest names in the industry and get unrivaled access to new products and insight to help take your business further.

Ecobuild-JPEG---300-x-250

Ecobuild is the leading UK exhibition and conference for the construction and energy market, with over 44,000 industry professionals from across the supply chain expected to attend. The aim of the show is to connect building professionals to help them to learn, network and discover new ideas and innovative products.

 

Come and visit us

Testo Limited will be exhibiting for the duration of Ecobuild 2016 and you can find us on Stand no. E1254. Come and talk to us to get the latest news, hands on experience with testo products and find out about our special offers. As a leading manufacturer of instrumentation for a number of sectors, testo will be showcasing some of our newly released products, as well as offering insight into the ever-changing world of instrumentation.

Whether you’ve got a specific requirement or just want to find out more about Testo instruments please feel free to come and talk to us, we’ll be more than happy to share our industry knowledge. Below is some more information on what we will have on display.

This year we also will be offering first access to a future product of 2016 – the Testo 330i Flue Gas Analyser. This product isn’t available for purchase until later in 2016 but we are offering exclusive first access to visitors of Ecobuild.

 

 

New testo 330i – Flue Gas Analyser (Bluetooth)

The flue gas analyser testo 330i is the combination of proven technology and revolutionary handling. You operate it simply via an App on your smartphone to carry out all your jobs on heating systems. That means faster measurements, paper-free reports directly on site and measurement data always to hand right where you need them. To put it another way: Flue gas measurements are more convenient and efficient than ever before.

We will be showcasing it on stand so drop by and see it for yourself. Please note: This product isn’t available for purchase until later in 2016 but we are offering exclusive first access to visitors of Ecobuild.

 

330i

 

Advantages of the 330i include:

•Your smartphone becomes the remote control
•Newly developed testoFix probe mount for a reliable flue gas probe attachment
•All system parameters at a glance, independently of the measurement location
•Summary of several measurements into a report and sent at the touch of a fingertip
•Create and send reports easily with photos, comments, customer and company data via email

 

Testo Smart Probes

Introducing the New range of Testo ‘Smart Probes’. These pocket-sized, professional measuring instruments are operated directly from your smartphone or tablet. Each instrument has been designed for it’s own specific application, measuring temperature, humidity, pressure or flow velocity.

Eight compact measuring instruments which can be connected to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and are operated entirely via the Free Smart probes App. Competitively priced, Testo Smart Probes are the ideal instruments for contractors with an enthusiasm for technology. However, thanks to the user friendly App, even the least tech savvy engineer shouldn’t find them difficult to use.

 

All Smart Probes are operated via the ‘Testo Smart Probes’ App. It offers the user many practical functions including:

  • Ability to clearly read the measurement values
  • Option to display the measurement data in either graph or tabular form
  • Downloadable measurement data as a PDF report or Excel file, at the touch of a button
  • Application-specific measurement menus, depending on the instrument
  • Take readings from up to 6 Smart Probes at a time, making comparisons between multiple measurements easier than ever

The App itself is completely free and is available for iOS from the App Store and Android via Google Play.

Testo 420 – Volume Flow Hood

testo-limited-420-volume-flow-hood.jpg-frontThe new volume flow hood testo 420 is the light, precise and convenient solution for regulating volume flows at larger air intakes and outlets. At swirl outlets in particular, the flow straightener significantly reduces the usual measurement errors. This allows users to fulfil hygienic Indoor Air Quality guidelines and stipulations in ventilation and air conditioning systems quickly and precisely, e.g. in industry, office rooms or in cleanrooms.

Handling is especially easy with a uniquely low weight of less than 2.9 kg and ergonomic handles. The measuring instrument can be tilted and removed for more comfortable readout of the measurement values.

testo-420-Indoor-air-quality

Track your measurements using the testo 420 App

In addition to this, mobile devices can be used via Bluetooth App integration as a second display and remote control. This makes the use of a tripod for high ceilings especially secure and comfortable. Users can then use the App to finalise and send the measurement report directly on site. The testo 420 App is completely free and is available for iOS from the App Store and Android via Google Play.

 

Testo Saveris 2 – Cloud based climate monitoring

Testo Saveris 2 system’s cloud technology allows information to be stored and accessed remotely. If temperature or humidity levels fluctuate beyond acceptable levels, an alert is sent by SMS and email. Data is extracted and stored wirelessly and can be accessed by simply logging into the secure cloud location. Saveris 2 can be accessed via a computer, tablet or smartphone.

 

Testo’s Saveris 2 makes it easier than ever to monitor climatic conditions

Testo 869 – Thermal Imaging Camera

The Brand New Testo 869 thermal camera combines top quality resolution with an unbeatable price. At just £799 it’s our most affordable thermal camera ever, whilst still embodying the high quality associated with testo. Based on the proven thermal imager series from Testo, the testo 869 was developed to the meet the specific needs of heating constructors, building contractors, service engineers and facility management specialists.

 

testo869-Building-contractor

The Testo 869 has been built specifically for contractors

It offers a large display, high-quality detector (160 x 120 pixels), wide field of view and simple operation to enable you to work better, quicker and more productively.

Interested in attending?

For more information on the Ecobuild 2016 please click here

 

Ecobuild-JPEG---300-x-250

To find out more about Testo instruments why not visit our website www.testolimited.com or call us on 01420 544433

Testo Logo

 

 

Why Climatic Conditions are so Important to Bakeries

Strict demands are made in the production of bread and bakery products. Customers expect immaculate product quality as well as reasonable prices, whilst authorities demand food-safe ambient conditions. Whether in raw material storage, in the preparation of dough or during the baking process – strict conditions must be adhered to with regards to temperature and relative humidity.

Keeping baked produce at the wrong temperature can have devastating effects

Continuous monitoring of ambient data is hugely important throughout the food manufacturing industry, and none more so than when producing bakery products. Baking errors and contamination by health-damaging microorganisms must be avoided, whilst energy efficiency and economic viability is of the utmost importance.

Examples where measurement of ambient climate values is essential include:

  • during the storage of raw materials in refrigerated and deep-freeze rooms
  • in maturation and cooking chambers
  • during the cooling of finished baked products (monitoring of coolant water temperature in heat exchangers)
  • in cleanrooms which protect from mould and spores, allowing germ-free packaging
  • during the transport of bakery products to the branch stores and points of sale

 

How can bakeries keep on top of this?

Employing a climate monitoring system such as testo’s ‘Saveris‘ gives companies a way to continuously monitor conditions throughout the production process. It monitors the temperature and humidity of a storeroom for instance, then documents all the findings automatically. The input of limit values ensures that the legal hygiene standards are always maintained. If any deviations were to occur, the system immediately triggers an alarm.

Storing baked products in the correct conditions is essential

The monitoring system gathers all warning reports along with the ambient data from the various measurement sites and summarises them into clear reports, making them centrally available to those responsible for quality and the process.

The adherence to legal hygiene standards is also optimally supported: Saveris fulfils the requirements of EN 12830, and conforms to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). With testo’s Saveris, you always have your process and storage rooms under control.

 

What makes Saveris so effective?

Perhaps the biggest advantage of employing a Saveris system is you can monitor the conditions of muiltiple rooms or vehicles at the same time. This means you an be certain your produce has been stored properly throughout the process chain, and all results are collated into one central place.

It is a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use system. In stationary operation, the transfer of the measurement data takes place via wireless and/or Ethernet connection to a base station. This documents and monitors all measurement data.

Data is available to view and settings can be configured on networked computers. Individual user access permissions can be assigned according to whether the user requires full administrative or simply viewer rights. In addition, data is also available to view via a web browser, so information is available 24/7 via any web enabled device.

If limit values are exceeded, a whole range of different alarm options, such as SMS/e-mail alarm or alarm relay are available. Remote alarms can even be given when the system is not connected to a running PC. The base is the heart of testo Saveris and can save 40,000 readings per measurement channel independently of the PC. This corresponds to around one year of memory capacity at a measuring rate of 15 minutes.

 

Want to find out more about Saveris?

If you have a potential requirement you would like to discuss you can call us on 01420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, for more information please visit our website www.testolimited.com

 

About Testo

Testo offer a wide range of equipment for food safety which will help you meet your HACCP requirements and give you the reassurance you are storing and cooking your food safely. Testo measuring instruments for food have obtained the HACCP International certification and are therefore judged to be “food safe”. Our instruments include temperature monitoring systems, data loggers, thermometers, cooking oil testers, thermal cameras, PH meters and much more.

Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, from farm to fork, Testo has the right instrument for the job.

Climate monitoring in measurement rooms

Highly modern measurement rooms are used in many industrial companies for quality assurance purposes. However, since the materials change depending on the ambient climate, parameters including temperature and humidity must remain constant in order to obtain precise measurement values. This is defined in detail in the guideline VDI/VDE 2627. It also states that the monitoring of ambient conditions in a measurement room has to take place with suitable measurement technology.

testo-saveris-measurement-2

Climate monitoring is of the utmost importance in measurement rooms

 

Temperature and air humidity can be continuously measured and documented using the measurement data monitoring system testo Saveris. In addition to this, the monitoring system has an innovative function which informs you by alarm even before a limit value violation occurs. Apart from this, it offers interfaces for integrating further measuring instruments for the monitoring of the other parameters defined by VDI/VDE 2627.

 

The challenge

The demands placed on measurement rooms are high – after all, they represent a fundamental basis for product quality. Above all, stable ambient values are of crucial significance, since temperature and humidity fluctuations have a direct influence on the properties of materials. Shrinkage or expansion of only 1 μm can already have drastic consequences for later serial production.

testo-saveris-measurement-3

Precision measurement of a component in a measurement room

 

As well as the quality class of the measurement room, the basis temperature defined for the respective measurement room and a relative humidity of between 30 % and 60 % are additionally relevant. Only this way can results be obtained which are always comparable and reliable. But how can you ensure that these parameters remain within the defined limit values, and that an unnoticed deviation does not endanger quality and cause unnecessary costs?

 

The solution

The measurement data monitoring system testo Saveris can reliably and automatically fulfil the continuous measurement of temperature and air humidity required by the guideline VDI/VDE 2627 for measurement rooms. Added to this is the innovative function “trend alarm” which makes monitoring climate even easier for you: It calculates the projected temperature development by linear regression over the last four measurement cycles, and provides you with an alarm even before a limit value violation occurs.

testo-saveris-measurement-1

Monitoring ambient conditions in a measurement room with testo Saveris data loggers

 

Here’s an example of this: You want to receive an alarm as soon as the temperature of your measurement room increases by 5 Kelvin within one hour. You have set the measurement cycle so that the temperature is measured every ten minutes. In the forty minutes between 17:01 and 17:40, testo Saveris measures a temperature increase of 4 Kelvin.

It calculates from this that in 60 minutes, a temperature increase of 6 Kelvin would have occurred – and therefore already issues you with an alarm by e-mail, SMS, alarm relay, audible signal or LED display after 40 minutes. This allows you to intervene before it is too late.testo-saveris-systemWant to find out more about testo’s Saveris? For more information visit our website www.testolimited.com/server-based-monitoring-saveris or if you have a potential requirement you would prefer to discuss you can call us on 01420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.

Testo_logo