Placing Sensors Outside the Warehouse - Is it needed? Plus: How to reduce the total number of sensors in Validation/Mapping

Warehouse
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Piritta Maunu
Life Science Industry Expert
Aug 28th 2015
Industrial Measurements
Life Science
Science & Sensing Technologies

In this week's blog, we feature two questions our regulatory expert Piritta Maunu received on environmental qualification. Piritta describes why placing an external sensor outside storage areas is important, and outlines a method for reducing the number of sensors in thermal validation of large spaces. 

Piritta writes:

Dear C,Thank you for joining our webinar and thank you for emailing me your excellent question:
"Do you suggest also locating a mapping sensor external to the warehouse i.e. outside to assess the challenge during the study?"
Yes, we definitely suggest to locate one sensor at ambient conditions outside the warehouse. This is really important, as you already seem to understand, in case you have some fluctuating mapping results or even out of specification (OOS) mapping results inside the warehouse. When you have one sensor outside the warehouse you are able to understand a bit more of the "big picture" of your warehouse.

  • That externally located sensor can answer these questions (among others):
  • How different ambient environmental conditions affect your mapping results?
  • How should you plan your product storage areas inside the warehouse?
  • Do you need some preventive actions related to your processes to overcome some extreme ambient conditions?

I hope my answer is helpful and if you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me again.

Best Regards,
Piritta Maunu

 

Reducing Sensors in Mapping Studies - Two Methods

Dear A, Thank you for joining our webinar and forwarding your question: "Please repeat how you reduce sensor quantity?" Usually, when we talk about warehouses we mean large areas. So in mapping an area ≥ 20 m3, reducing sensor density can save a significant amount of money and effort.

BLOG-IMAGE-sensor-Vaisala

 

There are a couple approaches to reducing the number of sensors. You could do it by mapping only the locations where the product is stored (shelves, racks). Or… by using in the three-dimensional (3D) area stacks of three sensors - but in practice, you remove every other sensor. From a presentation my colleague Paul Daniel gives on this method, please see the following three images:

  • Note1: The balls represent the sensor locations.
  • Note 2: Faint balls represent the sensor locations that can be removed.
  • Note 3: On the right hand side you see the amount of sensors before and after the reduction.
BLOG-IMAGE-map-Vaisala

 

BLOG-IMAGE-Map-vaisala-2

 

BLOG-IMAGE-Map-3-Vaisala

 

The maximum distance between the "stacks of three" shouldn't be more than 15-25 meters (RT, room temperature) or 5-8 meters in cold storage areas (+2…+8˚C). For a more in depth discussion on how to use this method to decrease sensors in mapping applications, we offer a webinar and a white paper on the topic.

White Paper

Paul Daniel wrote this paper and gives a great deal of detail on the method I've described and is well illustrated.

Webinar

And here is Paul's webinar on the same topic. Hope that this answer is helpful ;) In case of any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or Paul!

Best Regards,
Piritta Maunu

 

 

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Contributors

Paul Daniel

Senior Regulatory Compliance Expert

Paul Daniel is the Senior Regulatory Compliance Expert at Vaisala. He has worked in the GMP-regulated industries for over 20 years helping manufacturers apply good manufacturing practices in a wide range of qualification projects. His specialties include mapping, monitoring, and computerized systems.

At Vaisala, Paul oversees and guides the validation program for the Vaisala viewLinc environmental monitoring system. He serves as a customer advocate to ensure the viewLinc environmental monitoring system matches the demanding requirements of life science and regulated applications.

Paul also shares his GMP experience through regular blog contributions, webinars, and seminars around the world. Paul’s expertise in the demanding GxP world is applicable to any industry where measurement is critical to product quality. Paul is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor's degree in biology.

Piritta Maunu

Piritta Maunu

Life Science Regulatory Compliance and Industry Expert​

Piritta Maunu has 15 years of experience in biotechnology, having worked in several quality management positions for FIT Biotech. Maunu holds a degree of M.Sc. (Cell Biology) and is certified to teach with a specialty in General Biology, both degrees from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In her role at Vaisala, she supports the sales department, assists the quality department with audits, creates educational content for life science customers, and provides application support to R&D teams creating solutions for monitoring critical environments.