A Guide to Warehouse Mapping and Monitoring

Warehouse mapping and monitoring are key components in production management and safety in food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. The mapping of warehouses allows product storage to be optimized and for critical danger areas within a warehouse to be identified.

In order to optimize a warehouse, a detailed map of the layout should be created. This article will explore the key stages of the mapping process.

Initial Steps

Before warehouse mapping can take place, key information about the warehouse must be collected. This includes data on the size and shape of the warehouse, drawings of the warehouse layout, information on how the warehouse is currently organized and the location of HVAC units, and knowledge of the materials used to construct the warehouse interior and exterior.

Data Loggers

Data loggers are an effective way of gathering data for use in warehouse monitoring. Data loggers can be used to monitor warehouses in real-time and to take and record measurements with wireless data transmission to either a localized server or the cloud.

The number of data loggers required to monitor a warehouse depends on the size of the warehouse in question. For multi-storied warehouses, a data logger should be present on each floor to ensure their even distribution.

In-depth knowledge of the warehouse layout is required to ensure that accurate readings are taken and that the post analysis is valid. For example, if a product is stored near an external wall or ceiling, or by an entrance, it could be impacted more by the external environment. These products should have data loggers or sensors located near to them to ensure that the external environment is accounted for.

Mapping and Monitoring

The temperature and other climate conditions should be recorded via mapping in order to determine which warehouse locations products should be stored in. Mapping is an important step in determining how a warehouse should be organized as it allows the impact of environmental factors (e.g., sunlight exposure, draughts from opening doors, or high shelving) to be quantified.

Environmental factors can strongly impact the integrity of products in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, exposure to higher temperatures can render some pharmaceuticals ineffective. Locations where such temperatures can occur are named “problem spots” and should be identified so action can be taken.

The recording of environmental conditions should take place over a long enough time period that trends in the data can be identified. For the majority of industries, recording should take place over a minimum of three days. The RHTemp101A Data Logger, by MadgeTech, can be used to record changes in warehouse humidity and temperature (between - 40 °C to 80 °C) with up to 1,000,000 readings per channel.

Data Collection

Following mapping, it may become obvious that some features of the warehouse may need to be changed. The data collected during mapping can be viewed and analyzed using the provided software.

The Data Logger Software supplied by MadgeTech allows users to mark specific measurement times, generate graphs with multiple axes, export data into spreadsheets, and to save data on external or internal systems.

Reporting

Warehouse analysis should be reported in a document that includes the results of the mapping, highlights any problem areas, and summarizes any conclusions made with the data given as evidence. The correct identification and resolution of risks can help avoid having to undertake mapping again.

Carrying out effective reporting helps operators create a safer warehouse environment and is a necessary compliance step in many industries.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by MadgeTech, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit MadgeTech, Inc.

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