Plastic materials are available in 2 types of standard packing:
- 25 kg bag
- 1 ton bags
Most plastic materials are packed in standard 25kg bags for easy handling and delivery. Such bags also enable manufacturers to purchase various types of materials or different grades, in smaller quantities. When loading material into the machines manually, these bags are easier to be carried by the machine operators.
These bags are made mostly of thick plastic film or paper with a thin plastic film lining acting as barrier against contamination and moisture. However, they can be torn easily or split open during transportation.
When manufacturers purchase large quantities of the same type (grade) of plastic materials, woven bags of 1 ton are used. However, this form of packaging is mostly applicable to non-hygroscopic materials like PE or PP.
It is important to specify the correct type of material, and the specific grade of that material on the packaging. Incorrect labeling can cause considerable downtime, damage and product failure. The final product that are molded using the wrong type of material and grades, may not produce the desired properties and characteristics. Since certain materials are difficult to differentiate visually, it is therefore important to labeled all plastics material properly.
In accordance to the ISO certification, all material manufacturers must label their product based on the following information:
- Material’s Description: This include the manufacturer, the manufacturer’s trade name for that product, the chemical’s name or its abbreviations.
- Grade: Contain within a type of material, are many different grades that are suited for different processes and applications. e.g. PP can be used to make food containers as well as plastics bags. However, the grade that are used to make containers are different from those used for making bags. The form of the plastic materials can be identified through their grading types, which include glass reinforcement, talc filled, flame retardant, stabilizers, plasticizers, internal lubricants, modifiers, oxidants and etc.
- Lot & Batch number: This indicates the manufacturing date and the origin of the specific raw material used during manufacturing.
- A color code number. It is used to define the specific color chart or color chip of the manufacturer.
To avoid contamination, mixed-up or exposure to moisture, all plastic materials should be stored in its original packaging and must remain sealed at all times.
It should be stored in an area with good ventilation, and away from direct sunlight and high humidity.
Once the packaging bag is opened, it should be used immediately. Left-overs or unused materials should be stored either in a drum/container or back into its original packaging bag, and sealed to prevent contamination. It must also be properly labeled.
A good racking storage system will enable the Material Handler to locate the required plastic materials quickly. Such system may have a centralized record that shows the location and balance quantity of each material.
Related article: How are materials loaded into the machine?
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