Description of the Project - Flameless Seal Maker
THE PRESENT SYSTEM
1. At present seals are affixed in confidential materials such as Covers/Boxes/Ballot boxes/Question and Answer bundles and even locked rooms using inflammable materials such as match box, sealing lac (Arakku-wax), candle, kerosene lamp etc.
2. Affixing seals using fire and flames in highly confidential and most valuable materials is a dangerous and risky job.
3. This system of sealing the valuable articles is not only practiced in Govt. offices but also by the common people while sending parcels by post.
DRAWBACKS IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF MAKING SEALS:
1. Normally, sealing the top secret articles is performed by high ranking officials, confidentially. As the sealing work is risky, they always require a skilled labour/staff. Further the FAN has to be switched off before doing this work. At times, these top officials have to do this work themselves confidentially while sealing TOP SECRET articles.
2. Traditional way of affixing seals using inflammable materials is a highly dangerous job. Unless this work is performed by a trained staff, the safety of the most valuable articles will be at stake.
3. The temperature of the molten wax is more than 160 degree C. It causes serious burn injury when it comes to contact with the skin.
4. There are more chances of fire related hazards in the traditional way of sealing using flames. One such incident had occurred at the SSLC exam valuation centre at Vellore in Tamil Nadu wherein thousands of SSLC answer sheets got burnt, 3 hours after the sealing of the valuation Hall.
IMPORTANCE OF SEALING SYSTEM:
1. Affixing Lac (Arakku-wax) seals is a statutory or constitutional requirement. There is no valid alternate method for this system.
2. This system is followed with great care and importance in Election Commission/ Schools and colleges / Examination Departments /UPSC/TNPSC/ Courts and Govt. Departments under the supervisition of higher officials in India and all over the world.
HISTORY OF TRADITIONAL SEALING IN INDIA:
1. The first “Paper Government” started during the period of Mugal Emperor Jahangir about three centuries ago. Sealing of official documents with royal stamping started during this period.2. The sealing system followed in India till now is the same system that is being practised since Mugal period.
SOURCE OF IDEA: The inventor of this system is a girl student. While studying her School final she used to come over to her father`s office (Sub Treasury office -which is opposite to her school) after the classes were over. She used to witness the process of sealing the Treasury strong room by her father with lac stick and candle flame. This prompted her to ask her father about the purpose and importance of sealing the Govt. Treasury and knew the statutory requirements of sealing in all Govt. offices. At times she happened to see her father receiving burn injuries at his fingers by the molten wax during the manual sealing process. Yet another incident she came across in this regard was the incident of fire at an examination valuation centre(SSLC) at Vellore, Tamil Nadu, last year just 2 hours after the sealing of strong room where the exam answer sheet were kept for safe custody. She spent a sleepless night on that day because she herself also had written SSLC exam during that batch itself. Later it is reported in the news papers that the left over flames of seals affixed using flames might be one among the cause of fire. This incidents triggered her scientific temper and started designing of safe system of sealing which avoids the use of fire to melt the lac.
B. working of the invention (New improved Model)
. This flameless seal maker can be operated either by batteries AC/DC current. The new improved model of the Flameless Seal Maker consists of a cylindrical Teflon body so as to withstand the heat of 160 degree Celsius plus - the melting point of the lac. Teflon also being a bad conductor resists or minimizes the heat produced in the bore passing on the outer surface or body of the device The lac or wax pieces - the basic material for sealing -can be loaded in the open loading zone (central part of the device) and which will be pressed or pushed inside the bore with the press of the spring piston. The lac or wax pieces thus pushed into the metal bore got molted by the heat produced by the coil wounded around the bore under the melting point of the lac 160 degree Celsius . When the loaded piece of lac or wax begins to melt the user have to load another piece and push the piston down wards. Now the molten wax allowed to flow through the nozzle over the desired area ie in a cover/parcel/ box for affixing the seal by the competent authority. By varying the pressure of the piston the user can control the flow of molten wax according to the need. The temperature of the heat is controlled by the thermostat control fitted inside the device
ADVANTAGES OF NEW FLAMELESS SEAL MAKER:
1. Flameless seal maker is a simple, elegant and safe device working on the principle of heating process through electricity.
2. Just put the lac in the open loading zone , plug into power supply and we can make beautiful seals within minutes. We can even control the flow of the molten lac(Lac- wax) by pressing a piston.
3. Light weight, handy, very easy to handle with single hand. Can be operated by any body with ease. No need to depend on others to do this confidential work.
4. Operates in low voltage of electricity. No electric shock, less power consumption.
5. This device is specially designed to meet all the statutory requirement of the Govt. without violating any conditions.
Some Frequently Asked Questions on Flameless Seal Maker
“Lashkar-e-Toiba” terrorists’ office Sealed by Pakistan Police”
“Tight police bandobust fort sealed ballot boxes”
You would have often read such news in dailies. What is meant by affixing seal? How does one seal? What is the importance involved in this affixing of seal? Many of us have various doubts about this sealing.
What is meant by affixing seal? What is its importance?
If a document or a material should be secretly guarded so that none else can open and see, the cover/box has to be sealed using Lac-wax. This is a convention that is being followed for several centuries as an official procedure. Attempts to break such seals affixed by Govt. Depts. and courts are considered as a serious crime. It is the prime duty of the police who are put on guard to ensure that the seals are not tampered with. In India as many as 6 lakhs seals are affixed daily in all Govt/ Public and Private sector departments particularly including Postal, Railways. Educationand Examination and Election Departments. Apart from Govt. Depts. even the public is required to affix seals on parcels sent to somebody by post.
How is seal affixed?
The Dept. of stationary and Printing of the Govt. manufacturers red coloured Lac-wax sticks and sends to all officers. When these red coloured finger thick, 4”long sticks are exposed to a candle flame or a kerosene lamp’s flame for sometime, the tops of the sticks get heated and melts at 160ºC temperature. The molten lac is carefully let on the place where the seal has to be affixed and before the molten lac solidifies, the authoritative steel seal is pressed so that it becomes conspicuous on drying. This is the method of sealing. According to this procedure it takes 10 to 15 minutes to affix three seals that is too by a trained person..
This seems to be a very easy method!
You may think that affixing seal by this way is very simple. But the fact is different. When the lac stick exposed to fire melts, it develops a temperature exceeding 160ºC. If this extremely hot molten lac by mistake splits and comes ton contact with the skin, that spot develops into a serious fire-sore. The documents that are sealed (question papers, answer papers, court evidence etc) are very very importance and precious. But the material used to affix the seal such as kerosene lamps, match-box, Lac-stick are very easily combustible. So only very well experienced staff can handle this jobs.
This method of affixing seal is not safe!
In India, as many as 6 lakhs seals are affixed daily in all Govt. Depts., using flames. In this method, it becomes necessary to handle easily combustible material in the vicinity of precious documents. So, to ensure safety this work is being entrusted only to very experienced staff.
Will not this method cause and fire accident?
Such a fire accident has actually occurred recently at Vellore (Tamul Nadu) at the S.S.L.C answer papers valuation centre. It is a known fact that the answer papers stored safely in strong room caught fire within 2 hours of sealing and were reduced to ashes. Though it was reported that the fire accident was not due to sabotage or electricity leakage and short circuit, the real cause of the fire has not been reported till date. Reports says the left over flames of the seal might be the cause of fire ( see paper reports in page ).
Instead of encountering such difficulties why not do away the sealing practice? Is there no alternative method for this?
In India this sealing procedure had started from the days of the Mugal Era and is continuing for many centuries and till date. A certificate without a rubber stamps seal is not valid. Likewise the Lac-wax seal is required to ascertain validity. Till now, there is no alternate to this sealing procedure according to law.
Are there no safe and modern methods for affixing seal?
This question was raised some months back by a school girl. The girl student used to go to here father’s office after her school was over so as to accompany her father to home. Such one day evening she saw her father affixing lac-wax seal to the Treasury in candle light. Then she asked her father the above question. Her father replied to her who has already won many prizes at world level for her scientific findings, “If there is a new method for this, you find it”. This casual and playful remark was taken as challenge by the girl student. At this time, the news about fire in Exam valuation centre Vellore, Tamil Nadu came to light. So during her summer holidays she took this project and worked hard to find a solution. As a result she designed a simple device in brass metal casing.
When she made the lac stick to melt and flow by heat through electricity, the heat that developed on the upper surface of the machine was a great impediment to her efforts. After affixing the seal once, the user could not make subsequent seals as enormous heat is developed in the metal casing and it took a long time for the heat to subside. So she was search of material which could be easily molded, is light in weight and could bear high temperature. At last through internet she came to know that the material “Teflon” can withstand 160º temperature. Then she modified the machine she made in brass and designed the new machine by using Teflon material.(She further modified the prototype 3 times during the last 2 years and In the latest improved model hylem and polypropylene material are used) Thus the girl student succeeded in her attempt. By this she invented an alternative to the traditional method of sealing and presented a modern solution. At the same time, she has designed this machine or instrument without any violation of the rules of the Govt. in affixing seals.
How does this sealing machine function?
It works on the principle of heating through electricity. Just load the lac stics in the open loading zone, plug into power supply and we can affix more than 100 seals within 15 minutes. The flow of molten wax can be controlled manually by the pressing of the piston. The machine is so light ( just 130g) that it can be handled even with one hand. It is very easy to operate. Anybody can operate this without the help of experienced persons, In short, Flameless Seal Maker is smoke free, allergy free heat free, heat burns free, fire risk free and hassle free device.
What is Importance of seal maker during election process?
At present in Elections, EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) are used. This instrument works on battery power. After voting is over, this battery can be connected to the Flameless Seal maker and the ballot boxes can be sealed easily. This is an additional advantage of this machine. By this, sealing the ballot boxes by using naked fire to melt the lac sticks in the millions of Polling booths in India could be avoided and done away with.