Warehouse Temperature Mapping: Temperature mapping refers to the mapping and documentation of temperature ranges, fluctuations and differences in a controlled space, such cold-storage units, warehouses, laboratories, etc. Conducted over a specific period of time, this process helps improve detection, analysis and control of any variations that may occur in temperature-sensitive work environments.
Many industrial, laboratory and manufacturing processes deal with products that are temperature-sensitive, like foods or pharmaceuticals. For these processes, temperature mapping is a vital part of ensuring the temperature of the surroundings is being maintained within a certain range, in adherence with thermal compliance norms.
Apart from work-environments, temperature mapping is useful for ensuring temperature-controlled storage systems like cold storage units, warehouses, refrigerators and the like, are cooling the entire space effectively.
Temperature mapping is the process of mapping the frequency of temperature fluctuations, differences and the range of temperature within a controlled space, over a period of time. It can locate areas where the maximum temperature fluctuations occur and analyze the source of the variations.
Purpose and Importance of Temperature Mapping
In a temperature-controlled environment, the temperature at different points can vary by up to 10°C. Typically, the central area maintains a nearly constant temperature, while areas surrounding the cooling fans, access points and the edges tend to fluctuate a lot. Another factor that influences the internal temperature is seasonal weather, especially in a warehouse.
Temperature in a particular space can be affected by a number of factors, which include:
· Proximity to doors that are frequently opened
· Distance from cooling fans
· Air circulation within the space
· The quantity of products stored in the area
· Body heat from personnel working in the space
· Heat radiating from machinery and devices, and more
The purpose of temperature mapping is to ascertain the variation of temperature, not just within a controlled system as a whole, but at different points within the enclosed space. A fluctuation of even a few degrees can have severe consequences for processes where temperature-control qualification is a critical aspect of maintaining quality.
What are Temperature Mapping Services and Why are they Required?
Regulatory authorities like the SFDA/WHO have increased the pressure on drug and pharma manufacturers to comply with GMP guidelines and requirements for temperature-controlled storage. Compounded by the elimination of financial risks related to equipment failure, they have become a vital part of consumer safety as well as losses associated with product quality or associated failures within storage and logistics operations.
Today’s pharmaceutical manufacturing and SCM (supply chain management) organizations have a greater responsibility than ever before. They need to have a clear understanding of processes that could impact product quality or patient safety, as well as every aspect of the procedure involved.
Creating a temperature profile of critical storage equipment or locations is essential, and a critical part of managing risks related to product quality and increasing patient safety. To balance the returns from your investment, you may have to balance these elements combined with the costs of packaging and your environmental monitoring programs, against your staffing requirements.