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epeabody

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 01:30 PM

Hello,

 

I am wondering if anyone has any information on paperboard packaging companies and what they should do if they have a dust issue. My company produces only paperboard packaging products, both direct and non-direct food contact, and we have a large dust issue. As we produce every day we accumulate large quantities of dust and although we can clean the areas close to the floor we constantly have dust settling on ceiling fictures, pipes and product stored high up on racking systems. Is this an issue? Should we do more than just simply wipe them off when we go to use or ship the dusty inventory? Is this a food safety hazard/risk? Any information would be greatly appreciated and helpful. Thank you.

 

-Erin



JohannesTrithemius

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:35 PM

apeabody,

 

Speak with the manufacturer and tell them of this problem. There is a chance that you can collect a sample so that they can determine where it's coming from. Also, if the problem persists, there is always the option of changing supplier, or looking at other options (ex: using a different box material, etc)



epeabody

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:39 PM

jamesthibault,

 

Thank you for your response. We are the manufacturer however; it is known industry wide that in our profession dust accumulation is a neccessary evil. Our machine suppliers are even aware of it and have no suggestions on how to reduce the amount of dust produced when their machines cut the paperboard in our facility. Changing box material is not an option. I was hoping someone could tell me if the dust was a non-conformance in the eyes of the FDA or had any suggestions to reduce/clean up the dust that accumulates.



Jpainter

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:50 PM

It sounds like you may want to take a look at the facility ventilation system. Without adequate ventilation, all the dust that is produced in the process is trapped inside your facility. Is your incoming air filtered? If so, are your filters on a routine maintenance schedule to be replaced or cleaned?



epeabody

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:54 PM

I will definitely look into that; thank you!



SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:55 PM

The manufacturers I have been in that are similar to your operation do not have dust settling issues as their lines have vacs installed on them that collect virtually all particles. In addition both have very large hepa filters in place to catch drift.  Having been in both I have never seen an issue with dust at all.

 

The FDA may or may not accept this, however from a flash standpoint it is most certainly a hazard.  As to GFSI Auditors this would be an infraction that may not get written up as DUST, but as being dirty.


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epeabody

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 05:34 PM

Glenn,

Do you by chance know what kind of systems those other facilities used to decrease the dust? As in, what kind of vacuum systems?



Gerard H.

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 07:43 PM

Dear Erin,

Dust gets more and more attention, so implement an improvement program.

Be very careful to not cause dust explosions.

Kind regards,

Gerard Heerkens



Jpainter

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 07:47 PM

From my experience, I have seen vacuum fittings on any process that will create dust (cutting corrugated cardboard for example). These systems are similar to one you would see on a table saw for example. They run anytime the machine is on and have a tubing system that leads to a collection bin on the exterior of the building. 



Hank Major

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 08:07 PM

You might want to look into using an electrostatic precipitator installed. Dust is usually charged, either positive or negative, and will settle preferentially on a surface with the opposite charge.

 

https://en.wikipedia...ic_precipitator



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 07:44 PM

Wow, lots of info. As SQF Assurance Manager for a dedicated Paperboard converter, I tell everyone that starts working here as well as everyone else I know that we only make 2 things where I work: Folding carton products and dust! EVERY operation from sheeting to die cutting to passing through the folder/gluers creates dust. It has done so for at least the last 75 years we have been in business and it isn't likely to change any time soon. However, there being no known way to eliminate the dust creation, we take measures to prevent buildup. We employee summer help to sweep all rafters in the building and sweep the walls annually to knock down the high dust. All machine dusting and cleaning is built into the operation procedures as well as scheduled cleaning, recorded and verified, our floors are scrubbed / washed 2 times a week, our die cutters are fitted with evacuation systems to take all scrap to baling operations and that system has a fine filter collection system attached. We do not dust collect at every machine nor do we have HEPA filters as they are completely unnecessary. Nearly everyone that enters our facility comments that it is among the cleanest, neatest factories they have ever seen. Remember: Your cleaning has to be adequate for your purposes to prevent food safety issues. I hope some of this helps



dgt39

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:51 AM

Agree with Hoosiersmoker .

We produce printed folding cartons intended for direct food contact using virgin fibre folding box board and also recycled coated white lined chip carton board. Dust build up is a consequence of using this type of material and is unavoidable. We have regular clean downs for pipes and high level areas and daily clean down of machinery. The amount of dust in a carton board converter will probably not be anywhere near an explosion risk or constitute a contamination risk to the product. Also, never had a comment form any BRC auditor or customer auditor regarding dust in our production areas. If your final product has board dust on it then you have an issue but if not just employ regular, documented cleaning procedures.



Sharon (Dewsbury)

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 08:43 AM

I agree with Hoosiersmoker &  dgt39.

We do similar work too. We print ,cut/crease, fold/glue food cartons & sleeves. The dust is nuisance but nothing like an explosive level.

Good regular cleaning is key.  Get staff to vac where possible rather than blow down with air lines.We also cover with a pallet topper ( sheet of polyethylene) any WIP (work in progress)  that is not getting processes in the next 48 hours. The finished product is boxed and wrapped on the pallet. Best not to have exposed product or WIP around for too long. If its not covered you need to discard the top layer of WIP, sheet of cut product. 



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 11:56 AM

Also, the only surfaces I would wipe are the horizontal surfaces within easy reach. All higher surfaces cleaned less frequently should be vacuumed. We use scissor lifts and shop vacs outfitted with 90 degree brush attachments (from McMaster Carr) and an annual sweeping prevent excessive buildup on rafters, pipes and other ceiling fixtures. Make sure to tarp your open machines (web-fed or gluers) when you clean over them as this WOULD pose a food safety risk. Newly created paper dust does not pose a Food Safety risk itself as it is the material from which the product is made. Document, document, document. We have "Job Cards" for every operation and job approvals that require the cleaning to be done before the job runs so the documentation is combined with the approval. Cleaning is, as I said before, a part of the Operator's and peripheral staff's procedures, as well as all other areas (corners, under storage etc.) on our Master Cleaning Schedule (checklist with sign offs for the cleaner and person verifying). All of this has been approved and (by one auditor) applauded. Again, I hope at least some of this is helpful.


Edited by Hoosiersmoker, 08 May 2019 - 11:58 AM.


epeabody

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 12:43 PM

Thank you all for your resposes; they have been very helpful. Can you tell me what kind of evacuation systems you are using on the individual machines? We are considering implementing something on individual machines however; we would prefer to avoid large pipes/tubes being installed throughout our facility. Does anyone know of any compact systems that could be installed on all machines?



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:48 PM

I personally am not aware of any other than small dust collection pump / sheet cleaners which are only for increased print quality. Our procedure is to remove the top sheets or blanks from every load before running any WIP through the next process. We also bag some loads depending on how long it will be stored. We recycle around 99.5% of all "scrap" paperboard. The largest system is on our die cutters and evacuates the scrap from the stripping and head scrap removal portions of the machines. This also takes the majority of the dust with it. This requires a remote (about 150' through the ceiling) blower and 16" - 20" pipes to carry the scrap. The take-off from our auto-tie balers goes to a dust collection system which recovers nearly all of the dust from the scrap recovery system which is discarded (for now). All other scrap is collected at the point of creation and taken to be baled and recycled. One of our biggest hurdles is the "Hair" produced when die knives start to dull.



epeabody

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:20 PM

Thank you for all the great advice. Does anyone clean their pallets before using them to transport product? I.e. industrial pallet washer, vacuum or blow off with compressed air?



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:29 PM

Depends on the pallet. We use a plastic "skid" for all internal work and WIP. We use recycled wood pallets to ship finished goods and have very tight specifications for those pallets. They can't be stored outside, cant have any chemical staining etc. so they can't pose a food safety risk so there's no need for cleaning the pallets. As the product is already in it's outer packaging (corrugated case) there shouldn't be any risk there. As far as the plastic skids, at every stage a clean tie sheet (paperboard from printing or sheeting operations) is put down before any WIP goes on it. Our summer help (that sweeps rafters and pipes) scrubs the plastic pallets and power washes them annually. Given the measures we take internally this has been an effective, accepted practice. I suppose if you put down a "barrier" sheet under your finished goods it might be acceptable. It will all depend on your Risk Assessments.



epeabody

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:33 PM

Do you run skid to skid or do you run continuously with the use of swords?



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:38 PM

All of our machines are continuous run delivery and feed (where possible) so swords, yes



epeabody

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 04:43 PM

I'm sorry but may i ask how you deal with that between printing and die cutting? How do you ensure that the tie sheet directly on top of the pallet gets removed?



Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:45 PM

Operators mark the top of the incoming load and are present at the shingling table. They remove the sheets as the marked sheets come through. They just pull them from the table then continue.


Edited by Hoosiersmoker, 08 May 2019 - 05:46 PM.


Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:34 PM

Not sure if this is the appropriate place but I wanted those under SQF Ed 8 Manufacture of Food Packaging to know that Full chemical register is no longer required, only one for cleaning products. The only mention is proper use, storage and proper separation of Food Safe and Non-Food Safe chemicals. The new guidance documents have proven very helpful for us! :smile:






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