David Wheatley's background is in materials handling for heavy industry such as coal, steel, paper mills and railroads. Now Wheatley is turning his attention to the plastics industry with a new stackable Hopper/Mini Silo System that is both a rugged dry-bulk hopper and a storage silo.
Companies can ship and receive materials in the same containers and dispense directly from them.
Wheatley said his company, DW Global Group in Florence, Ky., has sold the hopper/silo to plastics customers in packaging, automotive and compounding.
The units can be stacked three high. Each one has a slide gate on the bottom to allow resin to pass through into the hopper below. A vacuum line coming out of the hopper on the very bottom conveys resin to the processing equipment.
Each unit can hold 800 pounds of material for a total of 2,400 pounds when stacked three high.
Material is fed directly into the hoppers. Made of high density polyethylene, the hopper/silos are designed to be moved by forklift or a pallet jack. The front side is clearly marked.
The units are translucent so the operator can see when one is empty and needs to be replaced with a full one.
We have customers that use it both ways, for silos and basically for the hopper system, Wheatley said.
DW Global Group is marketing the sturdy, reusable bulk hopper system as a green replacement for fiber drums, cardboard boxes, wood pallets and Super Sacks. Wheatley is contacting plastics processors and material suppliers about starting a pilot program to demonstrate the return time on investment, which he said is less than a year.
They're not worried about spending money. They want to see how fast they can get their money back, he said.
Wheatley said the investment for a multipurpose dry-bulk hopper system can be as little as $5,000-$10,000.
DW Global Group also makes galvanized steel boxes and shipping containers. Wheatley said that, at his prior company, he represented companies that sold overlay steel that went into huge hoppers for steel mills and for unloading coal and iron ore from ships. Steel companies have become experts at efficiently moving huge amounts of material, he said.
He declined to identify specific customers or say who is making the plastic bulk hopper units for DW Global.
When some plastics firms started to use the steel boxes to transport resin, Wheatley got the idea for a shipping and storage product specially designed for plastics.
When I got into the plastics industry, that's what surprised me how they move their material, he said.
Tel. 859-466-5065, fax 859-384-7998, e-mail [email protected]