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Tips from our big bag experts
The popularity of the big bags (bulk bag, FIBC, jumbo bag) is continuously growing.
With its great versatility, that is not a surprise: an FIBC can be used in many different ways and can carry a thousand times its own weight, up to approximately 2.500 kg per FIBC. At LC Packaging, we understand like no other how important it is that our customers use their FIBCs correctly, to make sure transportation, loading and unloading are done safely. To get the utmost benefit from the advantages of big bags, our experts have written down the following tips:
How to store empty big bags/FIBCs
The best way to store FIBCs is clean and covered. This way the FIBC is kept in pristine condition and is protected from extreme climate changes and/or too much sunlight.
How to fill big bags/FIBCs
FIBCs are best filled by resting them on the ground or on a pallet, while having a filling mechanism hold the loops. Please note that in some cases, the bag must be grounded before it can be filled.
How to discharge big bags/FIBCs
Usually, FIBCs are discharged through gravity; in some situations suction is used. Bags with a special discharge spout can be used to control the emptying process. If the bag does not have an emptying spout, the bottom of the big bag is often cut. You can stop the discharge process by lowering the bag onto the product being unloaded. It is very important to pay close attention during this process and ensure that nobody is standing under the FIBC at the point of discharge. LC Packaging offers a range of discharge systems for your manufacturing process.
How to optimise the stability of big bags/FIBCs
To fill an FIBC in the most efficient way, ensure that the width/diameter ratio is no more than 2:1. To improve product stability, a vibrating mechanism is often used during filling.
How to lift big bags/FIBCs
When lifting FIBCs, it is important to be directly in front of the FIBC and that you can easily place the forks of the forklift in the loops or tunnel loops. When lifting, please ensure that all loops are vertical and not twisted, and that the fork has no sharp edges that may damage the FIBC or cut the loop.
Driving a forklift truck with big bags/FIBCs
Make sure a filled FIBC is always kept low to the ground when driving a forklift truck. If the filled FIBC is held too high above the ground, the forklift truck is less stable and there is an increased risk of accidents.
Handling big bags/FIBCs with cranes
Please make sure the hooks of the crane do not have any sharp edges that could damage the bag or the lifting structure. Wherever possible it is important to use protective materials. LC Packaging advises using special safety hooks, so that the risk of the bag unexpectedly coming off the hooks is minimal. When the bag is lifted, the loops must be vertical. Loops that are twisted, knotted or not vertical are a safety hazard.
Straightening big bags/FIBCs
FIBC lifting loops are designed in such a way that all the lifting loops need to be used at the same time. An FIBC is specifically designed that the full weight must be evenly distributed over all the lifting loops.
How to store filled big bags/FIBCs
There are multiple ways to store FIBCs. Depending on the material, users can choose to place the bags in racks (with or without pallets) or to stack the FIBCs. Please make sure the FIBC is stacked correctly and that the FIBC is certified for the height that you wish to maintain. Our big bag experts can advise you on this, bearing in mind the applicable safety standards.
Big bags/FIBCs: do’s and don’ts
Big bags do’s
- Please carefully read the safety label’s handling instructions
- Make sure that the FIBC is stable
- Make sure the unloading mechanism is closed before filling
- Ensure all necessary measures are taken when managing the quantity
- Make sure the filling system of the FIBC is closed after filling
- Ensure the width of the forks on the forklift match the width of the FIBC
- When lifting the FIBC, ensure that the hooks are set for the correct dimensions
- Always ground an antistatic FIBC type C before filling the big bag
- Protect the FIBC from rain and sunlight for an optimal lifespan
Big bags dont’s
- Never fill more than the permitted Safe Working Load (SWL) to avoid safety hazards
- Never fill an FIBC unevenly
- Never make unexpected sudden stops during transportation
- Never allow people to move underneath the FIBC
- Never stack the FIBC if the ground is not stable
- Never make use of forklifts etc. with insufficient lifting capacity
- Never re-use single-use FIBCs