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Buying discharge equipment for your bulk bags? 5 things to know first

If you have decided to deliver bulk materials in bulk bags, you will also be searching for equipment to enable the product to be handled in an effective and safe way. You will need to enlist the services of a company specialising in providing tailor-made solutions.

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1. Experience

It used to be appropriate to approach a local company to manufacture a simple support frame for bags, but this is no longer the case. Legislation and advances in modern practices now demand a significantly higher level of containment, safety and other additional features.

It is only with experience and in-depth industry knowledge that the right applications can be developed, manufactured and tested to the very highest specifications.

Pneumatic Conveying

There are a wide variety of handling systems available for specialist bulk bags. There is a pneumatic conveying company called Aptech who are able to offer a range of systems that include processes for integral weighing, elevating or conveying.

2. Defining Loading Protocol

Before you can decide which type of system to use, the method of loading must first be established. Will there be an integrated hoist or will a forklift be required? Can a forklift be utilised in the loading area?.

3. Existing Equipment and Layout

Consideration must also be given to the space available in the position the discharger will be placed:

•       Headroom: Where headroom is limited, there is a need for a system that maximises the space available.
•       Size and design of bags: Will you use single-trip, flat-bottomed bags, which require cutting before discharging contents? Will the bags have a liner? For more complex loads, specialist equipment for discharge and a full base bag may be required. Detailed information regarding bag design and dimensions must be passed on to possible suppliers as soon as possible.

4. Process Requirements

Other questions to ask include:

•       Does discharge occur according to weight or volume?
•       Will there be a controlled feed?
•       Can feed continue during bag replacement?
•       Can the bag be removed when partially discharged?

5. Material Characteristics

Additional specifications will vary depending on the material characteristics such as flow, tendency to compact or create dust, or whether the material is hazardous. All of these factors must be taken into account during the design phase.

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