Considerations for Packaging Cleaners, Chemicals and Hazardous Products
Factories, offices, homes and any other building you can think of will all use cleaners and chemicals in some manner. From the simple washing of a window to industrial processes for a multitude of manufacturing, these products span a wide range of uses. Though no two packaging systems for cleaners and chemicals are likely to be exactly the same, there are some common attributes that are shared by many packaging projects using these liquids.
Packaging lines for cleaners and chemicals will often contain several different packaging machines, from rinsing equipment to liquid fillers and cappers. While the rinsing and capping machines will usually be chosen based on the bottles and closures being used, the liquid filler - the machine that deals with the cleaners and chemicals - will often contain some features that might not typically be found on a filling machine for other products.
A number of cleaning products tend to foam when agitated, with a common example of this being soap. Foaming products can lead to some difficulty in getting accurate fills when preparing products for the shelf. There are several different ways to control foam, from using a specific type of filling machine to anti-foam nozzles on fill heads for other machines. Controlling foam allows for an accurate fill whether attempting to reach a specific volume or level. Allowing the foam to settle in the bottle once a fill is complete can lead to inaccurate or non-level fills over time.
Almost all of the packaging equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions uses stainless steel as the main construction material. However, certain chemicals simply do not get along with stainless. While stainless steel is known for its resistance to acidic corrosion, there are always exceptions, such as hydrochloric acid. Where the liquids being packaged would be detrimental to stainless steel, causing undo wear and tear, LPS uses HDPE as an alternative construction material. HDPE filling machines allow products such as hydrochloric acid and other corrosive liquids to be packaged while protecting the life and usefulness of the machinery doing the job.
FLAMMABLE AND HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS AND ENVIRONMENTS
Not all cleaners and chemicals are flammable or hazardous, but when those that are need to be packaged, certain precautions need to be put in place to protect both the equipment and the operators running the machinery. Pneumatic construction of machinery can remove the possibility of sparks and arcs from electronic controls that have the potential to ignite certain liquids. Where pneumatic construction is not feasible, intrinsically safe construction ensures that PLC's, circuits and sensors are enclosed properly to contain and protect against sparks or arcs. In some cases, even fumes from a liquid can create a hazardous location, either from the liquid, the atmosphere or both. Hazardous location construction of packaging equipment may include a remote control panel as well as enclosures and connections in line with NFPA standards for Class I, DIV II areas.
Many other factors may come in to play when determining which packaging machinery best suits a project involving cleaners or chemicals. At LPS, each project will be analyzed individually to determine the most efficient, and safest, solution to meet the packagers needs.