Tempurity™ System Frequently Asked Questions
What types of
organizations use internet-based real-time quality data
collection and monitoring?
Networked Robotics' customers include major biotech and
research organizations, major hospitals and their
research centers, laboratories, stem cell and cancer
biorepositories, major food processing companies,
restaurants, and warehouses.
Why choose the
network-based Tempurity System?
Cost reduction, labor savings, maintenance of
inventory, enhancement of safety, assurance of the
integrity of time-consuming experiments or cell-based
manufacturing runs, enhanced quality, the assurance of
FDA, USDA, and other governmental standards.
What kinds of environmental quality information are
collected and monitored?
The answer to this question keeps changing as new
connection types are supported by Networked Robotics:
temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide concentration,
liquid nitorgen level,
standard line voltage, contact alarm state, liquid nitrogen level, pressure,
doors, position, rotation, light and others. Different
methods of data collection are used for different kinds
of "monitored devices".
NTMS4 network device can collect
real-time data from up to four very diverse sources.
Each data acquisition port on our hardware can either
collect directly from the data communication port of
high-end freezers, refrigerators, or incubators or to
Networked Robotics' proprietary digital sensors.
Firmware can be upgraded through the network to support
new data collection mechanisms as they become available.
What makes Tempurity
cost effective over other monitoring systems?
We believe that we have lowered the overall total costs
of ownership such that it is now appropriate to extend
the quality benefits of an automated data collection and
monitoring system to all of your company's
We have lowered the
1) Self-installable units that can be connected through your current
network in 3 different ways.
2) Enabling centralized widely accessible, monitoring across not only labs
but across buildings, sites, and nations.
3) Providing common regulatory review for important data sources.
There are usually no
repeat charges with Tempurity. The system is a
capital investment without additional service charges.
Many of our original units shipped in 2005 are still in
operation so costs get amortized over the life of the
Can we install a connection ourselves?
Yes. Connections to Tempurity require some network
experience. The process is similar to that of connecting
a networked printer. The appropriate network address (IP
DNS hostname) must be configured. The Networked
Robotics network hardware should be set for the type of
instrument or sensor from which to collect data. The
Tempurity Quick Connect Guide document summarizes
the connection process.
Are you on Facebook?
Yes. Check out the
Networked Robotics Facebook page for storage quality
and regulatory links for biologics, and for
frequent support and product updates.
What does the "NTMS"
in the name of your network hardware unit stand for?
(N)etwork (T)elemetry (M)onitoring (S)ystem
How is Tempurity installed?
Our network hardware must be connected to your network -
and to your monitored device. There are 3 general ways
to install, all utilizing standard network technology.
1) Placing the
NTMS on the network in the room to be monitored and then
attaching the freezer to the NTMS.
2) Placing the NTMS in a
network closet and attaching the freezer directly to
the wall plate.
3) Connecting the NTMS to a
wireless bridge and connecting the monitored device
to the NTMS.
Why should I choose Tempurity over competing systems
that are based on wireless sensors?
Networked Robotics believes that wired connections are
more reliable and more secure, however you have the
option to implement
Tempurity wirelessly in rooms without wired network
infrastructure if needed.
As an example, look at data collection
incubators. You must watch temperature,
humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, and oxygen
concentration. All wireless systems will need sensors
that duplicate each one of these parameters. These
"duplicate" sensors have to be put inside your incubator
through the door or other access port. With Tempurity
there's just one single connection to the back of the
unit and each NTMS can measure from 4 incubator
instruments. Measurement of these 16 parameters
would have to be done with 16 wireless sensors.
Consider also that any
standard power outlet can now be an ethernet port with
commonly available and inexpensive ethernet-over-power
What is the difference between the Tempurity Server
and the Tempurity Monitor?
Tempurity is unique among monitoring systems in that the
collection, and the review of data are split into two
network components, the Tempurity Server and the
Tempurity Monitor. Any Windows® computer can run either
or both components. The Tempurity Server acts as the
network collector. It reaches out, collects and stores
temperatures as specified in the Tempurity Server
Configuration Utility. The Tempurity Monitor is
constantly watching the Tempurity Server over the
network to find out if the server has detected any
serious out-of-range conditions, called alarms. Because
of the division of labor between Server and Monitor,
alarm notifications can be defined by anyone, anywhere.
This gives an incredible flexibility to the monitoring
function. Click here for more about the the
Tempurity System data collection architecture.
What are the
advantages of digital sensors?
in general the Tempurity System uses digital components.
Temperature is measured with integrated circuits rather
than with resistive techniques like thermocouples or
thermistors. Resistive techniques need correction
factors to account for nonlinearities or temperature
effects. Click here for more about the Networked
TPL3 Digital Temperature Probe.
Digital sensors can contain embedded information such as
calibration data or unique IDs.
Tell me about your
electronically embedded (silicon) unique IDs?
All Networked Robotics' digital sensing products contain
electronically embedded (silicon) unique IDs that can be
read by computers. Direct connection interfaces to
scientific instruments do not yet contain such IDs.
How accurate is the
We collect data from diverse instruments and sensors and
report the values as they are defined by those
instruments. So the answer to this question is variable. It
depends on which interface or sensor you are using. If
the direct connection method of data collection is used
then the system uses the instrument's
internal probe and communicates this value to
Tempurity. In these cases you must reference the
instrument manufacturer's specifications for the
accuracy of these devices.
advanced TPL3 digital temperature probes report to .1
degree C. There is a distribution of accuracies, but a
common standard error is one half degree at zero C. At
lower temperatures of -55 C to -80 C common accuracy is
3 degrees C. These sensors are the most accurate at
physiological temperature where 1-standard-deviation
errors are about .1 to .2 degrees C.
See individual Networked Robotics sensor and interface
How many computers
do I need to run Tempurity?
You only need one computer to run Tempurity. In this
case the Tempurity Server and the Tempurity Monitor both
run on the same computer. The computer must be running
all the time. While you can run the system with a single
computer, the system is designed to be highly
distributed and highly redundant. You can create as many
redundant Tempurity Servers as you want - all collecting
from the same data sources on your network. Software is
instantly and freely downloaded.
The system may need to
rely on another computer that you already have, your
e-mail server. It doesn't need to use an internal mail
server. Tempurity's alarm notification messages can be
sent through external mail servers like Gmail and Yahoo.
How do the alarms work?
The system has three levels of alarming. The first level
occurs anytime that the system detects an out-of-range
condition. This is not usually considered serious (a
temporarily opened door for example). These conditions
are indicated on the main monitor screen but do not
generate alarm notification conditions. When the
temperature stays CONTINUOUSLY out of range for a
defined time period Tempurity triggers a stage one or
yellow alarm. If the temperature still is continuously
out of range for a longer period the system triggers a
stage 2 alarm.
The time thresholds at
which temperature alarms (called value alarms because
CO2 and many other kinds of parameters can be measured)
or communication alarms occur can be set for each device
How do the alarm notifications work?
Any combination of alarm notifications is possible on
every monitored device through the definition of alarm
groups. For example, you can define e-mail to go to one
person when a specific monitored device enters stage one
alarm. You can define a text message to go to another
person when the same device enters stage two alarm.
Alarm notifications can
be set independently for any individual monitored device
or alarm stage.
Pagers, e-mail, text message to cell phones are
supported for most of the communications companies in
the world. In Tempurity Version 2 voice alarms can be
sent. No dialers or special hardware is needed. Voice is
sent through a voice-over-ip mechanism.
What regulatory or quality standards is Tempurity
designed to meet?
US Food and Drug Administration's Good Laboratory
Practices (GLP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP),
Good Clinical Practices (GCP), and Hazard Analysis and
Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards. US
Environmental Protection Agency Good Automated
Laboratory Practices (GALP), Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO),
College of American Pathologists (CAP).
How do I know if a direct connection is possible to
my ultracold freezer, cryofreezer, or incubator?
Your freezer must have a data communication capability.
Brands such as Thermo-Revco®, Thermo-Cryoplus®, Thermo-Forma®,
MVE®, Harris®, Kelvinator®, VWR®, Baxter®, and
Puffer-Hubbard® are supported.
If your instrument does
not have a serial port or is not compatible with one of
the above formats you can use Networked Robotics'
advanced digital temperature probes.
network data collection product page for more
information. Direct data connections are not currently
available for Sanyo® ultracold freezers. NuAire®
freezers or the Powerfreezer line from Thermo-Forma.
My ultracold does not have a serial port. Is there
any way that this type of freezer can be monitored
You can use a Networked Robotics TPL3U temperature
probes for monitoring these types of freezers. Accuracy
at -75 C is about 3 degrees C.
Are Networked Robotics' digital temperature probes
Yes. TPL3 and TPL3U probes are waterproof. The water's
temperature should not exceed 125 degrees Centigrade.
TPL3U probes are designed for attachment underwater.
Can I put a Networked Robotics digital temperature
probe in glycerin?
Yes. Customers sometimes prefer to put our temperature
probes in containers filled with glycerin because it
slows the response time of the reading - making them
less sensitive to door opens for example. Some
regulatory standards require this type of installation.
Is installation available?
Installation is available at larger institutions.
Regulated installations include the execution of an
installation qualification form to confirm that the
installation performs as expected.
What is included in a regulatory installation
The serial number of network hardware, probe, and
monitored devices are documented. A measurement is taken
with a calibrated temperature measurement device that
confirms the temperature reading. All records are
initialed, dated, and approved according to FDA GLP
regulations and Networked Robotics' Good Documentation
Are Networked Robotics' staff members trained in
Networked Robotics staff is trained once a year on FDA
GLP and GMP regulations and related procedures.
How do I get the software?
A download from our web page allows you to install the
Tempurity Monitor client software on your computer at
any time without charge.
Why is the ability
to self-connect and the time of connection
At large facilities 25% of freezers move each year. Many
of these moves are due to the moves of the laboratories
themselves. You will be repeating the installation and
configuration process as changes are made within your
organization. Quick connection times and the ability to
self-connect ensure that coverage is established rapidly
after a move. With the Tempurity System, if your new
location has the network connections you need at
the new site.
What happens during a power failure?
A communications alarm will be generated after the
appropriate time threshold. This time threshold can be
set to a low value of ten minutes. Reaction to a power
failure depends on many factors. Because the system
sometimes collects data via direct connections the
system will not collect temperature values from these
monitored devices unless the device itself is powered
and other data types are not known to be out-of-range
during this period the system will still issue alarm
notifications, e-mail, text messages, and voice when
there is an inability to obtain data from the monitored
device as expected. The Tempurity Server and Monitor,
and sometimes your corporate mail server must be
operational in order for this function to occur. This
may mean that power backup is needed on the relevant
computer(s) and network equipment. Redundant monitoring
is also possible with Tempurity and these can be
off-site. Two or more Tempurity Servers can collect
temperatures from the same population of monitored
devices for enhanced reliability. There is no limit on
redundancy. You could create as many redundant Tempurity
Servers as you wish.
What happens when a refrigerator or other monitored
The Tempurity System is designed for flexibility. In
most cases there are no steps needed to resume
collection- just plug in the NTMS network hardware in to
an active network port at the new location. If the
freezer is moving to a new building, depending on how
your organization’s network manager has defined
subnetworks, the NTMS device may need to be configured
with a new
IP address. In this case the collector (Tempurity
Server) must also be reconfigured to collect from the
new IP address. In most cases you already have the
network wiring you need to collect data from the new
How is a large walk-in refrigerator connected?
The NTMS hardware is capable of operating inside a
refrigerator. If network is available inside the freezer
the NTMS can operate with full function at low
Can I see the user's guide?
The extensive Tempurity System User's Guide is available
for download from our download page.
Are Networked Robotics digital temperature probes
calibrated by a NIST-certified laboratory?
Probes can be calibrated by a
laboratories for an additional fee.
Where is the data stored?
Tempurity's temperature data is stored on the Tempurity
Server - the computer running the Tempurity Server
How should data be backed up?
Tempurity data should be backed up through normal server
backup procedures or other regularly scheduled backup.
This is especially critical for regulated customers. You
can also run Tempurity Servers in parallel that collect
from the a population of monitored devices. Tempurity
can be highly redundant.
Can the data be modified?
Data can not be modified or deleted through the
Tempurity System. Integrity files provide the capability
to detect altered data.
How much disk space will temperature data take on my
Approximately 100Mb per year for 40 monitored devices.
Is the system 21 CFR Part 11 compliant?
Networked Robotics has written an "Electronic Records
Statement" that is available on request.
21CFRPart11 compliance is usually evaluated by
What is an alternate Tempurity Server?
More than one Tempurity Server can collect temperatures
from the same population of monitored devices for
enhanced reliability. See the question "What happens
during a power failure" above.
How many Tempurity Monitors do I need?
In order to be notified when temperatures are
out-of-range, at least one Tempurity Monitor must be
running. This may be on the Tempurity Server computer or
on another computer with network access to the Tempurity
Server. More than one Tempurity Monitor can watch any
Tempurity Server. Many monitors and many servers can be
employed as needed.
Why is the company
called Networked Robotics?
Networked Robotics Corporation uses the internet to
command data collection from diverse scientific
instruments and sensors. We control instruments through
the internet using the instrument or sensor's unique
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