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Bulk Material Processing, Packaging Project Increases Process Yield, Improves Production

Image courtesy of National Bulk Equipment Project_NBE.jpg
Bulk material processing and packaging project was designed, engineered, installed, and commissioned by NBE

This bulk material processing and packaging project was designed, engineered, installed, and commissioned by National Bulk Equipment (NBE) for a full stream application requiring the discharge, screening, decontamination, and bulk packaging of multiple specialty-engineered, extreme-performance materials.

Raw materials are received in bulk bags and bulk bins of differing sizes and weights. Specific formulations of the end-product and particular material infeed interfaces of downstream production equipment require the project to simultaneously fill bulk bags, bulk storage totes, and drums. These functional requirements, together with the customer’s need for quantifiable performance metrics, application-specific guidance, and collaborative project management made engineer-to-application (ETA) project delivery a necessity.

Upstream bulk material unloading begins with two forklift-loaded, bulk container discharging stations. Each station has a load capacity of 3,000 lb and can receive bulk bags and bulk bins. When preparing a bulk bag for discharge, the spout interface of the discharge station enables the operator to easily access the bag spout, connect the spout to the system, and enclose the bag spout prior to beginning material flow. When preparing a bulk bin for discharge, a flex connection spout from the bin bottom functions in the same manner as the bag spout. With the bag spout or bin spout connected, the operator initiates material discharge.

Midstream bulk material processing operations of this project prepare the bulk materials to ensure characteristics of the finished, bulk-packaged product meet the demanding size and purity specifications for downstream production. Preparations necessary for the received raw material will determine which of the two bulk material processing and packaging systems will handle the input. These midstream preparation functions include sizing the materials to micron-level specifications, separating the materials according to size, and magnetic decontaminating of the sized and separated materials.

Downstream bulk material packaging operations utilize NBE engineered-to-application bulk container filling systems. Each of these filling systems is designed to easily changeover for filling bulk bags, bulk totes, or drums. Depending on processing requirements, filled-container weights range from 600 to 4,000 lb. The fillhead on each bulk container filling system is designed to provide a dust-tight interface to the container being filled, whether the interconnect is a bulk bag spout, a tote cover flange, or a drum cover. Material dusting that may occur within the fillhead is routed away within the system and recovered at a central collection unit. This NBE engineered-to-application full stream project enabled this bulk processing and packaging enterprise to move beyond the constraints of build-to-order and engineer-to-order machines and leverage NBE engineered-to-application project delivery to increase process yield and improve downstream throughput efficiency.

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