First automatic weighing machine of its kind

Active Weighing Solutions with their particular expertise in weighing in-motion bulk materials is involved in the design, manufacture and servicing of weighing equipment and complete weighing systems.

Active Weighing Solutions pride themselves in meeting industry bagging, blending, process control and stock management needs. Building machinery for weighing bulk materials in a broad range of industries, Active Weighing Solutions weighing equipment can be found in mining, quarries, chemicals, plastics, recycling, food and grains industries. The latest development from this company comes in the form of their fully automatic bagging machine which is ready for market.

Already implemented in three states, the company has its sights on another 3 orders with a goal of having at least one running in each State by 2020. The machine is also particularly suited for export and the modular design and “plug and play” solution makes this a relatively easy and quick install.

The design was developed with transport in mind and the machine is designed in three parts which will suit most freight forward size restrictions. With the electronics and mechanics individually wired up in the bulk head of the machine, the footprint remains small and tidy and the automatic bagging machine is ready for play on the other side. The compact and robust GR900-15 automatic bagging machine will fill and close open mouth bags to a market ready finish.

Taking up less than 12 square metres floor space, the bagging machine can retrofit into existing plant floor space and integrate with automated bag palletising systems. Featuring an intuitive touch screen with clear graphics, bagging runs are easily programmed by operators who are then free to attend to other tasks.

Created by Active Weighing Solutions engineers to meet local bagging requirements, the GR900-15 automatic bagging machine is designed to fill and close a variety of bags at rates up to 15 bpm. According to managing director, Nigel Saul, this is the first machine of its kind in Australia. With its unique design the machine offers minimal operator involvement. Designed with the bag loading magazine separate, operators can safely load bags while the machine is in operation.

The bagging machine will pick, place and fill a wide range of bag types and sizes, and will implement self-recovery action when poor quality bags are encountered. Built in sensors and detectors allow the machine to self-correct. Avoiding downtime, the sensors allow for a bag to be picked-up, up to three times, before a “faulty bag” is dropped and the next bag in the magazine selected. Production bagging targets can be reliably met while plant personnel attend to other tasks.

Other unique features are the detection sensors which allow the machine to automatically adjust to the bag size and that various bagging materials such as laminated woven polypropylene, plastic and paper can be packed. The elegant construction of the machine also means that gussets are held neat and in place to ensure beautifully packaged shelf ready products.

“Our engineers have the knowledge and depth of experience to design bagging lines – from simple manual systems through to fully automated systems with robotic assistance. We will work with you to implement the bagging solution that meets your production need” said Saul.

The Australian designed and built machine makes available has local maintenance expertise and consumables and maintenance spares. SMC was the chosen pneumatics partner and a natural fit for Active Weighing. According to Kevin, the senior design engineer, they have found the vast product range and local availability of stock key in their partnership. “In this particular machine we wanted to mount manifolds close to the application to increase speed and save energy. This is of course due to a shorter airline,” adds Kevin.

The problem with this type of set up is that the manifolds often need to be mounted in different positions, in small spaces and in various configurations. The SMC SY manifold has side porting, mixed porting or bottom porting. In addition, SMC developed a special manifold which has valves facing both ways (into the machine and out) to accommodate the special installation requirements of Active Weighing.

The SY range of manifolds is IP67K which is the most flexible option with ability to install valves outside of the protective panel and closer to actuators for better control. The energy efficient ZL212 multi stage vacuum ejectors which are extremely air efficient but creates high vacuum flow. These intelligent ejectors have a suction flow rate which is increased by the 3-stage diffuser construction and functions such as a digital vacuum switch or vacuum pressure gauge can be selected.

Through the innovative design of Active Weighing Solution’s design engineers and the reliable and flexible products from SMC and other global component suppliers, the machine has a robust construction, runs without operator attendance, can handle a wide variety of bags and has a self-recovery system to ensure 24/7 operating. The easy bag and product change over and intuitive touch screen HMI means that high operator and skills set is not required. Furthermore, it is developed with the Australian temperatures and climate in mind.

“We anticipate a great future for the automatic bagging machine with export potential and the ability to pack dry goods of any kind. The intelligent sensing, small footprint, plug and play solution and modular design make it an excellent candidate for the export market” concludes Saul.