Solibin IBC System
IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) experience material flow problems just like any other storage vessel. These problems may include bridging, rat holes, segregation and degredation. Ideal flow from a container is mass flow. With mass flow, product flows out on a first-in / first-out basis with very little movement between particles. Most IBCs on the market feature a square hopper with 45 degree cone and relatively small outlet with a manual gate valve. Only the most free flowing products will flow out of these type containers without some sort of difficulty. The Solibin System eliminates these flow problems.
The Solibin IBC System Advantage
The Solibin IBC is also square, but features a 60 degree cone instead of a 45 degree cone. A large 25 outlet at the bottom replaces the typical 8 or 10 outlet on standard IBCs. Instead of a manual gate valve, the Solibin IBC has a cone valve. The cone valve is an inverted cone with lipseal that is inside of the IBC and sits in the outlet cone. When material discharge is required, the cone lifts up into the material creating an annulus for material to flow. Vibration may be added to further induce product flow. For more difficult materials, the cone can be pulsed up and down to keep the material agitated and flowing. All of these actions are accomplished through the discharge station.
The Solibin Discharge Station
The Solibin IBC docks on a Discharge Station at each location where product is required. The station consists of framework with four corner guides and a power unit. As the IBC is lowered down onto the station, the corner guides insure correct alignment until resting on the framework. The outlet cone of the IBC pushes back the power unit seal as being lowered, creating a seal between the IBC and Discharge Station.
The power unit consists of a probe that rises up and down and vibrates. With the IBC on the station, the probe lifts the IBC cone valve up with it and vibrates, creating product flow. The lifting is accomplished by a rubber actuator inside the machine which inflates with air. This heavy duty actuator has a tremendous amount of lifting force. The vibration is created by a pneumatic, air cushioned, piston vibrator in the nose of the probe. When the station is shut off, the probe lowers back down bringing the cone valve back to its original position, providing positive shut off of material flow. For the most difficult materials, the station is set on vibration mounts and two external vibrators are added to shake the entire station and IBC. High lift units are also available which feature actuators with a greater stroke to push the cone valve higher up in the IBC.
Flow Control through the Discharge Station
The height that the probe lifts is adjustable. The higher the probe lifts, the greater the resulting annulus between the cone valve and IBC. As the annulus increase the product flow rate also increases. By adjusting the height of the probe, the discharge rate can be crudely controlled. Another option is providing a trickle feed air cylinder. With this arrangement, an air cylinder is added to the station that allows the probe to stop at a lower setpoint. Bulk flow is achieved at full lift and trickle flow is achieved at the lower position. This is useful in batch operation to top off the load.
Another way that the flow can be controlled is by pulsing the cone up and down. The standard control panel is equipped with cycle timers that allow you to vary the amount of time the probe is both up and down. By pulsing the cone up and down, material comes out in smaller batches instead of continuous flow. By controlling the size and number of batches, the amount of product discharged over time can be controlled.
The Solibin system is also ideal for refilling surge hoppers or downstream equipment. Since the unit provides positive shut off of material flow, the station can run off high and low level probes to automatically refill. Another option is to use a low level probe to signal when material is required and a cycle timer to control the amount of product discharged. For applications that require accuracy, we typically recommend a feeder mounted below the discharge station. Carolina Conveying offers several devices for such a setup: knife gates, rotary feeders, screw feeders, screw conveyors, etc. For even high accuracy, the entire unit can be mounted on load cells with a batch loss-in-weight controller for gravimetric feeding.
What are typical applications
Bring Us Your Worst Material!
The Solibin System is designed for the worst flowing materials. We have special units available that can discharge the most difficult products. This discharge station includes a high lift actuator and external vibration. The high lift actuator pushes the cone up higher into the IBC, creating a larger annulus for material to flow and reaching bridges that may occur. The external vibration consists of two external piston vibrators mounted on the discharge station frame. The entire framework is mounted on anti-vibration pads. With the IBC on the station and locked in place, the external vibrators shake the entire IBC and station. This is used to break up any bridges that may have occurred or shake off any material hung up on the sides of the IBC. We have handled material that would bridge in the straight wall section of the upper hopper, with the outlet cone completely empty. Within a couple of seconds of running the external vibration, the material was flowing once again.
Try a Demo Unit
We have test units available for either in-house testing or for leasing and running tests at the customers facility. Material Safety Data Sheets have to be reviewed and approved prior to accepting any material or leasing the equipment. Leased equipment must be returned back clean. A fee is involved in either case, but is usually refundable once the equipment is purchased.
Carolina Conveying, Inc., 162 Great Oak Drive,