One of the main decisions that manufacturing industries need to make for their materials storage and handling, is whether to use 25kg sacks or bulk bags. We take a closer look at why bulk bags can be advantageous.
Originally, granular raw materials for use in industrial processes would be supplied in large sacks to the operational site, being stacked and packed onto each pallet manually. This was labour intensive however and over time, people moved to bulk bags, or polypropylene bags.
As well as needing to pack the pallets by hand, operatives needed to manually lift every bag off by hand too, which could lead to injuries and was very slow.
Better H&S compliance
Bulk bags are more compliant with health and safety, which is essential in all pneumatic conveying processes: http://www.aptech.uk.com/pneumatic-conveying/. They reduce the risk of back strain and RSI, which operators suffered from with the manual processing of heavy sacks, and they help to protect your staff. Additionally, by using automated handling equipment, the business can operate at a faster rate and with less downtime.
More cost effective
The time needed to fill and handle a large sack is expensive for the business. The sacks also require lots of packaging – bulk bags are bigger and reduce this requirement. Just a single bulk bag can entirely replace a full pallet worth of sacks, which can result in business savings of over a third. By extrapolating this over the course of a year, particularly for a business which deals with high volume deliveries, this can translate into serious budget savings!
More environmentally friendly
By reducing the waste of extra packaging, there is an environmental benefit. Additionally, many semi-bulk packages and bags are reusable, which increases their green value even more. Large sacks however are designed to be used on one occasion only and are therefore more wasteful.
There is still a case for using 25kg and 50kg sacks – primarily for exporting. They are still popular in the developing world too, where manual handling is likely to be more prevalent than using automated equipment. These sacks can also be useful here, for transporting gravel and sand, and are still found at garden centres, for example.
However, for bulk load commodities, semi-bulk bags are now the packaging material of choice, offering better safety, efficiency and waste reduction.