Action is already being taken to ensure that chemical containers can be traced. One such measure is the adoption by the German chemical industry association VCI of the voluntary standard VPA 9. It forms a part of the chemical industry’s digitalization strategy. As a partner for industrial packaging solutions headquartered in Hassloch in southwest Germany, Duttenhöfer is one of the first in its industry to implement traceability for certain customers, including leading global chemical companies. At Fachpack 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany, Duttenhöfer is presenting the solution to a broad array of trade visitors (Hall 9, Booth 359)

At the moment Duttenhöfer is focusing its attention on standard 216.5-litre sheet steel drums. “Our customers want to be able to trace drums quickly and reliably, especially those containing food precursors, such as flavorings, or hazardous substances, such as TDI, which is used in the production of rigid polyurethane foams,” explains Dieter Niggemeier, who is Duttenhöfer’s head of process engineering and hazardous materials officer. “These are contents for which our customers consistently seek to ensure traceability. We have been using HERMA’s labeling solution for several months now and are very satisfied as regards both working with the technology and the label material, which was developed in line with the VPA 9 requirements.”

Seawater-Resistant Labeling

Key to traceability is a QR code printed on a label that is applied to an open-top drum. The code contains a serial number, information about the drum manufacturer and a container number issued by the user. It allows each individual drum to be identified and localized as it is conveyed along supply chains and transport routes. The code also helps the user, while filling the product, to ensure that an appropriate container is being used. Highly reliable labeling technology is imperative in this context. For one thing, the label bearing the QR code may have to withstand hot filling procedures. Of utmost importance, however, is that the label, adhesive and printing inks offer seawater resistance in compliance with British Standard BS5609 Sections 2 and 3. 

Thanks to its many years of collaboration with BASF and the comprehensive expertise accumulated as a producer of its own self-adhesive materials, HERMA was able to develop an integrated solution that satisfies the relevant requirements. It comprises the Print & Apply system PA4 and the corresponding labels and is designed for consistently challenging industrial environments that call for precise label printing. Duttenhöfer has integrated the system in its drum production line. “HERMA’s labeling system is dependable and requires very little maintenance,” comments Dieter Niggemeier.

Duttenhöfer’s sales team also confirms that customers are showing a strong interest. According to sales director Werner Völkner, “The number of drums for which customers have requested traceability as per VPA 9 has already reached six figures and is still rising. The HERMA solution puts us in the best possible position to respond to our customers’ growing demand.”