Flow Improvement

Efficiency Improvements

InterBULK USA, LLC. is continually focused on making operations more profitable. During recent on-site visits to two facilities, InterBULK identified process improvements that produced financial and efficiency gains once implemented. In both operations, the following modifications were made based on InterBULK recommendations:

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Problem: Client was unable to fill required 20 bulk bags/hour

When on-site for the first time at our client's facility, InterBULK noticed that the operator was filling 15 bulk bags/hour through a single bag filling station a rate that fell below the customer's target.

Our advisor immediately recognized that, with slight process modification, the current rate of throughput could be increased to upwards of 20 bulk bags/hour. InterBULK suggested that tying-off filled bulk bags right at the filling station was causing unnecessary wait time.

The recommendation to the client was to alter the process-move the untied bag away from the station for tie-off in order to allow the fill operator to immediately start hanging and filling the next bulk bag on the line. Tying-off a just-filled bag away from the fill station eliminated all operator wait time.

By making this modest process improvement the customer increased output and sales for their product by 33%.

Problem: Customer received complaints about slumping/leaning bulk bags during transport & storage

Our customer approached InterBULK requesting advice regarding complaints received about the stability of their filled bags during transport and storage; specifically noting that their bags often arrived to domestic customers in a slumped/leaning state that was difficult to manage. In some instances, their end users refused their order and demanded refunds/replacement orders.

Our InterBULK advisor came on-site to observed how this facility filled, palletized and loaded for delivery. She immediately identified the likely primary cause of the lean/slump problem: The fill cycle was completed on bulk bags resting open on flat floor pallets. A bulk bag typically has four loops from which it is meant to fully suspend on a filling machine (suspension arms) so that it does not touch the ground. For optimum results bulk bags should be filled suspended from these loops. Suspending the bulkbag ensures the bag is centered under fill head to make a symmetrical straight package. Additionally, proper suspension allows the optimal 3-5% bag stretch in both dimensions--maximizing capacity and creating firm compaction. A suspended compact symmetrical bag does not slump or become unstable during transport. InterBULK suggested fill operations be retooled to a suspended fill approach. Our customer eliminated 100% end user rejection by making this process efficiency modification.

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