What is Bulk & Dribble Filling?

What is Bulk & Dribble Filling?

I was chatting on our website with a visitor today and they asked the question what does “dribble filling” mean?

Well the technical answer goes something like this… When a packaging machine is filling the bag (or container) the “bulk / dribble” fill cycle is a two-speed operation utilized to provide a fast but accurate method for bagging.

The bulk fill cycle is the fast speed and the dribble fill cycle is the slow speed. Another term to be familiar with is Dual Set-point. The “set-points” are proportional  to the cycle devoted to Bulk or Dribble filling and will be programmed into the weigh controller based on the specific application. The first set point marks the end of the Bulk (fast) part of the fill cycle and the second set-point marks the end of the dribble (slow) part of the fill cycle, and essentially the end of the filling cycle.

The purpose of “bulk / dribble” filling is to provide a cycle that is fast yet accurate.  The Bulk, or fast fill is too fast to make a predictable and repeatable stop because the flow is fast and probably erratic.  The Dribble, or slow fill is too slow to provide a good bagging rate (number of fills per minute).  Combining the first part of the fill cycle to provide speed and the second part providing a predictable metered flow that can be stopped at nearly the same point each cycle, provides accuracy.

The best way to think of it is like you are putting gas in your car. If you are pumping gas and you only want to spend $10.00, you can’t hold the handle down full speed until you reach the $10.00 mark and let go. You will never stop on $10.00 and always go over. In order to hit the $10.00 exactly, when you get to $9.00 you start letting up on the handle to slow how fast the pump is filling your car to get a more consistent even flow and are able to predict when you need to let go to stop it and hit $10.00 right on the money. (pun intended)

The same thought applies to the “bulk / dribble” fill cycle. In the dribble fill cycle we reduce the product flow until it is slow and even and we can “see” the weight (utilizing the weigh controller and load cells) counting up one tenth of a pound at a time, even and consistent, the packaging machine is shut off just at the right time to get the correct weight.

Not matter what packaging equipment is being utilized the concept still applies across auger packers, vibratory fillers, gravity fillers, bulk bag fillers, and air packers.


Related Post to Filling and Weigh Controllers:

Submitted by:

Tyler Morerod | MarCom Manager


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