Comark Instruments RF500A wireless monitoring system

If you are worried about being pulled up on your next audit for lost temperature records or spending too much time performing temperature checks then it is time to upgrade.

Comark Instruments RF500A wireless monitoring system provides efficient and versatile round-the-clock monitoring, making manual temperature checks a thing of the past.  RF500A automatically monitors temperature and humidity readings so human error is reduced as there are no time consuming paper records to complete.  Accurate data collection is maintained continually saving labour time meaning no more manual temperature measuring every four hours or more. Errors are eliminated and complete temperature records are maintained in accordance with regulatory requirements.

With the need for food and beverage businesses to follow safe and proven quality assurance procedures, many responsible UK companies have been operating systems founded on HACCP principles for a number of years.  Legislation introduced by the EU in January 2006 (EU Regulation 852/2004) makes this a legal requirement and food business operators must now implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on HACCP principles. The HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system is internationally recognised and accepted as the system of choice for food safety management.  Furthermore, the legislation requires that documents and records be kept to demonstrate these procedures are working correctly and provide an audit trail in the event of problems.

The regulations don’t dictate how this should be done and there are a number of options. At the most basic end of the scale, it could be someone using a hand held instrument to take readings at the relevant CCPs (Critical Control Points) at various predetermined times of the day – and for a very small business this may be adequate. But given that a custodial sentence could result from non-compliance, any larger businesses relying on such methods should probably carry out an urgent review.

For organisations such as these, and those wishing to upgrade their existing procedures, an automated temperature and humidity monitoring system will be the most likely answer. Typically these comprise sensors at the various CCP’s which provide 24/7 monitoring and automatically relay the information back to a base unit. Wireless systems, due to the absence of cabling, offer users greater flexibility and convenience than hard wired systems, but up to now, they haven’t been able to provide the same level of reliability in terms of data integrity.

The problem with traditional wireless temperature monitoring systems is that signals can be obstructed for all sorts of reasons. Many food sites have complex and sometimes unpredictable structures and transmissions can be affected by moving vehicles, closing doors, or even shifting stock – with the result that vital data is irretrievably lost and due diligence procedures are compromised.

Comark’s RF500A is a wireless temperature and/or humidity monitoring system, has all the benefits of easy installation and flexibility, but that’s where the similarities to other wireless systems end. RF500A is the first to ensure that there is zero data loss and that’s down to Comark’s clever and unique use of technology.

The RF500A System uses mesh networking and bi-directional communications providing advanced data retrieval. In short, each transmitter can receive as well as transmit information. By positioning them in a ‘mesh’ arrangement so that each is within range of a number of others, the system will automatically seek an alternative route in the event of a blocked signal, thereby providing the ultimate in network reliability. Alarm options include SMS, email and voice. Each transmitter also gives visual and audible warning of alarm conditions and shows current readings via an LC Display.

By way of a bonus, RF500A transmitter cases are unique in having BioCote antimicrobial protection, to reduce the risk of bacterial cross contamination.

At the system hub is the advanced ‘RF500A Gateway Unit’. This has the impressive processing power of a PC and as well as data capture, it enables the network to be programmed in terms of event logging, logging rates and various alarm conditions. It also has a large memory capacity and can store up to 10 years data from 32 locations and 500 channels. Subsequent connection of the Gateway unit to a local area network provides remote multiple user access via a web browser, thus allowing several sites to be monitored from a single location.

Full audit capability with rapid identification and warning of alarm conditions means the RF500A System provides all the necessary assurance for due diligence and HACCP procedures and meets the strict regulatory requirements of the food industry where it is imperative that complete records are maintained.

Comark has overcome this by extending its range of nation-wide on-site services to include UKAS accredited temperature calibration. The aim is to make it easier for food companies to comply with the stringent requirements of industry regulatory bodies such as The British Retail Consortium. No longer is it necessary to suffer inconvenience and disruption in order to maintain first class quality standards.

On site accreditation over the range -40C to +150C is carried out in accordance with ISO/IEC17025:2005.

Regular, accurate calibration of both hand held instruments and system components is important in terms of maintaining quality standards but it also demonstrates to regulatory bodies and customers alike that QA procedures are up to scratch and adequate safeguards are in place.

Comark’s service offers confidence and convenience, making UKAS certification easier than ever.

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