Vacuum System Placing the Finest Powders into Big Bags
The Velovac-FIBC vacuum system, which can cleanly and safely bag the finest powders into big bags (FIBCs), is the first of its kind worldwide. Equally innovative is the development process that gave rise to this new product. An interdisciplinary team from Greif-Velox optimized the design of the classic Velovac system – from operation to digital system integration to transport, everything is ideally designed for the use of big bags.
Until now, the firm’s Velovac vacuum system – which can pack the finest powders with grain sizes of less than 200 micrometers and a bulk density of 10 to 450 grams per liter – was only available for valve bags. However, more customers have started requesting a system for FIBCs because the trend is moving toward end customers buying larger quantities and containers, states the company.
In the design and development of the Velovac-FIBC, special attention was given to the decoupling and the product feed. Only with statically optimal decoupling of the weighing portion of the system from the stationary portion could the firm achieve reliable, high-precision filling, adds the company.
This was done with great emphasis and attention to detail on robustness and sustainability. For example, the product feed of the new vacuum system is made of wear- and chemical-resistant materials and is equipped with a fluidization system. The product flow in the product feed can be optimally monitored via sensors, which makes it possible to record and analyze all data gathered and transfer it via open interfaces (OPC UA and MQTT). This information can be used to improve maintenance activities or even activate the self-optimization of the system using machine learning. As such, the system is fully prepped for Industry 4.0, mentions the firm.
Operation of the machine is also designed to be as simple as possible and almost error-proof, starting with the easy-to-open chamber. Based on the Poka Yoke principle, which involves technical measures to reduce human error, the opening and closing of the chamber doors is only possible using two-hand controls once it has been verified that the opening/closing radius is free and the door clamps are open, eliminating all risk of injury, opines the company.
Furthermore, the user interface at the station is intuitive and clear. The modular design of the new vacuum system means customers who initially buy a manual system can retrofit it with higher levels of automation at a later date, concludes the firm.