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Shock data recorders play a crucial role in enhancing vehicle safety and analyzing performance. These devices provide valuable data, offering insights into potential impacts on cargo during transit. Understanding the difficulties associated with various travel routes is immensely beneficial for manufacturers and distributors. It enables them to identify areas where packaging might need strengthening, ensuring product safety during transportation. This information is vital for making informed decisions about packaging and distribution methods, leading to improved practices in the transportation of goods.

For this reason, if a company decides to use a data logger, they have a wide range of data recording options available. This can be somewhat chaotic at first, as some companies may not know where to place a data logger or what they should start measuring.

This will obviously depend on several factors, which is why at Safe Load Testing Technologies, we have developed an initial brief guide to assist manufacturers in beginning their measurements with shock data recorders.

How do you know where to place data loggers?

The key is to focus on the specific goals of the data collection. For instance, if the aim is to understand the impact on the cargo during transit, the device should be placed in proximity to the cargo area. The decision also depends on the type of vehicle and the nature of the goods being transported.

Objective of data collection: Identify what specific data you need to collect. If you’re focusing on overall vehicle performance, place the recorder in a central location. For analyzing the impact on cargo, position it near the cargo area.
Nature of the journey: Consider the terrain and type of journey. For rough terrains, you might want to place recorders in multiple locations to capture data on how different parts of the vehicle are affected.
Type of vehicle: Different vehicles have varying dynamics. For instance, in a large truck, the recorder might be best placed near the rear to capture the movement of cargo, while in a smaller vehicle, a more central location could be ideal.
Safety and Accessibility: Ensure the recorder is securely mounted in a location that doesn’t compromise vehicle safety or operation. It should also be easily accessible for data retrieval and maintenance.

By considering these factors, you can strategically place shock data recorders to gather the most relevant and accurate data for your analysis.

Shock data recorders: Objective of data collection

The first and foremost step in determining the placement of a data recorder, such as the innRecord from Safe Load Testing Technologies, is to clearly define the objective of data collection.

1.The product: When the focus is on the individual product, the innRecord should be placed in a way that captures the forces and movements acting directly upon it. This is crucial for sensitive or fragile products, where even minor vibrations or impacts can cause damage. Placing the device near or within the product’s packaging allows for the collection of precise data on how travel conditions directly affect the product, essential for improving packaging solutions and ensuring the product’s integrity during transportation.

shock data recorders-product

Special considerations for transporting long materials and monitoring with innRecord

In certain cases, such as the transportation of long and bulky materials, the strategy for placing devices like the innRecord requires a more detailed and specific approach. Examples of these materials include:

  • Aerospace Components: Aerospace companies often transport rocket parts or large aircraft components. These items, due to their length and structure, may experience stress and vibrations differently along their length.
  • Construction Materials: In the construction industry, transporting long iron rods or steel beams is common. These materials, due to their length, can be susceptible to bending or vibrations at specific points.

In these scenarios, it is advisable to use more than one innRecord to monitor conditions along the entire length of the material. For example, in the case of a long aerospace component, placing an innRecord near each end and another in the middle can provide a comprehensive view of how different sections of the component experience forces during transport. This is crucial because a vibration or shock might not uniformly affect the entire material but may be more concentrated in certain areas due to the length and flexibility of the object.

Multiple placements of monitoring devices ensure that accurate data is captured on how external forces affect different parts of the material. This information is vital for understanding and mitigating the risks associated with transporting long materials, allowing manufacturers and transporters to take preventative measures, such as adjustments in packaging or securing the load, to protect these unique and valuable materials during transit.

2. The pallet and its packaging: If the goal is to understand how transportation affects a group of products, such as those grouped on a pallet, the innRecord should be positioned to monitor the conditions experienced by the entire set. This includes not just the individual products but also their collective packaging. Placing the device on or near the pallet will provide data on how external forces, like sudden movements or continuous vibrations, affect the stability and safety of the product ensemble. This information is vital for optimizing packaging design and pallet stacking strategies.

shock data recorders-pallet

3. Inside the truck itself: To assess the overall transportation conditions and how they affect both individual products and pallets, the innRecord should be placed at strategic points within the truck. This might include areas near the loading door, in the center of the cargo space, or near the driver, depending on what needs to be measured. This placement provides a comprehensive view of the transportation conditions, including how driving, routes, and road conditions impact the entire load. This information is crucial for carriers and manufacturers to improve loading practices and transportation strategies, thereby ensuring the safety and integrity of the cargo throughout the journey.

Shock data recorders: Type of vehicle

The type of vehicle used for transportation plays a significant role in determining the optimal placement of a data recorder like the innRecord. Each mode of transportation – land, sea, and air – has unique dynamics that affect how cargo is handled and moved. Here’s how to approach recorder placement for each type:

Land – Logistic Trucks: Trucks, especially large ones, experience different movement dynamics at various points. For instance, the rear of a large truck is often subject to more movement and jolts, especially when driving over bumps or during sudden stops. Placing the recorder near the rear can provide valuable data on the impact of these movements on the cargo. However, for smaller trucks, a central location might be more representative of the overall dynamics experienced by the cargo.
Sea – Cargo Ships: On cargo ships, the movement is influenced by waves, tides, and other maritime conditions. The placement of the recorder should consider these unique conditions. For instance, placing it on the upper decks might capture the impact of waves more effectively, while lower deck placement can provide data on vibrations and movements caused by the engine or the ship’s machinery. Additionally, considering the ship’s size and the cargo’s location within it is crucial for accurate data collection.
Air – Cargo Planes: In air transport, cargo experiences different forces, especially during takeoff, flight turbulence, and landing. The placement of the recorder in cargo planes should be such that it captures these specific conditions. For instance, placing it near the cargo hold’s walls can provide data on lateral movements during turbulence, while a placement near the floor can capture vertical movements during takeoff and landing.

Shock data recorders: Nature of the journey

The nature of the journey, including the terrain and the specific route taken, is a critical factor in determining the optimal placement of data recorders like the innRecord. Understanding and adapting to these variables can significantly enhance the quality and relevance of the data collected.

  • Rough Terrains: When transporting goods over rough or uneven terrains, such as off-road conditions or poorly maintained roads, it’s advisable to place recorders in multiple locations on the vehicle. This approach allows for a comprehensive analysis of how different parts of the vehicle, and consequently the cargo, are affected by such challenging conditions. For example, placing recorders near the front and rear axles, as well as in the middle of the vehicle, can provide insights into the varying impacts of bumps, potholes, and other irregularities of the terrain on the vehicle’s structure and the cargo.
  • In-Cabin Placement: In addition to monitoring the cargo area, placing a recorder in the cabin of the truck can offer valuable data. This placement is particularly useful for recording the route taken and gaining a better understanding of the exact locations within the distribution chain. By capturing data from the driver’s perspective, it can provide insights into driving patterns, stoppage times, and route-specific challenges. This information can be crucial for optimizing route planning and improving overall efficiency in the distribution process.
  • Route-Specific Data: The specific route taken can have a significant impact on the transportation conditions. For instance, a journey through mountainous areas might present different challenges compared to a trip across flat plains. Tailoring the placement of recorders to these route-specific conditions can provide targeted data that is highly relevant for improving transportation strategies for different types of journeys.
shock data recorders

Shock data recorders: the roll of Safe Load Testing Technologies

Using a data logger, such as those provided by Safe Load Testing Technologies, offers several significant benefits:

  1. Enhanced Vehicle Safety and Performance Analysis: Data loggers capture critical information about the forces exerted on a vehicle during transit. This data is essential for understanding and improving vehicle safety and performance, especially in challenging transportation conditions.
  2. Optimized Packaging Solutions: By analyzing the data collected, you can identify how different types of cargo are affected during transit. This insight allows you to tailor your packaging solutions to better protect the cargo, reducing the risk of damage and enhancing product integrity.
  3. Informed Decision-Making: Detailed data from data loggers helps in making informed decisions about packaging materials and methods, transportation routes, and vehicle types. This leads to more efficient and cost-effective distribution strategies.
  4. Customized Solutions from Safe Load Testing Technologies: As experts in the field, Safe Load Testing Technologies offers not just data loggers but also professional consultancy and tailored solutions. They can guide you in choosing the right data logger for your needs, advise on its optimal placement based on your specific objectives, and help interpret the data to improve your transportation and packaging strategies.
  5. Versatility for Different Transportation Modes: Whether your cargo is transported by land, sea, or air, data loggers can be adapted to different vehicles and conditions, providing versatile and comprehensive monitoring solutions.

Safe Load Testing Technologies offers advanced solutions for monitoring and optimizing the distribution chain with their innRecord and innData systems. The innRecord devices, including the SF-DR3 and SF-DR4-03 models, can capture detailed data on vibrations, shocks, and environmental conditions during transit. The SF-DR3 excels in characterizing and analyzing these factors, while the SF-DR4-03 adds environmental sensors for a more comprehensive understanding of distribution conditions. The SF-DR4-04 model further enhances data recording with high-performance accelerometers and is trusted by over 2,000 customers, including the US Navy.

These devices record crucial data, such as the strength and frequency of vibrations in multiple dimensions, which can be reproduced in vibration simulators for packaging optimization. The innData system complements this by organizing and interpreting the data, providing insights into potential hazards, and helping improve safety and efficiency in the supply chain. Together, these tools offer a robust solution for ensuring the integrity and safety of goods during transportation.

Lucía Peña

Digital Strategist

Lucía Peña Salazar is a skilled digital marketing expert with a strong focus on industrial marketing. She excels in developing effective online advertising, content, and social media strategies specifically designed for industrial clients. Her analytical skills and digital marketing background enable her to achieve successful results in various sectors.

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