Concetti, Perugia, Italy, has supplied a fully automatic bagging system to Cheetham Salt, Australia’s largest producer and refiner of solar salt. This type of salt is produced by harvesting the product from coastal or inland lakes using a natural evaporative process.
Cheetham’s requirements were not straightforward and covered both wet salt and dry refined grades with bags in 10, 15, 20 and 25Kg sizes as well as different bag types including paper with inner PE liner, woven polypropylene, coated or with PE liner and PE bags both pre-made and from a tubular reel. A choice of closures was also needed with simple sewing, sewing with fold-over and either of these combined with heat sealing or for PE bags, heat-sealing only. For many suppliers such a combination of products, pack sizes, types and closures would have represented a challenge but Concetti were able to meet all of Cheetham’s specific needs, including being able to change the complete packaging line from one operating program to another in less than 90 seconds. Output is 750-1150 bags per hour depending on product and bag weight.
To add a little more complexity, both floor space and headroom in the existing portal framed warehouse was restricted but Concetti were able to engineer an amazingly compact arrangement that included a bag placing/filling machine with reel feed option plus checkweigher, metal detector, palletiser and stretch hooder. The building, with a maximum height at the apex of about 6 metres, required a specially designed supply hopper with agitator for wet products and a reduced height net weigher for product dosing, fitting snugly between purlins and giving access for cleaning and maintenance.
The heart of the system is the Concetti Starpack 1600 bag filling and closing machine, the ultimate in speed and flexibility for open mouth bag filling.