The use of bulk bags has expanded rapidly in recent years as more and more companies with bulk material needs have sought to take advantage of the savings they can potentially offer. There are many different bagging machines using custom configurations to package many kinds of products. These products can range from agricultural products like feed, corn, and seed to chemical and industrial powders like barite, gypsum, and graphite.
Different types of bagging machines
When tasked with selecting the right equipment to handle your packaging process, there are three main areas to consider. First, what style of package is suitable for the product? Second, what characteristics does the product have? Finally, what performance criteria are required of this particular process?
The types of bagging machines are:
Small bag filling machines
Bulk bag filling machines
Form fill and seal (FFS) bagging machines
Open-mouth bag filling machines
Valve bag filling machines
Bulk bag filling
Bulk bags, also known as flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs), are handy for transporting bulk materials.
Bulk bag filling systems, or bulk bag loading systems, are engineered for bulk material processing and packaging applications requiring a high-performance operation. Reliability and repeatable duty cycles, rates, accuracy, and equipment effectiveness are essential.
The bulk bag filling structure securely holds the bulk bag during the filling phase without the dispersion of powders into the environment.
Loading bulk bags can be challenging, and filling them by hand is complex and can lead to spills. Therefore specialized automated filling machines often become necessary to get the work done quickly, effectively, and efficiently.
Different bulk bag loading systems include:
Bulk bag unloading
A bulk bag unloader is a system that is engineered to safely and effectively unload large bags. Bulk bag unloaders are commonly known as bulk bag dischargers, big bag dump stations, big bag discharge stations, or FIBC dischargers. A bulk bag unloader is a stand-alone system that provides a convenient, safe, and dust-free handling and discharging of bulk bags.
A typical bulk bag unloader could be divided into six parts, namely:
bag lifting mechanism
flow aid device
bulk bag spout interface
downstream process system
How does emptying a bulk bag work?
The simplest method of discharging bulk bags is to let gravity do the work by lifting the bag over the desired discharge area, opening the discharge spout, and letting in the flow. While this is a simple and inexpensive method, it isn’t easy to control product flow from the bag.
Intermediate bulk containers, also known as IBC tank, IBC tote, or pallet tanks, are industrial-grade containers engineered to handle, transport, and store liquids, solids, and more. IBC tanks can be divided into two main categories: flexible IBCs and rigid IBC’s.
IBC containers are usually made of plastic, steel, or stainless steel and feature cages or bases designed for easy use with material handling vehicles. Many intermediate bulk container designs allow the container to be collapsed and folded for compact storage.
Flexible IBCs are most often made of thick woven strands of oriented polypropylene, either coated or uncoated, and typically measure around 45–48 inches in diameter and vary in height.
Rigid IBCs are stackable, reusable containers with an integrated pallet base mount that delivers forklift and pallet jack maneuverability. These containers can be made from metal, plastic, or composite construction of the two materials.
Dry powder filling
Powder filling is a process used in different industries to fill up the containers such as vials and bottles with powder particles. Dry powder filling bunging machines are used because it is challenging to fill these containers using bare hands or old technology. The role of this powder filler is to fill up the receptacle without wasting any powder substance accurately. Most industries like pharmaceuticals and food industries use it when it comes to covering the powder filling procedure in production.
Powder filling machines are essential in filling a wide variety of free-flowing and non-free-flowing powdered or granulated products.
Powder fillers help various industrial sectors depending on what application is attached to them. Essentially, powder fillers can fill any powder product.
Matthew is a mechanical engineer holding an honours degree from the Auckland University of Technology and has been responsible for BFM® Global’s product development, testing and compliance programme for almost 5 years. Matt’s experience is centered on the powder handling industry with a specific focus on flexible connectors, and all the compliance requirements around them.
From food to pharmaceutical and all industries in between, Matt works with our Distributor partners, end users and OEMs from Europe, Asia and the Americas to solve application challenges. He regularly attends industry tradeshows around the world and understands the complex requirements of each different market.
Doan Pendleton is Vice President of VAC-U-MAX located in Belleville, New Jersey. With over 20 years of professional experience in the design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of dry bulk material transfer systems, Doan’s experience includes strong application knowledge of bulk ingredient handling systems for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as extensive experience with portable and central industrial vacuum cleaning systems. Mr. Pendleton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing/Marketing Management from Suffolk University. As Executive Manager, Mr. Pendleton manages Global Sales and Marketing.
Chuck Johnson is the director of sales at National Bulk Equipment, located in Holland, Michigan. His professional experience includes over 25 years in the design, engineering, & sales of bulk material handling equipment & systems. Johnson holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.
George Bougioukas, Plant Manager of Acmon systems has over a 20 years of experience in plant process design for both mechanical and automation engineering in a wide range of industrial sectors. He has gained a unique knowhow of cross-cutting technologies and applications bringing the organization to reach a new industrial value chain era. George’s expertise includes applications ranging from reception and storage of raw materials, pneumatic and mechanical conveying, sieving, weighing and dosing, mixing, up to bagging and final product dispatch. Behind George there is a dedicated team of engineers who like him are constantly striving to improve design and performance of all plants Acmon systems has been delivering all around the globe for the last 30years on a turnkey basis.
Süleyman is General Manager of Polimak with more than 20 years of experience in design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing of bulk solids handling systems. He leads the organization to provide problem-free solutions from single equipment to complete turnkey systems for a wide range of industries. Pneumatic conveying systems, dust collectors, rotary valves, big bag dischargers, batching & dosing systems, storage silos are some of the components designed and produced by a highly qualified engineering team in the organization. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Süleyman’s background includes software development, industrial automation, and IoT technologies. This facilitates Polimak’s vision of providing data-driven smart process technologies for the bulk solids handling industry in the new digital age.
Todd Messmer is the Product Manager for the Schenck Process Weighing and Feeding Product Line in North America. He has 21 years of Applications Engineering experience customizing and designing Screw Feeders, Weighbelts, Vibratory Feeders, Flow Meters, and Bulk Bag Unloaders into customers’ processes. Todd has worked with a diverse range of companies in the Food, Plastics, Chemicals and Pharmaceutical industries and has written several articles for key industry publications. He holds degrees in both Electronics and Marketing and currently manages a team of Applications Engineers for Schenck Process. Expert in Screw Feeders, Weighbelts, Vibratory Feeders, Flow Meters, and Bulk Bag Unloaders.
Chris has been working at Spiroflow for over 10 years and is currently in the role of technical sales manager. He handles all the technical drawings and specifications during the sale and aides our drawing office while the equipment is designed, he also assists the manufacturing department with the build. His vast knowledge of powder handling and mechanical design is why he is involved in every aspect of designing our powder handling solutions.
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