RFID helps Medlog manage cold-chain shipments

Pharmaceutical logistics provider Medlog is using a cold-chain system based on temperature sensors containing RFID tags to monitor and communicate conditions inside isothermal transport boxes. Medlog uses the system at its six warehouses in Portugal.

The system randomly samples the sensor-containing boxes during shipment, collecting the data.

The cold chain tracking process begins when a warehouse management system notifies pickers via portable device which meds require cold chain tracking. Warehouse staff attach the sensor inside the box and seal it, then activate the tag using a handheld device. The tag begins recording temperatures at a pre-determined interval.

At the receiving end, the driver reads the box packing slip. If a temperature logger is onboard, the driver uses a handheld reader to collect the temperature data, which are then transmitted to the database. The driver is then alerted if the container has deviated outside the acceptable range. Another alert goes to Medlog's managers, who then direct the driver whether or not to complete the shipment.

The system incorporates CAEN RFID's A927 temperature loggers, containing a temperature sensor and EPC Gen 2-compliant semi-passive RFID tag. Battery life is about three years, says a trade magazine. Medlog is using about 100 of the devices and three handheld readers at each warehouse.

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