From 21 to 23 April 2015, manufacturers of paints, lacquers, adhesives, sealants and construction chemicals will be getting together at the exhibition centre in Nuremburg to discuss the latest developments on the market. One important criterion: these products not only need to be manufactured with the utmost precision, but also packaged well and safely transported and processed. Innovative packaging solutions for coatings are what Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA is showing at Stand 5-416 in Hall 5. This year, the trade public at the European Coatings Show has the opportunity to take a close look at the IBCs of the Selters-based global player. The IBCs provide special protection from contamination and permeation all along the entire supply chain. In addition to that, they make for safety, cleanliness and economic efficiency.

Integrated impeller

The products of the coatings industry are usually viscous. To ensure a smooth consistency and optimum processing, such filling goods often need to be stirred. However, the mere immersion of the agitator of stationary or mobile mixing systems represents a potential contamination risk. That’s because every time the packaging is opened and every time it comes into contact with other equipment, the filling goods risk becoming contaminated. The latest development from Schütz – an integrated impeller for stirring up even minimal product residues inside the container – prevents such contamination.

The new Schütz impeller is a one-way stirring system, which is integrated into the IBC’s screw cap. The impeller system is available for all 1000 and 1250-litre Ecobulk types and fits both the DN 150 and DN 225 filling openings. The component is made entirely of HDPE, so the filling goods will not come into contact with steel later on – a further bonus in terms of product purity.

The screw cap with integrated impeller is pre-installed in the filling opening of the IBC at the production plant. For filling purposes, the system is either briefly removed or remains fixed in place – depending on the filling process and container configuration. The all-important advantage: IBCs with impellers form a self-contained packaging system. After filling, the IBC can remain permanently closed and sealed all along the supply chain until the product is to  be used – even during the stirring process.

For stirring, a conventional drive system is simply connected to the impeller by means of a matching adapter. The drive system, on a frame mount, is placed over the screw cap and fixed to the steel grid. The drive shaft locks positively into the plug of the screw cap, which passes the rotation on via tightly connected rods to the impeller inside the container. Visitors to the trade fair have the chance to take a look at this new component inside the IBC thanks to a transparent element in the inner bottle of the exhibition model.

The system is also extremely practical when it comes to emptying the container: ventilation can take place via the impeller opening in the screw cap, so that there is no need for a further plug to be opened while the agitator is connected.  

The use of the impeller as a one-way system entirely eliminates the risk of filling goods becoming contaminated with residues of other substances that may be encrusted on the agitator. Also, as a result, neither elaborate cleaning processes nor the costs these entail arise. Empty IBCs are collected, complete with impeller, by the Schütz Ticket Service, and inner bottle and impeller are processed into HDPE recyclate in the course of the reconditioning process. The material gained is then ecologically reused to make new Schütz products, such as plastic pallets, for instance. The impeller system therefore offers a number of advantages and stands for a simple, cost-efficient and safe stirring process.   

Ecobulk HX: ... almost to the last drop

Preventing residues from remaining inside packaging is a great challenge in the handling of highly viscous filling goods because such unused quantities of filling goods result in economic losses, as the residues can no longer be further processed or used. That’s why Schütz has developed the new Ecobulk HX as a process-supporting solution. Like all of the IBCs on the Schütz stand in Nuremberg, the Ecobulk HX is also available as a Cleancert model, combining the benefits of the Cleancert line, such as full material, product and process safety, technical cleanliness, just-in-time production and silicone-free content, with the special features of the HX. Thanks to its sloping base and closed, sturdy supporting cushion, optimised discharge geometry and low-level discharge valve, this container ensures drainability to under 0.3 litres even for viscous media.

It is not possible with all commercially available containers to use a conventional agitator system to stir the filling goods prior to processing. Also, until now, the residual volume required to achieve a good stirring result could be quite high. The use of an industrial agitator with the HX, on the other hand, is no problem at all thanks to its DN 225 filling opening: The unusual shape of the inner bottle makes an ideal stirring result possible even for small residual quantities of roughly 50 litres. Of course, the integrated impeller can also be used in the HX to protect the quality of the filling goods even during stirring. Where required, it can also be used in ex-zones if equipped accordingly.

HX versus stainless steel IBCs – the economical, ecological and quality benefits

The Ecobulk HX was specially made for fields of application until now almost exclusively reserved for high-grade steel systems. This meant more administration work for IBC returns, elaborate and expensive washing processes – often even involving chemicals – yet still with the residual risk of contamination, not forgetting the high cost of repairs. Here, too, the HX scores once again, with lower acquisition costs, no further expenses for cleaning or repairs, better protection for the filling product because the inner bottle is replaced after each use, lower weight for easier handling, return to pool management through the Schütz Ticket Service resulting in resource-conserving reconditioning within the ecofriendly closed-loop system. During reconditioning, the IBCs are fitted with new inner bottles, valves and screw caps before being returned to the customer for filling. 

When it comes to looks, the Ecobulk HX also comes up trumps – and no wonder, considering that a new inner bottle is fitted for every trip, whereas over time, the damage the steel model incurs leaves its marks. Also, the heat-sensitive products don’t heat up as quickly in the HX. What’s more, the transparent PE inner bottle makes it far easier to check the level of the contents inside.  

Cleancert for flawless quality

As a link between the production and the final processing of filling goods, packaging plays a key role. For highly sensitive products, such as modern coatings, it is a vital quality factor. A coat of paint on a car measures just one tenth of a millimetre – that’s roughly the thickness of a human hair. Any contamination, no matter how minute, which may come from the silicone content of oils, greases, lubricants and release agents, will therefore soon lead to so-called “craters” that impair the protective effect of the coating. The result: numerous follow-up processes and with them substantial additional costs.

The IBCs presented at the Schütz stand, among them the Ecobulk MX with integrated EVOH permeation barrier and the Ecobulk SX, are models from the Cleancert line. The PE F1 tight-head drum on display at the show as an example of the company’s extensive drum portfolio is also a Cleancert model. Risk minimisation is of crucial importance in the production of Cleancert products. This aspect is subject to continuous controls, thus guaranteeing full material, product and process safety from A to Z. Every component and every step in the production process is absolutely free of silicone.

Prevention in production

Such high safety requirements call for comprehensive prevention programmes to be put in place. That’s why Schütz has implemented numerous measures in line with the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) concept in its development and production processes. This in turn calls for appropriate staff training as well as ongoing research and development. Taken together, these measures do much to maintain the quality of the filling goods.  

In addition to this, Schütz produces to individual customised orders on a just-in-time basis. The IBC inner bottles are sealed immediately after the extrusion blow-moulding process and transferred to the final assembly line for mounting. Identification by means of a barcode system makes seamless traceability possible – all the way back to batch and processing level! The company also offers customers the option of individual identification numbers for articles or packaging. Finished IBCs are loaded and shipped straight from the production plant without interim storage. Already preproduced components, such as screw caps, outlet nozzles and bungs, are also hygienically packed and separately stored. If shipping is not required immediately, the containers are stored in specially sealed rooms. Plastic covers are optionally available as additional protection – until the IBCs are required to transport substances, such as lacquers, paints or pastes.

 

About Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA

Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA was founded in 1958. The company has its headquarters in Selters in the Westerwald region of Germany. Schütz employs over 4000 people at more than 40 production sites around the world. The three Schütz business units, Packaging Systems, Energy Systems and Industrial Services, each hold leading positions in their respective markets. The family-run enterprise is an important trendsetter and innovator.

As the leading international producer of high-quality transport packaging (intermediate bulk containers, PE and steel drums), Schütz offers its customers full system solutions, which are all tailored to their individual supply chain. With the Schütz Ticket Service, a closed-loop cycle of speedy collection and reconditioning for used Schütz IBCs, Schütz provides all of the world’s major industrial nations with a service worthy of the group’s sustainability philosophy.

All Schütz surface heating, fuel oil and waste gas systems are purpose-built and economical to run. Thanks to their innovative technology and the comprehensive service Schütz provides, they also meet the very highest ecological standards.

Cormaster, the composite material developed and produced by Schütz, is a convincing combination of maximum stability, resilience and low weight. The lightweight honeycomb structures have proved successful in a multitude of applications in the aerospace, automotive and boatbuilding industries.

The high level of vertical integration at Schütz – the group manufactures all of its products at its own production plants and also develops and produces all of its main production lines and systems – makes for significant value creation. Schütz also has a Steel Service Centre and an in-house model and mould making unit for producing rotor blades for wind power plants.