- Created: 22-09-21
- Last Login: 22-09-21
Description: Recent trends and future of pharmaceutical packaging technology The pharmaceutical package market is constantly advancing and has experienced annual growth of at least five percent per annum in the past few years. The market is now reckoned to be worth over $20 billion a year. As with most other packaged goods, pharmaceuticals need reliable and speedy packaging solutions that deliver a combination of product protection, quality, tamper evidence, patient comfort and security needs. Constant innovations in the pharmaceuticals themselves such as, blow fill seal (BFS) vials, anti-counterfeit measures, plasma impulse chemical vapor deposition (PICVD) coating technology, snap off ampoules, unit dose vials, two-in-one prefilled vial design, prefilled syringes and child-resistant packs have a direct impact on the packaging. The review details several of the recent pharmaceutical packaging trends that are impacting packaging industry, and offers some predictions for the future. Packaging is defined as the collection of different components which surround the pharmaceutical raw material from the time of production until its use. Packaging pharmaceutical products is a broad, encompassing, and multi-faceted task. Packaging is responsible for providing life-saving drugs, medical devices, medical treatments, and new products like medical nutritionals (nutraceuticals) in every imaginable dosage form to deliver every type of supplement, poultice, liquid, solid, powder, suspension, or drop to people the world over. It is transparent to the end user when done well and is open to criticism from all quarters when done poorly. Distribution of products is now more global than ever. Mass customization of packaging to permit its use in multiple markets is a topic that needs exposition and discussion. Environmental issues, including sustainability, will always be a subjective dimension to any packaging design. Packaging is an emerging science, an emerging engineering discipline, and a success contributor to pharmaceutical industries. Packaging can reside, or report through research and development (R and D), engineering, operations, purchasing, marketing, or the general administrative department of a company. For the majority of products produced in pharmaceutical industries it is probably the single largest aggregate purchase made by a company of materials critical to the protection, distribution, and sale of the product. Containment - The containment of the product is the most fundamental function of packaging for medicinal products. The design of high-quality packaging must take into account both the needs of the product and of the manufacturing and distribution system. This requires the packaging: not to leak, nor allow diffusion and permeation of the product, to be strong enough to hold the contents when subjected to normal handling and not to be altered by the ingredients of the formulation in its final dosage form. Protection - The packaging must protect the product against all adverse external influences that may affect its quality or potency, such as light, moisture, oxygen, biological contamination, mechanical damage and counterfeiting/adulteration. Presentation and information - Packaging is also an essential source of information on medicinal products. Such information is provided by labels and package inserts for patients. Identification - The printed packs or its ancillary printed components serves the functions of providing both identity and information. Convenience - The convenience is associated with product use or administration e.g., a unit dose eye drop which both eliminates the need for preservative and reduces risks associated with cross infection, by administering only a single dose. Primary packaging system is the material that first envelops the product and holds it i.e., those package components and subcomponents that actually come in contact with the product, or those that may have a direct effect on the product shelf life e.g., ampoules and vials, prefilled syringes, IV containers, etc. Secondary packaging system is outside the primary packaging and used to group primary packages together e.g., cartons, boxes, shipping containers, injection trays, etc Tertiary packaging system is used for bulk handling and shipping e.g., barrel, container, edge protectors, etc. Traditionally, the majority of medicines (51%) have been taken orally by tablets or capsules, which are either packed in blister packs (very common in Europe and Asia) or fed into plastic pharmaceutical glass bottle (especially in the USA). Powders, pastilles and liquids also make up part of the oral veterinary medicine intake. However, other methods for taking medicines are now being more widely used. These include parentral or intravenous (29%), inhalation (17%), and transdermal (3%) methods. These changes have made a big impact on the packaging industry and there is an increasing need to provide tailored, individual packaging solutions, which guarantee the effectiveness of medicines. The present review article details several key trends that are impacting packaging industry, and offers some predictions for the future packaging encompassing solid oral dosage forms and injectables. Aseptic blow-fill-seal (BFS) technology is the process by which plastic containers are formed, filled with sterile filtered product and sealed in an uninterrupted sequence of operations within the controlled sterile environment of a single machine. The blow-fill-seal process is a robust, advanced aseptic processing technology, recognized by worldwide regulatory authorities for its inherent operational advantages over conventional aseptic production. Blow-fill-seal systems offer a unique combination of flexibility in packaging design, low operating cost and a high degree of sterility assurance. The machines require a minimum number of operating personnel and have a relatively small space requirement. A variety of polymers may be used in the process, low and high-density polyethylene and polypropylene being the most popular. The innate ability to form the container/closure during the actual aseptic packaging process allows for custom design of the container to meet the specific needs of the application. This flexibility not only improves container ease of use, but provides a means of interfacing with many of today's emerging drug delivery technologies, most notably in the field of respiratory therapy. Thermoplastic is continuously extruded in a tubular shape . When the tube reaches the correct length, the mold closes and the parison is cut . The bottom of the parison is pinched closed and the top is held in place with a set of holding jaws. The mold is then transferred to a position under the filling station. The nozzle assembly lowers into the parison until the nozzles form a seal with the neck of the mold . Container formation is completed by applying a vacuum on the mold-side of the container and blowing sterile filtered air into the interior of the container. The patented electronic fill system delivers a precise dosage of product into the container. The nozzles then retract into their original position. Container sealing Following completion of the filling process, the top of the container remains semi-molten. Separate seal molds close to form the top and hermetically seal the container . The mold opens and the container is then conveyed out of the machine . The cycle is then repeated to produce another filled container. The filled containers are tested and checked to ensure that they meet the very strict specifications laid down for such products. The duration of the complete cycle is between 10-18 seconds, depending on the container design and the amount of liquid to be filled. BFS technology offers considerable advantages over conventional aseptic filling of preformed (plastic or other) containers, which are described as follows: BFS technology reduces personnel intervention making it a more robust method for the aseptic preparation of saccharin sodium. There is no need to purchase and stock a range of prefabricated containers and their closures. Bulk containers of plastic are required. Cleaning and sterilization of prefabricated containers and closures is not required. A clean, sterile container is made within the BFS machine as it is required for filling. The cost of material transport, storage and inventory control is reduced. Validation requirements are reduced. The technology allows the design of high-quality, custom-designed containers with tamper-evident closures in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is a large choice of neck and opening device shapes. A single compact BFS machine takes the place of several conventional machines, saving floor space. In addition, zones for transport to successive filling and closing procedures are not required because these operations all take place in the BFS machine itself. The operation of BFS machines is less labor intensive than conventional aseptic filling. The code numbers and variable data such as batch number and expiry date can be molded into the container itself rather than being added at a subsequent stage. The process lends itself to the production of single dose containers and therefore preservatives are not necessary as they are with multi-dose containers. Blow-fill-seal technology has gained much market focus in recent years due to the increased focus on biologics, proteins and other complex solutions. These important products often cannot withstand exposure to high temperatures for extended periods of time without degradation of their active components. Conventional terminal sterilization, therefore, is not an acceptable method to produce a ‘sterile’ product. Bulk sterilization, sterilization by gamma irradiation or filter sterilization followed by direct packaging utilizing the blow-fill-seal process are often used successfully for these types of products. Counterfeiting means producing products and packaging similar to the originals and selling the fake as authentic products. Counterfeit is a problem of product security, with reference to packaging is not a problem in isolation; it is the part along with: Duplication - i.e., copying labels, packaging, products, instructions and usage information, Substitution - placing inferior products in authentic or reused packaging, Tampering - by altering packages/labels and using spiked, pilfered, or stolen goods in place as real, Returns and Warranty frauds they are addressed as Brand Theft. The current numbers of anti-counterfeiting solutions are many and new options are introduced in the market with some variations. An attempt is made to explain the technologies for easy understanding on product packaging. 1. Overt (visible) features Overt features are intended to enable end users to verify the authenticity of a pack. Such features will normally be prominently visible, and difficult or expensive to reproduce. They also require utmost security in supply, handling and disposal procedures to avoid unauthorized diversion. They are designed to be applied in such a way that they cannot be reused or removed without being defaced or causing damage to the pack for this reason an overt device might be incorporated within a tamper evident feature for added security. Tamper evident packaging systems Some packages are inherently tamper proof, like a tin can hermetically sealed, an aseptically packed multilayer carton or a vacuum or the retort pack. The tamper evident packaging systems are: a) Film wrappers A transparent film with a distinctive design is wrapped securely around a product or product container. The film must be cut or torn to open the container and remove the product. Substrates options include ultra destructible films, voidable films that provides image when removed. e.g., Solvent sensitive papers. b) Shrink seals and bands Bands or wrappers with a distinctive design are shrunk by heat or drying to seal the cap and container union. The seal must be cut or torn to remove the product. c) Breakable caps Such caps break when an attempt is made to open it. These caps provide external tamper evidence and can also be combined with the internal seals thereby providing double security. d) Sealed tubes The mouth of the tube is sealed, and the seal must be punctured to obtain the product. 2. Covert (hidden) features The purpose of a covert feature is to enable the brand owner to identify counterfeited product. The general public will not be aware of its presence nor have the means to verify it. A covert feature should not be easy to detect or copy without specialist knowledge, and their details must be controlled on a “need to know” basis. If compromised or publicized, most covert features will lose some if not all of their security value . Radio frequency identification (RFID) is hardly a new concept. For some, RFID is already a mainstream technology-it is used every day to pay tolls, secure building access, catch shop lifters etc., It allows the identification of objects through a wireless communications in a fixed frequency band. Three essential components in any RFID system are: the tag, the reader and the software. The tag is an integrated circuit containing a unique tracking identifier, called an electronic product code (EPC), which is transmitted via E.M. waves in the radio spectrum. The reader captures the transmitted signal and provides the network connectivity between tag data and the system software. The software can be tailor made for the purpose of anti-counterfeiting. For their track and trace usage, RFID tags are used . When RFID tag is within the interrogation zone of the reader (i.e., interrogator) equipment; sufficient power is extracted from the interrogator to power up the tag or circuit, or a special reflective material. It then responds by transmitting data back to the interrogator. b) Active tag Such tags incorporate a battery to increase range for collating data, tag to tag communication, etc., But these are much more expensive. c) Semi-active tag In these tags batteries are used to back up the memory and data, but not to boost the range. With some active RFID tags, the batteries are only used when interrogated or when sending a homing pulse at fixed intervals to reduce cost and size. 4. Packaging designs: Materials/Substrates and other design options a) Substrates There are variety of substrates used in the design of packages with intent to provide counterfeit and tamper evident features starting from litho paper, polystyrenes, destructive vinyl's, acetate films synthetic paper and coatings etc., There are many ways of incorporating covert markers within a substrate, such as visible or UV fluorescing fibers, or chemical reagents in carton board or paper. Watermarks can be embedded in leaflet paper, or metallic threads interwoven in the base material, possibly including an overt optically variable devices (OVD) feature. These require a dedicated supply source and large volume production, which, if affordable, results in a very effective option. Micro-encapsulated distinctive odors can be applied as an additive to an ink or coating to provide a novel covert or semi-overt feature, as well as sound chips creates special opportunities in the design. b) Packaging designs Packaging designs like sealed cartons, aerosol containers have inherent strength against counterfeiting c) Sealing systems Special caps such as the outer tamper evident system or the foil seal as an internal tamper evident feature are commonly used for pharmaceutical products. Sealing options are lever-lidded tins, secure packaging tapes, lined cartons and tear tapes/bands. 5. Security labels Tamper evident and security labels play an important role in providing some relief to the consumers against fakes. In self adhesive labels the substrate mostly performs as a complimentary interaction of the substrate and the pressure sensitive adhesive. While passive security labels have been extensively used, today one can find a greater application of functional labels such as printing plus anti-theft. Some label options are: a) Paper labels with security cuts The substrate used for these labels is ordinary coated/uncoated paper. The security features are built in by the label printer at the converting stage. With the help of a special cutting die, the face material is given cuts at various angles so that by any ways one tries to remove these labels the paper will tear off. A general purpose permanent adhesive works fine with such labels. Care is taken to ensure that the adhesive will adhere well and firmly to the surface on which the label has to be applied b) Destructible labels Needs a special substrate designed for the purpose. Most of the high-end applications use a specially made cellulose acetate film. The film is very intricately designed so that it has adequate strength to undergo conversion into label stocks in roll form. It is available both in clear and opaque formats and further converted into labels using aggressive pressure sensitive adhesives. The labels can be automatically dispensed on automatic label dispensers and when attempted to be removed, break-up into very small fragmented pieces. The cost effective vinyl have replaced acetate film. A combination of various synthetic polymers can be used to impart low inherent strength to the substrate. c) Void labels and tapes The most important of the tamper evident security labels and have text built into them. When as a self adhesive label they are removed, they exhibit the word VOID both in the removed film and the adhesive layer left behind. These substrates gain importance as there can be customization built into the labels produced with it. One can use polyester or biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) as face materials. Variety of colors, even metallization is possible. The text VOID could be replaced by the customers brand, emblem or a message, which would normally be invisible till the label is opened. Due to the versatility of things that can be done with the product, these label substrates have found widespread usage worldwide. The substrates can even be designed to work as tapes for the final outer corrugated cartons to prevent pilferage. d) Self destructing paper label The labels are very similar to destructible labels as mentioned earlier. In this case, the substrate used is of very weak strength paper of low grammage. The paper is also heavily loaded with fillers creating a weak and brittle paper. Labels made from such papers fragment into pieces when attempted to be removed. However, converting it is a very tricky issue when using these substrates due to the lack of strength. The papers are very difficult to source since most of the paper mills are trying to develop papers with very high strength. e) Holographic labels The labels form a very large and important part of the security label market and are an ideal choice for product authentication. The holographic foil that is an optically variable device is largely made using a polyester film base. The optical interaction of the holographic image and the human eye makes it ideal for brand promotion and security. These products reveal the holographic image when tilted in light. The image so revealed can be customized to the need of the brand owners to make the maximum impact. The hologram production involves development of complex origination process and a lot of innovation to make it difficult for counterfeiters to duplicate. Many holograms are designed such that besides offering brand authentication they also have tamper evident properties. The top polyester layer has a special coating that if the hologram is attempted to be removed, the top layer peels off leaving the hologram behind on the product .
Publish Date: 22-09-21
Description: ULTIMATE GUIDE: BEST SOFT CLOSE DRAWER SLIDES The best soft close drawer slides will open easily, close smoothly and be certified for durability. But unfortunately finding a brand name slide that works properly isn’t easy. And, since soft close slides require precision installation, there are a few tools you MUST purchase for proper installation. In this article learn what the best drawer slides are for your projects – and what you need to install them. First, after building and installing over a thousand drawers, I know drawer slides must be durable and reliable. First up is understanding what a soft close drawer slide is – and isn’t. So, as you’d expect, a soft close drawer slide does two things. First, it prevents drawers from slamming through use of a damper that catches the drawer and slows the closing force. Then second, using (preferably) two large springs the soft close mechanism gently pulls the drawer closed. Is it the same as self closing? No. But will a quality soft close drawer slide keep most drawers closed? Yes. BEST DRAWER SLIDES FOR CABINETS AND FURNITURE As with a lot of hardware, there just isn’t a great variety of choices. While some top brands like Accuride dominate in self closing under mount slides(that are not soft closing!), they just didn’t perform as well as others. So, based on my reviews and use, here are the top three choices for your next project. There’s a reason most cabinets offer undermounts as upgrades: they simply perform better. Because an undermount drawer slide places the weight of the drawer on horizontal rollers (versus steel ball bearings) the drawer action is SMOOTHER. For example, the Blum 563H won’t require the hard pull to open like you’d find in a low quality side mount soft close slide. And, since they aren’t metal-on-metal, you’ll find they are quieter as well. So what’s the catch? You’ll need to make a few custom measurements as these slides don’t use a standard 1/2″ side clearance. Instead, you’ll have a slightly wider drawer and require an extra 1/4″ or so clearance under the drawer to fit the slide. I was surprised with this drawer slide. First, they come individually or in packs of 2, 6 and 10 at half the price of most other drawer slides. And, while they what I consider a “generic” slide as they aren’t from one of the established manufacturers, their construction was TOP NOTCH when stacked up against the other slides. And, in a brand test, I’ve put these ahead of the well known Accuride as they simply performed better and were surprisingly quieter when opened and closed. As you know, or don’t, that will matter when you first open and close the door as a “clicking and clacking” sound is one of the hallmarks of poor performing ball bearing slides (soft close or standard). Lastly, with their great bundled price, I’ve also installed these in a recent garage workshop makeover. And after loading one drawer (~15″ x 22″) to capacity with heavy screw boxes it has performed fantastic. I’ve even attempted to slam the drawer and it’s damper has worked each time. And the Accuride C-3832 drawer slide is a strong competitor. However, due to price and noise it falls to #4 on the list as it’s performance doesn’t stand out from the competitors to justify it’s hefty price tag. Curiously, this slide had the #1 issue with side mount ball bearing slides: it opened loud. While most high quality slides have extra “bumpers” to ensure 3 tracks don’t do this my test showed a louder than average click. However, if you’re an Accuride fan, and want to purchase slides from an industry name, then these slides are something to consider. For a brand name drawer slide with an industry reputation the Knape & Vogt are an option to the Vadania drawer slides but fall short on closing force. Due to a thinner design (7/16″), single spring design, shorter rail, and among the lowest closing force of all slides I don’t recommend this slide. Unfortunately, this slide attempted a different soft closing mechanism with a single spring and it just didn’t compare head-to-head to the other slides. For that reason, when searching for the best soft close drawer slides I’d pass on the 8400P. I am a fan, however, of the Knape and Vogt TruTrac slides for standard duty ball bearing without soft close. I was expecting great things from these slides but was disappointed. Due to a sloppy rail when opening and the loudest closing noise these slides just didn’t measure up to the others on this list. The Promark rear mounting brackets, however, were excellent and worked on all the slides I tested. And I particularly liked the extra wide rear width for easy screw hole access. I know you want to get to the drawer slides. But, before we do I want to share a few tips on what else to buy. Or, no matter how good the slide is won’t operate correctly, it might fail later, or you may possibly break it during installation: Drawer slide jigs are a must to properly align your drawers during installation. Most cost less than 1-2 pairs of slides and the Kreg KHI-SLIDE is most popular. Rear mount brackets are a must for face frame applications as they make installation faster and improve drawer performance with infinite adjustment. I’ve used the ProMark and Lontan and prefer the ProMark as it has a larger rear screw plate. Drawer screws sent by most manufacturers are inadequate. So, I use Rok #8 truss head screws in both drawer European slides and soft close cabinet hinges as they have a superior hold. So, add these 3 to your shopping list and you’ll experience a MUCH SMOOTHER installation. Don’t want hardware on the front of your drawers? Well, you’re in luck if you have a frameless design to your cabinets. By adding push to close to an undermount soft close drawer slide you can gently push the drawer front and the drawer will glide partly open. While these aren’t cheap, you can factor in the savings of not having to purchase additional hardware (and install them). Who makes these? A few options: King under mount push to open slides that have this feature built-in Blum TIP-ON is an accessory to their TANDEM slides that can be added to any compatible drawer to upgrade to push to open. Heavy Duty Undermount Soft Close Drawer Slides While heavy duty drawer slides, for me, start around 150 pounds there are a few options for soft close drawer slides at 125 pounds: Blum heavy duty under mount with 125 pound capacity SOFT CLOSE DRAWER SLIDE RATINGS We’ll go through each drawer slide in detail, but after my testing I ranked the slides as follows. A few aren’t easy to find, so I’ve included links for buying now – and most are most economical in a 6 or 10-pack (just divide by quantity to get per unit). Lastly, don’t forget rear mounting brackets, screws and a drawer slide jig when installing these soft close drawer slides Drawer slides can be as easy or as hard as you allow them, and it all depends on what type of slide you choose. In this guide we are going to cover the many different types of Drawer slides on the market, the many different ways a slide can be fitted into a cabinet, and then some help tips for you to decide which is the ideal type you need for your application. This is allot to cover especially when you consider that a drawer slide should be a very simple device to buy and install, but the reality is there are allot of external factors you must consider. Different types of Drawer Slide Drawer slides, or as they are sometimes called a drawer rollers, are a type of mechanism that allows smooth linear motion in one axis. They are most commonly used in pairs and found in a huge range of applications, mostly kitchen cabinets. Drawer slides generally work by having one component to slide over a slightly larger or smaller component of equal shape with roller bearings between them to create the smooth rolling function, which allows the entire mechanism to extend or retract. Drawer slides are not motorized but can be if a linear actuator is attached to provide the hands free motion for you. Generally, you will use drawer slides on their own and will likely encounter only two main types: Ball-Bearing Slides & Roller Slides. Roller slides consists of two components, the sliding main member strut and the fixed cabinet drawer strut. These types of slides are not fixed together until after you have attached them to both the drawer and the fixed cabinet. Only then can you slide the drawer into position and they then slide in and out freely. Each strut having one wheel attached at each end is what allows the slides to run freely but it has its limitations. Having only onw wheel to carry the load is a huge disadvantage. This means that the load carried by the entire drawer and its contents is all focused onto the one wheel at either side of the cabinet drawer. This point load can be large for cabinets that need to carry more load and will eventually result in failure. Another thing to note is that the plastic wheels are not mounted onto bearings, they are simply plastic wheels on a metal axel that will eventually cause noise or wear problems at some point during its lifetime. One main advantage of these is that they are very cheap to purchase from any hardware store. 17mm ball bearing slides as you can see from the image above are completely different to Roller slides. These make use of ball bearings encased in a bearing cage so they don't fall out, and some models offer a telescopic motion. By telescopic we mean that the Rails have 3 or more members that once combined together are able to extend the same distance or more than their total closed length. This great use of space is what gives them such a great appeal because the drawers are then able to slide out 100% of the drawers depth in a cabinet, where-as using a roller slide you can typically only achieve around 75% opening. These types of slide rails offer extreme rigidity of the draw when fully opened or closed and allows them to carry a significant amount of weight. Plus the are easy to install as they have many hole patterns pre drilled along the length of each member for attaching them to both the fixed cabinet and the cabinet drawer. To open the the slides so that they can be installed simply press the lever down to unlock the full extended opening. Please view the video further down this article to see how to do that. Please note however not all Drawer slides come with the lever feature to take apart the drawer slides, all FIRGELLI drawer slides do have this feature however. Ball-bearing drawer slides provide a huge durability life span and have much larger load rating compared to roller slides. Within our range of Ball Bearing slides we do even offer a very heavy duty type. Click here to view them. Heavy duty versions of ball-bearing slides
Publish Date: 22-09-21
Description: How to Choose A Kitchen Faucet The sink and faucet area is one of the most-used in any kitchen, and are often treated as a design focal point for the room. Upgrading your kitchen faucet is an easy and economical way to give your space a quick design refresh, or complement a whole kitchen transformation. A new faucet changes the look of the whole space. Be smart about the choice so that you find the best fit for your home and know what to look for before you buy. It’s no surprise that the kitchen faucet is one of the most well used items in the room, but what might be news is how many improvements have been made to this simple fixture. There are many more options than just the selection of comfortable handles for the hot and cold water lines. It’s a good idea to explore the different styles, finishes, and features that are available when selecting a new faucet. The right design will look great for years, and add to the value of your home - all while meeting the demands of your busy kitchen. Take a broader view of what the options are and bring home the best fit. Before you shop, it’s helpful to have an idea of what you want the end result to look like. Take stock of the styles and colors you want to emphasize and accent in your kitchen, as well as the size of your sink and countertop to compare as you consider a new faucet. The most important part about choosing a new faucet is that you be happy with the new addition to your kitchen after the installation, so always keep the final product in mind as you browse. Grab the measuring tape, because it’s time to get some numbers. It’s usually easier to find a faucet that works in the space allowed than it would be to rebuild the kitchen to accommodate a faucet. As with all home improvement projects, picking a new faucet requires some educated placement decisions, a general idea of what you want the finished sink area to look like, and the scope of the tasks it will be used for. This means you should know how wide and deep the basin is, especially in comparison to the size of plates, pots, and pans you plan to wash in the sink. Any faucet you buy will need to have a high enough spout for these chores and others, as well as a low enough placement to avoid excess splashing that will make a mess outside of the sink. Similarly, if you are looking at a deck-mounted faucet, know how much room is available behind the sink to install the faucet. A wall-mounted faucet needs to be placed with the spout extending over the center of the sink, which requires taking into account the space between the interior edge of the sink and the wall. For that, you will compare the sink measurements to the size of the faucets as you narrow down the selection. Measure the countertop behind the sink, and the diameter of the pre-drilled holes and the distance between their centers. You will need to know the width of the sink as well as the depth between the wall and sink edge. This is important for both the installation and the regular use of your faucet, as you’ll need to be sure there is room between the wall and faucet to fully articulate the faucet handles or levers. As you search for a new kitchen faucet, you’ll see a number of other options to choose from that influence the overall style and operation of the faucet in your home. It’s a good idea to understand the basic configurations before you choose, to be aware of the product information and ensure you get exactly the features you want. In a counter- or deck-mounted installation, drinking faucets can be mounted on the counter or sink edge. Deck mounted is the more common style, and it helps draw attention to the sink as a design element in your kitchen. Here you’ll find the largest variety of faucets, ranging from single-hole mounts to up to three-hole mounts, in all sizes and finishes. Wall mounted kitchen faucets are often found in more commercial or industrial locations, with a unique and modern style. Home kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and greenhouses often rely on wall-mounted faucets for their space-saving design. In smaller kitchens with limited counter space, wall mounted faucets free up the counter and allow different design options for the sink, and unique plumbing profile lines. Valves regulate water flow and temperature from the faucets. They’re the basic control inside the faucet body that makes the water pour from the spout and aerator, turning on or off at your command with the turn of a handle. The different valve types work differently, which changes the capabilities of the design, and it also means that they require different kinds of maintenance over the long term. The valve type often describes the basic operation of the faucet, naming the moving parts that stop the water from leaking. There are many types, but there are four that are more common to come across. Ball valve - A ball valve is recognized by the single handle near the base that can control the water flow and the water temperature by pivoting and rotating to blend the water as needed. Disk valve - A ceramic disk valve faucet handle can move up and down to control the flow of the water, and side to side to control the amount of hot or cold in the mix. It gets the name from the two flat disks inside the faucet mechanisms that create the seal to control the water flow; moving the handle will separate the disks and allow the water through to the spigot. The disk valve can be replaced without replacing the entire faucet. Cartridge valve - Cartridge valves are hollow valves that are often found in faucets with blade handles because they only need turned to as much as a 90-degree angle to work. The cartridge rotates to block the water line to the spout. For a single handle faucet, the cartridge moving up and down will allow the water flow, and turning the handle left to right will control the temperature. When there are separate handles, such as in a three or four hole sink set up, two individual handles can control the hot and cold water lines separately to mix in the faucet. Cartridges can be replaced without needing to replace the entire faucet. Compression valve - A compression valve is usually found in older fixture styles. They look like the traditional faucet, with the 360 degree, turn-screw, knob handles. Hot and cold water are managed by separate handles, and in more vintage set ups, they can be routed to different taps as well. Turning the handles will tighten or loosen an internal washer, and that compression closes the water line. Because of how they are built, a busted compression valve will often require replacing the whole faucet rather than a few internal pieces. If your sink is a drop-in, undermount, or farmhouse design, it is likely to have a set of holes drilled or pre-punched into the deck for the faucet and other plumbing fixtures. The faucet itself can take up as many as 3 holes, depending on the type of faucet you choose, and other fixtures like soap dispensers can be installed for your convenience, too. Whether you will choose one hole, two, or even four holes along the sink deck depends on the kind of look or style that you want as much as the kind of faucet you choose. Single-hole faucet with a pull-down sprayer - These can include the high, gooseneck faucets with the tall, drastic arch leading to the spout, as well as the more industrial-style pre-rinse faucet with the durable springs and lever handle along the spray-hose for added reach and control. Others mount the handle on the faucet body, while touchless models require no handle at all; just wave at the side-mounted sensor, or for tomorrow’s kitchens, give a voice command to start up the water. Single-hole faucet with a side-spray - While it may be a single hole faucet, the smaller side spray will occupy a second hole pre-drilled in the sink deck or countertop. This is a simple, clean look that doesn’t take up too much extra room on the deck and offers versatility and utility. Two-hole escutcheon plates are available to accent the design, or to cover up a third hole in the sink that might not be needed. Two-handle faucet (3-hole layout) - To emphasize the artistic design of a faucet, some fixtures will have hot and cold water as separate handles, one on each side of the center faucet. It visually helps take up a little extra space along the sink edge and draws attention as a design focal point. They are also very easy to use while doing the usual sink-based chores, with one-handed hot or cold water at the turn of a handle. An escutcheon plate cover can also be utilized cover one of three holes, to allow a faucet with a single, separate control handle. Bridge faucet with side spray (4-hole layout) - A bridge faucet will have two temperature handles alongside a center water flow pipe. The hot and cold water will travel up their dedicated handles and then mix in the connection between them on the way to the spout. A bridge faucet can take up three holes or two, depending on the style you choose, and will usually require a separate side spray as the bridge connection prevents the extending hose feature. There isn’t much to be done with a stainless sink faucet; the entire purpose of it is as a water source, and the water is either on or off, right? Not exactly. The shape of the faucet changes from one design to another, and companies like Moen, Delta, Brizo, and Kohler are constantly looking to improve how the kitchen faucet interacts in the home. It started with the basics, like the side spray and the pull-down faucet. Now, technology-savvy companies have even wondered: why should you have to dirty up the finish with soapy fingerprints when waving a plate under the faucet could turn the water on? And their ideas and solutions improve year after year, all to make the kitchen life a little easier with a wide variety of standard features to choose from. Side sprayer - A classic staple at the kitchen sink was the side sprayer. The smaller faucet is located at the end of an extendable hose, offering directed water pressure exactly where it is needed, whether cleaning the pots and pans, scrubbing the sink, or watering a potted plant. Pull-out faucet - The pullout faucet offers all the convenience of the side sprayer without taking up any extra space on the sink edge. The hose extends down toward the sink or at an angle just above it, which adds a slight advantage in reach. Electronic faucet features - A growing trend in today’s homes is the addition of smart technology, computerized mechanics that help make the everyday chores a little easier. The kitchen sink can now be turned on and off with the wave of a hand thanks to motion sensor technology installed in the faucet body. Other designs include the ability to control the sink by talking to it, taking hands-free activation a step further with voice-activation. Electronic features are safe and convenient, but they may require professional installation. Sinks with electronic features will need to be installed with access to a reliable power supply, so keep their placement in mind during your kitchen remodel plans. Water filtering - Some kitchen faucets are available with built-in filtration options that can purify your tap water to make it drinkable, right from the faucet. These high-capacity faucets are capable of delivering as much as 1GPM of water, filtering out common problem chemicals like chlorine, lead, mercury, and even pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Drinking water dispensers - Whether filtered and cold, or ready for cocoa or tea, dedicated drinking water dispensers can be installed at the sink. They are sized to fit in the same holes that a regular kitchen faucet would use, but they are designed to pour water at a slower rate, more appropriate for filling drinking cups. They are usually found as part of a filter kit, and many include hot water dispensers that store and maintain water at a drinkable temperature just right for tea. Finally, one of the most important details when selecting a brushed stainless kitchen faucet is choosing the perfect finish. The finish determines the color and durability of the faucet for years to come. From stainless steel, to copper, to modern black, the finish can be found in a variety of metals and colors to coordinate with the accenting colors of your kitchen hardware and appliances. Newer finishes are designed specifically to resist the oils of fingerprints and smudges, making it easier to keep clean and helping to keep your family healthy. As it turns out, it’s even okay to mix metals in your home decor, so go with the style that you like. Chrome is currently one of the most popular finishes because of its versatility. It is durable, easy to find, and easy to match with accessories and other fixtures. A brushed nickel finish is very durable, keeping its finish longer and resisting wear and tear. Copper finishes provide a bold and rich feel to your space. With the ability to ‘heal itself’, the more it gets used, the better it looks. If you’re looking for a good balance of durability and style, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel. At the end of the day, make sure you pick a faucet that works with your style. While some finishes tend to be more durable than others, on the whole, most finishes will stand the test of every-day wear and tear. So really focus on style here, and find something that matches your space.
Publish Date: 22-09-21
Description: How Padlocks Work Learn about the standard iron padlock to understand the main parts, how they work and also how to bypass the mechanical security features to pick the lock. With thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this article. Go to Squarespace.com for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, go to http://squarespace.com/engineeringmin… and add code “ENGINEERINGMINDSET” at checkout to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. Padlocks come in many shapes colours and sizes. They have been around for hundreds of years, ranging in complexity of design by different people and civilisations depending on the technology and manufacturing processes they had available. With the industrial revolution came the mass-produced padlock which eventually settled on a pin tumbler design. Called so because inside are some pins and a barrel which rotates or tumbles over. These are strong mechanical locks which are easy to mass produce and we find them used for everything from keeping our bikes where we left them to symbolising the everlasting love between two people on a bridge, and then throwing the key away to ensure it can’t be undone. But these types of locks, especially the cheap ones, can be unlocked without a key if you know the correct method and once we understand how the lock works we’ll learn how to pick the lock. When we look at a padlock the most noticeable feature is the U-shaped shackle at the top. In the unlocked position, one end of the shackle pops out of the main body allowing this component to rotate freely. On the inside surface of the shackle we will find two notches. These form part of the lock mechanism and we’ll see that part shortly. To lock the brass padlock we simply align the end of the shackle with the hole in the lock body and push these together. You’ll feel the internal locking mechanism engage and click into place, the shackle will now be unable to leave the body of the lock. To unlock the padlock we need to insert the correct key into the key hole at the bottom of the lock body, and rotate the key until it releases the shackle. When the key is turned, the plug will rotate. The plug has a number of holes in the top, within each hole there is a small metal cylinder known as a key pin. Each key pin is a different height, and this will correspond to the profile of the key. When a key is inserted into the lock, the key pins will follow the profile of the key and move up and down until the key is fully inserted. Once fully inserted, if the correct key has been used, then the top of each key pin will align with the shear line. The driver pins will have been pushed up and will now fully sit within the housing while the key pins sits fully within the plug. This means the plug is now able to rotate. If the wrong key is inserted then the pins will not align and the plug will be unable to rotate. The key is inserted into the plug. The different sized key pins rest inside a number of holes inside the plug and will move up and down to follow the profile of the key. If the correct key is inserted then the top of the key pins will align with the top of the plug. This pushes the driver pins out of the plug holes and into their respective chamber. The springs ensure the driver pins will be forced into the holes if the wrong key, or if no key, is inserted. With all the pins cleared, the key can rotate the plug. At the end of the plug is a cam which also rotates with the plug. This connects with the arms of the two latches. The latches are pushed outwards by a spring, this pushes the arm against the cam but also pushes the latch into a notch on the shackle preventing the lock from opening without the key. With the correct key inserted the plug is free to rotate, this rotates the cam which pulls the latches inwards against the spring, releasing the shackle. A spring within the shackle chamber pushes the arm outward releasing the lock. Nowadays, there are many gifts you can give your loved ones. Often, you wonder what to give that special someone to let them feel that you love them forever. Perhaps a love padlock engraved with a message would work. Engraved padlocks are the new trend and are available for you online on Amazon, or you can visit your local gift shop. Love locks are excellent symbols of commitment to a lover, a friend, family, e.t.c. They are a perfect way to express to someone what they mean to you. Traditionally, people hang the padlocks on bridges, but you may have other creative ideas. However, some lovelocks do not come with keys. They symbolize locking your love forever. Here are a few engraved padlocks you can consider. Let us begin, 40mm Personalized Engraved Love Lock The solid brass 40mm engraved disc padlock is a beautiful design with a permanent message engraved in bold letters. You can see the writings under most lighting conditions. It comes with an attractive, black gift box, whose price is overall. It is easily customizable according to your tastes and preference. The gift box also has engravings of your liking, and the letters come with a unique design. You can also look for ones on Amazon with the message you want or place an order with the exact specifications you need. You can also visit your nearby gift shop and select or order one from the manufacturer. The engraved love lock has a shiny brass color on the top area and a golden color on the bold writings. It comes with a pair of functional keys which resemble the tri-circle padlock design. The 40mm engraved love lock is an ideal gift for father’s day, mother’s day, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, valentines, e.t.c. Long Shackle lovelock Double Shaped Heart It comes in many exciting colors such as pink, red, blue, purple, e.t.c. The long shackle would be a lovely present for someone who loves colorful items. You can also order the color you like with the message of your liking engraved on it. There is a gift box available which you can also personalize with a message. The long shackle engraved padlock does not have a key, so on one end, it has a small colored rubber or plastic seal for decoration. The large latch is ideal for hanging on a bridge with your loved ones. It is an excellent gift for colorful occasions such as weddings, Valentine’s day, birthdays, e.t.c. It has a heart-shaped design that captures the essence of love once you set your eyes on it. You can order it online on Amazon or any gift shop outlet available to you. Bird pink 4 Digit Combination Love Lock It has a unique and stunning combination of colors. It can get personalized with paintings of your choice to make it more customizable. The material of the love lock is alloy steel and stainless steel that makes it high security. The four-digit combination makes up for the keys, for you can unlock it automatically using the password you set. It is ideal for locking gym lockers, luggage, sheds, gates, e.t.c. You can personalize it by engraving it with a message to a friend, family, or spouse. You can make a few clicks online and order it from Amazon or visit your nearby gift shop to get a customizable one. Engraved love lock Necklace Engraved Padlocks come in a variety of designs ranging from chokers to necklaces and chains. The pendant can be heart-shaped, square, rectangle, or any personalized shape you want. Gifting a love lock necklace engraved with a message is a thoughtful idea. You can also hang it on bridges if you prefer memorable romantic moments. An engraved golden heart necklace might be just the thing your spouse needs if he/she likes fancy necklaces. You can purchase them on Amazon or your local jewelry or gift shop. Heart Engraved PadLock and Key Set These charming engraved heart lock engraved laminated padlock will melt your heart once you set your eyes on them. They have the most romantic message engraved on them. You can easily customize them with the type of message you want. In most cases, the message will either be just what you wanted to convey or will be beyond your expectations. They also come in the most endearing colors, light pink, shiny grey, silver, gold, e.t.c. The product is a perfect wedding and couple gift since it comes with a wedding card box. These pretty love locks are available on Amazon, or you can check them out at your nearby gift shop. Iron Antique Vintage Engraved Love Lock The Iron Antique Vintage Engraved padlock is also called the “love rock”. It’s common among couples, sweethearts, love birds who usually lock it on a bridge, tree, gate, and other placements to symbolize their love. The interest in love padlocks has spiked since the turn of the century as more people look for different ways to express their love to each other. The vintage love lock features a customized engravement on individual pieces. Some versions have rustic textures to highlight how long both individuals have been together. You can buy the Iron Antique Vintage Engraved Padlock as a gift to your special friend through online platforms such as Etsy. The engraving gives a personal touch to the item added to the lock includes two skeleton keys (one for each partner). Silver-Tone Heart- Shaped Love Lock The silver Tone Heart Shaped love lock gestures a love-shaped design coupled with a personalized engraving on its surface. You can opt for a name, quote, verse, etc. The product also comes with a key for unlocking. The engraved weatherproof padlock comes in a dominant silver-white color, sleek design measuring between 1.75” by 1.40” by 4.0” in height. You can also purchase the product enclosed in a gift box and a bow ribbon for a more personalized touch. The Silver Tone Heart Shaped love lock is suited for gifts, birthday presents, and on special occasions. Vintage Copper Engraved Padlocks Copper love locks have existed for a long time. These love locks come off as extremely durable, safe, and highly customizable. You can purchase the products from online stores such as Amazon and eBay or at antique stores. It becomes even more meaningful when you gift it to your spouse, loved one, or friend. Vintage copper gives off a rustic look that seems to transcend the realms of time. It has an old-school feeling and might feature other unique properties such as the shape of the keys and the overall aesthetics of the engraved padlock. Bottom Line: Engraved padlocks are unique locks in every aspect. In contrast to standard versions, they provide a special message and give off a personalized feel to the product. Engraved padlocks are perfect gifts for occasions such as graduations, valentine’s day, birthdays, engagements, wedding ceremonies, marriage anniversaries, etc. I am sure you will agree with me that before adopting extravagant decisions, such as locking up stuff with them, a gift like an engraved padlock from someone would be something you would treasure.
Publish Date: 22-09-21
Description: Intelligent Mining Technology for an Underground Metal Mine Based on Unmanned Equipment This article presents facts and figures on mining equipment safety and reviews various important aspects of mining equipment safety including quarry accidents, electrical accidents, equipment fires, maintenance-related mining accidents, causes of mining equipment accidents and major ignition sources for mining equipment fires. A number of methods considered useful for performing mining equipment safety analysis are also presented. Useful strategies to reduce mining equipment fires and injuries, guidelines to improve electrical safety in the mining industry, and human-factor-related tips for safer mining equipment are discussed. This article analyzes the current research status and development trend of intelligent technologies for underground metal mines in China, where such technologies are under development for use to develop mineral resources in a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly manner. We analyze and summarize the research status of underground metal mining technology at home and abroad, including some specific examples of equipment, technology, and applications. We introduce the latest equipment and technologies with independent intellectual property rights for unmanned mining, including intelligent and unmanned control technologies for rock-drilling jumbos, down-the-hole (DTH) drills, underground scrapers, underground mining trucks, and underground charging vehicles. Three basic platforms are used for intelligent and unmanned mining: the positioning and navigation platform, information-acquisition and communication platform, and scheduling and control platform. Unmanned equipment was tested in the Fankou Lead-Zinc Mine in China, and industrial tests on the basic platforms of intelligent and unmanned mining were carried out in the mine. The experiment focused on the intelligent scraper, which can achieve autonomous intelligent driving by relying on a wireless communication system, location and navigation system, and data-acquisition system. These industrial experiments indicate that the technology is feasible. The results show that unmanned mining can promote mining technology in China to an intelligent level and can enhance the core competitive ability of China’s mining industry. With the world’s rapid economic development, the demand for mineral resources is increasing. It has been forecast that the depth of more than 33% of the metal mines in China will reach or exceed 1000?m within the next decade. Deep underground mining will become the trend of metal mining in China . To overcome the disadvantages of traditional mining methods, such as excessive resource consumption, poor operating environments, low production efficiency, high safety risks, high production costs, and severe pollution, it is essential to develop an intelligent mining technology for underground metal mines that provides complete safety, environmental protection, and efficiency , . Some developed countries have done a great deal of work in the field of intelligent mining for underground metal mines over many years, and thus have considerable experience in this field. At the beginning of the 21st century, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and other developed countries made plans for intelligent and unmanned mining. At the Stobie Mine, an underground mine belonging to the International Nickel Company of Canada, Ltd. and a typical example of such an automated mine, mobile devices such as scrapers, rock drills, and underground mining trucks are operated remotely and workers can operate the equipment directly from the central control room on the surface . According to the Canadian government’s 2050 long-range plan, Canada intends to transform one of its underground mines in the northern part of the country into an unmanned mine. The plan states that all devices will be controlled from Sudbury via satellite in order to achieve intelligent and unmanned mining. Another intelligent mining program covering 28 topics—including the real-time process control of mining, real-time management of resources, construction of a mine information network, and application of new technology and automatic control—was carried out in Finland. Sweden has developed the Grountecknik 2000 strategic plan for mine automation , , , and veteran mining equipment companies such as Atlas Copco are actively developing a series of unmanned underground gold mining equipment and related control systems that can be used to implement the strategic plan. One of the most famous institutes in unmanned vehicles, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia, is making great efforts to achieve the intelligent mining of underground mines, with a particular focus on the unmanned control of various types of equipment . Although these developed countries have already invested a considerable amount of time and money into the study of intelligent mining, only a few related studies have been carried out in China, especially in the field of intelligent equipment and platforms. In order to rapidly advance its intelligent mining capabilities, China is supporting many intelligent mining projects, including the Key Technology and Software Development for Digital Mining project and the High-Precision Positioning for Underground Unmanned Mining Equipment and Intelligent Unmanned Scraper Model Research project. In particular, a project titled Intelligent Mining Technology for Underground Metal Mines was established during the 12th Five-Year Plan, in order to promote intelligent mining technology to a certain extent. This article introduces several research achievements and their applications in this project. Trackless mining equipment such as rock-drilling jumbos, down-the-hole (DTH) drills, underground scrapers, underground mining trucks, and underground charging vehicles have been developed using intelligent technologies. Suitable communication techniques, sensors, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, information technology, and computer technology for mining equipment and platforms have been implemented. The experimental results indicate that some of the system’s functionalities are innovative and show good performance. 2. Intelligent mining Mining is one of the oldest industries in the world. environmental protection equipment techniques have passed through a rapid change from artificial production, mechanized production, and on-site remote-control production, to intelligent and fully automated production. In order to move the mining industry forward, mechanization tools have been developed, single-equipment and independent systems have been automated, and the entire mining production process has been highly automated . By integrating information technology with the industrialization of mining technology, intelligent mining technology has been rapidly developed, based on mechanized and automated mining, as shown in Fig. 1. This has resulted in the gradual upgrading of intelligent processes in mining equipment; unmanned and centralized mining equipment have now entered the stage of practical application, which will significantly advance the automation and information technology used in mining Integrated communication, sensors, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, information technologies, computer technologies, and unmanned control equipment were combined in order to achieve intelligent mining technologies, as shown in Fig. 2. Such technologies are based on precise, reliable, and accurate decision-making and production process management through real-time monitoring; they allow mine production to be maintained at the optimum level, and lead to improved mining efficiency and economic benefits. In this way, green, safe, and efficient mining can be achieved. Taking a typical trackless mining technology as an example, intelligent mining technology can be divided into three layers—the control layer, transport layer, and executive layer . As shown in Fig. 3, the executive layer mainly consists of trackless mining equipment such as rock-drilling jumbos, DTH drills, underground scrapers, underground mining trucks, or underground charging vehicles. The transport layer mainly includes a ubiquitous information-acquisition system, wireless communication system, and precise positioning and intelligent navigation system. The control layer is designed as a system-level platform, and is responsible for intelligent mining process scheduling and control. This is the core of the entire system, because all intelligent mining-related functions and control ideas are implemented through this platform. First, a reasonable gold and diamond mining equipment plan is designed by analyzing the reserves of mine resources and geological conditions in combination with the underground production schedule. Next, an intelligent scheduling and control platform is developed. Control instructions for the equipment are sent through the transport layer to a specific piece of equipment in order to perform a mining task at a specific position and time. Within the executive layer, the control layer collects current information on the tunnel and basic information about the vehicle in real time; this information can be used to determine the location of the equipment or adjust it at any time until that entire stage of the mining plan is successfully completed. Intelligent trackless mining technology is based on intelligent unmanned equipment at the executive layer, such as rock-drilling jumbos, DTH drills, underground scrapers, underground mining trucks, or underground charging vehicles. The functions of intelligent and unmanned diamond mining equipment differ according to the different tasks each piece of equipment must carry out. 3.1. Intelligent rock-drilling jumbo Rock drilling is the key process in mining, and plays a very important role in productivity, cost, and efficiency. Different geological conditions require different mining methods, and different methods require different types of rock drilling. A hydraulic rock-drilling jumbo is needed for medium-length hole drilling (i.e., depth of 20–30?m, diameter of 60–100?mm) . An intelligent and unmanned rock-drilling jumbo has been designed to support intelligent mining technology and efficiently complete drilling work. Remote control and a virtual-reality display were the first basic technologies implemented in the unmanned hydraulic rock-drilling jumbo. Fig. 4 shows the initial unmanned control platform for the jumbo on the surface. The virtual prototype display system, including on-site audio and video signals, is well-integrated in order to increase the feeling of immersion while performing remote-control operations. Furthermore, the rock-drilling jumbo is autonomously controlled and operated in the tunnel under the guidance of a positioning and navigation system. By coordinating the positioning system and altitude control system, the jumbo can achieve autonomous driving to the location from the dispatch layer. This is a major step toward achieving continuous operation without interference. Given the coordinates of the drilling-hole position in the three-dimensional (3D) digital map of the mine, the identification of the stope top and floor and the accurate positioning of the rock-drilling system can be achieved independently. This provides a basis for unmanned operation. The intelligent control flow diagram is shown in Fig. 5. The rock-drilling parameters are independently adjusted according to the rock conditions. The intelligent rock-drilling jumbo (shown in Fig. 6) is equipped with components for intelligent blockage prevention, rock-characteristic acquisition, and frequency matching; an automatic rod function; and a fully automatic drill-pipe bank. The hole-blasting parameters are specified independently, according to the scheduling system that is used, in order to ensure continuous drilling.
Publish Date: 22-09-21