Understanding chemical supply chain handling: Part 2 – Manufacturing

9th September 2019

Which 360-degree Hyster® solutions support compliant and efficient handling in the potentially explosive atmospheres present in chemical manufacturing?

The production and delivery of raw materials to a manufacturer is the first stage of the chemical supply chain.  During the next stage in the supply chain, raw materials are mixed or processed to manufacture specific chemicals with a whole range of uses, from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, through to the food, paints or coatings industry. 

Hyster® lift trucks for chemical manufacturing

Hyster® lift trucks are commonly used to transport and feed chemicals into the production line.

Those operations mixing ingredients may benefit from mobile weighing systems fitted to trucks as these allow dosing to be done straight from the drum or container. Using weight information, the truck can accurately deliver ingredient quantities.

Zone 1 Hyster® forklift

Some manufacturing operations are Zone 2 areas, such as those found in raw materials handling. Others may be classified as Zone 1, where an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation.

Explosion protected trucks for Zone 1 must be specially converted to allow them to work through the atmosphere. ‘Passive’ protection features explosion proof enclosures and many other technologies which are essential for maintaining productivity in these types of operations.

Combustible dusts and powders

As well as the risks from explosive gases or vapours, chemicals in the form of combustible powders or dusts also pose a risk of ignition.  To reduce risk, explosion protection modifications are available for diesel and electric Hyster® materials handling equipment operating in these so-called Zone 21 or Zone 22 areas.

If dusty atmospheres are a problem, an in cab independent air filtration system can also be fitted to certain trucks to aid operator comfort. To help reduce non-explosive powder build up around the lift truck engine, some Hyster® lift trucks can also be provided with a reversible hydraulic fan that operates on an automatic timer to clear out residue deposits, as well as a heavy-duty air filter which can help reduce the intake of unwanted particles.

Lift truck service and maintenance

Maintenance and repairs must only be conducted by specially trained engineers in order not to compromise the finely tuned explosion protection systems, and specialist replacement parts may be required.

To avoid downtime, the global network of local Hyster® dealers supports chemical industry applications in planning and managing the particular maintenance requirements of explosion protected Hyster® equipment.

Find out more at www.hyster.eu .What happens during the next stage in the supply chain?

Find out in our next blog – Understanding chemical supply chain handling: Part 3 – Warehousing and logistics

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