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Steps to take if a bulk bag fails while under load

Bulk bags are a remarkably durable and secure packaging solution for a variety of materials, such as grains, foods, ore and rubble. A bulk bag can, however, occasionally break while being filled, handled, or discharged. Although it is rare, there are a few reasons why this might happen, so you should be prepared in the case that it does.

Leading bulk bag manufacturers and suppliers in South Africa include Custom Bulk Bags. Their annual manufacturing capacity is up to 3.5 million bags. Before being sold to customers, each of their products is subject to strict quality inspection processes. 

When purchasing a bulk bag, always look at the safety factor rating. If this safety factor is 5:1, for example, it means that the bags can handle at least five times their intended load before breaking. While it’s never a good idea to overfill a bulk bag, it’s crucial to pick ones with a high safety factor rating.

Factors that could lead to a bulk bag rupture

A bulk bag may break if it is handled improperly. This includes the filling processes, the equipment used to transport the bulk bags and the method of storage. In order to extend the shelf life of these versatile products, your bulk bag supplier should provide you with a breakdown of best practices.

Never overfill a bulk bag as doing so puts too much strain on the lifting loops and can cause the side panels to split or tear. When a bulk bag fails, it is typically because it was overfilled. Dragging bulk bags across a warehouse floor can damage the product’s bottom, so it’s important to avoid doing so.

Ensure that bulk bags are kept in a cool, dry and covered environment when stacking and storing them. The fabric’s quality can be degraded and become weaker over time if there is too much moisture and sunlight. To pick up a bulk bag, always use the lifting loops; placing a forklift tine against the panels can potentially rip the fabric.

Steps to take if a bulk bag fails

1. Take a photo of the label so that your bulk bag supplier can verify the information, including the manufacturing date, order number, and inspection data. The more information you can give your supplier, the better. This will enable them to determine whether a manufacturing defect, an outdated bag, or improper use was to blame for the failure.

2. Photograph the damaged bulk bag. Photos of the damaged area will help your supplier identify the possible causes. Take photos of the full bag as well as close-ups of the affected area. Any irregularities, flaws, or discolouration could reveal the cause.

3. Save the bag for inspection. Some bulk bag suppliers will need to physically inspect the damaged bag. Take care when folding it to prevent further damage. The supplier will then have the opportunity to conduct tests to try and determine the cause of failure. Close examination of the seams, the woven fabric, and any indications of moisture or UV exposure are included in this inspection. Additionally, this inspection will offer the supplier the opportunity to improve quality control and manufacturing procedures for future batches.

4. Keep a record of the handling procedure. If a bulk bag fails, note the equipment, the handling procedure, and the surrounding environment. This will assist your supplier in determining whether handling procedures or environmental factors were to blame. Incorrect filling and handling procedures can occasionally lead to several bulk bags failing, therefore if this is a persistent issue, it’s crucial to improve these processes.

Always make sure you are using a bulk bag in accordance with the specifications provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure that the products last as long as possible. As bulk bags are made to last, any failure needs to be investigated.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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