Plant Protection Products
More capacity thanks to automated big bag handling

Handling dusty and adhesive bulk materials requires reliable and intelligent system solutions that are not only adapted to the specific production conditions, but also ensure a high capacity. A leading chemical producer was looking for a fully automated system for filling and emptying big bags for its crop protection production. The desired turnkey solution should significantly increase production capacity and reduce the number of personnel required. Dust-tightness and productivity are the top priorities.

The complete production plant extends over four floors and consists of two separate process chains. A big bag emptying and filling system is integrated at the beginning and end of each of the two production processes.

A particular challenge in the design and manufacture of the solution, which consists of two units, was tailoring it to the limited space available in the plant’s surroundings, as the emptying and filling processes had to be integrated into an existing production plant.

In addition, the control system for the emptying and filling system had to be compatible with the existing process control system (PCS) and communicate with it without any problems.

The Big Bag system at a glance

Placing the big bags in the emptying station using a crane runway

Dust-tight emptying funnel for safe docking of the big bag outlet

Suction filter with fan for dedusting the emptying process

Retightening device for residue-free emptying

Fully automatic evacuation of the big bag after emptying

Lump breaker under the discharge hopper for breaking up agglomerates

Conveying the product into a dryer

Feeding of the dried product into the big bag filling system

Filling head with inflatable sleeve and trickle protection system for contamination-free filling of big bags

Big Bag emptying system with a protective fence and dedusting filter.

High requirements for production equipment:
Plant protection products are dusty, tend to clump together, adhere strongly and have an abrasive effect on surfaces.

The product is delivered in big bags, which are brought into the emptying station by means of a crane conveyor. As pesticides are often characterized by a high density, the emptying frame and the docking device for the big bag outlet have been reinforced. The system is also equipped with a pneumatically operated emptying unit and a retightening device: the big bags can be connected to the connection system quickly, safely and dust-tightly, and evacuated fully automatically and completely after emptying. When the empty big bags are folded, only small amounts of residual dust can escape into the environment.

The big bag loading harness has an inline clamp and additional hooks for smaller bags. With the help of an installed crusher, lumps in the product are broken up after the emptying process and conveyed to an on-site dryer.

Big bag emptying system with protective fence and dedusting filter

Emptying system with dedusting filter

A yellow loading harness with inliner clamp for suspending big bags.

Loading harness with inliner clamp

Dust-tight emptying hopper with pneumatically lowerable lid

Dust-tight discharge hopper with pneumatically lowerable cover

Installed lump breaker with two shafts and rotating breaking stars

Attached crusher for dissolving lumps

Trickle protection & Co.
For contamination-free big bag filling

After the drying process, the product is conveyed to the filling unit. As enormous amounts of dust are also generated during the filling process, this system unit was also designed to be dust-tight.

An inflation device first feeds air into the empty big bag and straightens it in the process. The filling head is designed with an inflatable sleeve so that the big bag inlet is always securely fixed during filling and no dust can escape to the outside. A built-in, two-part protective flap at the outlet of the filling head prevents product from trickling out of the feed pipe after the filling process. This protects the operating personnel from contamination during the entire process.

Big bag filling station with pneumatic filling head and aspiration nozzle

Cleanly filled: The big bag filling station at the end of the process chain

Filling head with inflation sleeve and trickle protection

Filling head with inflation sleeve and trickle protection

Thanks to the combined emptying and filling solution from Engelsmann, the operator not only benefits from greater safety and cleanliness in the process. As the system is largely automated, productivity and capacity have also been increased. In addition, the Engelsmann concept impresses with its compactness, so that the available installation space has also been optimally utilized.

Further features of the system:

Sophisticated design, high-quality materials and surfaces: Components with product contact, such as the discharge hopper, are made entirely of high-quality stainless steel with particularly smooth and resistant surfaces. Transitions and surfaces are designed to be as steep as possible to prevent the product from sticking.

Quick and easy cleaning and maintenance: The smooth surfaces, easy access to the individual components and the low proportion of wearing parts ensure that the system can be thoroughly cleaned or serviced in a short time. This also reduces downtimes.

No lubricants = no contamination of the product: The absence of lubricated parts in the interior prevents contamination of the product.

Protection for explosion: As the system was installed in a potentially explosive production area, both system units are designed to be ATEX-compliant.

Beside the planning, design and manufacture of the systems, the project scope also included the installation, commissioning and training of the operating personnel.