A producer of Flyash in northwestern Montana was seeking an automated bulk bag filling system to fill one-ton bags at a rate of up to 20 bags per hour. The system needed to be capable of filling Flyash from a supply into both bulk bags and bulk trucks. The Flyash was highly fluidic which means that it had the tendency to flow like a liquid when aerated. An aggressive bag densifier was used to settle the material prior to bag removal from the system.

Of primary concern to the client was the reliability of the system. The demand was for a packaging system to work continuously with minimal downtime between offloading full bags by forklift truck.

Choice Bagging Equipment designed a system that conveyed Flyash from the ground level discharge of a supply silo. Then the Flyash was elevated to a Model 520 Bulk Bag Filler via an auger. The system allowed a single operator to hang, fill, weigh and densify the bags. They were automatically discharged onto a filled pallet accumulation conveyor to be removed to a truck or warehouse by a forklift.

Each filling sequence was initiated by a simple button push and filled 2,000-pound bulk bags automatically to a pre-determined weight selected by the operator. The filling machine was built on four load cells, which worked in combination with a single PLC-based control package. The weighing controls were specially designed for bulk bag filling applications and featured a gain-in-weight totalizing display. The controls were designed with the ability to communicate weight data to a printer or central management control system.

Pneumatic bag strap holders simplified the placement and removal of the bags. The simultaneous release and locking action was activated by a 2-position selector switch.

The flow of material was automatically started and stopped by a multi-position slide gate. The system controls signaled the slide-gate to reduce flow at a pre-programmed weight. The slide-gate would actuate by degrees to reduce product flow gradually before closing at the end of each weigh cycle. This prevented overfilling of the product.

To maximize product compaction the machine was equipped with industrial vibrators that automatically operated throughout the filling cycle to densify the product as it was filled into each bag.

An inflatable bag seal cuff provided a dust-tight bag connection and a pre-filling bag inflation system enabled a positive bag shape and correct positioning on the pallet.

The system provided a high level of productivity over a manually controlled system. Even with the bag changeovers, the system operator required no additional assistance to run the system. The new system greatly increased productivity, weight accuracy, and working conditions by implementing an automated bulk bag filler with an integrated weighing and filled pallet conveying system.