I was recently contacted by an Alaskan seafood company that was looking for a better solution for blowing off the conveyors in their processing procedure. This particular company has their own dedicated fisherman that actually catch their own seafood and freeze it right onboard their state-of-the-art vessels to ensure they are providing the freshest product. Once they return to land, the fresh catch is transferred via belt conveyors into their processing plant where it passes through their rigorous safety and quality protocol and packaged for shipment.
The seafood passes through a wash/rinse process where it then passes under a section of aluminum pipe with drilled holes to blow off any residual solution remaining on the product. The issue with the current setup were two fold: First, the drilled pipe was creating a sporadic airflow, which wasn’t providing effective blowoff, causing the product to fail inspection and the need for an operator to manually clean the product or worse, scrap it altogether. Secondly, the drilled aluminum pipe was unable to hold up to the corrosive nature of the environment due to the salt in the air and was beginning to break down and contaminate the product. The customer was thinking of just upgrading the pipe to stainless and while this would provide better compatibility with the environment, it still wouldn’t remedy the need for a more balanced airflow.
After further discussing the application, I recommended the customer use our 24″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. The Super Air Knife produces a high velocity, even sheet of air across the length of the knife, in contrast to the disrupted flow they were seeing from the drilled pipe. In addition, the Stainless Steel construction provides the needed corrosion resistance to withstand the aggressive, salt water atmosphere and minimize the possibility of contaminating their product.
Although not a concern to this particular customer, I explained another benefit of using the Super Air Knife over the drilled pipe and that would be the compressed air usage. Drilled pipe wastes a ton of air and puts a high demand on the air compressor, resulting in high operating costs. The Super Air Knife is a much more efficient solution as it only consumes 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife when operated at 80 PSIG, keeping the operating cost down while providing superior blow off results.
If you have a similar need or to discuss your process, please contact one of our application engineers for assistance.