A client in Guyana was seeking a bulk bag filling system to fill metric ton bulk bags of Kaolin Clay. Kaolin clay is a very fine, free-flowing powder that is easily aerated. If mishandled, aerated Kaolin can prematurely fill the volume of a bulk bag causing slow bag fills and the potential for product spillage. Additionally, loose-filled into the bag would have made the bag unstable and difficult to transport once disconnected from the support structure of the filler.
Thus, it was determined that a filler would need to be designed capable of simultaneously filling, weighing, and densifying the Kaolin into the bag while controlling dust and avoiding product spillage.
The system CBE designed conveyed Kaolin from the ground level discharge of a supply silo and elevate it from there to Model 510 Bulk Bag Filler via an auger. The system required a single operator to hang empty bags and initiate the bag fill (with a button push). From that point, the operation was automated. Filling and weighing were controlled via set points in the integrated controls of the system and an aggressive bag densifier settled the material prior to each bag removal from the system by a forklift.
Each filling sequence was initiated by a simple button push and filled 2,000 Lb. 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.
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 vibrators that automatically operated throughout the filling cycle to density the product as it was filled into the bag (simultaneously fill, weigh, and density).
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 than would have been possible with 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 filler with an integrated weighing and filled pallet conveying system.