Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers, or FIBCs, are a great way to transport and store bulk solids. However, because different bulk solids have different compositions, there is a risk of creating dust when filling or emptying bulk bags. Thankfully, this can be avoided by using high performance metered filling or dosing systems, ones which have flexibility built in to meet your particular business needs.
Why is dust such a problem?
When you create dust as you fill or empty a bulk bag, you are allowing foreign substances to enter the environment. These substances can be harmful. They can also cause damage to your filling and dosing systems or lead to products becoming contaminated, meaning they can’t be sold.
How to avoid creating dust
One of the main reasons dust is created is because bulk solids are stored and transported in different sized bags and these bags aren’t all compatible with all metered filling or dosing systems. Trying to get the bags to fit your system can be time-consuming and potentially expensive for your business.
You can avoid this by asking all your customers and suppliers to only use bags that fit your metered filling or dosing system. However, this might not work as each company you work with will have their own criteria and needs when it comes to the bags they use.
Another option is to invest in a connection system that lets you empty and fill bags of various sizes. These systems offer flexible connections that include nozzles with different sizes for different bags. The nozzles can be used for filling and emptying bags and can be quickly and easily changed.
If you can’t afford to invest in a new system, you could consider retrofitting your existing system. This will allow you to switch between bag sizes without the risk of creating dust, though it might be more expensive and time-consuming that you had hoped. There is also a chance of errors in the retrofit process which could lead to larger problems if not done correctly.
Which is the best option for you?
Deciding on the best option for you (new investment or retrofitting) means looking at your company’s circumstances. Can you afford to invest in new equipment at the moment, for example, and do you have the space within your operations to house any new metered filling or dosing system? If you are retrofitting equipment, you need to know what the costs are for this and if this is better value for money versus buying new equipment.
Health and safety considerations
You also need to consider health and safety. Remember, to avoid dust, bags need to be filled precisely. If dust is created, it can be harmful to your staff, your customers, and the environment. All of these pose health and safety risks. For example, can you retrofit your existing equipment safely or are there risks to your employees’ health and safety that you need to be aware of, and to address, before making any changes?