Bulk Distributor Mar/Apr 16 - Page 17

FIBCs & Bagging March/April 2016 BULKDISTRIBUTOR 17 Compacting the empties Low-profile filler pivots to operator P A roduction companies often use raw materials in bags in their processes. However, if a company does not incorporate the handling of the emptied bags into that process, those empty bags threaten the progress, safety and appearance of the plant. Netherlands-based Van Beek has designed a bag compactor which enables empty bags to be handled as cheaply, efficiently and in as an environmentally-friendly a way as possible. The operation of the bag compactor is as effective as it is efficient, says Van Beek. The empty bags fall down a short chute onto a short screw in a pipe. The screw pushes the bags through the pipe. The pressure of the screw compresses the bags by about two thirds. An endless bag is clamped round the end of the pipe, into which the screw pushes the finely compressed bags. The endless bag sits in a protective cage. “This is to prevent people putting their hands in the screw,” explained Roel Kneepkens, sales engineer at Van Beek. Once the bag is full, the operator opens the protective cage. “The cage has a safety switch that is incorporated in the control circuit of the screw motor, so as soon as someone opens the cage, the motor stops. This is for the safety of everyone coming near the machine and this also complies with the CE marking,” Kneepkens added. Continuous process “With the cage open and the motor switched off the operator can cut off the endless bag safely, as if it were a sausage, and then pull a new piece of bag over the tube. As soon as the operator closes the cage again the pressing process continues effortlessly,” Kneepkens continued. The screw has a 30mm clearance from the wall and never jams because of the powerful SEW motor. The bag compactor works with plastic bags, jute sacks, cardboard bags or combinations of these. It has many advantages over the traditional hydraulic press or the baling press. For example, the bag compactor is available in stainless steel 304 and stainless steel 316, as well as in a coated steel version. The bag compactor can be used stationary, but Van Beek can also supply a mobile version. For processes in an explosive atmosphere Van Beek can also produce an ATEX version of the bag compactor. By using a chute new bags can be supplied continuously. The biggest advantage, says the company, is the cost saving. “No hydraulic system is needed to drive the press. An electricity supply is enough. This makes the bag compactor many times cheaper than a hydraulic press,” said Kneepkens. www