Specifying a Bulk Bag Filler

Six important Parameters to consider when looking for a Bulk Bag Filler

Specifying a Bulk Bag Filler

As the number of options for bulk bag filling equipment options increases, so should the ability of the specifier to evaluate stand-alone equipment and integrated systems against current and anticipated needs.
(ed. wgeisler - 01/6/2017)
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Multi-function Filling

If your plant fills drums, boxes or other containers as well as bulk bags, multi-function fillers (Fig. 5) can boost production, undercut the cost of separate equipment and reduce the amount of floor space required. Multi-function fillers can be switched from bulk-bag to drum-filling mode in seconds by positioning the swing-arm-mounted drum-filling chute under the fill head discharge port. The chute automatically rotates to deliver material to all four drums on a pallet. Similar adapters for boxes, totes or other containers are also available with varying levels of automation.


Fig. 5: Multi-function fillers can be switched from bulk-bag to             
drum-filling mode in just a few seconds.                       

Match the Feed Source

Filling capacity, accuracy and efficiency are often limited by the ability of upstream equipment to feed material consistently and in sufficient volumes. High capacity, semi- or fully-automated fillers therefore require high-capacity feeding systems that are typically automated and feed material into the filler by gravity or by a metreing device.

The ability to gravity-feed material depends on whether a material storage vessel can be located above the filler, and on the material’s flow characteristics. The more free-flowing it is, the more accurately its flow can be varied (down to dribble-feed rate) by a slide gate or other valve that must close the instant a precise target weight has entered the bag. Non-free-flowing titanium dioxide (TiO2) for example, may flow in a trickle and then in clumps, and it may bridge above the flow control valve, making it a poor candidate for gravity feeding.

 

For non-free-flowing materials, a metred feeding system is required to feed the filler accurately and consistently. Metreing systems can include a flexible screw conveyor (Fig. 6), screw feeder, rigid auger, drag disk, bucket elevator, rotary airlock valve, or other device that does not rely on gravity alone to deliver material to the filler.


      Fig. 6: To feed non-free-flowing materials accurately, a metred feeding 
 system,  e.g. a flexible screw conveyor, is required.

The selection of a metreing system can hinge on the available space above the filler, since surge hoppers and filter receivers with rotary airlock valves may require more headroom than is available. In these cases the discharge housing of a flexible screw conveyor can often fit between the filler inlet and the ceiling joists, while eliminating the need for a flow-control valve.

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