Bathgate Silica Sand

Silica Sand - Form Fill Seal



Bathgate Silica Sand is a member of the Bathgate Group of companies. Their high quality silica sand is quarried, processed and distributed as mixing and surfacing products from their base in Cheshire, UK.

Rising fuel costs and environmental issues were the principal reasons for the decision by Bathgate Silica Sand to replace their old bagging plant at Congleton with a state-of-the-art plant in Arclid, Cheshire. The plant eliminates the need for transportation to Congleton, reducing the operation's carbon footprint.

Bathgate Silica Sand asked Webster Griffin to supply a versatile Form Fill Seal (FFS) line for bagging their kiln dried sand/top dressing/grits/moist sand/wet sand products into small gusseted/pillow bags of 10kg, 20kg and 30kg and gusseted/pillow Big Bags of 500kg to 1500kg.


Bathgate Silica Sand wanted to increase their output with a 360 degree solution for their new production system, this presented a range of challenges including:

  • Requirement for a fully automated system to maximise efficiency
  • Flexibility – the system had to be automatically adjusting for different bag sizes
  • The capability to fill varying bag sizes from 10 to 30 kg utilising Form Fill Seal technology
  • Lower cost of consumables
  • Automation to give more scope for redeploying labour
  • A system capable of continuous production around the clock


Having discussed the requirements with key Bathgate representatives, Webster Griffin proposed a turn-key integrated system comprising a Velocity FFS CV 3025, an Okura A1600 robot palletizer and a Uniwrap 200 AE fully automatic pallet stretch wrapper.

The fully automatic FFS machine unwinds LDPE 90-120 micron thickness plastic film from a flat roll and forms it into a tube, then a bag before filling it with product. The top of the filled bag is sealed while the bottom of the next bag is made.

Bathgate’s solution was tailored according to their criteria.

  • Okura A1600 bag palletizing robot - with 'OXPA' self teach system
  • OXPA windows based software – allows operators to create new palletizing patterns and optimise exiting patterns in order to produce symmetrical palletized stacks
  • High Tech Okura bag hand – picks up flattened bags and places them precisely on the pallet
  • High speed dosing system
  • Velocity Form Fill Seal CV 3025 - Gusseted or pillow bags made from the same roll of flat film
  • Uniwrap 200AE fully automatic pallet stretch wrapper
  • Integrated control system with operator touch screen panel


Outcomes of the project included the following:

  • High speed FFS bagging – 10kg or 25kg bags can be  filled at a rate of 1000 bags per hour.
  • Satisfied customers – the high performance plant means bagged product is delivered to the customer more efficiently and promptly
  • Built in flexibility and quick changeover - able to deliver bagged product, whatever the grade, bag size or palletizing format
  • Bathgate Silica Sand now operate one of the most versatile, fully automatic, high speed sand bagging facilities in Europe
  • Bathgate can now keep pace with demand and have the capability to respond promptly while minimizing bagged products held as stock.
  • Reduced labour input – the fully automatic system reduced labour input
  • Reduced levels of maintenance activities

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