Case Study - Bulk Bag Handling System - Steel Tool Powder

Monday 19 October, 2015

Case Study - Bulk Bag Handling System - Steel Tool Powder

Material – Steel Tool Powder

The problem

The customer requirement was for a big bag filling system for handling steel tool powder that would have the flexibility of filling bulk bags of a range of different sizes, whilst accurately filling each size to a specified weight. The machine also needed to be relatively dust-tight to avoid product wastage.

The solution

The custom-built, fully automated big bag filler was designed with an adjustable filling head that automatically moves up and down according to the bag size entered by the operator. The system is designed to discharge the customers’ IBC’s into different sizes of FIBC’s for shipping.

Vibrators agitate the contents of the bag so that the powder settles correctly.  An air pump is used to inflate the bag seal to fully secure the inlet for optimum dust containment during material transfer from the customer’s feeding system into the bag. The air pump also inflates the bag, to ensure that the material is able to flow smoothly into the bag without any residue accumulating in folds or corners.

Following bag inflation, a rotary valve located beneath the feeder head accurately controls the rate of feed into the bag. The weight is monitored using pre-programmed bag weight data and the weighing platform located at the base of the unit.  Once the bag is approximately two thirds full, the rotary valve ceases filling and the vibrators turn on to help settle the material in the bag. 

When the material has settled, the rotary valve continues to release the powder until the bag is 95% full.  At this point the valve speed slows right down to create a slow feed fill for greater accuracy.  Once the required weight is reached, feed again stops and the vibrators agitate the material to settle the material inside the bag.  The bag is then reweighed to check that the weight is correct.  If not, more material is added until the exact target weight is reached, upon which point the full bag can be detached and stored and a new bag fitted for filling.

The complete process can be recorded, giving the customer detailed records of batch numbers and weights, with the use of an identifying bar code/labelling system if required.

Advantages to the customer:

  • Successful dust containment so no health and safety issues or unnecessary product waste.
  • Fully automated therefore less manual labour.
  • Increased production due to much faster filling speeds – just a few minutes per bag.
  • Precise bag weight can be easily achieved.
  • Full batch weight recording and control and much improved accuracy.

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About Guttridge

With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs.