An Operational Overview
When you’re choosing a bulk bag filling equipment for your plant, it might be helpful to start with a general overview of how it operates.
Typically, bulk bag fillers consist of a bag frame to hold the bag, product flow control valve or gate, and a weigh scale system with controls. They range from simple, basic frames to more sophisticated systems with pallet dispensers and accumulation conveyors for filled bags.
The bulk bag filling process involves an operator hanging the bag from the filler frame and attaching the fill spout or the bulk bag’s neck to the filler. Once a bag is attached, a neck seal with a dust collection port can be inflated to reduce airborne dust during the fill cycle.
Finally, the flow of product into the bag is shut off and the filled bag is ready to be removed from the filler once the bag is filled to the required weight.
Details to Consider When Choosing Bulk Bag Filling Equipment for Use in the Chemical Industry
Equipment and Bag Size
First, bulk bag filling equipment must be sized to accommodate the physical dimensions of the bag to be filled and the weight of the product.
Taylor’s IBC 3000 bulk bag fillers have up to a 3,000 lb. capacity. The IBC's modular design provides ultimate flexibility, from free-standing manual operation to a fully integrated and automated system handling bags, drums and boxes.
In the chemical industry, it’s essential bulk bag filling equipment be constructed of materials capable of withstanding a product’s corrosive characteristics, if any are present.
Stainless steel product contacts are standard on the IBC, and the equipment can be painted or all stainless steel.
Product-Specific Filling Process
A silo or surge bin holds the ready-to-package product. The product flows through a knife gate for a fast or slow flow into the bulk bag filler, which fits below the surge bin. As the bag fills to weight, the gate closes.
The bulk bag filler’s platform can include a vibration feature if the product requires vibrating to settle for accurate volume and/or weight. Often, aerated powders benefit from platforms that vibrate. The preact or set point controls bulk dribble fill, closing the gate to slow the flow rate. A feed screw or conveyor belt are alternative ways to fill bulk bags. The automated controls can slow the speed of the screw or belt then stop the flow during the fill cycle. The scale control automates exact bag weight.
Some bag fillers fill the bag resting on a platform scale. Yet, there are benefits to filling a bag that is suspended by the straps when filled. Three benefits of the IBC with the bag hung and able to fill in suspension are:
1. Achieve the greatest capacity in the bag.
2. Inflate the bag’s liner, if liner is used, for easier filling and no dust.
3. Vibrate product at the same time.
Class/Division Rated Areas
If the product generates dust or releases vapors when filling the bag, the area may be rated with electrical class/division ratings like Class I, Division 1 or 2 or Class II, Division 1 or 2. These require precautions be built into your bulk bag filling electrical equipment. Precautions include:
1. Magnum Systems has a concentric spout design with a collection port that contains dust and reduces its emission to protect from explosive dusts escaping or building up at the neck seal.
2. In general, controls are considered dust tight but in class/division rated areas, they may require additional electrical protections like area-rated motors, purge kits for the electrical enclosures, rigid conduits for the wiring and intrinsic barriers for the load cells and certain sensors.
Magnum Systems’ Taylor Products was one of the first companies to build bulk bag fillers, starting back in the late 1970s. We believe the more convenient equipment is to operate, the safer the person operating it is, which is critical especially in the chemical industry. The IBC has:
· Intuitive controls for operator convenience
· A walk-on platform that can raise and lower
· Optional pallet dispenser with automated slip sheet placement for operator safety
· No rollers on the conveyor, but instead a three-strand drag conveyor with safety plate decking, allowing an operator to walk on it to install bags safely, then the conveyor transports empty pallets or filled bags to the end for removal via forklift
Watch the IBC in action.
Magnum Systems Matches Bulk Bag Fillers to Your Chemical Plant’s Needs
Magnum Systems puts the right solution in place that accurately matches your product’s characteristics, bag size, environment rating, operators’ needs and more. Contact our customer support and sales representatives to help answer any of your questions.