GAMA Headquarters 355 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY USA INTRODUCTION

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2 INTRODUCTION The Global Acetate Manufacturer s Association is pleased to provide information on the handling of Cellulose Acetate Filter Tow Bales. For more information on GAMA and its members please visit the GAMA website on: This information is provided by the manufacturers of Cellulose Acetate Filter Tow and is based on the best practices for handling and storing of bales known to the industry. Cellulose Acetate Filter Tow (in the following text Acetate Tow ) is a crimped, continuous tow made from thousands of filament fibers. These fibers are manufactured from cellulose acetate polymer. Tow is sensitive and requires special handling techniques to ensure that it will process in an acceptable manner on filter rod manufacturing equipment. Acetate Tow is carefully packed by the manufacturers in so called bales for transportation and storage. The bales require careful handling prior to processing, as the packaging cannot completely protect the tow from damage due to mechanical forces or deterioration caused by exposure to harsh environmental conditions. The bales are heavy and safety precautions are also needed when moving and stacking them. 2

3 CONTENTS 1. Packages of Acetate Tow Bales Transportation Handling of Acetate Tow Bales Storage of Acetate Tow Bales Opening of Acetate Tow Bales Handling of Packaging Materials

4 1. PACKAGES OF ACETATE TOW BALES Acetate Tow Bales can typically weigh from 400 to 900 kg and are supplied in a variety of packaging types to protect the tow during transport and storage. Cardboard Packaging: the traditional wrapping using cardboard with plastic straps or bands, for containing the internal forces. Reusable Packaging: bales are wrapped in plastic fabrics fastened with hook and loop material. The reusable packaging is returned to the manufacturer to be used multiple times until it requires replacement. Sealed Film Packaging: bales are wrapped and sealed in plastic film that does not require strapping. Bales having cardboard or reusable packaging also have an inner lining of plastic film to further protect the tow. Cardboard Packaging Reusable Packaging Sealed Film Packaging Fig.1: The different types of packaging The packaging does not protect the acetate tow completely from exposure to harsh environmental conditions and certain precautions during transportation and storage should be observed. Some of these are described below and many are also printed on the packaging (see Fig. 2). Fig. 2: Awareness pictograms for safe handling of Acetate Tow Bales: This way up; Keep dry; fragile (in the meaning of sensitive, treat carefully); do not use hooks; do not use sharp objects; do not write directly on the packaging material (for Inner film; for Reusable and for Sealed Film packaging) Further labels on the bales relate to product identification and logistics. Some manufacturers indicate the beginning of the tow band with a marker. 4

5 GAMA Headquarters 2. TRANSPORTATION Acetate Tow Bales may be shipped in a horizontal (on their side) or in a vertical (upright or working ) position. The position chosen depends on the loading patterns and the stability of the bales in the truck or shipping container. Bales may be placed directly on the floor or elevated on pallets or spacers. Additional strapping may be used to secure bales to pallets. Fig.3: Spacers and Pallet Acetate Tow Bales are typically stacked two high during transport, but may be shipped in a single layer if truck or container weights prohibit stacking. To prevent bales shifting during transport, the bales are arranged to stabilize the load in the truck or container. Care must be taken when loading and unloading the bales to prevent damage. To prevent tearing of the packaging, the platform of the trucks or the containers should be clean and dry with no sharp edges. a) on spacers b) on pallets c) on the floor d) on pallets in taut-liner truck (use of belts) Fig. 4: Loading of bales in containers and trucks 5

6 3. HANDLING of ACETATE TOW BALES General Precautions and Requirements Personal Safety: Due to the heavy weight, care for personal safety is paramount when handling and moving Acetate Tow Bales. Quality Considerations Bales should not be dropped or the packaging mechanically damaged because damage to the layering pattern within the bale may prevent proper tow processing. Mechanical damage to the packaging can also lead to contamination of the tow. Lift Trucks (with Forks/Clamps) Electric or propane gas powered lift trucks are recommended. Diesel engines should not be used in a confined warehouse space, because their combustion products may be absorbed by the packaging material and tow. Capacity The weight capacity of the lift truck should be checked and respected. Forks These should be sized to reach fully under the bale without extending too far beyond the back of the bale to avoid damaging other bales with the tips of the forks. Clamps These are necessary tools for handling bales without pallets and especially for turning bales. Size and surface material of the clamps depend on the type of packaging and on the job requirement. Recommended clamp surface materials - for Cardboard Packaging: metal or rubber - for Reusable Packaging: only rubber - for Sealed Film Packaging: only in exceptional cases (palletized handling with forks is preferred) and only with rubber. Regular quality control checks of the clamp surfaces should be made to ensure the absence of dirt, gouges, burrs (i.e. small pieces of material) or sharp edges. Handling Palletized Bales Bales on pallets can be handled by motorized forklift or hand pallet trucks. (lift trucks with clamp should NOT be used for palletized bales.) The forks should reach completely under the pallet (for forklift or hand trucks) which will balance the load and keep it from shifting during transport. Hand pallet trucks should transport only individual bales. Stacked bales should not be moved with hand trucks due to instability issues. Handling Non-Palletized Bales Handle non-palletized bales with a clamp lift truck when possible. Non-palletized Bales in Reusable or Sealed Film Packaging should only be handled with a clamp lift truck Use the full area of the clamping surface and apply sufficient hydraulic pressure for lifting the bale(s) safely. The stacking needs to be limited to a height which can clearly be controlled by the operator and is stable. Non-palletized bales in cardboard packaging may be moved with fork lifts or hand trucks. These trucks should not be used for stacking cardboard packaged bales. 6

7 GAMA Headquarters These bales must be raised on spacers for use in helping to insert the forks under the bale to avoid damaging the packaging: - No more than two stacked bales should be moved at one time using a fork truck; - only one bale should be moved at a time with a hand truck. Fig.5: Clamp lift truck with suitable clamps coated with rubber Turning of Acetate Tow Bales Bales transported on their side (horizontal) position need to be turned to an upright position before opening the packaging. The recommended method is using a motorized lift truck which has the additional equipment for rotating the bale by 90 degrees with suitable clamps. Turning Method Using Clamp Truck with Rack For the intermediate positioning a stable rack is used. This should be of a size corresponding to the bale size. This process is shown in fig. 7. The use of larger clamps equipped with rubber surfaces (see in fig. 6) helps to take care of the bale and contributes to safe operation. The bale is clamped and set up on the rack. The clamps are turned in horizontal position, picking up the bale and rotating the bale above the rack by 90 and then setting the bale on a pallet in the working position; see the pictures in fig. 7 Fig. 6: Rack and Clamp Truck 7

8 GAMA Headquarters Fig. 7: Demonstration of turning bales with the use of a rack Turning Method Using Clamp Truck with Rotating Clamps In fig. 8 the turning is demonstrated by using clamps which can be rotated. Such clamps are special devices offered by some fork lift manufacturers. Fig. 8: Demonstration of turning bales with rotating clamps 4. STORAGE of ACETATE TOW BALES Stacking The maximum number of bales which can be stacked on top of each other depends on the safety and stability of the stack. Over stacking may impact the quality of the tow due to mechanical damage. The following considerations have to be taken into account: the maximum loading capacity of the pallet itself (if bales are stored on a pallet) the positioning of the bales (i.e. side or upright position) the flatness or curvature of the different sides of the bales (top and bottom of the bale) the stability and thickness of the packaging material (under the weight of the bale the boards of the pallets might compress and damage the tow in the bale below). The recommendations of the tow manufacturers which are specific to the individual packaging type and material, as well as of the palletization should be followed. Conditions The packaging of the bale does not protect the Acetate Tow completely from the ambient environment. Therefore some precautions need to be followed during bale storage. Acetate Tow Bales should be stored in a clean warehouse in an environment free of odorous substances and they should not be stored with toxic materials. Bales should be kept dry to avoid the degradation of the packaging material and mould growth. 8

9 Storage time The shelf life of Acetate Tow Bales stored in a closed warehouse under normal and stable conditions is at least two years, or as confirmed by the tow supplier. The storage time is limited by the possibility that the ester groups in the cellulose acetate will hydrolyze and release acetic acid. The possibility of this reaction can be minimized by controlling the storage conditions to prevent high temperature. Care should also be taken to avoid a high degree of variability in these conditions. First in-first out inventory management is recommended Tow stored for an extended period of time may still be used with some pre-caution and after testing its suitability (sensory and processing evaluation). The user should be guided by his determination about the tow s suitability for the intended applications. 5. OPENING of ACETATE TOW BALES General Recommendations relating to Quality The outside packaging material of the bale should be kept clean to avoid contamination of the tow once the bale is opened. Use scissors or a hook knife for cutting plastic straps (pointed knives could cut through the packaging material and damage the tow causing stoppages of the filter rod maker). Avoid any contact of the bale with plasticizer (triacetin) since this may cause fusing of tow filaments in the bale and cause processing problems. Conditioning of Bales before Opening Bales stored or transported under severe conditions, particularly at low temperature, should be acclimatized or reconditioned before being opened and the outer packaging removed. Otherwise humidity, particularly in air conditioned work areas, could condense on the cold sides and surfaces of the tow bales and could impact the processing of the tow and the uniformity of the filter rods manufactured. The time needed for acclimatization depends on the temperature difference. In fig. 9 the bale temperature versus the time is shown. There is an approximate 3 day halflife before reaching nearly the temperature equilibrium in the center of the bale for a temperature difference of 15 C. Acclimatization of bales transported and stored under extreme and particularly under cold conditions before opening (for at least 2-3 days) is recommended. Fig. 9: Temperature change of a +5 C cold bale entering the production floor conditioned at 20 C (temperature measured at the outside, 5cm from the edge and in the center of the bale) 9

10 Standard Cardboard Packaging (with Plastic Straps) Safety Considerations The plastic straps from the cardboard packaging are under tension. Therefore some precautions have to be taken and the following personal protective devices and equipment are recommended: Safety glasses (protective eye wear) Gloves may be worn for extra safety Hook knife or scissors (instead of open pointed knife) for cutting plastic straps. The area around the bale should be clear of other persons before cutting the straps. Opening Procedure The bale needs to be in the upright position. Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, and using the proper cutting tool, prepare to cut the straps. Do not stand in front of strap being cut, due to danger of being hit by the cut strap under tension. Ensure that no other persons are standing near the bale on all four sides when straps are cut. Cut each strap until all straps are cut. Secure loose ends of straps to avoid tripping hazard. Remove the top cardboard and the top plastic wrap material, taking care not to tangle the tow. In case of indentations observed after removing the packaging, see in fig. 10, soften the upper layer manually. These indentations may result from the straps or from the boards of the pallet where bales were stacked and could create unstable withdrawal of the tow band at the rod maker. Fig. 10: Indentations on the upper layer of the bale Other Types of Packaging For opening procedures for other types of packing, such as Reusable or Sealed Film Packaging, please refer to the manufacturer s specific recommendations. 10

11 Handling and Storage of Opened Bales If a bale cannot be processed completely to the end and must be stored for some time, the tow should be covered properly to protect the remaining tow from contamination. It is therefore recommended, that the bales should be covered with the original packaging material, which had direct contact with the tow; this cover should protect the top and sides of the bale. for longer storage periods additional outer material such as cardboard should be used, fixed with straps or tape to provide a tighter and secure protection for the bale (care should be taken that the side in contact with the tow does not have any spots of glue or other sticky material). Care should be taken that bales are not stored in areas in which liquids, particularly triacetin, are handled (triacetin droplets will glue the filaments together and prevent the further processing of the tow). Fig.11: Covering of a bale In case of some impact by triacetin on the tow, the affected layers of the bale at that particular height need to be removed before processing the tow will be successful. The general recommendations for the storing of bales should be respected too. 6. HANDLING of PACKAGING MATERIALS Reusing and/or recycling the packaging material is Good Practice of waste reduction. This requires careful treatment and separation of the materials used for the transportation and packaging of Acetate Tow bales. Recycling Various parts of the Acetate Tow packaging can be recycled. Cardboard, polyethylene/ polypropylene films and polyester straps are suitable for recycling. Any recycling of the packaging material should be made following local regulations. Reuse Reusable Packaging The Reusable Packaging, used by some tow manufacturing sites, can be re-used for the packaging of bales again if these are treated carefully: The recommendation of the tow manufacturer for the handling and folding of this packaging should be observed so it can be re-used without impacting tow quality. 11

12 Pallets Tow manufacturers may use specific, customized pallets. Depending on the distance it may be worthwhile to re-use these for sustainability and economic reasons. Similar to tow bales, the pallets have to be treated carefully during storage and transportation. Particularly they must be protected from weather conditions, such as snow and rain and from becoming dirty. Disclaimer Although this information is presented in good faith and is believed to be correct, neither GAMA, the GAMA Members, nor those acting on behalf of GAMA or its Members (such as their employees, officers or directors) make any representations or warranties as to its completeness or accuracy. Use of this information is conditional on users making their own determination as to its suitability for their purposes prior to use. In no event will GAMA, the GAMA Members, nor those acting on behalf of GAMA or its Members be responsible for damages of any nature resulting from the use of or reliance upon this information. Users agree that use of this information is entirely at their own risk and that they will not be entitled to make any claims against GAMA, the GAMA Members, nor those acting on behalf of GAMA or its Members. Nothing contained in this information is to be construed as a specific recommendation to adopt or refrain from any course of action. Published July 2011 GAMA Inc.,