Using FIBCs in manufacturing, shipping and raw materials facilities is a great way to receive product, move product around the floor and ultimately ship products out of your facility to your customers. However, traditional methods for filling, discharging and transporting FIBCs aren’t always the most efficient – or safe.
Facility automation strategies and equipment can help you quickly and safely move product while using FIBCs. There are countless facility automation strategies and equipment available, some more beneficial and cost-effective than others. Let’s explore facility automation strategies that can improve the use of bulk bags throughout your operations.
Automated Filling and Discharge Systems
One of the more common facility automation strategies that can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of bulk bags is the use of automated filling and discharge systems.
Fully automated bagging systems, or filling systems, are designed to fill bags quickly and efficiently as part of a conveyer line. Speeds of these systems vary, but generally speaking, automated bagging systems can fill 30 to 40 FIBCs per hour. Not only are they faster than manual filling, these systems also are much safer, eliminating the proximity of staff members to the bags being filled and the materials filling them.
For more information, read our article “What are Fully Automated FIBC Bulk Bagging Systems?”
Automated discharge systems, or unloaders, are another common piece of automation equipment used in factory, manufacturing and material handling operations. These discharge systems commonly use a forklift attachment to secure the bag using the handles, making it easy to discharge the material via the bags’ spout bottom. Automated discharge solutions can be integrated into a production line and have the potential to significantly increase speed and safety.
Integrated Conveyer and Transport Solutions
Automated conveyer and transport systems can be integrated into a production line or used as a standalone piece of equipment. These systems are available in various forms, including belt systems, pneumatic systems and roller systems. Regardless of the format, these systems are all designed to move material quickly and safely throughout your facility.
Palletizing bulk bags before shipping is a great way to secure the materials and enable easier stacking and handling. Unfortunately, palletizing bags manually can be time consuming. Automating the process with automatic stretch wrappers can speed up the processes and eliminate wasted materials. Automated stretch wrappers can be integrated directly into a production line to increase speed, efficiency and safety.
Combining Facility Automation and FIBCs
Like many facilities, you probably already use FIBCs, but move them around, fill them and empty them with manual means including forklifts and suspended systems. By combining your use of bags with facility automation equipment, you can significantly increase the speed and safety of transporting, filling and discharging your FIBCs.
Facility automation doesn’t have to happen all at once. By adding automation equipment to key parts of your operations, you can achieve big improvements. Automation equipment is a capital expense but can pay for itself in time saved and injuries avoided over time.
But, where do you start? This question can be difficult to answer, especially if you’ve never used or explored facility automation equipment before. Talking to your distributor about facility automation options can help.
At National Bulk Bag, our experts are here to help you explore and identify the ideal facility automation equipment for your unique needs. We will work with you to identify trusted suppliers and the different equipment types available that offer the best return on your automation investment.
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