A new way to look at the performance of passive cold-chain shipping containers
This article proposes the use of performance curves in order to potentially reduce the use of trial and error when developing and selecting passive thermal shippers; this is an interesting science based approach which is novel in nature, from Bernard McGarvey, Eli Lilly and Co.; Geoff Kaiser and Shreyas Panse, Cold Chain Technologies; and Paul Harber, Modality Solutions.
Specifying a suitable container for shipping temperature-controlled life sciences products usually involves matching the design elements of the container (insulation quality, amount of gel refrigerants, etc.) with the trade lane (the transportation route) that the package will follow. Many pharma companies verify this performance by doing field tests (shipping the container along the specified route) and monitoring overall performance. From this comes the traditional practice of specifying “summer” (warm season) and “winter” (cold season) configurations, or, when possible, an “all seasons” configuration.
What follows are some fairly technical approaches to generalizing this design practice. The model we are following is something commonplace to engineers: the “pump curve” that measures how a given pump will perform under varying conditions of flow and pressure. The intent here is to show that some current practices in handling temperature-controlled shipments—such as the temperature at which packages are maintained prior to shipping—need to be examined more closely; and that a “performance curve” for container designs could simplify the design process.
Source: Pharmaceutical Commerce