You might think only a handful of industries need to be mindful of ambient conditions, but many interrelated industries rely on attention to environmental data.
If proper conditions cannot be recorded and verified by accurate data loggers, the industry might not be able to maintain compliance with regulations or guarantee the safety and quality of its products, according to Dickson.
Here is a list of nine industries that depend on environmental monitoring and benefit from the use of data loggers …
The energy industry is wholly dependent on physical conditions, as the laws of physics govern how energy is produced. Certain fuels only combust, react, or otherwise produce the desired effect under certain conditions of temperature, pressure, and moisture. The equipment used to create the reactions that result in the production of energy also require monitoring, including their temperature, pressure, stress, shock, and electrical current.
The extraction of fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas also depend on machinery with the same data monitoring needs, including current, fuel pressure, temperature, and shock.
Once energy is extracted from the fuel sources, it must be transferred to end users. The current and voltage of this transfer must be monitored as well.
Few industries come under the kind of regulatory scrutiny that food services face. This is for the best, because contamination of a food supply—by microbes, heavy metals, pesticides, etc.—can cause widespread suffering, including disease and death.
As such, utmost care must be taken in the handling of food, particularly in its storage and transport. Many food products are not “shelf-stable” and must be kept refrigerated or frozen in the interim period between harvest and processing. Many food products are transported across long distances in refrigerated trucks.
Not content with an environment that is cold to the touch, enterprises that handle food must prove that their products have been handled in a compliant manner. This typically means being able to furnish data logs that prove the food has been handled under conditions that maintain safety.
Many products spend days, weeks, or even months in warehouses before being shipped to retailers or end buyers. Many of these products, sadly, are not built to withstand harsh conditions.
A third-party warehouse may be responsible for items that become damaged and unsellable while in its care. It therefore behooves them to monitor conditions that could potentially damage products made of materials like paper, wood, or other perishables.
Ambient conditions that could harm merchandise in the care of a warehouse could include temperature, pressure, and humidity. If any of these conditions get out of control, the warehouse can take measures to correct the condition and protect the warehoused merchandise.
Many products require exacting conditions for their successful manufacture. Data recording may be required at any number of stages in the manufacturing process to make sure the resulting products are not faulty.
Products might require that a factory be kept at a certain temperature or level of humidity. Machines used in manufacture may need to be monitored for the fluid or gas pressure in their fuel tanks, or the electrical current and/or voltage used to power them. The equipment or materials may need to be monitored for pressure, strain, shock, or vibration.
Most manufacturing facilities require a variety of specialized, finely-calibrated data loggers to remain compliant and ensure the quality of their output.
Large-scale technological societies would not be able to feed themselves without sophisticated agricultural science. If crops and herds fail, societies like the US, Brazil, India, and Europe would face the prospect of famine and starvation. We cannot afford to have agriculture cannot fail us, or we’re all in trouble.
Agriculture is all about environmental conditions. Crops and herds are sensitive to changes in temperature, pressure, and seismic activity. Soil requires a certain level of moisture, which may or may not be enhanced by levels of groundwater. Farmers, agricultural scientists, and other specialists must keep close track of these metrics to safeguard the success of their output.
Healthcare and Life Sciences
Human lives often hang in the balance in the healthcare and life sciences fields. If hospitals, clinics, emergency wards, pharmacies, and other dispensaries of healthcare are not maintained at certain temperatures, pressures, or moisture levels, the health and recovery of patients could suffer.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers also depend on sophisticated machinery and equipment, much of which must operate continuously to keep its beneficiaries alive and healthy. This equipment may require constant monitoring of its current and voltage to make sure it functions as expected.
All of the environmental monitoring that applies to manufacturing applies to medical research and the formulation and manufacturing of drugs, vaccines, and medications, as do some of the environmental monitoring requirements of food products.
Library and Museum Sciences
Libraries, museums, and archives are tasked with the important job of preserving our history and our heritage, from ancient mummies to the Rosetta Stone to early fragments of the Bible to the official writings of US Presidents.
While some records can be treated to stand the test of time, many documents and artifacts are very susceptible to the elements. Exposure to excessive moisture and heat could erase or disintegrate valuable primary sources.
By keeping careful track of the environmental conditions in which these priceless artifacts are stored, we make sure that the wisdom and accomplishments of our ancient forebears live on.
Monitoring of conditions plays a key role in environmental sciences like ecology, meteorology, forestry, zoology, and seismology. Data loggers can record seismic waves to monitor earthquakes.
Monitoring of ambient temperatures and pressures can help predict the weather and track climate changes, as well as gauge the health of plants and animals in an ecosystem. Data loggers can even monitor the ionic activity produced by the sun and other cosmic sources, which affect the function of machinery and equipment on earth.
The aerospace industry produces products that depend heavily on their environmental conditions. Shock and strain must be measured on the components of airplanes, helicopters, and rockets.
The pressures, moisture levels, and temperatures in their fuel and fluid tanks must be measured precisely. The pressure of the air outside of an aircraft plays a key role in the lift and maneuverability of the craft, while the exterior temperature and moisture governs conditions a pilot must be aware of, like turbulence and visibility. The electrical current to the instruments and engines must be monitored to guarantee their accurate and reliable function.