Making Food and Beverage Manufacturing Safer

With the bulk F&B ingredients market poised to reach $454.6 billion in revenue by 2028, according to a MarketsandMarkets report, rising spending on packaged and processed goods is prompting a bulk-ingredient market boom. Now is the time for bulk dry-solids handling and processing facilities to procure leading-edge bag-dump station equipment, not only to improve plant hygiene and conditions but also to reduce spillage, increase efficiency, mitigate accidents, and bulk up those bottom lines in kind.


“Bag dumps are nothing new, but auto-pulse technology innovations make the use of them safer and more sanitary,” says Jeff Walling, co-owner of ABM Equipment, a leading F&B industry process engineering and integration firm with its own auto-pulse bag-dump solution. “Auto-pulse bag-dump stations not only reduce both product and labor waste, but also provide a safer and more convenient way to introduce product to closed systems that prevent dust and other particulate contamination.”

ABM Equipment auto-pulse bag-dump station

“Integrated dust-collection systems effectively capture airborne particles, ensuring a cleaner and safer work environment,” says Walling. “Such dust collectors ensure that particles from manual dumping don’t get into the air and on your facility floor. This makes breathing easier, reduces risk of slipping and—depending on the application—will reduce explosion risk and attraction of pests.”

Easy maintenance: Accessible filter design and toolless grate removal make maintenance straightforward.

“Bag dumps pull air in when bags are being dumped, and then automatically discharge product from the filter when it’s no longer being added,” Walling says. “By reverse-pulsing the filter every time the lid is closed, the bag dump saves the operator a step, prolongs the life of the filter, and minimizes unused product.”

Amid numerous product recalls and reports warning consumers about breaches in safety, efficiency, and cleanliness in food and beverage processing, manufacturers must be more proactive than ever to implement safer and more efficient processing solutions. These must be specifically engineered to provide clean and fully controlled equipment as well as ergonomic and user-friendly environments for operators.

Choice of dust-control method: There are several different types of external dust collection systems available: cyclone, cartridge (required for compact in-unit systems), and baghouses. Each type of system has its own advantages and disadvantages for different applications.

Ergonomic design: Lift-assist lids minimize operator fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.

One critical facet of bulk dry-solids handling and processing is the use of bag-dump station equipment, which offers significant benefits to the food and beverage (F&B) industry as well as pharmaceuticals and chemicals. However, dust and other particulate contaminants have remained a concern.

Customization options: Not everyone’s needs are the same. Various configurations are available to meet your specific operational needs and space requirements.

Durable construction: High-quality stainless or carbon steel prolongs industrial use.

Auto-reclaim: The default configuration of the ABM bag-dump station is an internal jet that pulls air when an operator opens the door, and reverse-pulses the filter when the door is closed. This returns the ingredients caught on the filter back into the process after every dump and spares the operator having to stop and push buttons.

The dust-collection mechanisms in particular are a mission-critical facet of these systems, because they remove dust and other particulate matter from the air. These come in many forms and configurations for different applications and materials.

Toolless grate removal: Depending on ingredients’ tendency to bridge and the types of objects at risk of falling into the system, grates should nest securely but freely, letting operators remove them quickly when needed.

Safety aside, bulk dry-solid bag-dump stations have tended to be overpriced. But advancements, coupled with marketplace demand, have made this solution more budget friendly for manufacturers. And given the various benefits of today’s bag-dump stations, the capital expenditure on newer systems is worthwhile. Modern advancements offer a number of key features.

Another apparent benefit of modernized bag-dump equipment is that it eliminates product waste in the manufacturing process and, thus, reduces fiscal waste.