Piab has addressed a number of work environmental issues by providing solutions to improve the work environment. One example is vacuum conveying of products.
Making some research on regulations on occupational safety and health is very interesting. In the UK, during the early nineteenth century (1802 onwards) showed that there were concerns about the poor health of children working in cotton mills and in 1833 they started to inspect factories to ensure they met the regulation of the time. The regulation was more to monitor the working hours in the textile industry of children and young persons. In 1883, Otto von Bismarck inaugurated the first social insurance legislation – the first of its kind in the Western world. Similar acts followed in other countries, partly in response to labor unrest.
It has now passed 133 years since the first legislation in this area and since then many things have happened, both in working environment, working hours and so on. It is very fascinating and interesting to follow the developments which are there to aid us as employees. All these legislations have of course put demands on employers to not put their employees in hazardous or dangerous situations and to take responsibility.
Piab has addressed a number of work environmental issues by providing solutions to improve the work environment. Among many examples let’s look at the conveying of products. It was developed to automate the manual handling of powder, granules and tablets. Instead of having one person working with the back breaking job of scooping flour, sugar or other material into a blender/mixer or dosing machine, it can be done with an enclosed system in an automatic way. That would be the main challenge that the conveyor would address.
However, there are a number of applications where the challenges are even bigger. When the customer is working with hazardous products, that it is directly dangerous for the employees to inhale or come in contact with the active ingredients. To give an example, to come in contact with detergents at home is not a big risk, even though you should not eat it. But the active substance, the enzymes, in a concentrated form before they are blended with other ingredients to make detergent are directly hazardous to inhale day in and day out to come in contact with on a regular basis.
Today vacuum conveying is recommended as best practice for the conveying process for several of the production steps in detergent manufacturing by the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance products (AISE) and the American Cleaning Institute (AIC). It is the preferred option for the conveying of materials such as detergent ingredients, including enzymes or mixed powders containing enzymes. These materials are typically fed into mixers and blenders, tablet presses, and packaging machines.
We have during the years developed products to meet the industry’s requirements regarding contained conveying under negative pressure.
We have on top of this introduced a new extra filter after the conveyor to further ensure complete removal of traces of enzymes and other harmful materials from the exhaust air. This is, of course, a great opportunity both to the detergent industry, but also many applications within the chemical and not to forget the pharmaceutical industry that is also working with active ingredients.