Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Corrugated Safety Data Sheets

August 19, 2016

Kim asks,

Recently a customer asked us to provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for corrugated sheets. Have you ever heard this request before and do you know if anyone has a standard SDS or a template for and SDS?

Yes Kim, it’s a more common request than you might think. Click here for a Corrugated Safety Data Sheet example provided by the FBA. This should help you craft your SDS.
— Ralph

Revisiting Metal Detection in Paper – updated

June 30, 2016

Mario asks –

I read your post on ASK RAPLH about detecting metal in corrugated. Did you find some solution to detect metals in the corrugated plants? We have had issues that have damaged relationships with some of our customers in the food industry.

I would appreciate your comments.

Update – Click here or scroll down

I just returned from my summer meeting with my technical peers that are members of TAPPI. This was one of the subjects we discussed.

One paper mill system with three 100% recycled fibre machines runs samples from every fourth reel, but has never detected metal from its scanners.

You will need to buy a scanner the same as your customer. You will need to calibrate it according to their sensitivity levels. Make sure you can track the order from the receiving of the sheets from sheet supplier, through your converting equipment/process and all the way to delivery of the finished product to your customers. Once you find the source of the metal and your sheet supplier. Once you identify the source of the metal contamination, then you can address the issue.

If you haven’t read the comments from Bill and Clayton regarding detecting metal please click on this link and scroll down the page. Both gentlemen offer some very good insight based on in-plant experience.

Check with your customer to see what kind of detection system they are using and if the same or similar system may be available to meet your needs.

Dick Lund – RC Lund Consulting.

Metal in paper is usually from virgin paper mills – sloughing off of metal in the machines or poorer fiber cleaning than is used in recycled mills.  Recycled mills are specifically designed to remove metal and other contaminents, virgin – not as well equipped.  Further, testing boxes on line in a box plant may be possible but it is very expense and difficult to execute.  Better to get metal free paper!


BHT Free Corrugated

March 2, 2015

Jimmy asks,

We have customer asking about 200# or 32ect made from corrugated material free of BHT (phenolic antioxidants/preservatives).  Do you know anything about this?

I reached out to Maryann Jashinske at Package Engineering Solutions LLC. She specializes in food packaging safety. Below is her reply.

“As best I can determine, the following article has generated panic amongst food packagers.  BHT is commonly used in cereal box and other food packaging as a preservative for oily products, and is likely found in corrugated.  I can tell you that the plastic manufacturers are suddenly also being asked for BHT-free packaging statements.  BHT is allowed by the FDA, in fact it is an edible food preservative, never mind a food packaging preservative!

BHT is found in wax coatings, soy-based inks (soy contains oil), and possibly adhesives.  Any boxes that use any recycled content could not likely make a “BHT-free” claim, unless you can identify all the additives in the recycled part.

I cannot find any regulatory ban of any sort for BHT in food packaging.”

Detecting Metal in Corrugated Boxes

October 29, 2014

Rich asks;

I have a food customer who must send product through a metal detector to ensure there is no metal in the food. Intermittently the detector has gone off and when they send my corrugated box through without product it still goes off leaving them to the conclusion that there is metal in the boxes. We are using recycled liners and the mill has essentially let us know that they cannot 100% guarantee that there will be no metal imbedded in the fibres of the box. The mill also provided me with a document from the FBA essentially saying that during the paper making process there is the slight possibility of small metal fibres getting into the paper. Is this consistent with how you understand it to be? Do we have any other options for guiding our customer and ensuring there will not be a chance of metal in the box? Is there a way to prescreen the boxes to determine which ones may have a trace of metal in them before I ship them? Is there a way to test the boxes to determine where the metal exactly is?

I must concur with the position of the FBA and the nature of the 140 domestic paper machines that manufacture containerboard. I have attended enough TAPPI CORBOTEC meetings over my 31 years to know that this concern comes up at every meeting three times a year.  Even the sophistication levels at the different recycled mills vary in their ability to remove metals from the recovered fibre.

The sensitivity levels of different detectors vary as well and the food industry is going to be using a very sensitive detector. Remember, they are looking for the tiniest pieces of metal in food. So a piece of metal that is likely to trip the detector they are using may not trip a more standard detector. You might have passed another packer’s inspection process depending on their equipment and sensitivity settings. The only sure way to prescreen your boxes to your customers’ spec may be to have the same metal detection system and sensitivity settings as your customer is using.

As far as pinpointing the location of the metal in the box, I do not currently know of a way to determine the exact location of the metal IN the board. I would think that this would require some type of probe detector that would be extremely sensitive and have a very narrow scan range. I would also believe the process would probably be quite time consuming and costly.

I don’t know how sensitive the wand type scanners that security firms use are. If you’ve traveled through an airport you’ll know that these can detect something as small as a staple in a paper… when they want too. If you could locate one of those it might be worth trying to see if it would pinpoint the offending contaminant. I wouldn’t suggest asking the TSA though. They don’t tend to have a sense of humor.

Another possible means for pinpointing the metal in the box or sheet would be x-ray. This too will most likely be expensive and time consuming.

However, from past experience if there is metal in your box, it will most likely be found in the medium.

— Ralph