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Why clocks are important to us

By Sean McFeely
07-03-2018

This weekend 78 countries worldwide will collectively set their clocks ahead an hour and shift to Daylight Saving Time causing us to lose an hour of sleep, and gain one hour of daylight. Clocks and time are important to CurTec as well – but for totally different reasons.

Most CurTec containers are certified and thereby suitable for packing food ingredients, pharmaceuticals and hazardous materials. In order to warrant the validity of these certifications, it is vital that we can trace a container to its source. Therefore we mold several markings on our products that look like clocks.

Month and year
The first ‘clock’ indicates the month and year of production and is present on most of our products: it features an arrow between the two digits of the year which points to the number of the month. Some of our packaging products have two separate clocks for month and year. This date is important for traceability and to check the validity of the UN mark.

Validity of UN mark
According to law*, a UN mark is only good for five years from the date of manufacture. Containers that are older should not be used anymore for shipping hazmat. By law, a packaging manufacturer is also obliged to mark the approved raw materials that are mentioned in the UN certificate on the container. For this purpose we also mark another type of  ‘clock’.

Material clock
The material clock has a series of letters from A to K and an arrow pointing to one of the letters. These letters correspond to the resins mentioned in the UN certificate that have been tested and approved. Basically, a date clock will suffice to trace back a product. However for full traceability and unlocking more information, we need the SKU code that is mentioned on every pallet.

Now that you know about the meaning of these ‘clocks’, you will start seeing them on molded plastics everywhere. Please contact us if you have any other questions on our container markings, UN testing program, or lot traceability.

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The identity of the iconic clocks pictured in the email are (going clockwise from the top left corner): Grand Central Station (NYC), World Clock (Berlin), Astronomical Clock (Prague) and Musee d’Orsay (Paris)

* 20th edition of the UN recommendations
4.1.1.15: For plastics drums and jerricans, rigid plastics IBCs and composite IBCs with plastics inner receptacles, unless otherwise approved by the competent authority, the period of use permitted for the transport of dangerous substances shall be five years from the date of manufacture of the receptacles, except where a shorter period of use is prescribed because of the nature of the substance to be transported.

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