Whether the context is a pharmacy, hospital, distribution facility, restaurant, data center, greenhouse or other location -- maintaining inventory or equipment at a 'constant temperature' is critical to the success of the business.

Accordingly, the ability to remotely monitor such temperatures on a 24/7 basis can help protect inventories, ensure safety and compliance, and boost productivity and efficiency.

To help you make an informed decision about whether the use of a Cellular Machines by Anaren temperature monitoring system is right for you, we've put together the following educational resources below.

 

FA2 System

We are here to help with your wireless temperature monitoring system needs. A tech support representative is standing by to assist you with any questions, concerns, installation, use or purchase of Cellular Machines product.

Support Via Email

Send us a message at support@cellularmachines.com, and we’ll get back to you within one business day.

Support via Phone

Call toll free: 1-800-411-6596  (8a.m. to 5p.m. EST Monday - Friday)

Support via the Web

Use our Contact Us form and we will get back to you within one business day.

Listed below are a series of questions and answers related to using the Cellular Machines Temperature Monitoring System. If you have a question about the system, using it, or are having an issue that cannot be solved through the information below or the information provided in the Installation and Operation User’s Manual, please contact us.

Updates made to the control station’s firmware are done remotely via an over-the-air (OTA) update, up to firmware version V5.12f. While the control station’s firmware is being updated, it cannot be used until the update is complete. Additionally, the system may need to be reconfigured afterwards, including re-syncing wireless pods, entering sensor information, or performing a factory reset. Whenever firmware is updated, a notification email will be sent to the Temperature Monitoring System owner’s email address informing them of the update and the changes that have been made.

NOTE: In the event of a power outage during an OTA update, the control station’s internal backup batteries will power the device. If the batteries are out of power, or if the control station becomes disconnected from the power supply, the update will fail and the current firmware will remain active.

No components of the Temperature Monitoring System should be installed outdoors. The components are designed to be installed in controlled environments only. Installing any components outdoors or in areas that may expose them to hazardous materials may subject them to damage or failure. However, system components that require an outdoor installation can be outfitted for such conditions. To explore customization options and component outfitting, contact us.

Only the temperature sensor can be safely located in conditions of high or low temperatures. Neither the control station nor the wireless pod should be installed in such conditions. Environments with extreme temperatures may affect these components’ ability to function, and can damage or corrupt the hardware inside them.

Only the temperature sensor can be safely located in conditions of high humidity. Neither the control station nor the wireless pod should be installed in such conditions. Environments with high humidity may affect these components due to moisture build up inside them. If this occurs, it may risk damaging or corrupting the hardware inside these components.

The only means to completely remove power to the control station is by disconnecting it from the power supply. This will shut down the control station completely and prevent it from reverting to using its internal backup batteries to maintain power. If the control station is off, connecting it to the power supply will turn it on again.

The control station’s internal backup batteries have a lifespan of approximately 15-20 hours, and are not rechargeable. If the batteries runs out of power, or if the control station’s Low Batt LED is on and an alarm is received indicating low battery power, contact Anaren Customer Support to arrange to have them replaced. If the control station has been operating on its internal backup batteries for an extended period of time and you wish to preserve its battery power, disconnect the control station from the power supply to shut off the control station.

NOTE: Shutting off the control station will shut down the rest of the system and its alarming functions. Do so at your own risk. If the control station is off, a note that it is off the air will be indicated on the cloud server, and an email notifying the system owner that the control station is off the air will be sent.

Replacement batteries will need to be ordered for the control station. Contact Anaren Customer Support to purchase and arrange to have the control station equipped with new internal backup batteries. In general, in the event a power failure occurs and it is unlikely to return within a reasonable period of time, disconnect the control station from the power supply to shut off the device. This will stop the system from monitoring the equipment, but will preserve its internal backup battery power.

The wireless pod comes with four AAA 1.5V alkaline batteries, which have a battery life of approximately five years. To replace these batteries, unscrew the pod’s enclosure to open it, then replace the batteries with four new AAA alkaline batteries. For pods that operate in cold environments, it is recommended to use lithium batteries instead.

Yes, rechargeable AAA 1.2V batteries can be used in the wireless pod. There will be little or no noticeable difference if rechargeable 1.2V batteries are used instead of 1.5V alkaline batteries. However, rechargeable 1.2V batteries may experience a steep decline in power once they near the end of their charge, and the lifespan may be shorter than that of an alkaline battery. If using rechargeable 1.2V batteries, it is recommended to change them immediately if a “battery low” alarm is detected to prevent the pod from losing power.

Up to 16 wireless pods and/or temperature sensors may be connected to the control station, with a maximum of four sensors per pod. Additional pods can be added, or sensors can be added to existing pods by using a combiner.

If a wireless pod is being synced to the control station, all pods connected to the system (not just the new pod) must be re-synced. A pod that is not re-synced will not be recognized by the control station. Otherwise, the pod may be too close to the control station and cannot properly connect; a distance of at least six feet must be between the pod and the control station. Additionally, the maximum number of pods that can be synced to one control station is 16. Any number beyond that will fail to sync to the control station.

In order for a control station to recognize an additional (not to be confused with replaced) temperature sensor connected through a combiner, the wireless pod must be re-synced to the control station. Otherwise, the new sensor will not be displayed on either the control station or the online user dashboard. Note that if this is done, all pods connected to the control station must be re-synced.

A temperature sensor is assigned a default number based on the number of its associated wireless pod and the number of sensors connected to it. In 16-sensor maximum systems each pod is allocated specific numbers for their sensors, and the assigned number of the sensor does not necessarily appear in numerical order. Sensor names may be changed, so this impacts the default numbers given to new sensors only. However, these default numbers are always displayed on the Cellular Machines online user dashboard next to the sensor name field, regardless if the sensor’s name has been changed.

A temperature sensor’s probe collecting moisture during a defrost cycle will not have any detrimental impact on it. The temperature probe is protected and designed to endure these types of conditions. However, if moisture collects and permanently freezes on the temperature probe, or the temperature probe is in standing water, that can affect its ability to accurately measure temperature. Temperature sensors should be checked regularly to ensure they are in proper working condition.

The signal reception of the control station may be poor. Check the cell signal of the control station on its scrolling status menu and verify it is in an acceptable range of two or three bars. One or no bars will result in little or no connection, and the control station may have to be moved to another location to improve its signal reception. Likewise, if a wireless pod is displaying too low of an RSSI, it may have to be relocated as well.

Check the equipment manufacturer’s website or user manual for information on recommended temperature limits and proper use of their equipment. For state and federal requirements on regulated temperatures for certain products and inventory, visit the Food and Drug Administration website at www.fda.gov, or the website for the regulating agency of that particular industry.

When updating parameters through the online user dashboard, the control station will update during its next scheduled logging interval. Check the frequency of the logging interval to determine when the parameters will be updated on the control station. The control station can immediately update parameters by forcing it to log a message to the cloud server. Steps to force a cloud server log are outlined in the Installation and Operation User’s Manual.

It is unlikely that the temperature sensor itself is defective. Instead, a setting for the equipment in question may need adjustment, or the location of the sensor itself within the equipment. Logon to the online user dashboard, and view the data report of the equipment responsible for the alarm during the length of time this has occurred. Analyze the data for any patterns or consistencies that may help determine the exact cause for the alarm. Common instances of these patterns include certain days of the week, time of day, and frequency of equipment use. Daily defrost cycles or refrigerator temperatures settling overnight or during long periods without use are two such examples. These instances may provide insight into adjusting the settings of the system to reflect the conditions of the equipment during these times. Alternatively, if the sensor is located in an area prone to fluctuating temperatures (such as near a compressor or very close to a door), it may inaccurately measure the equipment’s temperature and should be relocated to a more centralized area. If the alarm issues are not the result from a system setting or location of the sensor, there may be a potential issue with the equipment itself.

Temperature sensors can sometimes react quickly to events (such as a door opening), resulting in unwanted alarms. This can be avoided by either adjusting the alarm delay time for the sensor that is detecting the temperature change, or by installing a dampener to the sensor. The sensor dampener provides a thermal buffer for the sensor, and “slows”the sensor’s response time to such temperature shifts.

The communication between the wireless pod and the control station may take up to two minutes to be established based on their signal reception. If more than two minutes pass and the error status remains unchanged, check the original source of the issue to verify it has been corrected.

The Temperature Monitoring System includes an alarming hysteresis in order to mitigate continuous setting and clearing of incidental alarms when temperatures hover near a threshold. This hysteresis is set to 2° Fahrenheit or 1°Celsius. Whenever a temperature alarm is triggered, it will not be cleared until it is beyond the hysteresis of the temperature scale used. In this example, the temperature must drop to 43° Fahrenheit in order for the alarm to be cleared.

When any monitored equipment is subject to an environmental change, either from service, maintenance, or any other means, the settings for that equipment should also be modified to reflect those changes. This will prevent unnecessarily alarms from being triggered and receiving false alerts. Likewise, after any monitored equipment undergoes a period of change, it is important to return its system settings to what they previously were afterwards, or adapt them to any updates the equipment has gone through. Not doing so may result in inaccurate temperature readings or alarms, or failure to detect a harmful condition.

The mobile phone number may have been entered incorrectly, or the settings for either receiving text message alarms or that particular alert type might not be enabled on the control station. Ensure all mobile phone numbers are properly entered on the control station, and verify the text message alert settings are configured to your liking through using the control station’s menu options.

Verify the control station’s alarm buzzer is enabled through the main menu. Likewise, check if the control station is in silent mode. If the control station is in silent mode, it will override the alarm buzzer if it is enabled, and no sound will be made if an alarm is triggered.

No. System parameters will need to be manually configured again. However, the online user dashboard stores wireless pod settings, so when pods are re-synced to the control station they will be reconfigured automatically after the first logging interval.

NOTE: The online user dashboard will populate pod settings based on the order the pods are listed. It is recommended to re-sync pods in the same order as they originally were in so the pod settings will be applied to the same pod.

Yes. The online user dashboard can be accessed from any browser and from a personal computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

When a new Temperature Monitoring System is installed and activated, it may take up to one hour for the cloud server to receive temperature readings and status for the first time (reporting via graphs may take slightly longer). After this initial instance, the cloud server will update during every logging interval, any time an alarm is triggered, and whenever a text message alert is sent. Otherwise, verify the control station has the UDP logging function enabled. If this function is disabled, no information will be sent to the cloud server and it cannot be viewed through the online user dashboard.

Refer to the Installation and Operation User’s Manual for installation guidance to help maximize cellular reception capabilities. If cellular reception is poor and cannot be helped through installation or device location, contact us to seek an alternative solution.

No. The Anaren monthly data plan is a flat rate for all packages and contains a sufficient amount of data and text message allowance to cover system operation. The differences in data plans are within the length of the plan’s contract. Data plans do not include any data or service capabilities for personal mobile phones. In the event a control station alarms at an unusually high rate, contact Anaren Customer Support to bring the system’s performance in-line. In extreme cases, Anaren reserves the right to modify the system’s settings to comply with reasonable data and text message usage policies. If Anaren’s solutions for modifying system settings due to extreme data and text message usage are ignored or bypassed, Anaren reserves the right to apply additional charges for text message and data overages.

Below are a number of helpful links to articles and resources about the importance of monitoring and best practices to ensure your inventory is protected and monitored properly.

2013 U.S. Public Health Service Food Code
United States Department of Health and Human Services
The Food Code is published every four years containing the FDA’s guide for providing a consistent system of public health and sanitation standards. This includes the best practices on proper food storage, handling, and preparation.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtectio...

 

ANFP Practice Standards: Food Storage Guidelines
Understanding the proper criteria to store food in a variety of environments is critical to maintain its freshness and decrease the risk of foodborne illness. Maintaining standards for all types of food is a big step towards preventing problems from arising.
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (anfponline.org)
http://www.anfponline.org/Resources/DMAResources/standard07.shtml

 

Food Safety for Local Food
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies (fesmag.com), by Amelia Levin
Food retailers need to take into account how food is stored and prepared to minimize the threat of problems happening. Establishing a system that can promote food safety and reduce liability is essential to run a successful food business. 
http://www.fesmag.com/home-highlights/10073-food-safety-for-local-food

 

Food Safety Modernization Act Information
Food and Drug Administration (FDA.gov)
A resource page for information related to the Food Safety Modernization Act. This includes prevention of foodborne illness, helpful links containing proper food storage and best practices, and food safety training.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm256826.htm

 

Food Safety Temperature and the Danger Zone
Food Service Warehouse (foodservicewarehouse.com)
The “danger zone” is a range of temperatures that food is at the greatest risk bacteria multiples. This range leads to an increase in foodborne illness and food spoilage, and knowing how temperature affects the growth of bacteria and understanding the ideal temperatures to store and cook food is essential in maintaining safe conditions.
http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/education/product-safety-public-heal...

 

Foodborne Illness: What Consumers Need to Know
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA.gov)
A resource page for information related to foodborne illness. This includes education on what foodborne illness is, how it occurs, further information on the “danger zone,” and what to do if a foodborne illness is detected. 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/ge...

 

Managing Food Safety: A Manual for Voluntary Use of HACCP Principles for Operators of Food Service and Retail Establishments
United States Department of Health and Human Services
A comprehensive guide published by the FDA to promote the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach of best practices and principles to address food safety and protect public health. 
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/HACCP/UCM077957.pdf

 

Shut the Fridge Door: How Cloud-Based Temperature Monitoring Systems Can Help Save Your Business
The Back Burner by eTUNDRA.com (blog.etundra.com), by Kasy Allen
Temperature-sensitive equipment is prone to failing, and if it does the effects can be costly. Understanding the benefits temperature monitoring systems offer can be very helpful for preventing accidents, and such systems that provide a cloud-based reporting and notification services can be advantageous for the user. 
http://blog.etundra.com/in-the-restaurant/cloud-based-temperature-monito...

Best Practices Essential for Storage and Temperature Monitoring of Refrigerated Vaccines
Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA.com), by Andrew J. Long and Mary S. Hayney
With recent studies through governing agencies supporting the greater need to minimize risk, maintaining temperatures for refrigerated vaccines is crucial. There are several recommendations to utilize proper measures so these vaccines are always within the needed conditions.  
http://japha.org/article.aspx?articleid=1765652

 

Storage and Monitoring of Vaccines
National Institute of Standards and Technology (nist.gov)
Scientists have found critical factors in relation to numerous problems with vaccine storage. Maintaining a vaccine’s potency is of the utmost importance, and temperature monitoring is among the foremost methods of to do so.
http://www.nist.gov/pml/div685/grp01/vaccines.cfm

 

Temperature-Sensitive Pharma Concerns: Avoiding the Top 10 Supply Chain Pitfalls
Contract Pharma (contractpharma.com), by Justin Bates
The importance of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals has never been higher. Therefore, it is critical to avoid the most common problems associated with these pharmaceuticals to ensure your operation runs smoothly and successfully.  
http://www.contractpharma.com/issues/2012-05/view_features/temperature-s...

 

Vaccine Temperature Best Practices for Frozen Vaccines
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) 
A best practices fact sheet that includes information on ideal temperature conditions for storing vaccines in freezers, and encouragement to routinely monitor temperatures (with or without a temperature monitoring system).
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/storage/downloads/temp-frozen.pdf

 

Vaccine Temperature Best Practices for Refrigeration Vaccines 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) 
A best practices fact sheet that includes information on ideal temperature conditions for storing vaccines in refrigerators, and encouragement to routinely monitor temperatures (with or without a temperature monitoring system).
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/storage/downloads/temp-fridge.pdf

 

Wireless Temperature Monitoring Systems: Things to Consider
Medical Laboratory Observer (mlo-online.com), by Mark Donovan
Temperature monitoring systems are essential in maintaining the proper conditions and quality for medical laboratory needs. Understanding the benefits and applications of these systems is helpful in making the transition from manual monitoring to using these automated systems.  
http://www.mlo-online.com/articles/201408/wireless-temperature-monitorin...

Centers of Disease Control

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/

FoodSafety.gov

Food Safety.gov: http://www.foodsafety.gov/

The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission (Healthcare Organizer Accreditation): http://www.jointcommission.org/

U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention: http://www.usp.org/

United States Department of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/

United States Food and Drug Administration

United States Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/

Access the Cellular Machines cloud to monitor temperature, configure system settings, run reports, and more.