Advantages of the Solibin IBC System for Dry Material Storage and Transport

Solibin IBC System Advantages:

  • Stores and discharges the most difficult flowing dry materials
  • Eliminates rat holing, segregation and degradation
  • Ease of Handling
  • Transport Ready
  • Stackable
  • Reusable
  • Washable
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Product flow control
  • Batching and weighing capability
  • Quick material change over for process flexibility

What is an IBC?

An IBC is an Intermediate Bulk Container. Bulk bags are sometimes referred to as FIBCs or Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers. The Solibin IBCs are rigid containers. Standard capacities are 17.5, 35, 53, 70 and 88 cubic feet. Corresponding capacities in cubic meters are 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5. Special sizes may also be accommodated, depending on the customer’s requirements. Materials of construction are Mild Steel, Stainless Steel or Polyethylene. The IBCs include 2-way full length forklift channels for movement by fork truck and four lifting lugs for movement by overhead crane. At the top is either a clipped lid or a plastic spin on lid as used with our polyethylene units. The standard IBCs are 45.25” square and will fit side by side in most truck trailers and sea containers.

What are the advantages of IBCs?

Rigid IBCs are more easy to handle and store than bulk bag sacks. With the built-in guides, the forklift operator can pick up and move the IBC with ease. The fixed height and rigid construction also make them easy fill. The units are also stackable. At the top of the framework is corner guides which match the bottom feet. Typically they are stacked three high while empty, or two high with material. IBCs also have a long life, are durable and washable – making them more environmentally friendly than bulk bags. They are ideal for inhouse transport and storage of material. Some materials are not suitable for transport by other means such as pneumatic conveying or mechanical conveyors due to the distance, product degradation and/or product segregation. IBCs allow the product to move from one area to another without damaging the product or hurting the integrity of a mixed product.

Are IBCs suitable for crossroad transport?

Carolina Conveying’s IBCs are designed and built for crossroad transport. We offer an optional cone clamp kit for the Solibin units to lock the cone to prevent any product leakage. As previously stated, they fit side by side in standard trailers and sea containers. Smaller units may even be stacked inside the trailer. For hazardous material transport, the IBCs can be tested and certified to meet DOT and UN16 regulations.

What about Flow Problems?

IBCs experience material flow problems just like any other storage vessel. These problems may include bridging, rat holes, segregation and degradation. 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. For more information on flow problems and mass flow, please refer to the bin discharger manual.

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.

What Makes the Solibin IBC System Better?

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 ensure 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 raises 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 Firestone 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 shutoff 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 option for flow control 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, material comes out in smaller batches instead of continuous flow. By controlling the size and number of pulses, 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 high 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?

  • In house transport of difficult or fragile products
  • In house transport of product after the mixer without loss of mix integrity
  • Temporary storage 
  • Storage of different ingredients or mixes to allow quick change over in production
  • Raw ingredient storage
  • Batch loss-in-weight systems
  • Cross road transport to other facilities
  • Cross road transport of hazardous materials
  • Tumble Blending

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