How Did Norman Emerson’s Form Fill Seal Bagging System Help Them Improve Productivity?


Introducing Norman Emerson

The Norman Emerson Group is a private family owned business that’s operated for over 75 years. They manufacture and sell sand and gravel for construction, industrial, equestrian, surface dressing and silica bunker purposes. The Group contacted Webster Griffin as they knew of our experience in working with other high profile companies in this sector. Increased consumer demand meant that they needed a new automated bagging and palletizing system for dredged sand and aggregates at their factory in Craigavon. Here’s how we assisted them.

What Elements Were Essential For Norman Emerson’s On-site System Installation?

The Norman Emerson Group needed a system that would bag free-flowing sand and aggregates more affordably. In other words, it needed to have a low cost per bag, keeping production costs low by adapting to different bag sizes and weights. The system needed to handle new and reconditioned pallets and palletise them in neat and compact squares for delivery to customers.

As the system would be operating in a dry and dusty industrious environment, it would need to be constructed of heavy duty, robust components. It also needed to be compact in size, as there was limited space available. Finally, the system needed to be fully automatic and able to operate 24/7.


What Solution Did Webster Griffin Recommend?

After considering Norman Emerson's requirements, Webster Griffin proposed installing an integrated bagging and palletising system. The system included a machine to form, fill and seal bags simultaneously instead of using pre-made ones. A film reel unwinder device, tensioning device and an electric hoist helped with film reel changeovers and make the bag forming process quicker and more efficient.


A vibrating chute guided or wet and damp sand into the machine before a volumetric dosing system accurately filled each bag. Forming tubes were included to cater to bags weighing from 5 to 40 kg. A parallel vertical bar would seal each bag with anti-adhesive Teflon, followed by chilled air sealing. Each filled bag would then be perforated to expel excess air.

The robot palletizer included an automatic magazine with a 15 pallet capacity with one magazine supported up to 400 kgs in weight. It automatically adjusted itself to a 1200 x 1000 size for UK clients, a square 1100 x 1100 pallet, or 1143 x 914 export pallet.

An Okura Robot’s bag hand with side grippers, guiding plates and top clamps moved filled bags to conveyors. Users could detect faults and view logged activities and even create and modify palletising patterns using the palletizer’s touch screen control panel. Finally, a stretch wrapper made each pallet waterproof and ready for transit. 

Once the system was commissioned they dispatched an engineer to stay on site to train the team until they could operate and maintain the system without help. 

How Did These Systems And Equipment Help Norman Emerson Hit Their Production Targets?

Almost Immediately, Norman Emerson increased their throughput up to 1200, 25 kg bags an hour. As the system was automated, it freed up employees to focus on other production tasks.

Thanks to the improved palletizing and waterproofing system, they could also ensure that clients would receive their orders on time and in much better condition than before.


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Form Fill Seal Machines