Industrial Wireless

Remote monitoring of temperature in cryopreservation facilities

March 2021 Industrial Wireless

In the age of Industry 4.0 and the widespread adoption of IIoT technologies, the benefits of remote monitoring of key assets are more compelling than ever. It is becoming clear that remote monitoring offers a most convenient and cost-effective way of managing system performance. By remotely managing assets over long periods of time, industry reaps the rewards in the form of lower operating costs, faster response times and better service levels.

Upgrade at the MRC

South Africa’s Medical Research Council (MRC) is a world leading institute in AIDS, TB research and anti-retroviral drug trials, with facilities based throughout the country. When it needed to upgrade sixteen of its facilities to monitor temperature and humidity levels in its -80°C sample storage area, it engaged Omniflex to find a solution. The project included the MRC’s regional head office where over 50 freezers and fridges needed to be monitored 24/7, 365 days a year.

The MRC had three main criteria that the new system had to meet. Firstly, it needed a single centralised control system for admin staff to monitor and review operating parameters. Secondly, it needed to be installed using GSM services to update the cloud-based server and provide reports. Finally, it had to alert key personnel, by SMS and email, in the event of a serious problem arising.

Omniflex was able to meet all three of these key objectives using its Data2Desktop system, which records all system data and timestamps to produce a chronological record of historical data, for audit purposes. The system automatically produces hourly reports that can be accessed remotely by admin staff with the necessary login credentials. Finally, should a system error or outage occur, the SMS and email alerts are automatically distributed to all relevant personnel, allowing the problem to be addressed immediately.

The Data2Desktop system has now been adopted by the University of KZN, a research pioneer of AIDS and TB, whose site includes several biohazard Level 3 facilities. Omniflex has installed 24/7 remote monitoring at fifteen of the university’s sites, including the nitrogen freezer research repositories. This helps to ensure that the university can protect its valuable research assets and respond quickly in the event of a problem arising.

The Oxford project

It may be home to some of the world’s finest minds, but Oxford University is still susceptible to machine failure, just like any other institution. In its medical laboratories, where cryopreservation technology is commonplace, the institution monitored the operating temperatures of -80°C and -200°C freezers by carrying out visual inspections and manually recording the results.

This is an inaccurate process since it only reflects the temperature at the time of reading and does not account for variation throughout the day. Furthermore, if freezer temperature is compromised by machine failure occurring outside of regular working hours, valuable samples could be destroyed by the time the problem is discovered.

Oxford University engaged Omniflex to provide it with a means of monitoring the operating temperature of each freezer remotely, 24 hours a day, with rapid response capabilities. Omniflex networked the sensors to monitor operating temperatures in real time, with alerts sent out via SMS and email in the event of abnormal temperature fluctuations, so operators could take appropriate action. Furthermore, the system was supplied with battery backup so it could function independently of local power in the event of an outage. By installing wireless remote monitoring systems, Omniflex helped researchers at Oxford University overcome the challenges they faced when it came to cryopreservation of materials.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Portable wireless gateway for Ex areas
Comtest Industrial Wireless
Comtest – local representative of Industrial Scientific, a global leader in gas detection – has introduced the RGX Gateway, which enables designated safety contacts to receive real-time alerts for gas ...

Simplify collaboration between machines and operators
RJ Connect Industrial Wireless
Moxa’s wireless networking solutions are the perfect fit for manufacturing environments.

Legacy alarm upgrade for Uganda’s power generator
Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists System Integration & Control Systems Design
In a digital age, where we rely so heavily on computer-based equipment, do we still need bulky, hard-wired annunciator panels?

DEK wireless kit
Turck Banner Industrial Wireless
The standalone DEK wireless kit from Turck Banner includes everything needed for a remote preventive maintenance monitoring solution.

Unwired unleashes new possibilities
RJ Connect Industrial Wireless
In situations where it is hard to wire or reconfigure industrial operations, wireless LANs (WLANs) provide an ideal alternative.

Benefits of PowerView CP for pipelines
Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
Omniflex has developed the PowerView CP (cathodic protection) system over several years to bring up-to-date technology to Impressed Current Cathodic Protection.

Tag-specific requirements in RFID systems for track and trace
Turck Banner Editor's Choice Industrial Wireless
The BL ident complete RFID system from Turck Banner offers solutions in the HF or UHF range with interfaces for use in a plant or switch cabinet.

Remote monitoring for CP systems
Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
PowerView iREF8 allows businesses to add remote monitoring to existing cathodic protection (CP) systems.

Are you ready for the 2G/3G sunset?
Throughput Technologies Industrial Wireless
With widespread adoption of 4G technology and the growing availability of 5G, older technologies (2G and 3G) are now slowly being phased out.

DXM series wireless controllers
Turck Banner Industrial Wireless
The robust, IP67-rated housing of Turck Banner’s DXM1200E easily installs in most environments without the need for an additional enclosure.