A manufacturer of bulk ingredients that enjoys robust export sales were satisfied with their bulk bagging operation. Based on the bulk density of the product and their bulk bag filling equipment - 6 bulk bagging lines in 2 plants - they were able to achieve payload weights of 1,900 lb per big bag.
However, bulk bag stability was sometimes an issue and customer complaints regarding safety and efficient bulk bag handling were increasing.
Control and Metering suggested an Optimization Analysis that would investigate every aspect of the manufacturer's bulk bagging operations including upstream product distribution to the bagging lines, the filling equipment and processes, handling, storage and shipping.
The Optimization Analysis was comprised of three steps;
- Preliminary Analysis. Conducted over the phone, a one hour session with the manufacturer's production and logistics teams delved into every nook and cranny of their bulk bag operation and provided a wealth of data. Careful analysis revealed that the application of Control and Metering's cone table densification technology could likely solve the instability problem and potentially increase bulk bag payload weight thereby reducing packaging and shipping costs.
- Detailed Analysis. A site visit was arranged to verify the preliminary data and assess the feasibility of making changes to the packaging lines. During this visit the scope of a potential project to improve bulk bagging began to take shape.
- ROI Analysis. Refinement of the preliminary analysis based on the information gathered during the site visit supported the initial indications that the instability problem could be solved and operating costs reduced. An economic analysis revealed that, based on the manufacturer's annual bulk bag shipments of approximately 160 million lb, increasing the bag payload weight between 10% and 15% could save over $525k in shipping costs (based on a conservative cost per shipping container of $1,000). Since increasing the payload per bag means that fewer bulk bags are required, a further annual saving of $175K could be realized simply because they could buy fewer big bags.
Clearly, the potential annual operating cost savings were significant. This quickly led to testing at Control and Metering that confirmed both the elimination of the instability problem and that the increased payload weight per bag could be achieved.
When compared against the total cost of the project required to convert their existing bulk bagging lines to cone table technology, the simple payback of the project was less than 12 months!
The above story is a real life example of an Optimization Analysis can reveal significant financial and operational improvements even with a bulk bagging operation where the status quo is perceived as being just fine or almost perfect.
Note that the Optimization Analysis phase including the site visit and testing were provided without cost to the manufacturer - this is a standard feature of Control and Metering's Optimization offering.
Finally, the manufacturer in this case ships a LOT of product in bulk bags. If your company or facility ships significantly less product than 160 million lb/year there can still easily be a very attractive profit improvement opportunity lying dormant in your plant.
Annual shipping totals of even as low as 10,000 bags can still generate financially attractive opportunities with simple paybacks less than 24 months. A preliminary analysis session over the phone will reveal whether your plant can improve its profit while potentially solving nagging operational problems!
Answer 8 simple, bulk bag operation questions to see if your plant can benefit from a Control and Metering Optimization Analysis!
For more information contact Joe Natale at joe@ControlandMetering.com or 416-473-1500.