4 Points to Consider Before Purchasing
a Bulk Bag Unloader
The unloader allows the operators to discharge the materials received in Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) bags efficiently while ensuring safety. Typical bulk bag unloaders consist of a support frame, lifting frame and outlet to dispense the material. There will be optional components based on the application and the material requirements. In this post, we will discuss the essential points to consider while purchasing bulk bags.
1. Height of the bag, ceiling, and discharge
It is critical to consider three dimensions while choosing the unloader: the bulk bag's height, the required height of discharge, and the ceiling's height.
Bag Height: Bulk bags are customised to meet any requirement. The most common horizontal dimensions of the bulk bags are 90cm X 90cm, 95cm X 95cm. Most unloaders will accommodate bags of this size. In case your business works with bags with different dimensions, that will have to be considered before buying unloaders.
Discharge Height: It is necessary to leave some space from the bag's outlet; this allows the material to drop directly to another piece of equipment; this is called the discharge height. You will have to provision for this height while you consider buying the unloader.
Rooftop Height: The available ceiling height will have to be considered while purchasing the unloader. Also, one needs to view the entire loading process. The support beam height and forklift mast should be regarded to avoid damaging the roof while loading the bulk bags.
2. Weight of The Bag
The unloader's structural frame should take the bulk bag's load to be unloaded. You will also have to consider the size and cost of the electric hoist and trolley. The weight of the bulk bag will depend on the product density and the bag size.
3. Nature of The Product
The product's nature will determine how the product will flow from the bulk bags to the unloader. Special consideration will have to be given to the material that could be hazardous, corrosive or non-free flowing.
Non-Free Flowing Materials – Materials that tend to lump during the shipping will require additional features like flexor paddles or vibration to extract material from the bulk bag. Dusty powders need different regulators to regulate the flow and reduce the operator's exposure and minimise spillage.
Hazardous Materials - Hazardous material will require additional safety precautions to ensure the facility's safety. It may be necessary to add dust collection systems and sealed untie boxes to limit exposure when the product is flowing. When using flammable products, all hardware used should be explosion-proof.
Corrosive Materials - Bulk bag unloaders are usually made of carbon steel and coated with primer and industrial enamel paint. Carbon steel is low cost and high strength. Still, in cases where the material is corrosive, unloading frames should be 304 or 316 series stainless steel.
4. Total Workflow of The Operator
It is important to understand the operator's entire workflow right from the loading, untying, re-tying, and transfer. For each that the operator accomplishes, it is important to consider the operator's safety and efficiency. The bulk bag unloaders should enhance the productivity of the operator in a cost-effective manner.
The operator should also be trained for proper handling techniques of the FIBC bulk bags. This will give the operator a fair idea of appropriate lifting, stacking, and handling of bulk bags. A sound bulk bag unloaders should essentially protect the operator from fatigue and hazardous materials.
Bulk Bags and bulk bag unloaders have revolutionised the way material is handled in the facilities. They have improved efficiencies at production units by reducing wastage and the trips required for carrying traditional sacks.
Reducing the amount of dust in the facilities enhances the environment conducive for the personnel involved. It is imperative to choose the right unloading system to get optimum results. Buying an unloader that would not be suitable for your facility would defeat the purpose of having one.
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