Filling Machines for Hazardous Packaging Locations
In one way or another, nearly every packaging project will be unique. This can stem from an unusual product, from a distinctive bottle shape or size or even from an uncommon atmosphere on the packaging floor. This uncommon atmosphere may be created by a flammable product, such as certain chemicals and solvents, or by the fumes released by some products during the packaging process or by some combination of the two. When such an atmosphere exists, special care must be taken in building the liquid filler to ensure that not only does the filling machine perform efficiently, but also safely, in what is termed a hazardous location.
The safety factor for hazardous location filling machines is achieved in several different ways. First, enclosures will likely be used more extensively for this type of machine. In an atmosphere where a spark can be incredibly dangerous, setting off a chain reaction, enclosures are important to protect against sparks, arcs or other events that may ignite a product. In many cases, the control panel itself will also be set up remotely. With a typical filling machine, the interface and panel will be attached to the frame of the bottle filler. Manufacturing a machine with a remote panel also removes the possibility of a spark at or near the product while also protecting the operator of the machine. Intrinsically safe sensors may also be used on many of these machines, in combination with the enclosures, to reduce the risk of igniting product, fumes or gases.
In some situations, the product itself may not be flammable or otherwise hazardous, but other factors can make the atmosphere itself hazardous as well. This can stem from processing certain products at the same site that the products are packaged, or even a nearby site. Fumes from different processes can permeate the packaging environment to create a hazard in the air, rather than having the hazard stem from the actual product. Even when the product is not creating the hazard, all of the above precautions can be taken to increase safety and reduce the risk of injury while still efficiently filling bottles or other containers for the shelf.
Most hazardous location machinery manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions will be built with enclosures and connections that meet the National Fire Protection Association standards for Class I, Division II areas. Generally speaking, this classification covers atmospheres where flammable liquids, gases or vapors are present or used, but usually within closed or confined spaces or where proper ventilation is present. However, as always, each project will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and in some instances, additional safeguards may be necessary.
To learn more about Hazardous Location Construction for liquid filling machines, or to discuss your own project and needs with a Packaging Specialist, contact LPS toll free at 1-888-393-3693.