Automation, Bulk Equipment

Packweigh bulks up bags

Cost and time savings are making bulk bags an attractive packaging alternative. ABHR spoke with Packweigh Equipment to learn more.

Cost and time savings are making bulk bags an attractive packaging alternative. ABHR spoke with Packweigh Equipment to learn more.

Over the past few years, Packweigh Equipment has noticed a growing trend – more of its customers are looking to pack their product into bulk bags.

Rod Wilson, co-founder of the bagging equipment manufacturer, told ABHR there are several possible reasons for the upswing.

“There is an obvious cost savings when compared with filling 20kg to 25kg bags,” he said.

“Time is money, and it’s significantly faster to fill a one tonne bag instead of 50 20kg bags. The bags themselves also cost less in the long run.

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“As with all products though, it depends on what exactly is being made. Bulk bags make sense when you’re selling to farms or other manufacturers – situations where the end users want to buy a one tonne bag.”

Packweigh has around five standard designs it uses for its bulk bagging systems and can customise them depending upon the situation.

The material being packaged plays a major role in this design process, along with the type of bags the customer wants to use and the speed that is required. 

A system was recently manufactured to fill 1000kg of lime and gypsum into bulk bags, including a pallet dispenser, automatic bag filling and release, plus full pallet accumulation. It used a different design to systems that mostly handle seed and grain, as powders are more complex to handle.

Wilson said due to the settling of the product, the surge hopper needed to be designed differently.

“You also need to account for bag inflation and an entirely different weighing system for powders,” he said.

“There is also the issue of product densification, to ensure the bag is stable when it is conveyed out. Dust can also become an issue which must be addressed.

“We will even program the system differently for certain powders to avoid potential issues those materials can create.”

Packweigh’s automatic bagging systems have also proven to be popular. 

Wilson said even on smaller systems automation is becoming a common addition, due to the increasing cost and availability of labour. This is especially prominent in regional areas, which are feeling the sting when it comes to finding and retaining staff.

Because the company is an Australian manufacturer, it has the flexibility to design bulk bagging systems that can suit specific conditions and applications. 

One customer had a requirement for no pallets to be involved in the bulk bagging system. Packweigh designed six systems that would release a bag onto a conveyor large enough to transport two-tonne bags. From there, full bags were accumulated and then picked up from the straps by a forklift.

“Our equipment isn’t just being assembled in Australia – we use Australian suppliers wherever possible, designing the machines to use locally obtainable parts,” Wilson said.

“This means that if we ever don’t have something in stock, we can quickly get it from our supplier, minimising delays and downtime.

“When you rely on other stakeholders, there’s a chance there you can be let down. We didn’t want to let our customers down – so that meant having as much control over the manufacturing process as possible,” he said.

According to Wilson, Packweigh’s customers have been happy with the bulk bagging machines.

 “They are getting the speeds they were looking for and have been reliable workhorses,” he said.

The company aims to create long term business partnerships instead of traditional customer relationships, which is why Packweigh values reliability. its machinery as reliable.

“We spend time with our customers, give them all the options up front, explain what everything does and don’t take anything for granted,” Wilson said.

“We discuss their needs and do all the layout, drawings, and planning to make sure they get the right tools for the job.”

The company manufactures its products at its Brisbane-based factory, where it can assemble an entire packaging line. Customers can even visit the factory to see the system in operation before it is installed.

Wilson said the Packweigh can also support its customers on site and over the phone.

“We can even provide remote diagnostics online, without needing to travel – cutting down on time and costs,” he said.

“Good quality service, reliable equipment and flexible designs are what the customer needs, and it’s what Packweigh delivers.” 

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