Bulk bags are fantastic for storing and moving dozens of different kinds of products. Choosing the right industrial packaging bag is half the battle when you’re trying to make your operations as efficient as possible. The other half of the battle is choosing the right filler for the kind of bags that you use. So let’s look at the choices available and how you can make sure you select the right bag for your business.
How much capacity do you need?
It’s not just a question of how much capacity you need now – how much do you think your business will grow? It’s always more expensive to replace a machine that no longer has enough capacity than it is to buy slightly more capacity than you need at the outset.
Manual or automated?
It’s often the case that the bag filling is the least time-consuming operation in a business and all the processes required to service the bag filling take far longer.
You need to match the capacity of your operators to the capacity of your industrial packaging operation. Automatic bag filling requires the operators to keep up with the machine by attaching new bags and removing full ones. Otherwise, that expensive machine is going to be waiting for your human operators half the time.
Would accessories make the job easier?
There are a number of accessories that you can add to an automatic bag filling station. These include items such as an inflator, which will open the bag up before it’s filled. For more elaborate applications, you can even have a programmable scale which will measure how much weight has gone into the bag.
Another useful add-on is a movable head that allows the operator to attach the bag to the spout of the filler much more easily.
Filling stations can consist of a 2 post construction, which is the simplest kind, or a more elaborate four post configuration. Where a lot of time is being spent removing filled bags, businesses often look to install a simple roller conveyor to move the full bags out of the way more quickly so that filling can continue.
Can your operators reach safely?
Many accidents are caused by operators reaching up to try and clear filler spouts or move them into the correct position, even though the spout is out of their arm’s reach. Even worse, the operator may decide to stand on the conveyor belt, with all the risks of an accident. Make sure that if they need to reach parts of the filler, they have a safe way to do so.
Does your bag fill process create dust?
You must ensure that your workers are not breathing in any dust that is produced during the filling process. They must be wearing appropriate respiratory protection. Bear in mind that even solid items can throw off dust and fibres when they are being dropped into a bag. The filler should have a vacuum and vent arrangement to extract dust from the working area.
This has barely scratched the surface – there are a good many other things to think about, but hopefully, these will be a start in deciding what kind of bulk bag filler is best for your business.