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Container Pedigree for Process Manufacturers

For many process manufacturing industries such as chemicals, food, and agricultural, the contents of an RTI matter a great deal because of the risks associated with cross-contamination. For example, if two chemicals have a violent reaction when they are mixed together, it is critical that the same shipping container that was used for chemical A not then be used for chemical B unless adequate washing takes place in between loads.

More than three-quarters of (Chemical Company) study participants said that they consider the supply chain a driver of operational excellence or a significant source of competitive advantage.

– Accenture Chemical Supply Chain Best Practices Study

But manually tracking the history of the contents of a container is time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. As a result, many companies simply choose to undergo washing operations between loads, regardless of the previous contents. This adds significantly to the cost of maintaining an adequate stock of RTIs.


Ideally, tanks and transfer lines should be in dedicated service, that is, used for a single chemical. This is not always possible, complicating the quality control process.

– Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design

Similarly, some manufacturers of food products avoid using containers that may have carried potentially unclean foods, such as pallets that may have carried raw meat, out of concern for bacterial cross-contamination. This leads to much higher costs associated with owning or leasing pallets or containers because of the need for specialization and quarantine. But if the manufacturer had a complete and accurate history of the previous contents of the RTI, these risks could easily be avoided.

With OAT RTI Tracking, these issues can be avoided as a normal course of operations, mitigating any risks of cross-contamination, reducing unnecessary wash cycles, and reducing overall RTI costs.

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