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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

New Tech Tuesdays: Solutions for Monitoring Products in Temperature-Sensitive Supply Chains Rudy Ramos

New Tech Tuesdays

Join Rudy Ramos for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

Cold-chain monitoring is the process of tracking the movement of temperature-sensitive products—such as perishable food and pharmaceuticals—from production to consumption. The process aims to ensure that these products are stored and transported at the appropriate temperature to maintain their quality and safety. This is typically accomplished using sensors and other monitoring devices that track the temperature of the products. These devices alert users in the supply chain to any deviations from the required temperature range. Maintaining the integrity of the cold chain can minimize the risk of spoilage and other quality issues, ensuring that products remain safe for consumption or use.

Design Options for Cold-Chain Monitoring

The STEVAL-SMARTAG2 from STMicroelectronics is an NFC-enabled sensor node with inertial MEMS and environmental sensors, an STM32 microcontroller, and a dynamic NFC tag for communication with NFC readers such as tablets and smartphones. The STEVAL-SMARTAG2 can be equipped with a full-wave rectifier for NFC energy harvesting. In addition, it incorporates a secure element to verify identity and a real-time clock (RTC) that utilizes a crystal oscillator to ensure accurate timekeeping and stamping. The credit card size eval board is suitable for Internet of Things, supply chain and cold-chain management, smart building and home, medical and pharmaceutical, and asset tracking applications.

Silicon Labs’ Si705x-A2x I²C temperature sensors offer a patented novel signal processing and analog design enabling the sensor's high accuracy across the entire operating voltage and temperature range. These monolithic CMOS ICs feature a band-gap temperature sensor element, an analog-to-digital converter with up to 14-bit resolution, signal processing, calibration data, and an I2C interface. The temperature sensors are factory-calibrated, and the calibration data is stored in the on-chip non-volatile memory for complete interchangeability that requires no recalibration. When sampled once per second, the Si705x consumes just 195nA of average current and can run for several years on a coin cell battery. Si705x devices provide a low-power, accurate, factory-calibrated digital solution for measuring temperature in a wide range of applications, including HVAC/R, asset tracking, and cold-chain storage.

Tuesday’s Takeaway

Supply chains involving products or supplies requiring refrigeration rely heavily on accurate temperature data. Temperature sensors are a crucial component in monitoring the temperature range of products as they make their way through the supply chain en route to their destination. Maintaining the integrity of the cold chain mitigates the risk of spoilage and other quality issues, ensuring the safety of products. Companies and entire industries rely on precise temperature monitoring to ensure their products are stored and transported safely from source to end user.

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Rudy RamosRudy is a member of the Technical Content Marketing team at Mouser Electronics, bringing 35+ years of expertise in advanced electromechanical systems, robotics, pneumatics, vacuum systems, high voltage, semiconductor manufacturing, military hardware, and project management. As a technology subject matter expert, Rudy supports global marketing efforts through his extensive product knowledge and by creating and editing technical content for Mouser's website. Rudy has authored technical articles appearing in engineering websites and holds a BS in Technical Management and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Prior to Mouser, Rudy worked for National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

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