Simple big bag emptying in containment environments
Engelsmann has developed the new JEL SmartCon ES attachment system which can be used to empty big bags easily and safely under containment conditions up to OEB 4.
Containment systems are primarily used for the safe handling of harmful or highly active substances. Handling such substances in closed systems not only reduces the amount of substance particles that escape into the surrounding environment to an absolute minimum, but it also stops unwanted foreign substances from entering and contaminating the production process. The new JEL SmartCon ES attachment system from Engelsmann for emptying big bags under containment conditions can be used up to OEB 4, which corresponds to a particle concentration in the surrounding environment of less than 10 µg / m3.
Alongside the maximum possible Occupational Exposure Band (OEB), the operability is one of the most important criteria when it comes to procuring a containment system. As each manual operating step increases the risk of operating errors which can in turn cause a break in the containment. Ensuring a simple and safe operability was therefore central to the development of the patented JEL SmartCon ES attachment system. In order to minimize the risk of operating errors, the attachment and emptying process with the JEL SmartCon ES is largely automated - only a few manual interventions are required to operate the attachment system. To attach a new big bag, the operator simply has to place the big bag outlet over the emptying unit. The pressure plate is lowered at the push of a button and the outlet is fastened into place on the docking system with pneumatic seals. After the emptying, the outlet is untied and separated with a special closing tool. When a new big bag is added to the station, its outlet must be placed over the emptying unit and fastened into place. Only then can the separated outlet of the previous big bag be safely removed from the emptying unit by the front engagement connection and taken away without causing a containment break in this area.
A special feature of the new Engelsmann system is the optional leakproofness test which can detect even the smallest amounts of damage to the foil liner outlet of the newly connected big bag. During the test, pressurized air is applied to the liner or a test pressure is generated. If the liner is damaged, there is a rapid loss of pressure during the test. The damaged area can then be detected and repaired so that it can be made airtight again. Only when there is no longer a rapid drop in pressure can the leakproofness test be considered as passed and the product flow can be started by opening the big bag outlet. If damage to the liner is not detected, product particles can escape without being noticed, therefore putting the operator in danger. As such, the leakproofness test contributes directly to the safety of the system and it helps to maintain a consistently high containment level.
The new containment attachment system from Engelsmann can be used with big bags with different outlet diameters. The SmartCon ES is made from stainless steel as standard but other different surface finishes are available upon request. There is also an ATEX variation available.
The bottom line: The JEL SmartCon ES attachment system for big bag emptying guarantees a high level of containment and offers innovative safety features such as the liner leakproofness test and the automated control, which almost entirely eliminates the risk of operating errors. Thanks to the high degree of automation and the easy handling, containers can also be changed in a very short amount of time even under containment conditions.
In order to maintain the leakproofness of the system, the liner residue of the previously emptied big bag should only be removed when a new big bag has been connected.
The pressure lid must be lifted and the separated outlet must be manually placed in the emptying hopper.
In order to connect a new big bag to be emptied, the big bag outlet must simply be placed over the emptying unit.
The pressure plate moves down automatically. Pneumatic seals fasten the big bag outlet securely into place on the docking system.
Now, the cover of the engagement connection can be opened without tools.
The operator can use the engagement connection with an endless liner system to safely reach for the separated liner.
The separated liner is removed from the engagement connection.
The piece of foil and the liner contained within it can now be untied, separated and disposed of.
After the engagement connection cover has been closed, the contamination-free emptying can begin.
After the emptying process has finished, the big bag outlet can be untied and separated with the docking system. The process then starts again from the beginning.