Liners for lubricant manufacturers

Paul Sitkowski, on behalf of Roundliner

Plastic liners for the packaging and distribution of lubricants, have been utilised for over 30 years. The effective use of liners helps to reduce or prevent product and container from contamination, saving time and money, and reducing the impact of an organisation’s carbon footprint.

Usually clear in colour, and produced from a variety of materials, including polypropylene, low and high density polyethylene, and aluminium-barrier film, they can also be produced in an anti-static format – coloured pink – or in black, containing carbon black for use in an ATEX (ATmosphere Explosive) environment. Depending on the material used, temperature resistance lies between 90 and 170 degrees Celsius. Two main production processes are used:

Firstly, a two piece liner can be produced by welding a circular disc to an expanded sleeve of film, which then takes the shape of the receiving vessel – be it a pail, drum, or vessel used in manufacturing. Known as a ‘round bottom bag’.

Secondly, a one piece liner can be produced using a blow moulding machine. Known as a ‘form inliner’, this type is perfect for high viscous products - the firm body of this liner, without any type of seam, makes emptying easier. Mixing and stirring in any type of pail or drum from 5 to 200 litres is possible. Both liners are leak free.

When and where are liners used? Firstly, a liner can be used during production, as mentioned above. Depending on the size and design of the production vessel, a liner can be made which fits it’s shape perfectly – like a ‘second skin’. The vessel is measured by hand with a metal ruler or laser measuring device. Once inserted, any production batch takes place within a completely clean space, minimising the risk of contamination of product, and also leaving no trace of product on the wall of the


vessel. This means that less time needs to be spent on the cleaning of vessels, along with the attendant cost reduction facilitated by less cleaning agents being used. The task of vessel cleaning is often not a popular one with staff, which means that the liner concept is often embraced quickly – cleaning may take place outside, which is especially troublesome during the colder months.

If an outlet spout is fitted to the vessel, then this too can be afforded liner protection. A circular tube can be welded on to the outside of the liner so that it coincides with the location of the vessel spout. This tube is then pulled through the spout from the outside, and folded back over the outside of the spout, where it is held in place by a cam lock. Normal emptying can then be carried out in the usual way via a ball valve or similar.

Movement of product on site

It is often the case that material needs to be moved around on site – an example would be the removal of product from the actual manufacturing vessel and into smaller ones for the next stage in the process. Using a liner for this activity means that containers can be reused quickly – product and liner can be removed, and a new one inserted quickly – again, no cleansing is required.

Movement of finished product to the customer Once the manufacturing process is complete, and product is ready for distribution, a liner can be placed in its final container – typically, anything from 5 to 200 litres. When the container has been emptied by the customer, the liner can be disposed of, and the container sent back to the manufacturer for reuse, bringing significant cost savings.


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