A refractories manufacturer replaces a maintenance-intensive auger bag packer to eliminate downtime and improve efficiency.
AJF Inc., New Boston, Mich., is a refractories manufacturer, supplying the steel industry with sand mixes, castable shapes, and dry sand refractories. The company bags its dry mixes in 40- or 50-pound valve bags and small bulk bags. For several years, it filled the 40- and 50-pound bags using an auger packer. But it wasn't entirely satisfied with this equipment. In 2004, the refractories company decided to expand its production. While company managers didn't see a need to put in a whole new production line, they knew they could increase efficiency, and thus production, by upgrading the equipment they were using to bag the refractory sand -- a material with a 120- to 150-pound bulk density, similar to cement. The company decided to replace the inefficient, dusty auger packer.