Sealed for Protection
Concerned about environmental changes during shipping, P&G sought a new system for protecting paperboard during transport to its testing facility. The global products manufacturer had considered conditioned trailers, but the expense was very high, said a company spokesperson.
P&G contacted Jeff Garfinkle, president of Sentina Inc. (www.sentinacorp.com), having worked with the company to protect materials transported in drums. Sentina was known for supplying water-resistant coverings for protection against relative humidity, which can change as products travel through different climates and lead to oxidation.
Sentina had recently developed Freight Glove, a completely vacuum-sealed air- and water-tight solution originally created for air cargo security. Once sealed, the gloves conform to the shape of their contents, providing tamper evidence. They also employ security seals with unique IDs. Freight Gloves are available in standard pallet sizes and can be custom sized as needed, using standard components with varying materials. They are available in three models, with each one providing a complete moisture barrier.
The first model is a nylon-based material with a polyurethane coating that can be used up to 50 times with no discernible wear. It has been tested by British Airways’s worldwide safety and compliance team, says Garfinkle.
The second model is made of “rip-stop” fabric, similar to that used for parachutes. It is a lower-weight material when compared to that of model one, and it has been tested for up to 10 uses. It employs a wet-suit-like zipper, and Sentina is investigating the use of a “Ziploc-like” closure, says Garfinkle.
Model three is made of a PE-based composite material that also offers rip-stop features. It is intended for one to five uses, says Garfinkle. It is currently being revamped and is in final testing.
Testing has entailed submerging the systems in water for five days, reports Garfinkle. And Sentina continues to work with a different shipper for ongoing testing.
Garfinkle adds that Freight Gloves do also offer some protection against physical damage, but they are not “steel boxes,” he says. They can be used in place of stretch wrap, because once sealed, the gloves provide load stabilization.
P&G is currently using model one for testing purposes only. “We are using it for exploratory purposes only at this time to protect materials from environmental changes,” says the spokesperson. In terms of future uses, P&G is “still in the lab testing phase.”
--By Daphne Allen
Editor, Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News