Safely Filling Flammable Liquids
Packaging flammable products can add some unique challenges to the process itself. While safety is always a major factor in the design of any packaging equipment, machines preparing flammable liquids have added, and obvious, concerns. While almost all packaging machinery built for such products will be custom designed and manufactured, there are two main design features, one of which will almost always be used for these liquids.
ALL PNEUMATIC FILLER CONSTRUCTION
Sparks from electricity can ignite flammable liquids, or even fumes from some products. For this reason, the combination of electricity and flammable liquids can create a dangerous packaging environment. Where possible, the best way to protect against sparking or arcing that can ignite a product is to simply remove the electrical components from the equation. All pneumatic filling machines - or machines that run using compressed air rather than electricity - offer one solution to the problem of how to safely package flammable products. Pneumatic controls can be used to activate fills, dive heads and other functions of the equipment normally controlled by electrical signals sent from a PLC.
INSTRINSICALLY SAFE ELECTRONIC CONTROLS
In some cases, pneumatic control simply may not fit the needs of a specific packager, or may not be feasible for a number of different reasons. In these cases, the filling machines can still use electronic controls, but the design and construction will take extra care to protect against the likelihood of sparks or arcs from the machinery. The flammable liquid filler will be built as an intrinsically safe machine. In general terms, this means that the electronic components such as the PLC, sensors and other circuits will be enclosed to ensure that arcs and other effects are incapable of igniting the liquids. Even where fumes and vapors could ignite, enclosures can be purged or pressurized to protect against explosions.
Regardless of which solution is used to package flammable liquids, the filling machines can still be manufactured to work both automatically and semi-automatically to meet the production needs of the specific project at hand. Semi-automatic filling machines require operator interaction with each fill cycle, while automatic machines simply require monitoring once production begins. In addition, different filling principles can be used depending on the project at hand and the product characteristics.
Liquid Packaging Solutions manufactures custom designed packaging machinery not only for flammable liquids, but for any product with unique characteristics. From thin, free-flowing liquids to thick, viscous products, each project will be analyzed to find the best solution for the individual project at hand. To learn more about packaging flammable products and explosion-proof equipment, or any other product, contact one of the LPS Packaging Specialists today to discuss your project!