An oilfield services company in eastern NM wanted to install a bagging system to fill 50 lb bags of pulverized Bentonite clay into valve bags at a rate of 400 bags per hour. Although the client did not have a large budget for an automated system, efficiency was a key concern. Additionally, the client was concerned about the reliability of the system. The demand was for a packaging system to work continuously with minimal downtime.
The system CBE designed included a Model 730 Pressure Flow Air Valve Bag Filler that packed out the material into 50 lb and 80 lb bags at a rate of a little over 6 bags per minute. Filled bags were automatically discharged onto a specially designed receiving conveyor and transferred on an incline through a bag flattener that conditioned each bag prior to delivering it to a palletizing station at the end of the packaging line. The system required two operators. One to place empty bags on the filling machine and a second to palletize the filled bags at the end of the line.
Each filling sequence was initiated automatically by a sensor at the spout of the filling machine when the operator spouted a bag on the machine. No button push was required. The bag would then fill to weight automatically to a pre-determined weight selected by the operator. The filling machine had an integrated weighing scale, which worked in combination with a single PLC-based control package. The weighing controls were specially designed for valve 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.
A pneumatic bag clamp sped up the placement and removal of the bags by eliminating the need for the operator to clamp and unclamp each bag from the filling spout at the beginning and end of each bag fill. The flow of material was automatically started and stopped by a multi-position pinch valve (called a pinch tube cutoff). The system controls signaled the pinch valve to reduce flow at a pre-programmed weight. The pinch valve would actuate to reduce product flow before closing at the end of each weigh cycle. This prevented overfilling of the product.
The system provided a high level of productivity and changeover to different product grades was effortless with the integrated digital weighing scale by which an operator could key in target weight in a couple of keystrokes.