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Security Sealing - Getting it right to prevent losses & enhance your Health & Safety

Security Sealing - Getting it right to prevent losses & enhance your Health & Safety

There is a suitable security seal for every application you can imagine but just recently at a couple of meetings with new customers we’ve been astonished by the use of seals totally inappropriate for their purpose.

In the first instance a roll cage of high value goods was being secured by afixed length sealthat allowed enough space to get your hand into the cage and pluck out any desirable item within range. This was at the DC of a big well known retailer; they acknowledged they had been experiencing losses!

A similar issue was reported by one of our business managers at Heathrow where unit load devices (ULDs) that are stowed in aircraft holds were being secured using a fixed length seal and once again the ULD could be opened after sealing, without breaking the seal or leaving any evidence. In both these cases a pull tight type seal was supplied to ensure the containers were properly and securely sealed.

In a third case a speciality chemical manufacturer was using apadlock sealon a drum ring clamp eyelet and was finding the seals were being broken-off if the drums knocked together in transit. In this case the material in the unsealed drum was being rejected by the end user and having to be shipped back from the United States, a substantial additional cost and inconvenience to the manufacturer. In this case a speciality drum seal that fits flush to the container (pictured) was supplied.

In the age of the internet it is so quick and easy to find what you need on line that often the opportunity of talking to an expert and getting their advice is neglected. Perhaps these industry experts are seen as sales people and not trusted to provide either expert or impartial advice. This is now such an overwhelming trend that many of our competitors no longer have a sales team that can visit customers’ sites, relying instead on their website and office based sales people that often have little in the way of hands on industry experience. At Unisto a team of long serving experts is on hand to visit customers, test samples on their applications and give best advice, if necessary recommending and / or sourcing competitors’ product to provide the best solution should a Unisto product be unsuitable.

This summer Unisto has been busy devising and developing new products and ideas that can assist customers to better manage their security controls and helping with efficiency and health and safety.

Metal detectable security seals

As a result of strong demand in the food and pharmaceutical industry Unisto has developed a range of metal detectable seal products that allows any seal or part of a seal to be found in the customers’ product by on line metal detectors or X ray equipment. The seals that have been upgraded are ones that are already industry standards for sealing liner bags, valves and cages thus most often used in the foreign body sensitive industries of food and pharma.

Mobile phone camera labels

The management of site visitors for health and safety, food safety, and security control is all important to businesses these days, making sure that they sign in and out and everyone is accounted for and accompanied. Visitors to your site are now all fully equipped for industrial espionage with mobile phones that can take high definition photo and video images. When you step out of your office to get coffee who knows what sensitive information can be gathered from your desk or notice boards?

Unisto now offers a range of stock, non-residue phone camera security labels that stick over the camera lenses to stop unauthorised use of phone cameras. These seals are serial numbered and clearly marked with aNo Photographysymbol. We have noticed great demand for camera labels amongst certain industries and professions where information about clients, industrial processes or technical know-how is particularly sensitive. The risk of your intellectual property getting into the wrong hands is always a worry and this is another control that you can put in place to give you peace of mind.

Bar coded seals

Bar coding has been about since the 1970s and is still the industry standard for the management of consumer goods. Bar coded security seals have also been around for a long time but the take-up of automatic identification and data capture to manage security seals has been sporadic. Some industries such as Cash-in-Transit, thoroughly embraced it as an excellent and fool proof way to track cash and valuables through a complex process. For decades now it has worked and continues to work brilliantly. Few other industries have yet decided to use barcoding to track and control their security seals efficiently. Part of that reluctance is most probably down to the rise in and excitement over RFID. The strong argument for Bar Coding over RFID is detailed inspection. When you scan a barcode you have the barcoded item in front of you and can inspect its integrity, whether it’s been damaged or the seal’s been opened. RFID is normally used in operator free processes where the tagged items pass through a tunnel that reads the RFID tags; it tells you that the tags are all there but not whether the items they are attached to are actually intact. Bar coding is simple tried and trusted and should be widely used in logistical systems to remove human error in data capture. A combination cordless bar code scanner and digital camera can give you all the detail you need to manage your security system. It can show that the seal is correctly fitted and ensure that the seal number is captured and provide a time and date stamped image of the seal at the point of reading together with GPS location. All-in-all providing a fully integrated security seal management solution.

IBC security

Another growing sector for Unisto is chemical distribution in intermediate bulk containers that require both lids and taps to be securely sealed against accidental leakage, contamination or unauthorised access. Unisto has several seals that can be used for this application. In recent years an especially longModulo 1Sealwas developed by Unisto’s French production site. This is a seal that can actually be made to any length required, however for IBCs a standard length of 2,400mm seals both lid and tap with a single seal.

ALC tote box security

The injection moulded plastic tote box with attached and interlocking lid is widely used equipment for distributing small components, retail items and even secure post and has a wide variety of security sealing methods depending on the sensitivity and value of the contents.

At entry level is the tote box closure with no markings or perhaps, simply a logo. With a consecutive number or optional bar code and SEALED the device becomes a security seal and can be efficiently controlled and monitored. This type of seal/closure is quick to fit and remove without tools in a retail store or office. However for ultimate security, tote boxes are sealed using a wraparound pull tight seal that hold the lid securely tight and can provide additional space for numbering barcode and logo. Mindful of health and safety Unisto has provided a feedback slot in the tag through which to thread the seal ribbon to prevent eye damage that can so easily be caused by a stiff plastic ribbon when working on a loading bank or delivering to store.

The safe removal of bolt and cable type barrier seals

This year we have supplied more companies than ever with our Bolt and Cable Seal Safety Cutter Kits and demand appears to be growing year-on-year. Some companies still only come to us once they have experienced an injury rather than using our kit as a pre-emptive measure.

The kit provides everything you need for the fast and safe removal of heavy duty bolt and cable seals. The Klauke lithium battery powered hydraulic bolt cutter will remove bolt seals up to 12mm diameter, avoiding the need for long handled bolt croppers that have been known to cause musculoskeletal injury due to the physical power required to cut the steel bolt. The bolt cutter provides 35kN (approx. 3.5 tonnes) of cutting force at the blade enabling a 12mm steel bolt to be removed in seconds. The rechargeable battery provides about 200 cuts on a single charge. A mains charger and spare battery is provided as part of the kit. The kit also comprises a pair of Greenlee scissor action cable cutters for tackling up to 5mm diameter cable seals. Safety glasses and gloves are supplied with each kit and users are strongly advised to wear these protective items for the removal of all types of barrier security seals.

We have received some excellent feedback about the kit too. Hannah Frost, Health, Safety and Environment Compliance Officer at Dixons Carphone Group said “The bolt cutters have been a revelation! They are very popular. Many people are sceptical before using them, but once in use, they love them, literally. One manager in particular really thought they wouldn’t make a difference, but recently admitted to me that they were excellent, safer and more efficient. Another couple of managers were remembering and joking about the old days of using massive metal bolt cutters! –I’d say there were few things on campus that have had such an impact.”

It’s great to know Unisto is making a difference!

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 Call Barbara Ryan on
+44 (0)121 733 2810

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