Hello André. You are one of the specialists in the implementation of VCI packaging for the Zerust-Excor group. What is exactly your job?
Development of corrosion prevention packaging concepts with application/usage of VCI method, manufacturing of prototypes and test it in industrial size with high climatic stress load conditions in big climatic chambers.
For those unfamiliar with VCI technology, what is VCI packaging?
This is a complex chemical process with a lot of advantages for corrosion protection during packaging, I recommend the video on ZERUST EXCOR home page.
How does VCI Packaging work?
With the chemical active VCI product inside a tight closed package and VCI saturated atmosphere is established and VCI molecules lay down on the surface of all parts inside for corrosion protection.
What forms can VCI packaging take today?
VCI products are available in different applications as : papers, plastics, foams, dispensers, oils
These are solutions for the protection of parts during shipment.
Are there other fields of applications like outdoor storage or long-term storage?
Yes, especially for short-time corrosion protection and company in-house protection with low budget for packaging materials.
What is complicated in the implementation of these solutions?
Costs and tightness of packaging.
You are in permanent contact with customers, do you have a particular intervention process because each case is unique with variable components?
Yes, you are right, each case is unique and it needs to look deeper into detail and/or process. But the most important points for VCI packaging concepts are always valid: cleanliness, dryness, and corrosion-free initial situation of parts with the tightness of package and enough availability of VCI inside.
One of your particularities is that you train the customers in the implementation and use of these VCI packaging solutions, how do you organize these sessions?
In most cases, ZERUST EXCOR KAM suffers in contact with customers the needs or doubts for VCI resulting packaging concepts. After getting direct contact we organize meetings with training courses, prepare instruction materials or make upgrade training presentations or events. Nowadays telephone or video conferences are the medium of choice.
In general, you are called on special or specific cases?
Yes, mostly. If the standard solution is not applicable or special big sizes of packaging volume are requested. The last big unconventional issue was an 8 m long loading platform from a dumper. For sure customers and KAM asked for my opinion in interrelation with climatic stress tests or shipment under extreme climatic conditions.
Do you also intervene upstream for the design and manufacture of VCI packaging?
For design and development yes, after them the manufacturing is well organized by my colleagues from purchasing department.
Have you set up a user feedback system to bring back valuable information from the field?
Normally we create for all applications and developments packaging instructions and descriptions. This information we discuss with KAM in frequent meetings. A special kind of internal communication is the preparation of customer-made presentations with all technical details and parameters and relevant information and pictures.
One last question André, how durable are the solutions you implement?
All ZERUST EXCOR VCI materials are recyclable via standard collection systems and reusable. All products you can use in returnable, multi-cycle systems if the mechanical properties allow it and it is are practicable for the customer. For the EMIBO VCI capsules, we create a separate returnable system with big partners from the automotive industry and reuse the VCI contained plastic content partly in other VCI plastic products.
How did you get to this position?
In the situation of retirement of a very experienced packaging expert, I got a tip from a good friend of mine and follow the job advertisement. From 1987-1992 I took my study as a mechanical engineer at the University of Dresden. Before EXCOR (for 11 years) I worked 17 years in leading and worldwide active positions in the paper machinery industry in Germany and Sweden.