The use of FIBCs is potentially hazardous because of the load carrying capacity of the containers. For this reason all FIBCs must be manufactured to a standard and measures put in place to continually check that the containers are being produced to that standard.
In Australia specific Standards apply to FIBCs for the packing and transportation of hazardous
and non-hazardous cargo. In both cases testing is stringent and Safety Factors (SF) are built
into the Safe Working Load (SWL) of the FIBC to allow for both the dynamic loads the container
will be subjected to and the life of the container.
Crasti & Company not only require that all FIBCs are tested to the relevant standard we insist
that all of the components that go into making the finished bag are also tested. Prior to the FIBC
being produced several steps must take place before the finished product is ready for packing and
shipping to the end user.
The steps are as follows:
- The tape that makes up the fabric, the lifting loops, and all woven components of the FIBC is produced by converting the solid beads of Polypropylene resin to a liquid state. This molten resin is then extruded into a flat sheet. The flat sheet is slit into numerous narrow tapes that are then spooled onto bobbins.
- The tape is produced in varying weights for the many applications that the tape will be used, namely bag body fabric, lifting loops, filling spouts etc.
- Prior to the extrusion process resin is tested to ensure it is inside specification ranges.
- All resin that is used by our factories has a product added that increases the Polypropylene's ability to resist degradation from Ultra Violet radiation. Without this additive Polypropylene would deteriorate very rapidly resulting in premature failure.
- At regular intervals each day tape samples are taken from the extruder to ensure that the strength of the tape is being maintained at design levels. This is carried out by firstly visual inspection and measuring of the tape thickness and then by tensile testing. If there are anomalies then other tests are performed to isolate any tape that is outside the specifications and scrapped. The extruder is then recalibrated and extruding recommenced.
- The Bobbins are then loaded into either a loom that produces flat or circular fabric or a special loom that produces lifting loop material.
- Fabric or loop material undergoes several tests in the Quality Control Laboratory to ensure it has been produced to specification. If test results indicate the sample is out of specification then further samples are taken to verify the findings of the first test. If these secondary tests verify there is in fact a problem then machinery is stopped for checking and recalibration and woven material is removed from the production line. Only when the fabric or loop material is within acceptable specification ranges is the material put back in the production line.
- The next step is to convert the fabric into components:
- filling and discharge spouts
- skirt or duffle tops
- flap tops
- FIBC bodies
- Eventually all the components come together to allow the client's order to be produced. At this stage other operations are completed, such as printing the FIBC body, addition of document pockets and the relevant FIBC tag.
For every FIBC order that is produced we manufacture one additional FIBC for every 50 FIBCs produced for testing purposes. These FIBCs will be tested on our in house testing rig to again check the FIBCs ability to meet the relevant standard.
- The FIBCs are then baled or palletised depending on the client's requirements.
- Once the randomly selected FIBCs have been tested and they pass all tests the order is released for shipment to the client.