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27.07.2020 Bag emptying system ensures higher product safety and efficiency

GEA, Düsseldorf, Germany, has introduced the HYGiTip bag emptying system which has been designed to safely and efficiently open and discharge 25kg bags of powdered ingredients into food production lines automatically, without operator involvement, thereby minimising contamination risks and virtually eliminating powder waste. The new system, which maintains control of the bag at all times, ensures accurate repeatability and safely extracts the waste packaging for recycling. The HYGiTip can be used in a wide range of processing applications, including: milk powders, nutritional formula, dairy and food ingredients, coffee, tea, bakery, confectionery ingredients and pet food.

As the demand for convenience food continues to grow, food producers are continually looking for ways to increase automation, reduce labour costs and improve overall efficiency. With more than six million tons of dairy powder packed into 25kg bags every year – most destined for secondary processing, of which 90% are opened by hand – the ability to handle bags automatically represents a major step forward for the food processing industry.

The complete system receives depalletised bags which are introduced manually using a vacuum lifter or robotic depalletizer; removes the Kraft paper outers manually from the bags and separates them for recycling; sterilises the plastic inner packaging using UV light; conditions, inverts and discharges the bag contents into the receiving system; and removes the used packaging for recycling.

Key features of the new HYGiTip include the Positive Grip mechanism (patent pending) and the Clean Cut rotary blades. The Positive Grip mechanism controls the bag during the entire process. Once gripped, the clamping device inverts the bag to a vertical position where static bag spikes penetrate the body of the bag prior to cutting; this provides further support and equalises the pressure within the bag to promote powder discharge. Handling the bag in this way ensures reliable repeatability and mitigates any distortion of the bag which would otherwise leave powder residue behind. The bag is always held away from the powder stream to minimise the risk of contamination.

The Clean Cut system has twin, non-serrated, curved slicing knives that use a rotary action to slice open the bags. The absence of any sawing action means plastic contamination cannot be introduced to the downstream process. The knives cut through the bags on three sides, from the inside out, allowing the bottom corners of the suspended bag to be unfolded and cut simultaneously, preventing pockets that could trap powder and therefore maximising discharge efficiency.


GEA’s HYGiTip automatic bag discharger

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