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How to Choose Between a Bulk Bag Unloader and Bag Dump Station

Unloading Equipment Bag Dump

How to Choose Between a Bulk Bag Unloader and Bag Dump Station

Dear Powder Doctor,

We are currently using an old bag dump system that’s messy and cumbersome to operate properly. Because of lost product and time inefficiencies, we’re thinking it may be time for an upgrade. Would you recommend a new bag dump station? Or should we consider moving to a bulk bag unloader?

Thanks for your expert insight!

Ben Loading


Dear Ben,

If you think it’s time for an upgrade, you’re probably right. As you know, the inefficiencies you’re dealing with can lead to safety issues and lost profits, so it’s great that you’re being proactive.

Generally speaking, bulk bag unloaders are ideal for plants that are purchasing powders in bulk and have shorter batch times. Conversely, bag dump stations are more common for plants with longer batch times and smaller bags of ingredients. In order to determine if a bag dump station or bulk bag unloader is a better fit, consider the following questions:

  1. How is your product or ingredient typically packaged by your supplier? Is it common for you to purchase a 25kg bag or a bulk bag? If you’re purchasing in bulk, then a bulk bag unloader would be the best fit. If you’re purchasing in smaller bags, a bag dump station is the best choice. In addition, your suppliers may be choosing the bag size for you based off what is typical for your industry. If you’re considering changing from one system to the other, check in with your supplier and see what your options are.
  2. What are your available labor resources? If you have minimal resources, then bulk bag unloaders may be a better choice because they require less manual labor.  But if your business model allows for employees to be available for manual labor, then bag dump stations may be your best option.
  3. Are there any space restrictions? Bulk bag unloaders need height clearance, while bag dump stations typically require a bigger footprint between the bag dump itself and the transport of bags to the unit.
  4. What are you using the system for? Are you using the unit for unloading small amounts of product into the system (e.g. 500 lbs. per hour)? If so, a bag dump station would be a great option for you. If you need a system that will unload larger quantities (e.g. 5,000 lbs. per hour), you may want to opt for a bulk bag unloader for faster product unloading.
  5. How long are batch times? If your batch times are long, a bag dump will likely be sufficient because there’s more time to unload the necessary product. In contrast, if you have faster batch times that require product to be introduced into the system faster, a bulk bag unloader may help you get the job done more quickly.

In your quest to find the best solution to meet your unique bulk bag filling system requirements, visit our Bulk Bag Unloader page.

The Powder Doctor