Whenever ordering raw material for your manufacturing facility, you’re generally able to secure a lower price when ordering in bulk. The larger your raw material orders, the less money you’ll pay, but you need a bulk handling material system that can work with larger quantities. It won’t do much good if your current production setup isn’t designed for, at the very least, handling larger amounts of material. You’ll end up spending more time and energy moving about your facility, loading up the conveyor system, and finding locations to store the bulk orders. That will result in production slowdowns, which is exactly the opposite of what you want. With a well-designed bulk handling material system, you’ll save money and improve production flow. You just need to know what kind of equipment is out there and how it can improve your productivity.
The Bulk Handling Material Options
When working with bulk raw material, you have several options to choose from. These can be used for loading material onto your conveyor system and unloading a finished product (or waste product that needs to be removed and moved to another location within your facility).
Understanding the difference between hoppers, tote dumpers, and bulk bag loaders/unloaders will help you determine which will work best for your current setup and the kind of material you are working with.
A bulk hopper is a large, often cone or pyramid-shaped container that deposits material out of the bottom of the container. Because it comes to a smaller point on the bottom and has a larger, fatter top side, it can hold a large amount of material while giving you control over the flow of material outside of the bottom. Depending on the bulk hopper in question, it can be used with anything from liquid to particle material (such as seeds, bolts, dirt, and other smaller items). It can also be used as temporary housing for the bulk material.
A tote dumper is different in design from the bulk hopper. While it doesn’t give you the same kind of finite control over the material you are using, it does help you move bulk material about your factory floor and deposit it onto the conveyor system. A tote dumper is a machine that can lift heavy loads off the ground. It then tips or “dumps” the bulk material. It can be used to dump waste into a dumpster, dump large amounts of flour into the water, or really any other job you might need to move large amounts of material from one location to another. Some tote dumpers are made moveable. These tote dumpers have wheels and locks on the bottom, which is excellent for when you need to transport material to different areas of your facility.
Bulk Bag Loader/Unloader
A bulk bag loader/unloader is a bit different from the other two previously mentioned devices. A bulk bag loader will take raw material and allow you to load it into a collapsible bag. The top of the loader will be a chute, a pipe, or another device used to deliver the raw material. It will then have an area where a bulk bag can be fitted to the bottom of the device to collect the deposited material. The bag will collect the necessary material, at which point the bag is then sealed at the top.
These setups are beneficial when the bulk bags are not in use, and they will take up minimal room. They can usually be folded and stored in a box or another location within your facility. The ability to minimally take up space while not in use makes the equipment so desirable.
On the flip side, the unloader aspect of the bulk bag adds another desirable benefit to the bulk handling material system. As the name suggests, the bag will be unloaded. With the heavy-duty bulk bag, the top area used as an opening to collect the material will be flipped upside down, so it is now pointing down. The bag will then be inserted into an unloader. When the bag is opened, the material will funnel through an opening that can be controlled, allowing you to deposit material onto a conveyor belt or along with other areas of your production floor. In many ways, the bulk-bag unloader is similar to the bulk hopper.
The main difference here is that you use bags that can easily swap out. When the bag has finished unloading its material, it will be removed and can be swapped out for a replacement bag. This makes it easier to switch between different kinds of materials when necessary, although bulk bags are not always the best option for liquid materials.
Design A Bulk Handling System Specifically For Your Needs
While there are several bulk handling systems out there, what you need is something designed specifically for your business needs and your current system configuration. Chances are, you don’t want to completely reinvent the wheel of your operation and alter the entire setup of the production line. That will result in significant downtime, not to mention that employees might need additional training to find their way around the new system. Instead, with our staff here at Gough Econ, we can go over your current setup and then help implement the bulk handling systems into your configuration. This will help speed up installation time and seamlessly transition into new equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about bulk handling material systems and how these systems can improve your own production, feel free to give our staff a call or fill out the no-obligation request form right on the front page of our website. However you decide to contact us, our expert customer service staff at Gough Econ is ready to assist.