For businesses that deal with temperature-sensitive assets, it’s essential to understand the importance of temperature mapping protocols. Then comes the need to know how to implement it into your operations. Utilize the following protocols to keep your products within the ideal temperature range and minimize spoilage or damage risk. Temperature mapping is crucial to many business operations, and implementing it is necessary to ensure your product safety.
In this article, we will give you an introduction to temperature mapping and temperature mapping protocols.
What is Temperature Mapping?
Temperature mapping, also known as thermal mapping, is a GMP or Goods Manufacturing Practice that helps companies monitor and control the parameters of their entire environment. This technique aims to regulate and maintain adequate temperature conditions in controlled environments such as shipping vehicles, warehouses, or cold storage.
The Food and Pharmaceutical sectors are the most common users of temperature mapping because many foods and medicines require storage at specific temperatures. Fluctuations in a temperature-sensitive product may become ineffective or dangerous if consumed. Therefore, thermal mapping is crucial for industries to regulate and sustain their safety and quality standards.
Maintaining a freezer or other temperature-controlled storage with temperature monitoring is a myth. For example, the temperature may considerably change by opening and closing the storage areas. In addition, the storage space climate may vary if the heating or cooling system fails.
Temperature mapping locates potential temperature-sensitive items with compromised hot or cold spots. However, there are several other reasons why temperature mapping is needed.
For example, temperature mapping can assess the influence of individuals interacting with an area such as doorways. Mapping exercises can also evaluate the impact of a power outage or fan failure. Heat mapping can help the management understand the temperature distribution when an area is full or empty. Temperature mapping protocols help maintain an adequate environment by assessing these changes.
What are some temperature mapping Protocols?
By understanding how indoor temperature is affected by climate change, you can handle the storage of your product in a better manner. In addition, many regulatory organizations lay down essential temperature mapping protocols to help gain the most accurate data possible to comply with industry standards. Using these guidelines, you can ensure that your products are stored safely and efficiently.
Some standard temperature mapping protocols are:
Design Qualification (DQ)
Design Qualification (DQ) is a documented confirmation that the intended design of the facility, systems, and equipment is fit to fulfill the requirement and complies with procedural provisions for thermal mapping. It also helps adhere to the regulatory norms of the process.
Installation Qualification (IQ)
Installation Qualification (IQ) certifies that the installed and configured device or part, including its subsystems and associated systems for thermal mapping, according to the manufacturer’s needs or checklist.
Operational Qualification (OQ)
The objective of OQ is to ensure that the performance of the equipment meets the user’s requirements within the operating ranges specified by the manufacturer. In practice, this means identifying and checking equipment components that can affect the final output’s quality.
Performance Qualification (PQ)
Performance Qualifications are a pack of test cases designed to confirm that a system works as planned under realistic circumstances. The performance of the heat mapping helps comply with the user requirements and quality specification tests. In addition, experienced users sometimes conduct performance qualifications when the system is released.
Inspect the ideal humidity range
It is critical to inspect the humidity range as it varies from area to area. Even in homes, there are different ranges of humidity. Typically, a 30 to 40% humidity level maintains warmth and comfort within a home in the winter and prevents window moisture condensation. In the summer, this percentage can increase to 50 to 60%.
Perfect temperature range for qualification
In temperature mapping, it is necessary to calculate the ideal temperature ranges for each product, like calculating the humidity range, to maintain the product storage accordingly. To do this, the company needs to consider a list of tests to be performed, power failure tests, temperature recovery tests, empty space tests, load tests, door opening tests, and other standard tests.
How often should temperature mapping be done?
The World Health Organization suggests that it is necessary to carry out temperature mapping in the storage area before storing perishable products such as food or medicine.
For example, suppose an initial temperature survey likely reveals areas of concern in a storage unit. In that case, the company should monitor temperature changes in the space to ensure they never reach unsafe levels. If the sensor reports a dangerous temperature, the company should modify its heating or cooling system or rearrange the areas where the products are stored.
In addition, food or pharmaceutical companies must regularly conduct additional complete temperature mapping exercises. For example, outdoor climate change, heating or cooling systems changes, or changes in the type or quantity of stored products can cause the need for semi-regular temperature mapping. Therefore, the World Health Organization recommends performing a temperature mapping survey every three years.
Temperature mapping is an excellent way to regulate, document, and manage the temperature distribution in your storage space. Monitoring these factors may prevent expensive losses from extreme hot or cold temperature changes for the products stored inside.
Adhering to the temperature mapping protocols will also help you determine which areas are subject to the most significant temperature fluctuations. Technicians can advise business owners not to store goods or adjust equipment location within the storage area if temperature levels reach unsafe operating parameters. Again, the aim is to enhance the space’s awareness, effectiveness, and productivity while maintaining the integrity of the products and other components.