How to pack compost in an efficient way
STATEC BINDER is specialized in customer-specific solutions and is ready to take on new challenges. This was also the case in 2010, when an engineering company was looking for a packaging line for a new waste processing plant located in the United Arab Emirates. The challenge was clearly the product itself: a mixture of compost, sand and additives, which was being resold as organic fertilizer after processing.
Packaging of a mixture of compost, sand and additives in both small and bulk packaging and palletization of the bags.
- Packaging 30l of product
- Required capacity for small packaging: 650 bags per hour
- Palletizing of small packaging with a capacity of up to 800 bags per hour
- Packaging 1 cubic meter of the product
- Required capacity for bulk packaging: 12 Big Bags per hour
The challenge in designing the system was to maintain the product flow, as the product mixture can have a high moisture content. For this reason, special developments were made to the buffer hopper.
- Small packaging: open-mouth bagging machine CERTOPAC
- High-level palletizer PRINCIPAL-H
- Bulk packaging: Big Bag filling station
- Special development to ensure product flow and protect machine parts
A new waste treatment plant in the United Arab Emirates required a packaging line consisting of dosing, a packaging system, a sewing machine, a palletizer, and a Big Bag filling station. The new plant was situated in a sandy and dusty environment and the machine was positioned in an open hall. As the desert climate was also prevailing, special measures had to be taken. The machines had to work reliably even at 60°C and high humidity. Especially electrical components had to be protected from the high humidity.
For more than 20 years, STATEC BINDER systems have been packaging products for agriculture. In most cases, the packaging of seeds is required, whether for grass, maize, or even grain. However, a mixture of compost, sand, and additives was something new. Through open discussions at a high technical level, as well as the excellent exchange of information, it was possible to find the perfect solution for the customer together with him.
The CERTOPAC open-mouth bagging machine was chosen because of the required output of 650 bags per hour for the packaging line. The packaging line is completed by the PRINCIPAL-H and a turntable wrapper for pallet securing.
The challenge in designing the line was to maintain the product flow. As the product can have a moisture content of up to 40%, precautions had to be taken to prevent the product from sticking, for example in the buffer hopper.
For this reason, the buffer hopper was built asymmetrically, and the walls were designed to be steeper. In addition, the entire buffer hopper was coated with PE-lining to make it harder for the product to stick to the inner walls and to protect the steel. In case the product should stick in the buffer hopper, an additional stirrer was installed at the lower end of the buffer hopper. This stirrer makes it possible to loosen up the product again and thus, ensures the product flow.
A volumetric belt dosing system was chosen for the dosing into the bag, as the bags need to be filled with 30 liters of product. Belt dosing is also best suited for the moist product mixture.
Since volumetric dosing is clocked according to pulses, e.g. three rotations of the belt until the bag is full, control equipment was also installed additionally to the packaging line. The check weigher is equipped with a “tendency control”, which controls the impulses of the belt dosing. This ensures that there is always the right volume of product in the bag.
“The CERTOPAC open-mouth bagging machine was the perfect choice for the customer, as this machine had already been tested for a wide range of difficult products. The capacity of 650 bags per hour is no problem for the CERTOPAC. Thanks to the high reliability and quality of the machine, we were also able to satisfy the customer to a great extent”, says Edmund Gruber, Senior Sales Manager at STATEC BINDER, about the project. “Depending on the composition of the product, there are also corrosive properties, so all machines were specifically designed as we usually do mainly for machines in the fertilizer industry. The special development of the buffer hopper including a stirrer and PE lining as well as the adapted Big Bag system made this project exciting,” continues Gruber.
The PRINCIPAL-H, a high-level palletizer, completes the packaging line. Since the product mix can be very moist, it is important that one layer of the pallet is being pressed from all sides. Thus, a nice layer pattern is guaranteed. A turntable wrapper ensures that the pallet is secured.
The Big Bag filling station was equipped with gross weighing and belt dosing. The challenge with the Big Bag system was the height, as only 6.4 meters of space were available for the Big Bag filling station.
The Big Bag station should also be a simple and cost-effective, yet an efficient solution. With a capacity of 12 Big Bags per hour, which should each be filled with 1 cubic meter of product, this could be realized. As in the case of small packaging, the buffer hopper and the filling area of the Big Bag Station were coated with PE-lining and the buffer hopper was equipped with a stirrer to loosen up the product.
Above all, the technical competence, the consulting service, and the willingness to develop individual solutions were decisive aspects for the customer in the decision to work with STATEC BINDER. In addition, the engineering company already had the experience of working on projects with Binder + Co, a parent company of STATEC BINDER.
“The cooperation with the customer was excellent right from the start. Since there was a very good technical understanding of both sides, a suitable solution was quickly found. It is always particularly important for us to work together with our customers on a cooperative level because this is also how the foundation is laid for a long-term partnership”, says Edmund Gruber about the relationship with the customer.
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