Frequently asked questions
- Can I expand a Monika system after installation?
Yes, no problem! It’s a modular system, so you can start small and add more equipment as your operation grows. You might want to start with a simple TaskMinder probing and logging system, or a small PathFinder system monitoring temperatures in your highest risk areas (e.g. high value, large quantity, wet protein foods held for more than 3-4 hours). Should your needs change, you can easily add extra temperature sensors or some area tags and start scheduling more tasks.
- How much can I expand my Monika system?
There are no limits to how many areas you can monitor, and large organisations can link multiple sites together over the Internet if required. Monika ZigBee hubs can wirelessly collect data wherever there is access to your network, the Internet or even GSM.
- What is the installation process – how long does it take?
The Monika system is very simple to install, so it’s a flexible process – our engineers can work around your day-to-day operations to ensure you are not disrupted. As the system is tailored to each customer, installation time varies depending on the size and nature of the project. Email or call us, tell us more about your monitoring needs and we can provide a more detailed assessment of what you can expect.
- When is my Monika system calibrated/recalibrated?
Our expert, friendly engineers calibrate the Monika system on installation and issue a certificate of calibration, so you have a record of the equipment’s UKAS traceable certification. We also provide annual on-site recalibration as part of our System Support Package.
- How long does Monika equipment last?
As long as you look after it for! It really depends how well the system is maintained – our equipment can perform perfectly for decades. All Monika equipment comes with a full warranty, and we offer comprehensive breakdown cover as part of our System Support Package to give you total peace of mind.
- What kind of computer does the software need?
Monika Smart Wireless Monitoring software can run on a standalone computer, or be installed on multiple computers so that different network users all get access. It’s pretty straightforward stuff, but our trainers will make sure you’re confident using the system and getting the most from it.
- Does it use Wi-Fi?
The Monika system operates on the ZigBee wireless standard (IEEE 802.15.14), which has advantages over traditional Wi-Fi. ZigBee is designed to be robust in harsh environments like kitchens and laboratories, where lots of stainless steel can create ‘blackspots’ and interfere with other signals.
- There are already thermometers on our fridges/freezers – do I still need the Monika temperature reports?
Monika sensors simulate food temperatures, so our readings are more accurate than traditional thermometers. Most fridges and freezers display a temperature, but these readings are often misleading as they monitor the air temperature in the unit. Air doesn’t behave like food, so isn’t an accurate safety assessment – particularly if the unit is incorrectly loaded.
- Can I check on things when I’m not in the office?
Yes you can. Any PC with Monika software installed and access to your local or cloud server allows you to view detailed, real-time performance and compliance data – you get 24/7 peace of mind.
- Will I get alerts when I’m not in the office?
Yes, text message or email alerts can be sent to any relevant members of staff. Alerts will be sent automatically in the event of an emergency, and follow a pre-set escalation pattern until the problem is addressed.
- How do the alerts work?
A Monika system takes your specific needs into account. Once you have conducted a risk analysis and defined your safe ranges for temperature, humidity, time between hygiene checks and so on, key personnel receive texts/emails if something falls outside the safe range. Monika hardware also uses visible and audible alerts to warn nearby staff that something is wrong. Warning messages develop into an escalated alarm system if the problem is not addressed.
- Can my Monika system be set up so that people in different departments only view their own data, not the whole company?
Yes, a Monika system can be configured to provide varying access levels. For example, in a clinical setting, the system can be configured so that the Pharmacy Director only sees the pharmacy operations, the Lab Director only sees the lab operations and the Director of Operations or maintenance crew can view the whole system and react to any alerts across the board.
- Without paper records, how can we be ready for an audit?
Managers and auditors can use the bespoke Key Performance Indicators on the Monika Smart Wireless Monitoring software to quickly identify and assist any areas falling below the required compliance levels. Multisite businesses can also centrally manage safety policies and store key records online, so that everyone is on the same page when an auditor visits.
- If everything’s online, what do we show to auditors?
Monika hubs collect data all day, every day – from fridge temperatures to cleanliness and everything in between. Monika software creates detailed, accurate, real-time reports for you, and it is easy to search through archived reports if an auditor wants information about specific dates, times or places. Reports can be presented in various formats on your computer, printed off or e-mailed as PDF documents.
- Does a Monika system meet standards requirements?
Monika has helped many clients to streamline their HACCP and quality management systems, implement best practice and achieve accreditation and compliance in food and clinical safety. The Monika system offers compliance with International Standards such as ISO/IEC 17025, 15189, 12830, 7218 and 22000.
- How much does it cost?
The Monika system is completely modular and scalable, so we only ask you to pay for the equipment you need. Essentially, how much it costs depends on how large or small your business is. Email or call us, tell us more about your monitoring needs and we can make a cost assessment for you.
- What is the return on investment?
General ROI data indicates that payback through labour savings, data consistency, regulatory compliance, energy savings and loss prevention is soon justified. The impact on staff motivation and the creation of a culture of quality and safety also bring immeasurable returns. Hopefully your company will never face a legal crisis, but your Monika system should provide a strong due diligence defence in that scenario, saving you from heavy fines and reputational damage. Bespoke, more detailed Return on Investment analysis is available on request.