Fresco Systems Australasia have extended their range of bulk bag loading and unloading equipment. Bulk bags or FIBCs (flexible intermediate bulk containers) are an alternative to a one tonne pallet full of 25kg paper bags. These bags are made of a woven polymer material which is sewn into a cube form with inlet and outlet spouts on the top and bottom and lifting loops at the top corners. Bulk bags are suitable for handling of powders and granules.
The health and safety of the operators and the environment were the key factors in the design and operation of the bulk bags. The designs of these bags prevent back and respiratory injuries. The bulk bags facilitate safe transport of bulk materials across a factory without the need for operators to be exposed to hazardous dust or heavy lifting. The environment also benefits from the bulk bag loading equipment as the need to harvest trees for manufacture of paper sacks and then the disposal of these in landfills is eliminated with the use of reusable and recyclable bulk bags.
Filling of the bulk bags is done on Fresco bulk bag fillers with the operator input being the placement of the loops of the bulk bag onto the retainer hooks and sliding the spout onto the filling head. Bulk bags ranging from 1m³ to 2m³ in capacity are then filled by the push of a button, which starts the infeed conveyor and the dust collector. During filling, the vibrating deck vibrates the bag to provide a tightly packed/densified bag for safe transportation.
A forklift can then transport and store the filled bag without the risk of individual bags falling onto the forklift driver or passers by. This operation protects the operator from handling or being exposed to products containing 20 or 25kg bags. Potential stacking problems of bags on pallets are also eliminated.
Transportation of bulk bags is safer than having smaller bags stacked on a pallet. The load is more stable, eliminating the risk of loose bags falling while being elevated. This eliminates the risk on of the forklift driver being hit by falling bags or from being exposed to the contents of a broken bag as well as reducing the risk of spillage polluting the atmosphere and environment.
The bulk bags can be loaded into trucks or shipping containers by the forklift without the need to manually re-stack product to achieve optimum space usage. This in turn means the recipient can also unload the material without manual handling. Bulk bags can be easily and safely stacked.
Elevating the bulk bag onto a Fresco bulk bag unloader can be done utilising a forklift or overhead monorail crane. The operator fixes the lifting frame at ground level and the bag is lifted into position resting the base of the bag on the bag massagers while still supporting the top of the bag. The bag massagers provide a safety barrier for the operator and gently massage the base of the bag to promote flow of the product assisting discharge. The operator can untie the spout of the bag and control the flow of product through the bag closer valve. This also allows the operator to close a bag during discharge if only a part of a bag is required.
The single handed bag spout clamps ensure the interface with the bulk bag and hopper below is fully enclosed and dust-tight. The design prevents hazardous dust exposure to the operator complying with OSH and EPA standards. The risk of foreign matter or objects including knives contaminating the product is also reduced.
The bag extenders (forklift model only) lifts the bag to ensure the products are discharged from the bulk bag prior to the operator lowering the bag to the ground and disconnecting it from the lifting frame. The optional integral dust collector filters displaced air during the discharge cycle and evacuates the air from the bulk bag leaving it flattened and ready for removal from the bulk bag unloader. This eliminates the need for the operator to bunch up an empty bulk bag exhausting the air and dust to the environment.
For example, one operator can easily discharge a one tonne bulk bag in less than five minutes with no manual lifting or risk of exposure to dust. Whereas for the operators to discharge the same amount in 20kg bags they must lift 50 bags and place them on a slitting ledge where they must use a knife to cut the paper bag before lifting it again to discharge the contents. This would be expected to take 20 to 25 minutes with the risk of back injury, lacerations, dust exposure and product contamination. The operators must then collect the empty bags and place them in the waste, which normally has no dust control. These bags then end up in a landfill. The bulk bags on the other hand can be reused or recycled.
Fresco Systems Australasia bulk bag fillers and unloaders are engineered, independently tested and certified as lifting equipment. The bulk bag loading and unloading equipment result in reduced operator input and a cost- efficient working environment.