Have you ever wondered how companies who require large volumes of very clean water (cleaner than what you get from the tap) get it? They use special filtering systems. Some of which are referred to as ion exchange filtering systems. There are others referred to as reverse osmosis filtering systems as well. Those of you who have whole house filtering systems that you maintain might know what I’m talking about.
These filtering systems rely on a special resin through which the water is passed in order to remove the impurities. Over time, the resin’s ability to lock onto the impurities declines and so it must be changed. For industrial applications, the vessels in which the filtering resin is housed are rather large and not very accessible. This makes changing the resin a real challenge.
In comes the Line Vac, an in-line compressed air conveying product. The Model 6063 Line Vac in 1-1/2″ hose size can be used to suck the resin out of the filtering vessel in about 1/2 the time it took to do it using more manual/conventional methods. And again, when it comes time to re-fill the vessel, simply reverse the Line Vac around to suck the material out of the super sacks and blow it up into the filtering vessel.
Are you responsible for similar filtering media changeouts? Perhaps you should look into a Line Vac as well.
Those of you already familiar with our products know that using a Line Vac to move a powder is typically not an ideal application, as there is great potential for a dust cloud on the outlet due to the high velocity with which the Line Vac moves material. However, a customer who called me last week has already adapted his system to deal with this problem, and was looking for an even faster way to accomplish his task.
The customer is a manufacturer of animal grooming products such as clippers, etc. They make many of the component parts via plastic injection molding. Thus, they needed a way to move the bulk molding compound powder up to the hopper. They were currently using our model 6083 1.5″ Line Vac to do the job. This was an improvement over their previous, manual process. However, they were looking for even faster material transport.
Thus, I recommended our model 150150 1.5″ Heavy Duty Line Vac. Installation of this unit will require virtually no modification of their current system, since it is the same size unit. However, the Heavy Duty Line Vac has significantly higher material conveying capacity. Thus, they will be able to further increase their material flow rate, and thus production throughput.
Improve the efficiency of your compressed air system with these 6 simple steps.
1. Measure the air consumption to find sources that use a lot of compressed air.
2. Find and fix the leaks in your compressed air system.
3. Upgrade your blow off, cooling and drying operations using engineered compressed air products.
4. Turn off the compressed air when it is not in use.
5. Use intermediate storage of compressed air near the point of use.
6. Control the air pressure at the point of use to minimize air consumption.
For more information on these steps and products to help implement them, click here.
My blog entry sneaks up on me every week. Immediately after I write this one, I will begin thinking about the next one. How to formulate it, what to write about, if it should be a straight forward application or should it be a round-about meandering long-winded post (the latter is clearly my choice for this week). But then additional things arise at work and I rarely have a blog ready before it is due.
It is similar to someone at your plant seeing the utility bill, thinking of some ways to cut costs (perhaps by reducing your compressed air consumption), and maintaining all the good intentions to cut costs until another task runs across the desk which needs dealt with. Then another task, and another fire to put out…Then the next utility bill sneaks up again and the good intentions cycle rolls along.
But there are the weeks where my blog is done before it is due, those good intentions had been put into action and the deadline goes by without a notice (and usually without a reminder to start thinking about the next blog) and my time is well spent with other tasks rather than crunching a blog entry. Putting good intentions into action is probably they only true way to prove you had them to begin with. Without action, intent remains worthless.
So back to the plant utility bill, and a good idea or two for minimizing the expense. Put those ideas into action. Outfit the open blow-offs with engineered air nozzles, ask your utility provider if they have an incentive program for reducing compressed air costs. Retrofit your existing blow off applications with simple controls to turn them off when not needed rather than running them continuously. Measure your air consumption, identify and fix your leaks.
Those intentions can be put into action little by little and the results can be real and measurable each month. EXAIR can help you with questions you may have about these processes and solutions. Give us call and prove those intentions.
Customer builds labeling machines. Typically they hold the label in place with vacuum generated by a squirrel cage blower then blow it onto the product when it comes into position. This application though is on a tractor/produce washer out in the farm field and the blowers do not function well.
They have compressed air from the air brake system available. Using a 3/8″ Line Vac model 6078 they used the suction side to hold the label. On the exhaust side of the Line Vac ,they installed a slide valve. Closing the valve causes the Line Vac to back flow. So instead of generating a vacuum it blows the label onto the product. The setup functioned flawlessly.
When it comes to process improvement, the term Kaizen project, when used by a recent customer made me sit up and take notice. The customer extruded many forms of tubing, hose and other forms from various polymers. Cooling is a natural part of any extrusion process and is accomplished mainly by water, which is effective, but can be messy and cause production problems. The customer had been using a “homemade” blow off which consisted of two thick plates bolted together which had a slot milled into them. The blowoff device did drive the water from the extrusion, but was tremendously loud and used a lot of compressed air. In fact, on one line, three of these blowoffs were used.
As part of the Kaizen project, the customer did their research and naturally found the EXAIR Super Air Knife to be a very good candidate to not only lower the air noise generated, but also lower the air consumption and bring the blowing process within acceptable OSHA limits for dead end pressure.
They ended up using (1) Model 110206 6″ Super Air Knife Kit and (1) 6″ Super Air Knife only to do the job of blowing off the 4″ wide, flat extrusion. The Air Knives were mounted to be 1″ off of each face of the extrusion and blew in the direction opposite the travel of the product. This action sets up a nice “counter flow” between the air and the product to strip off the water. Sound level was reduced from 95 dB down to a more reasonable 72 dB at 1 meter. Air consumption was reduced from 110 SCFM to 35 SCFM for the project. The customer’s cost for product was right at $500.00 and with the air savings alone had a payback period of less than 3 months with only a 40 hour week considered.
Cleaning up broken glass by hand or with a broom is certainly not the most enticing job out there. So, a brewing company contacted me looking for a more automated, and thus safer, way to perform this task.
The conveying distance could be upwards of 30ft. This would be no problem for one of our standard Line Vacs. But, glass is quite abrasive, so another style unit was in order. I recommended our 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac. It is made of a heat treated, high-alloy steel. So, it can withstand the abrasive nature of the glass shards. It also has increased conveying capacity. So, the 30ft distance will be no problem at all.
Now, the glass shards are picked up from both the bottling line and the surrounding areas, removing a potential disruption in the process, and significantly reducing the safety risk associated with having broken glass in the area.