National Bulk Equipment (NBE) has developed a bulk bag unloader and bag dump station, to supply secondary ingredients to 20,000 lb/hour bulk bag filling stations.

This bulk bag filler system; receiving input material from an integrated bulk bag unloader, an integrated bag dump station, and a vibratory conveyor system, enabled the material processing operation to effectively transition to an automated, 20,000 lb/hour, bulk bag filling process from a relatively low-capacity, operator-intensive, 50 lb bag filling system.

Multiple materials, all with differing characteristics, including: fast-flowing, dusty, sticky, and static- charged, enter the process operation based on the specific recipe selected at the system HMI (human–machine interface) by the operator. The NBE bulk bag unloader, receiving bulk bags of severely agglomerated material, starts an integrated, automated material conditioning sequence, including: massage paddles with 2,200 lbs of paddle pressure, and an agitator hopper to prepare the material for supply, via screw conveyor, to the bulk bag filler. For secondary ingredients, a bag dump station, integrated to the bulk bag unloader, enables manual introduction of material to the agitator hopper for conditioning, blending, and supply to the bulk bag filler.

The primary ingredient, supplied from downstream pneumatic conveying, is introduced to the bulk bag filling process through a 24” wide, 304-2b stainless steel, vibratory

conveyor with a total material supply capacity of 20,000 lbs/hour. This automated, bulk bag filler and bulk bag unloader system was built to be compliance-ready at start-up and to conform to the specific, regulated processes and practices of the Class II, Div. 2, Group G process area, as well as explosion protection and control features for venting, directing, and releasing overpressure. NBE was the single- source provider of the system’s controls and automation, and was singularly responsible for integration of the system controls to the facility’s supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA).

This NBE bulk bag filler and bulk bag unloader system significantly increased line capacity, improved resource management, reduced operating burden, increased labour efficiency and safety, and extended equipment contribution and performance lifecycles.