A fly ash producer in central Texas contacted CBE with a big problem. Their remotely located corporate office had purchased an auger packer from a low-cost equipment producer that did not provide proper guidance as to whether the machine was a good fit for the application. Not only was the machine not correct for the application without good advice from the manufacturer, but the customer had also installed the machine directly under an 80-ton silo of product. The problem was that the fly ash became highly aerated in the silo and tended to flow like a liquid.
The low-cost machine had a low tolerance screw that had no means of stopping the flow of fluid products even when the auger stopped between bag fills. The result was that the machine continuously spilled product to the point that there was a foot deep of material on the floor underneath the machine on a daily basis. Not only was our client experiencing a tremendous waste of saleable material but it took hours each day to clean up. CBE was asked for a solution to a problem that would stop the spillage and eliminate the needless daily cleanup.
CBE instantly recognized that the auger packer was incorrect for the application and recommended that it be replaced with a Model 830 Vertical Impeller Packer. The Model 830 is specifically designed for packaging high bulk density powders like fly ash and cement into valve bags. The Model 830 is equipped with a pinch tube (pinch valve) cut-off that provides a positive stop to material flow coming from the machine. Additionally, when properly applied, the 4-blade impeller feeder is capable of delivering material 2-3 times faster than an auger.
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 digital 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 Model 830 equipped with its pinch tube cutoff almost virtually eliminated all product spillage also eliminating the daily cleanup. Additionally, the increased efficiency of the impeller feeder (over the auger) was a two-fold increase in productivity (not including the time that could be used to bag more material instead of cleaning spilled product off the floor).
The new machine made a substantial improvement to the working environment, daily operations, and overall productivity.