US20080050211A1 - Continuous bulk bag discharging facility - Google Patents

Continuous bulk bag discharging facility Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080050211A1
US20080050211A1 US11/509,936 US50993606A US2008050211A1 US 20080050211 A1 US20080050211 A1 US 20080050211A1 US 50993606 A US50993606 A US 50993606A US 2008050211 A1 US2008050211 A1 US 2008050211A1
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Prior art keywords
installation
bags
bag
bus
ripping
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US11/509,936
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Edward R. Showalter
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Individual
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Priority to US11/509,936 priority Critical patent/US20080050211A1/en
Priority to PCT/US2007/018707 priority patent/WO2008027303A2/en
Publication of US20080050211A1 publication Critical patent/US20080050211A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B69/00Unpacking of articles or materials, not otherwise provided for
    • B65B69/0008Opening and emptying bags
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B69/00Unpacking of articles or materials, not otherwise provided for
    • B65B69/0075Emptying systems for flexible intermediate bulk containers [FIBC]
    • B65B69/0083Emptying systems for flexible intermediate bulk containers [FIBC] using frames whereby the container is only suspended

Definitions

  • This invention relates to bulk material handling equipment and more specifically to bulk bag emptying and discharging systems.
  • Powder and granular materials such as salt, sugar, rice, flour, cement, aggregates, detergents, skimmed milk are commonly carried in so-called “bulk bags” made of synthetic fabric with a moisture-proof liner.
  • the typical capacity of such bags varies from 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) to 4 cubic meters (140 cubic feet). They usually weigh from 1 to 2 metric tons.
  • the whole process of conveying a bag and lowering it into the discharging device, opening and shaking the bag, then removing and disposing of the emptied bag is time consuming and labor extensive.
  • Portland cement which used to be processed at limestone and chalk quarries relatively close to use or distribution centers is now manufactured halfway around the globe in countries like the Peoples Republic of China, shipped in bulk bags on cargo ships then repackaged in small bags or otherwise distributed domestically. Concrete aggregates, coal and other such commodities are similarly handled in large numbers of bulk bags.
  • the invention results from attempts to expedite the discharging of bulk bags and reduce the cost of the labor involved in such a process.
  • Bulk bags are automatically picked up one by one by an overhead closed loop conveyer at a loading station, then carried to a bag unloading station where a lower portion of the bag is ripped open allowing its contents to be dumped into a gathering facility that carries the material into a temporary storage tank from which it can be either repackaged into smaller containers or otherwise disposed of.
  • each bag After ripping off the lower portion, each bag is driven by the conveyer into momentary bumping contacts with barriers in order to dislodge any remaining contents.
  • the empty bags are then carried by the conveyer to another station where they are dumped for disposal.
  • the various operations are conducted while the bags are passing through the various stations in a continuous process.
  • the unloading station and material gathering facilities are contained in an airlock enclosure which prevents escape of vapors or dust particles.
  • the installation for unloading material from bulk bags, gathering said unloaded material and conveying it to a storage tank comprises a bag loading station (BLS), a bag unloading station (BUS), an empty bag dumping station (BDS), a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS, at the BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF); wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they successively enter said stations.
  • BLS bag loading station
  • BUS bag unloading station
  • BDS empty bag dumping station
  • CLC closed loop conveyer
  • BRM bag ripping means
  • MMF material gathering facility
  • the BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each bag, and the tool comprises a rotating sawing blade having a vertically adjustable support.
  • the BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD) including at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact said bags as they move past the tool.
  • BSD bag shaking device
  • the BSD comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
  • the BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure.
  • the MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from said pit to said storage tank.
  • the pit comprises a slide under said tool and said BSD, a trough at the end of the slide and, means for conveying material out of said trough to the tank.
  • the installation may also comprise a bag loading station (BLS), a bag unloading station (BUS), an empty bag dumping station (BDS), a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS, in said BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF), wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they continuously move through said stations, and said BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each of said bags.
  • BLS bag loading station
  • BUS bag unloading station
  • BDS empty bag dumping station
  • CLC closed loop conveyer
  • BRM bag ripping means
  • MMF material gathering facility
  • the BLS comprises means for lifting the bags according to their sizes for ease or attachment to said conveyor.
  • the tool comprises at least two rotating sawing blades positioned astride said lower portion.
  • the BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD) including at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact the bags as they move past said tool.
  • BSD bag shaking device
  • the BSD further comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
  • the storage tank comprises a silo having a plurality of delivery chutes.
  • the BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure and means for maintaining a negative air pressure within the enclosure.
  • the MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from the pit to the silo.
  • the pit comprises an air slide under said tool and the BSD, a trough at the end of the slide, and means for conveying material out of the trough to the silo.
  • the method for emptying contents of bulk bags comprises, at a bag loading station (BLS), loading said bags on closed loop conveyer passing through a bag unloading station (BUS) and a bag dumping station (BDS); at the BUS, ripping open a lower portion of said bags to unload said contents into a material gathering facility (MGF); at the BDS, removing the bags from the conveyer; performing said steps during continuous progress of the conveyer through the stations, moving said material from the MGF to a storage tank, and performing said step of ripping in an enclosure, and maintaining a negative air pressure inside the enclosure.
  • BUS bag loading station
  • BUS bag unloading station
  • BDS bag dumping station
  • the step of ripping comprises cutting a slit through said lower portion with a rotating blade positioned in the path of the bags.
  • the method further comprises shaking the bags after ripping in the enclosure.
  • the method further comprises dispensing material out of the tank to a plurality of means such as a repackaging plant, a concrete mixer, or a bulk carrier.
  • FIG. 1 is a diagrammatical illustration of the entire bulk bag discharger installation according to the invention
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bulk bag equipped with a cross-hanger
  • FIG. 3 is a partial side view of the conveyer, trolley and bag suspending hook
  • FIG. 4 is an illustration of the bag loading station
  • FIG. 5 is a top diagrammatical view of the bag unloading station
  • FIG. 6 is a side diagrammatical view thereof
  • FIG. 7 is a partial, cross-sectional view of the bag unloading station
  • FIG. 8 is a side view of the bag unhooking operation.
  • FIG. 9 is a diagrammatical view of the temporary storage facility.
  • FIG. 1 a bulk bag discharging installation 1 which comprises an overhead closed loop conveyer (CLC) 2 passing through a bag loading station (BLS) 3 , a bag unloading station (BUS) 4 and a bag dumping station (BDS) 5 .
  • the CLC operates continuously and automatically picks up loaded bulk bags 6 that are sequentially fed to the conveyer, and transports them to the BUS 4 .
  • the BUS 4 is surrounded by an airtight enclosure 7 into which is maintained a negative pressure in order to prevent escape of dust particles or vapors into the surroundings.
  • the bags are contacted by a bag ripping means (BRM) 8 which cuts a slit in the lower portion of each bag causing its contents to drop into a material gathering facility (MGF) 9 .
  • BRM bag ripping means
  • MMF material gathering facility
  • the bags are then dragged by the conveyer against a bag shaking device (BSD) 10 in order to dislodge any material remaining therein.
  • the conveyer then moves the empty bag 11 to the BDS 5 where it is automatically detached from the conveyer and dumped for disposal.
  • the MGF comprises a pit that lies under the BRM and BSD and the material gathered therein is fed to an extractor (EXT), that is a pump, Archimedes screw or other apparatus 12 for moving the material into a storage tank or silo 13 from which it is later packaged in smaller containers or otherwise distributed.
  • EXT 12 depending upon its construction, may be within or without the enclosure 7 .
  • bulk bags are usually provided with a lifting loop 14 at each of the four upper corners or with a stevadoring strap 15 spanning the median portion of two opposite rim sides, and sometimes with both corner loops and strap.
  • each one is equipped with a cross-hanger 16 having each of its four arms engaging one of the corner loops 14 .
  • a ring 17 at the top of the vertical central shank 18 is sized to be engaged by one of the hooks 19 hanging from the overhead conveyer 2 as illustrated in FIG. 3 .
  • the hook is rotatively and swivelingly attached to a trolley 20 .
  • the trolley is suspended from a pair of roller bearings 21 riding in the conveyer track 22 .
  • the trolley is also linked to the conveyer driving chain 23 .
  • the bulk bags 6 filled with material 6 a are fed over a roller mat 24 to an hydraulic lift 25 positioned under the conveyer 2 as shown in FIG. 4 .
  • the lift is adjusted to bring either the hanger loop 17 or the bag spanning strap 15 in the path of the hook 19 .
  • the stevadoring strap is to be used, it may be advantageous, in some cases, to add a spring clip ring 17 a between the strap and the hook 19 , as illustrated in FIG. 4A .
  • the trolleys and hooks dangling from the conveyer are spaced apart every 7 meters (21 feet) approximately.
  • the conveyer speed is preferably between 30 to 60 centimeters (12 to 24 inches) per second. Accordingly, one bag may be loaded every 10 to 20 seconds approximately.
  • the rate of bag pickup can be slowed by skipping one or more trolleys between bag pickups.
  • the various stations can be spaced at a regular interval along the conveyer 2 that may be momentarily stopped as the bag arrive into a station in order to allow manual loading and unloading.
  • each full bag 6 enters the BUS through an airlock 26 defined between two sets of double doors 27 , 28 .
  • the bag proceeds through a dumping area 29 where it is first contacted by a pair of ripping tools 30 , 31 more specifically illustrated in FIG. 7 .
  • Each ripping tool comprises a rotary saw whose blade 32 , 33 is obliquely oriented and positioned to rip into a lower portion of one of the sides of the bag.
  • the entire widths of its lower side portions are slit by the blades 32 , 33 positioned astride the lower part of the bag.
  • Each rotary saw is supported by a vertically movable carriage 34 , 35 . The vertical position of each blade can thus be adjusted to accommodate various sizes of bulk bags.
  • the blade can slice the entire lower corner of the bag for a more reliable cut in some applications.
  • the saw 30 a , 30 b may alternately be positioned under the bag as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 7 and provided with similar height adjustment mechanisms as the one shown at 34 , 35 .
  • Stationary blades can be used in lieu of rotating ones in some applications.
  • a rod cam 36 projecting laterally from the hook 19 as shown on FIG. 3 contacts a barrier 37 extending from the ceiling of the BUS, causing the hook and bag to rotate 90 degrees, and present what used to be the front of the bag to another ripping tool 38
  • That third ripping tool is constituted by another obliquely oriented rotary saw whose blade slits the lower portion of what used to be the front of the bag, causing the entire bottom of the bag to flap down and release the contents of the bag into an underlying pit 39 .
  • the third ripping tool 38 is positioned in the path of the bag at the same height as the other two side ripping tools 30 and 31 .
  • a series of three barriers 40 , 41 , 42 are positioned at progressively increasing heights in the path of the bags and sized to come in momentary contact with each bag as it moves past the ripping tools. As the bag is driven against each barrier the resulting shaking action dislodges any remaining contents.
  • the empty bag 11 exits the BUS through a second airlock 43 similar to the entry airlock 26 , dragging its bottom flap 44 .
  • the pit 39 comprises an auger formed by two slanted walls 45 , 46 converging toward a trough housing the EXT 12 .
  • the EXT comprises an Archimedes screw 47 driven by an electrical motor 48 , and pushing the dumped material into a pipe 49 leading to a temporary storage tank.
  • the walls of the pits are provided with a pair of air slides 50 , 51 .
  • the air slides comprise an air pump 52 , 53 injecting air drawn from the upper ridges of the enclosure 7 surrounding the BUS into a manifold 54 , 55 that feeds the pressurized air to an array of small holes 56 in the entire surface of the pit walls 45 , 46 .
  • These holes have a diameter within a range of about 2 to 5 millimeters (80 to 200 mils).
  • a negative pressure is maintained within the enclosure according to techniques well-known in the art by a powerful blower 66 .
  • the trolley suspension passes through a slot in the ceiling of the enclosure.
  • edges of the slot are provided with feathered strips of elastomeric material that minimize leakage of outside air into the enclosure.
  • the empty bag 11 is released by a withdrawing movement of the suspending hook 19 when the roller cam 57 mounted at the end of the shaft 58 projecting from the back of the hook as shown in FIG. 3 , is captured by a pair of rising ramps 59 that force the hook to swing about its universal joint 60 causing the loop 17 of the hanger to slide off the hook.
  • the empty bag and hanger fall off the conveyer into a disposal bin (not shown on the drawing).
  • the shaft 58 of the cam encounters another barrier similar to the first barrier 37 that causes the hook to shift back 90 degrees toward its original position, ready to pick up the next bag at the BLS.
  • the material moves through the pipe 49 which feeds a silo or other type of temporary storage 13 .
  • the material out of the silo can be fed to a bagging plant 61 where it is packaged in smaller bags 62 for the trade or the retail business.
  • the material can also be fed to a concrete mixer 63 that also receives aggregate from an adjacent storage 64 , and delivers it to concrete trucks 65 .
  • the material can also be delivered in bulk through an alternate chute 66 .

Abstract

An installation and method for rapidly and efficiently unloading material from bulk bags in an unloading station surrounded by an air lock enclosure while the bags move suspended from a closed look conveyer in continuous progress from a loading station to said unloading station then through a bag dumping station. The material is dumped on an air slide and directed into a trough from which it is conveyed to a temporary tank before being repackaged in smaller containers or otherwise distributed.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to bulk material handling equipment and more specifically to bulk bag emptying and discharging systems.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Powder and granular materials such as salt, sugar, rice, flour, cement, aggregates, detergents, skimmed milk are commonly carried in so-called “bulk bags” made of synthetic fabric with a moisture-proof liner. The typical capacity of such bags varies from 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) to 4 cubic meters (140 cubic feet). They usually weigh from 1 to 2 metric tons. The whole process of conveying a bag and lowering it into the discharging device, opening and shaking the bag, then removing and disposing of the emptied bag is time consuming and labor extensive. As the use of bulk bags in transportation becomes prevalent in many industries, there appears to be a need for a more rapid and more cost effective way of unloading bulk bags. For example, Portland cement which used to be processed at limestone and chalk quarries relatively close to use or distribution centers is now manufactured halfway around the globe in countries like the Peoples Republic of China, shipped in bulk bags on cargo ships then repackaged in small bags or otherwise distributed domestically. Concrete aggregates, coal and other such commodities are similarly handled in large numbers of bulk bags.
  • The invention results from attempts to expedite the discharging of bulk bags and reduce the cost of the labor involved in such a process.
  • SUMMARY
  • Bulk bags are automatically picked up one by one by an overhead closed loop conveyer at a loading station, then carried to a bag unloading station where a lower portion of the bag is ripped open allowing its contents to be dumped into a gathering facility that carries the material into a temporary storage tank from which it can be either repackaged into smaller containers or otherwise disposed of.
  • After ripping off the lower portion, each bag is driven by the conveyer into momentary bumping contacts with barriers in order to dislodge any remaining contents. The empty bags are then carried by the conveyer to another station where they are dumped for disposal. The various operations are conducted while the bags are passing through the various stations in a continuous process. The unloading station and material gathering facilities are contained in an airlock enclosure which prevents escape of vapors or dust particles.
  • The installation for unloading material from bulk bags, gathering said unloaded material and conveying it to a storage tank comprises a bag loading station (BLS), a bag unloading station (BUS), an empty bag dumping station (BDS), a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS, at the BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF); wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they successively enter said stations.
  • The BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each bag, and the tool comprises a rotating sawing blade having a vertically adjustable support.
  • The BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD) including at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact said bags as they move past the tool.
  • The BSD comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
  • The BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure.
  • The MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from said pit to said storage tank.
  • The pit comprises a slide under said tool and said BSD, a trough at the end of the slide and, means for conveying material out of said trough to the tank.
  • The installation may also comprise a bag loading station (BLS), a bag unloading station (BUS), an empty bag dumping station (BDS), a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS, in said BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF), wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they continuously move through said stations, and said BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each of said bags.
  • The BLS comprises means for lifting the bags according to their sizes for ease or attachment to said conveyor.
  • The tool comprises at least two rotating sawing blades positioned astride said lower portion.
  • The BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD) including at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact the bags as they move past said tool.
  • The BSD further comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
  • The storage tank comprises a silo having a plurality of delivery chutes.
  • The BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure and means for maintaining a negative air pressure within the enclosure.
  • The MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from the pit to the silo.
  • The pit comprises an air slide under said tool and the BSD, a trough at the end of the slide, and means for conveying material out of the trough to the silo.
  • The method for emptying contents of bulk bags comprises, at a bag loading station (BLS), loading said bags on closed loop conveyer passing through a bag unloading station (BUS) and a bag dumping station (BDS); at the BUS, ripping open a lower portion of said bags to unload said contents into a material gathering facility (MGF); at the BDS, removing the bags from the conveyer; performing said steps during continuous progress of the conveyer through the stations, moving said material from the MGF to a storage tank, and performing said step of ripping in an enclosure, and maintaining a negative air pressure inside the enclosure.
  • The step of ripping comprises cutting a slit through said lower portion with a rotating blade positioned in the path of the bags.
  • The method further comprises shaking the bags after ripping in the enclosure.
  • The method further comprises dispensing material out of the tank to a plurality of means such as a repackaging plant, a concrete mixer, or a bulk carrier.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • FIG. 1 is a diagrammatical illustration of the entire bulk bag discharger installation according to the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bulk bag equipped with a cross-hanger;
  • FIG. 3 is a partial side view of the conveyer, trolley and bag suspending hook;
  • FIG. 4 is an illustration of the bag loading station;
  • FIG. 5 is a top diagrammatical view of the bag unloading station;
  • FIG. 6 is a side diagrammatical view thereof;
  • FIG. 7 is a partial, cross-sectional view of the bag unloading station;
  • FIG. 8 is a side view of the bag unhooking operation; and
  • FIG. 9 is a diagrammatical view of the temporary storage facility.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring now to the drawing there is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 1 a bulk bag discharging installation 1 which comprises an overhead closed loop conveyer (CLC) 2 passing through a bag loading station (BLS) 3, a bag unloading station (BUS) 4 and a bag dumping station (BDS) 5. The CLC operates continuously and automatically picks up loaded bulk bags 6 that are sequentially fed to the conveyer, and transports them to the BUS 4.
  • The BUS 4 is surrounded by an airtight enclosure 7 into which is maintained a negative pressure in order to prevent escape of dust particles or vapors into the surroundings. In the BUS, the bags are contacted by a bag ripping means (BRM) 8 which cuts a slit in the lower portion of each bag causing its contents to drop into a material gathering facility (MGF) 9. The bags are then dragged by the conveyer against a bag shaking device (BSD) 10 in order to dislodge any material remaining therein. The conveyer then moves the empty bag 11 to the BDS 5 where it is automatically detached from the conveyer and dumped for disposal. The MGF comprises a pit that lies under the BRM and BSD and the material gathered therein is fed to an extractor (EXT), that is a pump, Archimedes screw or other apparatus 12 for moving the material into a storage tank or silo 13 from which it is later packaged in smaller containers or otherwise distributed. The EXT 12, depending upon its construction, may be within or without the enclosure 7.
  • As shown on FIG. 2, bulk bags are usually provided with a lifting loop 14 at each of the four upper corners or with a stevadoring strap 15 spanning the median portion of two opposite rim sides, and sometimes with both corner loops and strap. In order to facilitate the handling and discharging of the bags, each one is equipped with a cross-hanger 16 having each of its four arms engaging one of the corner loops 14. A ring 17 at the top of the vertical central shank 18 is sized to be engaged by one of the hooks 19 hanging from the overhead conveyer 2 as illustrated in FIG. 3. The hook is rotatively and swivelingly attached to a trolley 20. The trolley is suspended from a pair of roller bearings 21 riding in the conveyer track 22. The trolley is also linked to the conveyer driving chain 23.
  • At the BLS, the bulk bags 6, filled with material 6 a are fed over a roller mat 24 to an hydraulic lift 25 positioned under the conveyer 2 as shown in FIG. 4. For each bag, the lift is adjusted to bring either the hanger loop 17 or the bag spanning strap 15 in the path of the hook 19.
  • If the stevadoring strap is to be used, it may be advantageous, in some cases, to add a spring clip ring 17 a between the strap and the hook 19, as illustrated in FIG. 4A.
  • The trolleys and hooks dangling from the conveyer are spaced apart every 7 meters (21 feet) approximately. The conveyer speed is preferably between 30 to 60 centimeters (12 to 24 inches) per second. Accordingly, one bag may be loaded every 10 to 20 seconds approximately. The rate of bag pickup can be slowed by skipping one or more trolleys between bag pickups.
  • It should be noted that the various stations can be spaced at a regular interval along the conveyer 2 that may be momentarily stopped as the bag arrive into a station in order to allow manual loading and unloading.
  • As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, each full bag 6 enters the BUS through an airlock 26 defined between two sets of double doors 27, 28. After exiting the entry airlock, the bag proceeds through a dumping area 29 where it is first contacted by a pair of ripping tools 30, 31 more specifically illustrated in FIG. 7. Each ripping tool comprises a rotary saw whose blade 32, 33 is obliquely oriented and positioned to rip into a lower portion of one of the sides of the bag. As the bag progresses through the dumping area 29 the entire widths of its lower side portions are slit by the blades 32, 33 positioned astride the lower part of the bag. Each rotary saw is supported by a vertically movable carriage 34, 35. The vertical position of each blade can thus be adjusted to accommodate various sizes of bulk bags.
  • As shown in connection with saw 30, the blade can slice the entire lower corner of the bag for a more reliable cut in some applications. Further, the saw 30 a,30 b may alternately be positioned under the bag as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 7 and provided with similar height adjustment mechanisms as the one shown at 34,35. Stationary blades can be used in lieu of rotating ones in some applications.
  • At this point, a rod cam 36 projecting laterally from the hook 19 as shown on FIG. 3, contacts a barrier 37 extending from the ceiling of the BUS, causing the hook and bag to rotate 90 degrees, and present what used to be the front of the bag to another ripping tool 38 That third ripping tool is constituted by another obliquely oriented rotary saw whose blade slits the lower portion of what used to be the front of the bag, causing the entire bottom of the bag to flap down and release the contents of the bag into an underlying pit 39. It should be noted that the third ripping tool 38 is positioned in the path of the bag at the same height as the other two side ripping tools 30 and 31. A series of three barriers 40, 41, 42 are positioned at progressively increasing heights in the path of the bags and sized to come in momentary contact with each bag as it moves past the ripping tools. As the bag is driven against each barrier the resulting shaking action dislodges any remaining contents. The empty bag 11 exits the BUS through a second airlock 43 similar to the entry airlock 26, dragging its bottom flap 44.
  • As more specifically illustrated in FIG. 7, the pit 39 comprises an auger formed by two slanted walls 45, 46 converging toward a trough housing the EXT 12. In this case, the EXT, comprises an Archimedes screw 47 driven by an electrical motor 48, and pushing the dumped material into a pipe 49 leading to a temporary storage tank.
  • In order to improve the fluidity of certain powder materials such as Portland cement, the walls of the pits are provided with a pair of air slides 50, 51. The air slides comprise an air pump 52, 53 injecting air drawn from the upper ridges of the enclosure 7 surrounding the BUS into a manifold 54, 55 that feeds the pressurized air to an array of small holes 56 in the entire surface of the pit walls 45, 46. These holes have a diameter within a range of about 2 to 5 millimeters (80 to 200 mils).
  • A negative pressure is maintained within the enclosure according to techniques well-known in the art by a powerful blower 66. The trolley suspension passes through a slot in the ceiling of the enclosure.
  • The edges of the slot are provided with feathered strips of elastomeric material that minimize leakage of outside air into the enclosure.
  • At the BDS, the empty bag 11 is released by a withdrawing movement of the suspending hook 19 when the roller cam 57 mounted at the end of the shaft 58 projecting from the back of the hook as shown in FIG. 3, is captured by a pair of rising ramps 59 that force the hook to swing about its universal joint 60 causing the loop 17 of the hanger to slide off the hook. The empty bag and hanger fall off the conveyer into a disposal bin (not shown on the drawing). As the trolley 20 progresses out of the BDS toward the BLS, the shaft 58 of the cam encounters another barrier similar to the first barrier 37 that causes the hook to shift back 90 degrees toward its original position, ready to pick up the next bag at the BLS.
  • The material moves through the pipe 49 which feeds a silo or other type of temporary storage 13. The material out of the silo can be fed to a bagging plant 61 where it is packaged in smaller bags 62 for the trade or the retail business.
  • In the case of Portland cement, the material can also be fed to a concrete mixer 63 that also receives aggregate from an adjacent storage 64, and delivers it to concrete trucks 65. The material can also be delivered in bulk through an alternate chute 66.
  • It should be understood that depending on the type of material being handled, other types of processing equipment can draw material from the temporary storage 13.
  • While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, modifications can be made and other embodiments may be devised without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (26)

1. An installation for unloading material from bulk bags, gathering said unloaded material and conveying it to a storage tank, said installation comprising:
a bag loading station (BLS);
a bag unloading station (BUS);
an empty bag dumping station (BDS);
a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS;
in said BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF); and
wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they successively enter said stations.
2. The installation of claim 1, wherein said BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each of said bags.
3. The installation of claim 2, wherein said tool comprises a rotating blade.
4. The installation of claim 2, wherein said tool comprises a vertically adjustable support.
5. The installation of claim 2, wherein said BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD).
6. The installation of claim 5, wherein said BSD comprises at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact said bags as they move past said tool.
7. The installation of claim 6, wherein said BSD further comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
8. The installation of claim 2, wherein said BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure.
9. The installation of claim 2, wherein said MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from said pit to said storage tank.
10. The installation of claim 9, wherein said pit comprises:
a slide under said tool and said BSD;
a trough at the end of said slide; and
means for conveying material out of said trough to said tank.
11. An installation for unloading material from bulk bags, gathering said unloaded material and conveying it to a temporary storage tank, said installation comprising:
a bag loading station (BLS);
a bag unloading station (BUS);
an empty bag dumping station (BDS);
a closed loop conveyer (CLC) for transporting said bags along a closed circuit path from said BLS, through said BUS and to said BDS;
in said BUS, a bag ripping means (BRM) and a material gathering facility (MGF); and
wherein said bags are loaded, emptied and dumped as they continuously move through said stations.
12. The installation of claim 11, wherein said BRM comprises at least one tool sized and positioned to come in ripping contact with a lower portion of each of said bags.
13. The installation of claim 12 wherein said BLS comprises means for lifting the bags according to their sizes for ease or attachment to said conveyer.
14. The installation of claim 12, wherein said tool comprises at least two rotating sawing blades positioned astride said lower portion.
15. The installation of claim 12, wherein said BUS further comprises a bag shaking device (BSD) including at least one barrier sized and positioned to momentarily contact said bags as they move past said tool.
16. The installation of claim 15, wherein said BSD further comprises a plurality of said barriers disposed at a different heights at spaced apart intervals along said path.
17. The installation of claim 12 wherein said storage tank comprises a silo having a plurality of delivery chutes.
18. The installation of claim 12, wherein said BUS further comprises an airlock enclosure and means for maintaining a negative air pressure within said enclosure.
19. The installation of claim 17, wherein said MGF comprises a material collecting pit and means for moving material from said pit to said silo.
20. The installation of claim 19, wherein said pit comprises:
an air slide under said tool and said BSD;
a trough at the end of said slide; and
means for conveying material out of said trough to said silo.
21. A method for emptying contents of bulk bags which comprises:
at a bag loading station (BLS), loading said bags on closed loop conveyer passing through a bag unloading station (BUS) and a bag dumping station (BDS);
at said BUS, ripping open a lower portion of said bags to unload said contents into a material gathering facility (MGF);
at said BDS, removing said bags from said conveyer; and
performing said steps during continuous progress of said conveyer through said stations.
22. The method of claim 21 which further comprises moving said material from said MGF to a storage tank.
23. The method of claim 21 which further comprises performing said step of ripping in an enclosure, and maintaining a negative air pressure inside said enclosure.
24. The method of claim 21, wherein said step of ripping comprises cutting a slit through said lower portion with a rotating blade positioned in the path of said bags.
25. The method of claim 23 which further comprises shaking said bags after ripping in said enclosure.
26. The method of claim 22 which further comprises dispensing said material out of said tank to a pluralities of means.
US11/509,936 2006-08-25 2006-08-25 Continuous bulk bag discharging facility Abandoned US20080050211A1 (en)

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PCT/US2007/018707 WO2008027303A2 (en) 2006-08-25 2007-08-23 Continuous bulk bag discharging facility

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CN105819044A (en) * 2016-04-25 2016-08-03 安丘博阳机械制造有限公司 Multifunctional large packing bag opening machine
US9624048B2 (en) 2013-12-19 2017-04-18 Blastcrete Equipment Company Structures and methods using an integrated ruffle to reduce dust released during emptying of bulk bags
WO2017197837A1 (en) * 2016-05-19 2017-11-23 苏州舒而适纺织新材料科技有限公司 Powder dye bag breaking device for textiles
US9994437B2 (en) * 2014-12-30 2018-06-12 Edward Showalter Apparatus, systems and methods for dispensing drinks, food, and other liquids
CN112298639A (en) * 2020-09-29 2021-02-02 泸州川西化玻璃钢有限公司 Liquid substance pouring device and pouring method thereof
CN112660533A (en) * 2020-11-30 2021-04-16 中材国际环境工程(北京)有限公司 Automatic transport bale breaking system of ton bag
US11027961B2 (en) 2014-12-30 2021-06-08 Edward Showalter Apparatus, systems and methods for dispensing drinks, food, and other liquids
US11292706B2 (en) * 2014-12-30 2022-04-05 Edward Showalter Apparatus, systems and methods for preparing and dispensing foods
CN115783631A (en) * 2023-01-17 2023-03-14 山东日月升包装有限公司 Ton bag transfer chain with detect function
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US9624048B2 (en) 2013-12-19 2017-04-18 Blastcrete Equipment Company Structures and methods using an integrated ruffle to reduce dust released during emptying of bulk bags
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US9994437B2 (en) * 2014-12-30 2018-06-12 Edward Showalter Apparatus, systems and methods for dispensing drinks, food, and other liquids
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US10647563B2 (en) * 2014-12-30 2020-05-12 Edward Showalter Apparatus, systems and methods for dispensing drinks
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US11964791B2 (en) 2020-04-15 2024-04-23 10039322 Canada Inc. Emptying station for a flexible intermediate bulk container
CN112298639A (en) * 2020-09-29 2021-02-02 泸州川西化玻璃钢有限公司 Liquid substance pouring device and pouring method thereof
CN112660533A (en) * 2020-11-30 2021-04-16 中材国际环境工程(北京)有限公司 Automatic transport bale breaking system of ton bag
CN112660533B (en) * 2020-11-30 2022-10-18 中材国际环境工程(北京)有限公司 Automatic transport bale breaking system of ton bag
CN115783631A (en) * 2023-01-17 2023-03-14 山东日月升包装有限公司 Ton bag transfer chain with detect function

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