Bags made of polyethylene (PE) are suitable for many requirements, and are used for transportation and sales of many consumer goods. Yet, who would have imagined some years ago that powder-type construction materials could also be filled into compact and weatherproof PE bags in an environment-friendly process? Haver & Boecker took the initiative: The result is a form-fill-seal system named ADAMS®.
“With the ADAMS® we have developed a filling machine for PE bags that offers a series of advantages,” explained Burkhard Reploh, General Manager Haver Building Products & Minerals. “The PE bags used are characterized by excellent water-tightness and resistance to tearing. Bag damage and ruptures during filling can be reduced by an average of 80 to 90 %,” added Heinz-Werner Bunse, Sales Manager of Haver Cement.
Packing into PE bags enables customers to benefit from a series of advantages. During filling and transport there is a comparably lower level of product loss. Cost savings in transport are the result of reduced freight volume and the elimination of additional protective packaging. “Less bag breakage, high levels of weight accuracy, improved health protection from a dust-free solution and CO2 savings with 100 % recyclable material lead to significantly higher customer satisfaction,” said Burkhard Reploh, who is convinced of the technology which is meanwhile installed in more than 70 plants.
Heinz-Werner Bunse experienced the development of the bags first hand: Approximately 49 years ago the technician began his apprenticeship at Haver & Boecker. Back then he was familiar with the use of jute sacks. “During the 1920s, when the technology was developed, there was a huge technical development in this segment,” said Bunse while summarizing his impressions of the decades-long innovation management. They were customized to suit the individual needs of various industrial branches, and increasingly more efficient solutions were brought to the market. “The filling of PE bags expands the opportunities in the global building material market and creates options that improve and simplify the weather-proof storage of goods,” said Bunse. Burkhard Reploh added: “Currently some 10 % of all bags do not reach their point of destination – mainly because of inadequate shelf life and bag breakage. This error rate can be greatly reduced by using PE bags.” He proudly pointed to more than 70 references in 18 countries where the ADAMS® technology has been in use since 2005. Here the scrap amount has been reduced to almost zero. These machines were designed to handle 5-50 kg bags.
A new development for PE-bagging pouches called Haver & Boecker ROTO-PACKER ADAMS® MINI can fill pouches from 1-10 kg and is opening up totally new perspectives for building material producers. The results are very nice compact pouches for DIY-stores with an optimum of compactness and display.
All these advantages result to a great extent also from the innovative vibration technology and the dust-tightness of the process, which in the end assures a clean final product. “With the ADAMS® we have succeeded in developing a technology that fulfills all the market requirements when it comes to improving storage capacity and product cleanliness,” elaborated Burkhard Reploh. Once the filling of powder-type products into PE bags had gained acceptance on the market, an Innovation Management team went to work on a Haver & Boecker ROTO-PACKER ADAMS® MINI. The team used past experience with the technology and developed new, detailed solutions for small pouches which are to be on display in the standing position in the DIY-stores.
The new machine forms a tube from a flat film. The pouches are then placed in open cassettes arranged in a circle on a rotating unit. The product is filled step-by-step, precisely dosed and compacted. A hermetically sealed package that provides optimum protection against moisture is the final result.
“The ADAMS® technology for industrial bag sizes is foremost suitable for countries where processes such as loading and unloading are mostly done manually. At the same time the technology is suitable for climatic conditions where the material has to be protected from the weather elements,” said Heinz-Werner Bunse. However, this not only makes the ADAMS® technology a leading export for Africa, Asia and South America: “We are sure that also customers all across Europe will be convinced of the advantages of this technology.”
“The high level of automation requires an operator skill profile that is more than what we were used to seeing in the past,” admitted Burkhard Reploh. However with the right training it is absolutely possible to rely on a single person for the operations and monitoring of various machines. For this case the HAVER specialists have created a training program that includes the aspects of material flow, PE-film specification and bag handling.
Aspects such as recycling and re-use of PE material are especially important factors in countries where manual handling was common in transport and storage. “Filling powder products into PE bags will define a new industrial standard,” Burkhard Reploh is convinced.