When an efficient, dust-free system for re-packaging PVC modifiers was required by the US chemical manufacturing company, Kaneka, bulk materials handling specialist, Flexicon, was chosen to supply the solution. This case study describes the solution.
Kaneka North America LLC, in Pasadena, Texas, USA, needed an efficient, dust-free method of re-packaging PVC modifiers to replace manual methods in place since 2003. The plant packages grades of modifier products into bulk bags (907 kg, 771 kg, 454 kg) and 23 kg sacks based on projected customer orders for product grades in specific bag sizes. But when the actual orders do not match the projections, the plant needs to transfer products from one bulk bag size to another.
Previously, forklifts suspended a bulk bag above the hopper of a portable screw conveyor, which transferred the material into the desired size bulk bag. Similarly, material was discharged from a bulk bag into the hopper of a valve bag filling machine for 23 kg sacks.
Both operations presented safety risks from the suspended bulk bags and generated high levels of dust. Product loss also occurred, and operations frequently had to stop for cleaning and removing dust that would pose a safety hazard. “Re-bagging was inefficient, and the fine powders generated dust,” says Brian Wilson, staff reliability engineer at Kaneka North America.
In the new system supplied by Flexicon, a flexible screw conveyor transfers powder from the first of two BULK-OUT™ bulk bag dischargers to a TWIN-CENTERPOST™ bulk bag filler. The second bulk bag discharger empties into the hopper of the valve bag filler for 23 kg sacks located under the discharger.
Discharging material into various sized bulk bags
In Kaneka’s ‘bulk-to-bulk’ transfer system, the loops of bulk bags are connected to a bag lifting frame which is forklifted onto a cradle at the top of a BULK-OUT™ BFF-C-X bulk bag discharger.