Tilt Indicators

SpotSee tilt indicators detect and record unacceptable tilting on goods that must remain upright. When these indicators are used, the product cannot be tipped without indisputable evidence of mishandling.

TiltWatch® XTR

Turns red if the package it is affixed to is tilted past 80° or is completely up-ended. However, it remains unaffected by movement due to normal handling conditions.

TiltWatch® Plus

Indicates whether there has been tilt to left or right, the degree of tilt, or if complete overturn has occurred.

Tilt Indicators

Compare Features
Sensor TypeArming Method SerializedIndicates Tilt DirectionIndicates Degrees Of Tilt
Steel disc, non-magneticRemove adhesive backingYesNoNo
Glass ballsRemove adhesive backingYesYesYes

Read More About Tilt Indicators

Spot Potential Damage Easily with Tilt Indicator Labels

The dangers of products tilting during shipping is often overlooked, but can cause unexpected damage to a wide range of products. Stick-on tilt indicators provide a simple, direct way to monitor and reduce supply chain tilt events. 

Items with compressors, for example, can be damaged by significant, prolonged tilts that may compromise seals and allow fluids to leak. Refrigerators and freezers are good examples. 

Flat screen TVs also can be damaged by laying them flat or tilting them more than about 10 degrees. Other products, including glass panels, may be damaged when tilting changes the weight distribution to areas that weren’t designed to be stressed.

Tilt indicator labels alert you to potential tilt-induced damage so you can assess the shipment upon arrival — and not when it’s too late. 

Beyond those technical issues, the most obvious reason not to tilt objects during storage or shipping is that tilted packages are more likely to fall, damaging themselves and, sometimes, other cargo. The gravitational forces exerted on palletized cargo and individual items as carriers accelerate, stop, or turn can cause the load to shift, redistributing the stresses upon individual items and leading to breakage.

Tilt Indicators Give Proof Needed to Enable Accountability and Optimization

In tests, even tilts of 5 to 10 degrees caused palletized, stretch-wrapped bottles of water to shift as much as 15 centimeters, according to the Journal of Applied Packaging’s report, “Evaluation of Stability of Unit Loads for Tilt and Shock Events During Distribution.” In those tests, the stretch-wrap broke and the cases of bottled water were strewn about the floor.

Tilt indicators help you understand the extent of tilts that occur during shipping, so you can minimize their impact. For example, changing the stacking pattern of palletized items or improving the packaging materials that contains them can help minimize the risks. So can deploying more robust blocking and bracing. But, before you can take any action you need to know what happened that caused the damage.

Having proof of unacceptable angles of tilt also helps you assign accountability for damage, effectively moving a claim from your insurance to your carrier’s. With a tilt indicator, the cause of the damage is no longer a matter of conjecture – your word against theirs. If a tilt occurred, you have proof.

SpotSee’s tilt indicators provide objective, irreversible evidence when cargo is tilted to unacceptable angles, or when it is flipped over completely.

Marking the packages with tilt indicator labels provides additional protection by alerting cargo handlers that this cargo is monitored. Research shows that carriers are more careful when they know someone cares enough about the cargo to monitor it.

Contact SpotSee with any questions or to learn more about how tilt indicators can reduce your product damage.

SHIPPING TILT INDICATOR

What good is printing “THIS END UP” on a package if you have no idea if that end stayed up during transit? Shipping tip indicators help you ensure that your valuable products and equipment arrive intact.

WHAT ARE TILT INDICATOR LABELS?

Tilt indicator labels (or shipping tip monitors) act as simple visual indicators of the most extreme orientation a package has experienced relative to vertical. You can place tilt sensors both discreetly or prominently and they will function just the same.

When Leonardo DaVinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” he must have been thinking of using tilt sensors as the best way to know if handling or shipping adversely affected a package. Tilt sensors and indicators monitor each axis of rotation and relay that information back to your team.

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

Tilt indicators are an inexpensive way to build confidence in anyone receiving a package. Boxes can get torn and crumpled up during normal and acceptable shipping. A tamper-proof shipping tip indicator will ensure that the box, equipment, or product didn’t tip over on its side, flip around or fall on its top. If you need your packages to stay upright, you need to communicate that to every person who will handle it between you and the end user. Requiring a partner to handle packages in a certain way often never makes it past a dispatcher, broker, manager, or sales person. You need everyone inside the warehouse, delivery truck, and even the end user to be aware that your products require specific care.

Having a visual indicator on the outside of a package shows a dedication beyond simple instructions on the box. Packagers and handlers sometimes inadvertently cover up instructions with shipping labels, tear them off, or just flat out ignore them. You need your partners to know that your instructions are not just words on a box.

Ideally, we engineer and package products in a way that prevents accidental damage. In the cases of liquids, delicate mechanical features, intricate electronics, or fragile materials, that is not always possible. In a world where slim profit margins necessitate large volume sales, you need to be able to penetrate distant markets you didn’t used to feel comfortable with. Shock sensors require force to report possible damage or abuse, but a box that tips over or is picked up and carried upside down likely will not cross the designated threshold of a shock sensor.

Tilt indicators provide indisputable feedback of abuse. You will no longer have to engage in a ‘he said, she said’ argument that can damage a relationship with an otherwise trusted partner. With a tilt detector, accusations turn into questions such as “My tilt sensor(s) show that my packages are not staying upright, can we work together make sure they do in the future?”

HOW DO THEY WORK?

A tilt indicator labels a given axis of rotation and visually indicates when a package rotates past a designated position or positions. You may require two single axis sensors and indicators depending on the given application such as a typical box. However, one sensor or indicator will be sufficient to report if a package was completely upended no matter which direction it rotates. The sensors attach to your packaging via adhesive and once rotated past designated position(s), cannot be reset.

SPOTSEE SHIPPING TILT INDICATORS

SpotSee offers three different types of tilt sensors and shipping tip indicators that will help you deliver your packages to customers or end users in a safe and cost-effective way.

TiltWatch XTR uses a non-magnetic steel disc that when rotated past 80 degrees along one axis or 180 degrees on any axis will turn red indicating possible damage or abuse. They are easy to use and quick to read. Simply remove the adhesive backing and attach to your packages. This indicator is tamper-proof and serialized which helps you run a transparent operation, and aids in ISO 9001 traceability requirements. Housed in a rigid polystyrene housing, the TiltWatch XTR will stand up to repeated abuse and will not activate under normal shipping and handling conditions.

The non-magnetic TiltWatch Plus uses glass balls that gravity pulls into graduated slots indicating degree and direction of rotation. The slots are labeled 30 degrees, 40 degrees, 50 degrees, 60 degrees, 70 degrees, and 80 degrees. Which set of glass balls moved is indicated by direction of rotation. To prevent resetting of the TiltWatch Plus (which would require excessive abuse), a third glass ball inside the slot will release when the package rotates a full 180 degrees.

This shipping tip indicator is also tamper-proof and serialized allowing you to track batches of shipments and preventing the replacement of a new unaffected indicator with one that has rotated past 30 degrees. As with the TiltWatch XTR, the TiltWatch Plus only requires the removal of adhesive backing and pressing it onto a package or container for activation.

Both tilt indicators offered by SpotSee work in a wide array of conditions and are well suited for:

  • Consumer electronics
  • Office equipment
  • Electronics
  • Industrial equipment
  • Computer hardware
  • Auto and truck parts
  • Packaging/crating
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Energy and utilities
  • Scientific and technical instruments
  • HVAC
  • Glass
  • Appliances
  • Logistics / transport and storage

Whereas the TiltWatch Plus is ALSO a great solution for:

  • Biotechnology and drugs
  • Medical devices and supplies
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Retail
  • Advertising
  • Agriculture
  • Construction – supplies and equipment
  • Chemicals/petrochemicals
  • Energy and utilities

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