Companies across the industrial sector are always looking for ways to cut costs, conserve space, and maximize profits. Bulk bags or FIBC bags have helped millions of businesses around the world achieve these goals.
From the pharmaceutical and construction industries to food manufacturers, FIBCs provide an affordable and efficient way to package, store, and move materials. Since these bulk bags are often used to transport medicines and consumable goods, they are made under high levels of scrutiny at state-of-the-art plants.
Manufacturing Process of FIBC Bags
Bulk bags are made of polypropylene woven fabrics, which is why they are also called PP woven bags. A number of highly-qualified and skilled technicians are responsible for making the bulk bags and ensuring they are stable against UV degradation.
One of the primary materials used in manufacturing FIBC bulk bags is virgin polypropylene fiber which is a petroleum-based product. Here is the step-by-step process involved in making an FIBC.
Extrusion involves mixing calcium carbonate, UV Master Batch, polypropylene granules, and a color pigment (optional) together and then melting the mixture. Then an Extrusion Plant shapes the mixture into tapes. Technicians also check the tensile durability of these tapes during the process.
The tapes are rolled on bobbins that are stockpiled and loaded onto looms for interlacing later on.
The tape bobbins created in the earlier stage are next loaded onto Flat Sulzer looms or Circular looms, depending on the user’s needs. This is where the fabric used in making FIBCs is created.
Coating or Lamination
This is an optional step and depends on what the user wants. During this step, the woven fabric can be laminated with a semi-clear polypropylene layer that is glued to the woven material to form a moisture barrier.
Un-laminated or uncoated polypropylene is breathable and thus, not suitable for goods like flour, salt, and sugar. These foods items should never be exposed to moisture or water, otherwise, they risk getting contaminated. So, the laminated fabric is recommended if you want to transport light, powdered foods that would otherwise sift through un-laminated bags when shaken or moved.
Next, the woven fabric material is put into the form of rolls and moved through an automatic cutting machine to be cut into specific size panels. The automation aspect of the process ensures the panels are cut into a uniform size. Finally, the panels are ready for printing or stitching.
The next step is putting the panels into a printing machine and imprinting them with the customer’s logo or brand name. You can choose up to 4 colors for this step.
This step involves making the loops that are used to lift the FIBC bulk bags. The bigger tapes of PP fabric are woven together on looms to make them look like webbings. Then it is cut into the desired size and stitched to the bag to create the loops. White is the standard color for the strap but you can choose from red, green, blue, yellow, etc.
Once the lifting loops are done, all the other parts (webbings, panels, spouts) are brought together and sewn by skilled tailors. Then the finished PP woven bags are inspected by qualified supervisors to ensure their quality.
Testing and Inspecting
Each bag goes through a meticulous inspection to make sure it is safe to use. The supervisor randomly selects bags and performs a cyclic top lift test to check whether the production criteria have been met.
After the final inspection, the bulk bags are carefully folded and put into a bale press machine. Then they are packed on pallets and loaded onto a container.
If you have questions about the quality or safety of our FIBC bags, feel free to get in touch with us today. Our Palmetto Industries representative will be happy to walk you through our intensely regulated FIBC manufacturing process.