Some abbreviations and acronyms are like words in our vocabulary: we don’t even think twice when we see them. In the digital world, acronyms like LOL, and NP, are part of our colloquial language. Even in the business world, acronyms like PO are nearly universal to companies, and make up the fabric of our daily work language.
When you dive inside individual industries, language can get a bit more confusing. Phrases and terms you may have never heard before are thrown around in the normal vernacular for specific industries. In the temperature monitoring industry for example, the acronym RTD may mean absolutely nothing to you. However, for us it stands for a specific type of temperature probe, a Resistance Thermometer Detector, which is a highly accurate temperature probe.
While temperature mapping is not an industry, but rather a process within multiple industries, it also has a unique language. In fact, the sheer number of industries that perform temperature mapping studies make the acronyms that are thrown around in it all the more important. When the overall goal is to keep an item cold, a food producer in Oregon may use the same language as a pharmaceutical technician in China.
This breadth leads to confusion. If temperature mapping jargon makes your eyes glaze over, or sends you running to Google, that’s bad news for your products.
To help you out, we’ve named some of the most commonly used acronyms used in temperature mapping and validation, and described them below. Some of these terms you may have heard before, as they are not specific to temperature mapping but rather the cold chain or even more generally manufacturing as a whole. So when that’s the case, we’ve decided to describe the acronym with respect to its use in temperature mapping, while not stepping on our Dickson Dictionary’s toes too much.
DL/EDL/EDLM: Data Logger, Electronic Data Logger, Electronic Data Logger Monitor
You will most likely see these acronyms written on a page over spoken to you in your facility. When you read ”DL,” ”EDL,” or ”EDLM,” the document is speaking to data loggers. These devices have quite a few names, and in your industry they may be referred to as sensors, monitors, recorders, or thermometers. They are the devices that are distributed in your facility and around your facility collecting environmental data.
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice(s)
Good Manufacturing Practices are part of the fabric of the cold chain, manufacturing, and distribution sectors for food, pharma, and medical device worlds. There are several pillars of GMPs, including hygiene, controlled environments, and proper documentation. Temperature mapping inhabits the controlled environments and documentation pillars. A mapping study provides manufacturers and distributors of consumable products (monitored by the FDA and like governmental bodies) documentation that their environment is suitable for the product that they are storing in it, and therefore, that they are abiding by Good Manufacturing Practices.
LOP: Location of Product
In facility layouts and facility descriptions, LOP will pop up frequently. If you plan to temperature map a large facility, LOP is one of the most important acronyms you should know. It’s pretty self-explanatory upon first sight. Location of Product does mean where your product is located. For mapping professionals however, it’s a bit more nuanced than just circles on a blueprint. Product location changes, and changes frequently. Product is placed in different parts of a facility at different times of day, facility layouts change throughout the year, and product locations can change depending on the amount of inventory you have in your facility. LOP is a rabbit hole, and temperature mapping experts go down that rabbit hole to document all the locations your various products inhabit.
NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology will make its appearance on your Data Logger Certificates of Calibration. When performing a mapping study, you should only use data loggers that have been calibrated to a NIST standard. NIST is your friend: they help make sure that the EDLM’s that you are using are accurate.