Top 10 Questions asked when buying a bulk bag filler?

May 1st, 2017

What type of bulk bag filler do I need for my application? 

The type of bulk bag filler is dependent on a few things – how many bags need to be filled/hour, the size of the bulk bags and the material being filled.  We discuss this in detail in our previous article, but the short answer is the more throughput you need the more automation you will need. 

How many bulk bags can I fill per hour?

The number of bulk bags that can be filled per hour is dictated by two factors – filling speed and setup & unload time.  The filling speed is dictated by the upstream equipment and process.  The setup and unload time is a function of the operator and level of automation.  On the low end, simple frames can be used to fill a few bags per day.  On the top end, highly automated bulk bag filling systems can fill 20+ bags/hour. 

How do I feed my product into a bulk bag filling machine?

There are many ways to get bulk materials into a bulk bag filling machine.  For many materials, the most practical method is to fill out of a hopper located above the machine and dispense out of the hopper with a roller gate valve.  Additional methods can be used as well – flexible screw conveyors, belt conveyors, pneumatic conveyors for example.  The best method will depend mostly on the material characteristics being filled. 

Can I automatically fill to a target weight?

Yes, absolutely. Even a low-cost bulk bag filler can be equipped with an integral weigh scale that fills to a specified target weight. 

Can a bulk bag filler be used to fill, vibrate and weigh at the same time?

Yes, a properly designed bulk bag filler can fill, vibrate and weigh simultaneously.  This allows the unit to deliver low fill times, a densified package and an accurate weight. 

Can I move the bulk bag filler around?

Yes, bulk bag fillers can be mobile.  Simpler bulk bag filling systems tend to be easier to design for mobile use.  Larger highly automated units tend to be manufactured as stationary units due to the utility requirements, physical size and required supporting equipment. 

How do I deal with the dust when filling bulk bags?

A few specific features will allow a bulk bag filler to handle dusty materials with ease.  The use of flexible sealed hose clamped to the top side of the fill head seals the equipment.  For dusty materials, a bulk bag with a liner should be used.  The liner can then be slid over the fill head and sealed using an inflatable bladder forming a dust tight seal with the bulk bag.

Can I fill an open top duffel bulk bag?

Yes, Bulk bag fillers can be used to fill open top duffels but these should not be used for dusty materials. 

Can I fill bulk bags, boxes and drums on the same bulk filling machine?

Yes. Bulk bags, boxes and drums can be filled on the same machine.  Generally, there is a switchover with adapters for the various containers that must be completed before running a different style of container.

How do I know if I need densification for my bulk bag?

There are a few reasons to densify a bulk bag.  The first is stability.  A bulk bag with a free-flowing powder inside can shift and fall over during transport.  Densifying the product during filling will help reduce this possibility.  The second reason is that packing more material in each bulk bag saves money in bags, storage and shipping costs.  So, the answer to the question “Does my bulk bag need densification?” is really a question of safety and cost savings.  Adding a densification deck to a bulk bag filler adds cost but depending on the product, the safety and additional cost savings can be more beneficial. 

 

Tim Porco – Erie Technical Systems Inc. timp@erietechnicalsystems.com

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