As digitization has taken hold of every major industry in our economy, it has dramatically changed how businesses collect and analyze data. Although analog methods such as thermometers have been used to monitor environmental data in the past, the truth is that today, electronic devices called data loggers are used to collect environmental data more accurately and conveniently.
Data loggers have a wide variety of different use cases and applications. First of all, the kinds of data they can collect are far-reaching. Most commonly, data loggers are used to monitor and record the temperature, humidity, or differential pressure of a specific area.
However, data loggers can also detect vibrations which can be indicative of sounds or low-frequency noises that might not be detectable by the human ear. Data loggers can also be used to detect subtle environmental changes including wind speed, solar radiation, pH, and water conductivity. Consequently, data loggers play an important part in collecting information about changes in the environment, and potential dangers that could come as a result.
Data loggers’ versatility has made them extremely effective tools in many different industries. Let’s explore exactly what industrial data loggers are and a few of the most noteworthy applications and use cases for data loggers today.
What Is An Industrial Data Logger?
A data logger is an electronic device that measures and records environmental data. Many data users are built using a digital processor. Data loggers are typically compact, portable, and battery-powered.
Mechanistically, most data loggers have internal memory built-in, which is what allows them to store data that can be accessed at a later time. They also normally include a microprocessor, which acts as a central processing unit for the device. Finally, data loggers also contain sensors, which are what allow them to gather environmental data from their surroundings, although the kind of sensors depend on what kind of data logger you’re using.
Industrial data loggers are data loggers that are used by businesses, factories, shipping facilities, and other enterprises, often to gather actionable business intelligence information. They can alert business owners or managers when the company’s products might be in danger, or give feedback on energy usage and waste that the business could benefit by mitigating. Many industrial data loggers are more powerful, long-lasting, reliable, and expensive than their consumer-grade counterparts since they are built with enterprise customers in mind.
What Does A Data Logger Do?
Simply put, data loggers collect and record environmental data such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure. Through using an array of sensors, data loggers pick up readings on the state of their surroundings, a process that turns information into data, and stores that data internally so that it can be accessed at a later time.
It’s important to note that data loggers take readings of their surrounding environment at set time intervals so that users can get a clear picture of the metrics they are measuring over time. As you can imagine, a data logger that took readings at irregular or random time intervals would be prone to giving an inaccurate or incomplete picture of the data. Many data loggers can also be programmed to take readings at specific time intervals to suit a user’s needs.
Some of the best data loggers can be used alongside many different external software or data analyzers. After collecting data for a set period of time, that information can then be transferred to a data analyzing software that will help analysts parse the data, discover patterns, and identify key trends.
What Can Be Recorded By Data Loggers?
Although the most common metrics for data loggers to measure are temperature, humidity, and differential pressure, they can also be used to collect data on a wide range of other factors.
One example is data loggers deployed to measure wind speed. Wind speed, also known as wind flow speed, is a fundamental environmental metric that corresponds to wind moving from high to low pressure.
Measuring wind speed is very important in order to forecast future weather trends. It also relates to the wider ecology of the surrounding environment, influencing the metabolic rate of many plant species. Wind speed measurements are also obviously crucial for aviation and seafaring operations.
Data loggers can also be used to measure gas pressure, soil moisture, road traffic, tides, sound, and light intensity.
What Does Data Logging Mean & What Are Its Specific Purposes?
The term data logging refers to the process of collecting and recording environmental data. Often, the reason why companies, individuals, or governments engage in data logging is to collect information that can be analyzed in order to understand big-picture environmental or industrial trends.
Businesses use data logging to understand their energy consumption so that they can cut costs and reduce waste. Many companies also use data logging to make sure that their products are being kept in safe environmental conditions that prevent them from expiring.
Governments and scientists use data logging to collect and record data relating to the Earth and their surrounding ecological systems. This data can be used to assess the health of the planet and plan for future environmental concerns.
How Do Different Applications, & Industries Use Them?
The food and beverage industry use data loggers extensively when creating a temperature-controlled supply chain, often known as the cold storage chain. Many food and beverage products must be kept at adequately low temperatures when being transported and stored. Keeping these products in low-temperature environments can be a challenge and data loggers are used to measure the ambient temperature of shipping and storage containers used to house these products.
In this way, data loggers can alert company management if storage containers rise above safe temperatures for food. The data is also recorded, so in the case of a foodborne illness outbreak, company ownership can quickly find the source of the outbreak.
Similarly, the healthcare industry uses data loggers to configure cold storage chains for temperature-sensitive medical products. Cold chain storage for healthcare products has become a point of interest for investors since COVID-19 vaccines must be stored at low or ultra-low temperatures. This has made setting up cold chain storage systems a high priority for many countries.
If you’re still asking what data loggers are made for, keep in mind that other industries that make use of data loggers include the aerospace, agricultural, wildlife, automotive, and water treatment industries. Dickson has more on the usability and the power of data loggers.
What Are The Advantages Of Data Loggers?
Fundamentally, the advantage of data loggers is that they provide the business intelligence information that companies need to grow, reduce costs, and set up safe supply chains.
In a world where data-driven decision-making is more important than ever, data loggers have a crucial role to play in collecting and recording that data so that it can be analyzed critically by companies, governments, and individuals.
Businesspeople, governments, and individuals should consider how data loggers might be used to gain insights into their operations and procedures. Doing so has the potential to reduce costs, improve safety, and limit liability risks.