Temperature mapping using thermal imaging for Pharmaceutical industry

Temperature mapping is generally carried out for storage and transportation facilities of medicines, temperature-mapping-of-medicine-cold-roomvaccines etc. such as cold rooms, walk in chillers, reefers, containers, ware houses, refrigerators etc.

Please see more on temperature mapping study & qualification

Methodology of Temperature mapping Study

Normally the mapping study is carried out by placing data loggers inside the area for couple of days or weeks depending on the type of asset. Thetemperature-mapping-of-warehouse data will be recorded for this duration and at the end of the study period the data will be analyzed and reports will be made.

How to carry out Temperature mapping Study using Thermal Imaging?

It is sometimes suggested to carry out the mapping study by means of thermal imaging.This article explains the details of the same.

What is Thermal Imaging / Thermal imagery?

Thermal imaging is carried out by means of Infrared (IR) Thermal cameras with or without recording functions. More about the same can be read at our page on Thermal Imaging

What is methodology for Mapping study using IR camera?infrared-camera-IC120VLV-Trotec

Instead of collecting the data using data loggers, thermal cameras have to be used to check all the areas. As an example we will consider a cold room used for storage of medicines between 2 to 8°C. The cold room has to be closed and the person with the IR camera has to be insider the cold room. The thermal camera has to be aimed at various points of the cold room and hold for couple of seconds to check the temperature. Depending on the type of IR camera, the temperature can be measured accurately across the entire area.

Many of the advanced cameras can superimpose the thermal image on a photo of the area simultaneously.

After taking all such images and photos, the data can be checked to see for variationsdata-logger-placement-for-mapping-study.

This methodology will only give a rough idea whether the temperature is within limits. The imaging will have to be repeated for various loading conditions such as empty, full loaded etc.

Why this is not an accurate method?

For many reasons the results cannot be accepted to be exact as explained below:

  1. The body temperature of the measuring technician affects the temperature inside the cold room
  2. There are different switching ON/OFF cycles of the cooling unit. These data cannot be measured unless the imaging is done continuously for a long time. temperature-mapping-of-medicine-van
  3. In order to measure the data simultaneously, multiple cameras will have to be used. moving around one thermal camera will not be effective.
  4. When we point the camera towards the wall, the temperature at the wall is mainly measured and not the temperature of air in between. Hence it cannot effectively measure the temperature across the entire cold room.
  5. This method cannot be used for larger areas such as a warehouse

Hence it is preferred that the data be recorded over a period of time using data loggers.

Should you wish to know more about Temperature mapping, Thermal Imaging or Infrared Thermal cameras, please contact us

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2 comments on “Temperature mapping using thermal imaging for Pharmaceutical industry
  1. Sandeep says:

    For many reasons the results cannot be accepted to be exact as explained below:

    The body temperature of the measuring technician affects the temperature inside the cold room….. This heat loss may be miniscule. If it is really more, we can have the camera fixed inside the room and automated and have the display outside.

    There are different switching ON/OFF cycles of the cooling unit. These data cannot be measured unless the imaging is done continuously for a long time….. Yes we shall use a fixed sensor to map for the complete cycle. But we are using TIC to locate a single sensor.

    In order to measure the data simultaneously, multiple cameras will have to be used. moving around one thermal camera will not be effective….We won’t use the camera continuously. We shall just find the hot spot and then fix our RTD for continuous monitoring.

    When we point the camera towards the wall, the temperature at the wall is mainly measured and not the temperature of air in between. Hence it cannot effectively measure the temperature across the entire cold room….. After stabilizing(24hrs of running), the walls shall be the hottest areas as heat dissipation happens from there. However we are also going to do mapping on the loaded packages which the most critical area.

    This method cannot be used for larger areas such as a warehouse…… Why?? What does it really mean??

    • Vacker says:

      This method is by using thermal cameras which is only indicative. For an exact study, we have to use data loggers and record the data over a few days and analyze.

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