October 20, 2017

How Important are Damage/Impact Indicators to Manufacturers?

Damage or Impact indicators are neat devices that you apply on the exterior containers of fragile merchandise. Some are stickers, others look like little computers and some are so small that they can be placed directly inside the product itself. Their job, if an animated object can have a job, is to monitor, detect and record elements that might damage the content of the box on which they are affixed. They are an interesting safety solution during the transportation of delicate material and measure various variables such as impact, tilt, and temperature.



All kinds of merchandise require careful handling such as automotive components, appliances, lab equipment, electronics, glass products, and of course various computer hardware. Imagine if these boxes were stacked too high or placed under heavier objects. What if they were turned upside down, laid flat when they should remain standing or exposed to extreme temperatures. Worse yet, what if they were dropped? This would obviously affect their performance and in some cases, damage the product beyond repair. There is no way for you to know what happened during transport unless you used monitors such as the impact indicators.

Each product requires a different type of monitoring. For instance, food and perishables will need temperature monitoring while glass countertops will require monitoring for impact. This is for this reason that different indicators measure various things. Here are a few examples of the indicators on the market. A tilt indicator will measure the inclination of a container while in transit. The precision of the measurement depends on the device.  A temperature indicator verifies that the temperature is within expected limits. It will record when and how often temperature varied from these guidelines. A fancier version has an electronic recorder that gathers information in its memory to eventually provide graphs of temperature exposures. Impact or shock indicators monitor vibrations and shocks imposed on the parcels. An impact recorder would do the same as well as record more precise information such as direction, duration or amplitude of the force applied to the product.


Now, you may wonder what the advantages of using such tracking systems are, and if they are worth their cost. The answer to this question rests with another question. Can you afford to pay for a product that has been damaged and will not be usable? If the answer is no, then damage indicators are worth the investment. Aside from pinpointing when an incident occurred between point A and point B, ultimately identifying who is responsible for damaging your product, damage or impact indicators are excellent reminders to handle your product with care. In fact, the visual labels on your containers will help employees in the shipping and handling department notice the warnings and possibly take extra care when loading or unloading the boxes.

Finally, we are all very busy in our workplace, trying to do more with less. If using damage monitors helps take your merchandise to the destination safely and without damage, it will save you money in the long run.

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