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At the core of dependable food safety is efficient cold chain management. Whether it be in pharmaceutical manufacturing or food factories, cold storage units can prevent costly spoilage and damaging recalls by keeping inventory within an acceptable temperature. However, studies suggest that nearly a quarter of all food products is thrown away every year as a result of fluctuating temperatures, leading to a $750 billion annual loss. 

Because cold storages are one of the roughest industrial environments, even common enterprise-grade devices may not be suitable for the dropping temperatures. This is problematic once inventory must be transported down the supply chain. Tracking devices must be ultra-rugged for durability, yet ideally adaptable for increased mobility. Facing rising demands for mobile temperature tracking, several businesses have sought to enhance connectivity and device durability in order to expand operational visibility for time-sensitive inventory traveling outside the warehouse. 

Connectivity and Durability Lead to Visibility 

Not only must ultra-rugged devices survive low temperatures, but they must also remain functional in the event of a sudden temperature change such as moving in and out of freezers.  As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon highlights the following three devices both durable and adaptable options to enhance temperature tracking:

  1.  Zebra’s New Electronic Temperature Sensors – Designed to simplify temperature tracking, Zebra’s newest electronic sensors can be added onto your storage unit to record temperatures in real-time and update data onto the cloud for easy remote access. Moreover, the EDGEVue tracking app can be deployed on any device, eliminating the need for a complete restructuring of your mobility solution.
  2.  Long-range push-to-talk connectivity – While temperatures are monitored in real-time, your field teams also require a way to communicate with little delay in the event any temperature changes must be made. Connectivity solutions such as Workforce Connect empower field teams with real-time task assignments, location history, and actionable insights delivered onto your Zebra handheld. 
  3.  The freezer-grade MC9300 mobile computer – Built on a legacy of tested durability, the MC9300 can be altered to meet the demands of cold storage with a freezer-rated battery, condensation-resistant screen, integrated heater, and higher IP ratings. 

Regardless which technology you choose to implement, the goal should always be to expand inventory visibility to protect temperature-sensitive products. Failure to do so has commonly resulted in:

  • Recalls that half productivity
  • Negative publicity that discourages brand loyalty
  • Legal action, fines, and missed compliance fees
  • Future recurrent audits
  • Disruptions in the supply chain that cause further delays

To prevent these from happening, Avalon recommends that you evaluate your temperature tracking system. Reach out to our automation specialists today for a step-by-step assessment of your current workflows to see where you can start expanding visibility within your operations. 

Whether in or out of the warehouse, cold temperatures can create challenging environments for people and inventory alike. However, when it comes to cold storage, low temperatures are unavoidable, and unfortunately, even enterprise-grade devices may not survive drastically low temperatures as they face:

  • Wide temperature swings as workers move between a freezer and non-freezer zones
  • Thick gloves that impair ergonomic features
  • Unadaptable batteries that may not function in the cold
VC8300 Cold Storage Showing App Dashboard

VC8300 Cold Storage Showing App Dashboard

Moreover, cold temperatures also affect your consumables, creating frost or condensation, thus leaving your barcodes nearly illegible. Simply put, efficient cold storage requires durable technology capable of enhancing productivity in harsh environments. In our mission to bring the next edge of innovation to our clients, Avalon Integration partners with Zebra Technologies to integrate consistent efficiency back into cold storage with the 3600 Series ultra-rugged barcode scanners.

Nothing Like the Rest

Worker Scanning Part for Cold Storage with a 3600 Series Ultra-Rugged Barcode Scanner

Worker Scanning Part for Cold Storage with a 3600 Series Ultra-Rugged Barcode Scanner

Unlike competitor’s handhelds, Zebra’s 3600-class scanners have been engineered for the harshest conditions with a working temperature range between -22o F to 122 o F (corded) or -4 o F to 122 o F (cordless) and 30% more working range. Secure data- capture accuracy and continuous visibility with the next level of rugged technology.

  • Enhanced data-capture capabilities – Enjoy more first-time scans for your 1D and 2D barcodes. Reach the farthest warehouse racks with long-range data-capture that extends as far as 70ft.   
  • Readily rugged design – Venture into the harshest conditions with an environmentally tested device that withstands pouring rain, condensation, dust, and up to 5,000 tumbles.  
  • Secured connectivity that fits your workforce – While other Bluetooth cordless scanners can impair connectivity, the 3600-Series come with Zebra’s WiFi Friendly mode, eliminating workflow disruptions.
  • Simplified device management – Complimentary tools such as 123scan and Scanner Management Service facilitate scanner deployment and maintenance, monitoring battery performance, and overall device health. Lower TCO with less downtime and maximized device lifespan.

Pair your ultra-rugged scanner with ultra-rugged labels, designed by you and for you when you customize your Zebra consumables to fit temperature requirements. Choose from over 300 pretested materials to develop quality labels that preform flawlessly beyond the moment of application.

Not sure how to start your solution? Contact Avalon Integration today for a close walkthrough on how to strengthen your workforce with the most durable technology available.

To see the full capabilities of Zebra’s 3600-Series Scanners, download our application brief here.