Chemical Bagging Case Study: Caspian Sulphur


As a producer of 50 KG/100 lb. bags of reclaimed sulfur from the Tengiz Oilfields in Kazakhstan, Caspian Sulphur Company, LLP was looking for a bagging scale that would last in their demanding chemical bagging environment.  Their original scales were not up to the challenge, exhibiting high failure rates and poor accuracy. 

The Caspian Sulphur Challenge 

Bagging in Tengiz, Kazakhstan, is challenging as it has some of the most extreme conditions on earth. Temperatures are 120º F in the summer and winter temperatures plummet to -20º F. Their processed flake sulfur is highly corrosive, which impacts all aspects of equipment design and maintenance.  

The plant is very, very remote even for Kazakhstan. Parts are not readily available, if at all.  The production plant runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Their labor force works on 2-week rotations and lives in a dormitory in the vicinity of the plant, as it is too far from any population centers. Thus, only a limited workforce is available.   

Their mission – find a bagging scale that can meet the demands of production AND do so repeatedly, with a high degree of accuracy for their demanding end customer. 

Finding the Right Machine – Searching the World  

Caspian Sulphur management issued a detailed product specification and began their search for the right bagging machine for their plant. Their product specification went to dozens of bagging scale manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe. Elias Haska, Managing Director at Caspian Sulphur, explains, “we had a weighted 30 item requirement list which graded accuracy, reliability, resistance to environmental influences and surrounding chemicals, maintenance and bilingual user interface. HAMER scales exceeded competitor scales due to their innovative, revolutionary design of securing load cells to weigh buckets, giving them added robustness.” 

Caspian Sulphur management placed an order for two systems which were installed in June of 2011. The machines were duplex stainless steel Model 600NW bagging scales with Servo controlled gravity feeders. Both scales needed to meet +/- 100 grams, 3.5 oz. on 50kg/110 lb. bags of this corrosive mineral. 

Four years, millions of bags, millions of metric tons of sulfur later 

After four years of continuous running, and processing 30 million bags since the new scales were commissioned, Caspian Sulphur remains thrilled with the performance of the two Model 600NW bagging scales. “Operators and mechanics are very happy with the scales. The user interface in Russian language allows them to operate the scales with ease.  The scale controllers, together with the integrated data acquisition systems, record the weight of every bag loaded into railcars. Reliability and accuracy of the scales is exceeding our expectation,” said Haska. 

 “Our operation is at the other end of the world, yet we keep an excellent working relationship with technical and support personnel, resulting in scheduled visits for scale calibration, technical training and uninterrupted spare parts service.” 

— Caspian Sulphur, Managing Director