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Big Bags

Simplified Handling of Bulk Materials from Big Bags

| Author / Editor: Walter Sonntag (First published in PROCESS India 2/2014) / Dominik Stephan

Dust-free docking of bags and reliable discharge of free-flowing bulk solids
Dust-free docking of bags and reliable discharge of free-flowing bulk solids (Picture: AZO)

Big bags are gaining more visibility as an environment-friendly method for shipping and handling food ingredients. However, several challenges make the handling process difficult. Here are some solutions that can offer a helping hand to users dealing with big bags.

The demand for big bags in various applications is rising as they reduce handling efforts to a great extent. However, users face multiple challenges while dealing with these bags due to the lack of standardization of the handling process. At times, big bags are manufactured with or without an inner liner or outlet sleeve; and often the outlet sleeve has different lengths and diameters. Therefore, it is a big challenge for bulk material specialists to offer the right solution to customers in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and plastics industries. Here are some of the solutions offered by AZO to make big bag handling easier.

Handling at the Discharge Station

This versatile and efficient unit is used for the optimal discharge of big bags into closed automated feeding systems. The process starts with suspending the big bag from a frame attached to the hoist and moving it to the discharge station. After the bag is placed on the support table, the outlet sleeve is placed over the discharge pipe and fastened by a clamping disc that can be manually or pneumatically lowered.

The draw string is then opened and the connecting system pneumatically lowered to tighten the big bag outlet sleeve, thereby enabling safe discharge of the material into the downstream process. For difficult-to-discharge materials, the big bag support table is equipped with a vibrator or a big bag massager. Optional low-level indicators are also available to provide an indication of low product level for changing big bag in time.

This system brings various advantages such as reliable and low-dust discharge of bulk material into the process. Moreover, it works well with big bags with an inner liner and is available with a liner tautness device. The interface with the downstream process is designed to meet the specific requirement.

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Big Bag Discharge Station with Lifting Device

A fork truck deposits the big bag on a transportation pallet in front of the dumping station. Here, the loops are positioned over the crossbar of the lifting device and the chain-hoisted big bag is then moved to the discharge station and lowered for docking. Later, the outlet sleeve of the bag and the inlet piece of the system are fixed manually or pneumatically by lowering the clamping disc. Once the tie-up string is undone, the bag is slightly lifted by the chain hoist to tension the outlet, and with this, the safe discharge of material into the downstream process starts. If desired, the discharge station can be fitted with a low-level indicator to enable quick change of the bag.

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