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Non-spill couplings protect farmers

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article image Eliminates operators' direct contact to the chemicals.

ANIMAX, a UK-based veterinary medical and nutritional company, has developed the Animax Manual Pump for the proper dispensing of its organo-phosphate sheep dip Paracide+.

Colder Products Company (CPC), the manufacturer of the NS4 Non-Spill Coupling Series, represented in Australia by Victoria Fittings & Valves , worked with Animax to further develop a closed transfer device system in the pump which eliminates operators' direct contact to the chemicals.

Only a few years ago, farmers were using basic means of dispensing organo-phosphates including Paracide+. To dispense the product, the farmers would simply pour the product from a drum into a measuring jug, which they would then tip into the dip bath. This, however, exposed the farmer to potential accidents and direct contact to the product.

In fact, cases of people becoming sick did occur. Subsequent to these incidents, and through greater awareness of the dangers inherent in dispensing the product, the European Union enforced stricter regulations regarding the type of containers used in 2001.

Moreover, in the UK specifically, the use of a closed transfer device system became a legal requirement. Animax, already researching a means to make its products safer, decided to seek the help of CPC.

"We thought that there must be a means to limit the possibility of the solution coming into contact with farmers using Paracide+," says Chris Davy, engineer and buyer at Animax.

"Rather than contract out the pumps to be made by someone else, we felt that if we developed the system in our own laboratories, it would allow us to meet more stringent regulations. It would also allow us to have more control over the quality of the final product."

Animax sought the advice of CPC to develop a closed transfer system for the Animax Manual Pump. CPC helped the company custom design the pump for use with NS4 series non-spill couplings, which have significantly reduced the risk of spill or exposure to organo-phosphates.

The NS4 non-spill couplings provide a durable, economical and compact replacement for expensive metal couplings and provide unique double shut-off valves that prevent spillage upon disconnection.

"CPC helped us every step of the way by providing drawings, samples and excellent advice during the design process. Since we were developing a completely new product, we had no previous experience with fittings or couplings," says Chris Davy.

The pump certainly is unique. From the drum where the Paracide+ product is contained, a dispense adapter with two fittings is connected via a CPC non-spill coupling and a reinforced flexible hose.

A disposable syringe measures the precise amount of liquid product being dispensed, which reduces product waste. The end of the tubing is close to the surface of the sheep bath, which is a large open tank set into the ground. From there, the Paracide+ is diluted into the water and the sheep are herded into the tank for treatment.

Upon completion of product dispensing, the drum is disconnected and the connectors are changed so clean water can be used to flush out the drum. CPC color-coding of non-spill couplings helps with this process.

For example, the Animax Manual Pump uses a red NS4 when the product is being dispensed and a blue NS4 when the product and drum are being rinsed out. The rinsing process is conducted three times in order to meet government regulations and to ensure the drum is empty. Colour-coded couplings prevent mishaps, such as accidentally misconnecting the dispensed chemicals to the rinse line.

According to Davy, the system is very quick to install and capable of dispensing 190 ml of Paracide+ in thirty seconds. This is enough solution for twenty sheep, and the pump is capable of supplying an additional 100 ml with every stroke of the lever to maintain the concentration levels as the sheep enter.

Throughout the process, a black counter in the centre of the machine counts the number of lever strokes to help remind farmers how much solution they have used.

Additionally, parts of the pump do not wear down easily and the pump includes maintenance free bearings. This will extend the life of the product and increase its cost-effectiveness.

The pump has been licensed by the UK Veterinary Medical Directorate, which means that it has met all licensing criteria including design, instructions, product, and quality control standards.

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