5 Important Things I learnt About Bins and Drums

Bins and drums play a crucial role in material handling. Whether in the pharmaceutical, food processing, medical laboratories or cosmetics industries; they are essential equipment you must have.

They come in a wide range of shapes and designs. You may opt for either standard or customized designs.

pharmaceutical drum and bin

#1: Types of Bins and Drums

In this section, I will highlight some of the most common ways to classify the existing bins and drums. These include:

  • Size of the Bin and drum

You can talk of a small, medium or large bin and drum. Here, the most vital aspect to consider is either the volume or capacity.

To know the exact capacity of a bin, you will measure the diameter (internal and outer diameters), length and height. Of course, the number of dimensions may vary depending on the geometrical shape and design.

In most cases, the manufacturer will indicate the exact capacity of the bin/drum. The table below shows 9 different sizes SaintyCo LDC Round IBC Bin:

Different sizes of SaintyCo LCD Bins

Different sizes of SaintyCo LCD Bins

  • Design of the Bin and Drum

A number of companies in the industry offer two main options: Standard and custom made designs. Here are some examples of standard designs:

1.A square shaped bin like the SaintyCo LDF Square IBC Bin. That is, the upper section is a cube, with the bottom section forming a pyramid with an opening.

Basically, these are two geometrical shapes joined together. You can see this clearly in the image below:

2.Round shaped bin like the SaintyCo LDC Round IBC Bin. That is, the upper section is cylindrical in shape joined to a conical shape at the bottom section.

Again, you can see this clearly in the images below:

The bottom line is, you can choose from a wide range of shapes and designs of bins and drums available in the market. Just be sure to focus on the key features and material processing requirements.

Apart from these two, you may consider:

  • Wheels, making it easier to move around
  • Custom logo, etc.

#2: Basic Parts of Bins and Drums

Bins and drums are not complex pharmaceutical equipment. Normally, their complexity vary with the designs.

Let’s have a quick overview of the basic parts of every equipment:

  • Drums

Most drums have a simple structure that allows for easy transfer material. A number of drums come in cylindrical shape, with one open end.

pharmaceutical drum drawing

Normally, the open end may be covered with a lid. The main drum may have handles on its two opposite side for lifting.

These drums can handle powders or granules, depending on the specific applications within the industry.

  • Bins

A number of bins are such that you can easily interface them with other pharmaceutical equipment, such as the lifting equipment. Most of them tend to have complex shapes as you can see in the image below:

pharmaceutical bin

The two images above show a fully fabricated bin (on the left) and a technical drawing (on the right) with different dimensions (angles, diameter, width and height).

It is a common equipment you can use to produce flow of solid dosage. The design may be such that, it can have two open ends.

Normally, the opening at the top is larger than that at the bottom.

#3: Important Features of Bins and Drums

Like any other intermediate bulk container (IBC), before you purchase any of these pharmaceutical accessories, you need to consider the following key features:

  • Light and durable construction
  • Design should allow for easy cleaning, dismantling and maintenance
  • Easy to fill and empty the content of the drum and bins
  1. The entire structure should be made of stainless steel. In most cases, bins and drums manufacturers use the AISI 304 for the frame and AISI 316 for internal parts.
  2. Should have a polished surface
  3. Whether the cross section is made from a cube or cylindrical shapes, it should have an inclination that allows for seamless flow of material.
  • No dead points due to the large bending radius
  • All openings should have appropriate lids, to prevent any possible contamination or leaking of the bin and drum contents.
  1. Design should prevent product stagnation
  2. Stainless steel handles
  3. Large bins should have wheels
  • Smooth and seamless finish
  • Angles should be cambered with no dead angles, convex surface or screws on the surface
  • Degree of roughness should be Ra =0.2 µ m for the inside section and Ra =0.2 µ m for the outer surface

By considering all these aspects, you’ll get a bin or drum that suits your unique application requirements in any industry.

Another important aspect you need to consider is:

#4: Quality Compliance of Bin and Drums

All food processing or pharmaceutical bins and drums must conform to certain quality standards and criteria. They must be cGMP compliant bins and drums.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stipulates the required hygienic standard for all bins and drums for any applications. For instance, to prevent cross contamination, the bins and drums should have seals made from an FDA approved material.

It for this reason that most pharmaceutical bin and drum manufacturers opt for silicon latex.

#5: Key Applications of Bins and Drums

These bins and drums are commonly used as transferring and shifting containers. They are suitable for applications where you may wish to produce flow of solid dosage.

They help to control cross contamination or environmental pollution. This is because they help reduce the frequency of charging and discharging materials.

In most cases, they serve as a perfect way to handle both powders and granules at a reasonable cost.


As you can see, bins and drums are simple accessories that play an important role in many industries. Always strive to get bins and drums made from high quality stainless steel and conform to cGMP requirements.

In short, you need to source for these pharmaceutical bins and drums from reputable manufacturers or suppliers.

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