Terminology is a funny thing.
We’ve been talking about, writing about and posting about bulk bag unloaders for about three years on this blog. In that time, we’ve covered a lot of ground asking and answering many questions relating to these ingredient handling systems. All the while, we’ve mentioned a few different terms when describing big bag unloaders.
It’s come to our attention (and maybe you noticed it just there) that not everyone is aware that big bag unloaders represent the same idea that bulk bag unloaders represent. (The secret is that the terms “big” and “bulk” are essentially interchangeable.)
In fact, just to clear things up, the following is a list of terms to make sure we’re all on the same page. Simply put, these terms all represent the same systems:
- big bag unloader
- bulk bag unloader
- super sack unloader
- FIBC (flexible intermediate bulk container)
- big bag unloading system
- bulk bag discharge system
- bulk bag discharger
- bulk bag dispenser
- bulk bag handling equipment
- bulk bag handling systems
- super sack unloading station
- super sack handling equipment
That’s quite a bit, isn’t it? If you’re just now realizing that what you could be researching about “bulk bag dispensers” is also what you need to know about your very own “super sack unloading stations,” we’re more than happy to help clear up some confusion.
Across the bulk material handling world, various unique terms get thrown around (mostly depending on who you’re talking to). Industry by industry, everyone generally has a preference. Through our time on the AZO blog thus far, we’ve simply wanted to make sure we’re including everybody at all times. We wouldn’t want to leave any kind of super sack dispensing device behind (is that a new one?). Still, we can certifiably trace where one of these terms originates.
The term FIBC derives from IBC (intermediate bulk container). FIBCs are different than other IBCs in that they are flexible, efficient and also tend to be more economically feasible to acquire. Knowing this, we can investigate further by observing an organization dedicated to FIBCs.
There is an organization that regulates bulk bags across the globe
When it comes to “FIBCs,” there is an entire organization dedicated to working with regulatory agencies to ensure the quality of bags in the industry. The FIBCA (The Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association) was formed in 1983, and in that 38 years, they’ve come to represent 110 companies from 26 different countries.
They typically meet twice a year at a conference open only to members. At AZO, we recently recapped their standards for bag storage in a recent post about bag stacking. This article and one that followed on our blog about bag “racking” were the first pieces of content we’ve published that specifically relate to bags themselves. Systems that unload bags, on the other hand, tend to be one of our (many) specialties.
Whatever you call them, there’s a lot to know about bulk bag unloaders
Whether you prefer to call FIBCs “bags” or “sacks” or any of the above, AZO has published a variety of topics related to the process of unloading them. For example, if you’d like to know how to properly condition material in a system with a bulk bag unloader, here is an article we’ve put together on that. If you’d like to understand how one of these systems can both increase safety measures while boosting production throughput, we’ve talked about that too. For a variety of other super sack-related topics, simply skim the links below:
- How bulk bag unloaders put safety first
- How to control dust from a bulk bag unloader
- How an electric hoist helps promote safety even further
- 5 more reasons to include an electric hoist
- How a support table can assist material flow
- Lesser-known questions to ask about bulk bag unloaders
Whatever you end up calling them, you can call us to figure out the rest. If you're considering investing in a super sack unloading system or have any questions on how to help your plant and processes run smoothly in general, feel free to contact our AZO sales team. AZO has more than seven decades of experience in handling raw materials and shaping ingredient automation along the way. We’ve also put together a free guide to help you make an informed decision on efficient systems that unload material for various industries across the bulk material handling landscape.