Imagine the horror: You’re using bulk bags in your warehouse or for transport when, suddenly, an entire row of them splits.
They topple and break; the loops aren’t where you need them to be; they don’t stack properly.
At Sonoco, we have processes in place to make sure this doesn’t happen when you use our bulk bags. Whenever we partner with a client to fulfill an order of flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs), we work closely with the customer to figure out exactly what they need. For example, if your bags need to be food grade, we’ll focus on different tests than if you need your bags to be UN certified.
Then, we put the custom-designed product through specific testing procedures to examine every inch of the bag, ensuring it’s up to spec for you.
Our Testing Processes for Trustworthy FIBC Bulk Bags
Today, we’ll touch on three angles of our process: structural, performance, and specialty testing.
When we’re checking the structural integrity of our bags, we’re ensuring that the bag is strong and ready to perform reliably. Some of the tests we run include checking various parts of the bag, including:
- The fabric: We check the fabric of the bag for minor imperfections and see if the weight of the fabric makes sense given the specifications and purpose of the bag.
- The stitching: We make sure that there’s high-quality stitching all over the bag, especially at the primary bag seams and around lift loops.
- The dimensions: We reference the original specifications to make 100 percent sure that we built your bag to the correct dimensions down to the millimeter.
We’ll also take a sample of your bag’s fabric apart to get a feel for its tensile strength, weight, and UV resistance. Ultimately, we think of your bag like a handmade performance garment: Before delivery, we make sure that it’s ready to do whatever you need it to do!
In addition to specific checks to ensure that your bag is structurally sound, we put our bulk bags through tests to see how they hold up to real-life conditions.
Not all bags are going into the same use environment. For example, if we know the bags are going to be outside for prolonged periods of time, we will build them and test them for extra UV protection.
If the bags are going to be used in a worksite where we know that they may encounter sharp forklift tines, we will test the lift loop durability.
Specialty testing depends on the specific fill product planned for use with the bag.
For example, some bulk bags may need to be UN certified. Others may need to be ready to transport and store hazardous materials. In other cases, customers may need bulk bags that are flawlessly and reliably food grade.
In these circumstances, we put the bulk bags through multiple tests as required by international hazardous shipping requirements.
For food-grade bags, we have other tests and checks we will perform. As is applicable, we’ll make sure that the fabric we use is free from debris and contamination, and we’ll check for proper seam sewing and cutting.
This may seem like a lot to keep track of, but that’s why our bulk bag design engineers are on the case. We’ll perform tests as needed to give you confidence that your bags are high quality and ready to perform in your specific environment.
Bonus: The FIBC Bulk Bags Testing Documentation to Look For
No matter how much you trust your packaging team, you’ve got to have a paper trail for reference, certainty, and peace of mind. Make sure you and your manufacturer are on the same page about the following documentation before approving or submitting an order:
- Clear product specifications before manufacture and testing begin
- A clear standard operating procedure for product testing plans
- Evidence of specific certifications and adherence to applicable regulations (e.g., UN certification, ISO 9001, hazard analysis and critical control points)
At Sonoco, we also have specific recommended steps to take in the event of an FIBC bulk bag quality issue, but it’s our goal that we resolve any potential issues before it ever gets that far!
Team Up with a Bulk Bag Manufacturer That Realizes the True Importance of Testing
At Sonoco, we make sure that every bag we send to clients is as safe, strong, and as ready for performance as possible. If you’re ever wondering about what we do to provide top-tier bags or test bag quality, reach out and ask our FIBC design engineers a question! In the meantime, subscribe to our blog for consistent updates and timely packaging advice.
Tags: BulkSak®, FIBC Bulk Bags