The transport and delivery of dry bulk materials is often being done by means of F.I.B.C.’s, (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container), Bulk Bags, Jumbo Bags or Big-Bags. Big Bags are an ideal solution for the temporary storage and transportation of dry bulk materials. Dry bulk materials such as; powders, mineral ores, aggregates and other dry bulk goods.
- Highly cost-effective packaging
- Easy to handle – optimizes your logistics process
- Fully comply with strict hygiene standards for food and pharma applications
- Safe to carry up to a thousand times its own weight
- No need for secondary packaging
- Low weight, minimal space – saving on warehouse footprint and cost
- Printed bags as mobile promotion and/or mention essential product information
- Help to minimize waste flows
- Recycling and reconditioning
- Big bags are customizable to your specific requirements
In order to fully benefit from the advantages that Big-Bags have to offer it requires well-designed systems that effectively fills and empty your Big-Bags. But how do you choose the correct equipment for your application/situation? It is therefore advisable to take a closer look at the do’s and dont’s in regard to big bag handling.
The popularity of the big bags is continuously growing. With its great versatility, that is not a surprise: a big bag can be used in many different ways and can carry a thousand times its own weight, up to approximately 2.500 kg per big bag. We, at Lion Bulk Handling, understand like no other how important it is that our customers use their big bags correctly, to make sure transportation, loading and unloading are done safely. To get the utmost benefit from the advantages of big bags, our experts have written down the following tips:
How to store empty big bags/FIBCs
The best way to store big bags/FIBCs is clean and covered. This way the FIBC is kept in pristine condition and is protected from extreme climate changes and/or too much sunlight.
How to fill big bags/FIBCs
Big bags/FIBCs are best filled by resting them on the ground or on a pallet, while having a filling mechanism hold the loops. Please note that in some cases, the bag must be grounded before it can be filled.
How to discharge big bags/FIBCs
Usually, big bags/FIBCs are discharged through gravity; in some situations, suction is used. Bags with a special discharge spout can be used to control the emptying process. If the bag does not have an emptying spout, the bottom of the big bag is often cut. You can stop the discharge process by lowering the bag onto the product being unloaded. It is very important to pay close attention during this process and ensure that nobody is standing under the big bag/FIBC at the point of discharge.
How to optimize the stability of big bags/FIBCs
To fill an big bag/FIBC in the most efficient way, ensure that the width/diameter ratio is no more than 2:1. To improve product stability, a vibrating mechanism is often used during filling.
How to lift big bags/FIBCs
When lifting big bags/FIBCs, it is important to be directly in front of the big bags/FIBC and that you can easily place the forks of the forklift in the loops or tunnel loops. When lifting, please ensure that all loops are vertical and not twisted, and that the fork has no sharp edges that may damage the big bag/FIBC or cut the loop.
Driving a forklift truck with big bags/FIBCs
Make sure a filled big bag/FIBC is always kept low to the ground when driving a forklift truck. If the filled big bag/FIBC is held too high above the ground, the forklift truck is less stable and there is an increased risk of accidents.
Handling big bags/FIBCs with cranes
Please make sure the hooks of the crane do not have any sharp edges that could damage the bag or the lifting structure. Wherever possible it is important to use protective materials. We advise using special safety hooks, so that the risk of the bag unexpectedly coming off the hooks is minimal. When the bag is lifted, the loops must be vertical. Loops that are twisted, knotted or not vertical are a safety hazard.
Straightening big bags/FIBCs
Big bag/FIBC lifting loops are designed in such a way that all the lifting loops need to be used at the same time. An big bag/FIBC is specifically designed that the full weight must be evenly distributed over all the lifting loops.
How to store filled big bags/FIBCs
There are multiple ways to store big bags/FIBCs. Depending on the material, users can choose to place the bags in racks (with or without pallets) or to stack the big bags/FIBCs (as shown on the picture). Please make sure the big bag/FIBC is stacked correctly and that the bags is certified for the height that you wish to maintain. Our big bag experts can advise you on this, bearing in mind the applicable safety standards.
Big bags/FIBCs: do’s and don’ts
Big bags do’s
- Please carefully read the safety label’s handling instructions
- Make sure that the big bag is stable
- Make sure the unloading mechanism is closed before filling
- Ensure all necessary measures are taken when managing the quantity
- Make sure the filling system of the big bag is closed after filling
- Ensure the width of the forks on the forklift match the width of the big bag
- When lifting the big bag, ensure that the hooks are set for the correct dimensions
- Always ground an antistatic big bag type C before filling the big bag
- Protect the big bag from rain and sunlight for an optimal lifespan
Big bags dont’s
- Never fill more than the permitted Safe Working Load (SWL) to avoid safety hazards
- Never fill a big bag unevenly
- Never make unexpected sudden stops during transportation
- Never allow people to move underneath the FIBC
- Never stack the big bag if the ground is not stable
- Never make use of forklifts etc. with insufficient lifting capacity
- Never re-use single-use big bags
Lion Bulk Handling has a wide range of expertise in bulk handling applications, such as big bag handling equipment. Our equipment has been proven reliability in practice (also on board of drilling offshore rigs). It is essential to select the correct type of equipment/system for your particular situation. Lion Bulk Handling is providing many types of big bag handling equipment. On board of offshore rigs, we provided a complete mud mixing system with a big bag mixing unit (BBMU) included.
Big Bag Mixing Unit (BBMU)
The big bag mixing unit (BBMU) is designed for the safe handling and efficient unloading of big bags (super sacks) while eliminating dust pollution during product mixing. Coupling the six-inch shear mixer with the big bag units (BBU) allows 1500 Kilos of product to be mixed in less than five minutes. The bag slitter opens the disposable big bag and the vacuum – created by the shearing mixer – extracts the product into the shearing mixer, rapidly hydrating and mixing it.
The big bag handling assembly lifts the bag into place and keeps it from folding into the containment bin. As the big bag empties, the lifting assembly contacts the upper rails of the big bag frame and keeps the bag taut to ensure the free flow of the product. Should the big bag be lifted off the bag slitter, the containment bin will keep the product from spilling onto the ground. The bag slitter is designed to pierce the bottom of the disposable bag using its own weight, with the arms extending outward from the slitter to open the bag fully and let gravity ensure free flow of the product.
Would you like to know more about big bag/FIBC handling in general or if you would like to discuss the possibilities for your application, than contact our Lion team for more information. Please feel free to leave a comment below in the comment section of this blogpost.