Keeping reusable transit packaging (RTP) maintained is vital for effective and safe operations, part of which includes regular and effective cleaning.
As with any other form of washing, there are four key factors: temperature, time, chemistry and mechanical force. The concept was created by Dr Herbert Sinner in 1959 when he was head chemist of the Henkel detergent department. In the case of RTP, mechanical force refers to water pressure.
Dr Sinner’s Circle describes an economical, ideal cleaning process with a perfect interaction of the four parameters to ensure optimum removal of soil and maximum care of the load being processed. The sum of the parts should always equal 100%, meaning that if one parameter is reduced, other factors must be increased to compensate.
Factor 1: Action Temperature
Temperature is incredibly important in washing packaging as the process must deal with potential contamination. This is a particular issue if there are fats and proteins present, as proteins are removed at different temperatures from fats. These differences need to be taken into consideration to ensure that proteins are not “baked” onto the packaging.
Factor 2: Chemical Action
This represents the action of an acidic or alkaline detergent solution. The action is increased or decreased by the concentration of pure product contained in the solution (water plus product). In washing operations, this is monitored closely via a titration test.
Factor 3: Time
Most wash systems for re-usable packaging are linear, with a conveyor moving the equipment through various sections including pre-wash, main wash, rinse and a drying section. In a linear washing process, time is based on the running speed of the machine, which is measured in Hertz. Slowing the machine down or speeding it up gives the reusable packaging more or less time in each section of the machine.
Factor 4: Water pressure/ force
This is measured in Bar and invariably there is a balance between a high pressure and low volume of water or lower pressure and high volume of water. Ensuring the correct combination for the product type being washed make a huge difference to the cleaning result.
If you’d like advice on best practice in keeping your reusable packaging in good condition, or a partner who can take the whole job off your hands and develop the best solution for your specific requirements, then call PSE on 01524 261978.