The word of the day is “swarf”. Swarf is fine chips or filings of stone, metal or other material produced by a machining operation.
A company had four automatic profile cutting machines to cut aluminum stock. They contacted me for help to improve their operation. Each machine had a cleated belt conveyor to remove the swarf (or chips) from the cutting process. Because the swarf was small in size, the chips could get around the edge of the belt and affect the conveying system. Two of the four conveyors failed, and they wanted to find a better option to remove the swarf and keep the machines running. They sent me a photo of the type and size of the swarf that was thwarting their conveying system.
EXAIR receives many calls about applications similar to this. I suggested the model 6193 Chip Vac System. This assembly will fit onto a standard open-top 55 gallon drum which has a much smaller footprint than the conveying system. The 0.1 micron filter allows for the air to escape and keep the fine particles inside the drum. For this customer, once the drum was filled with aluminum chips, it was easy to rotate in an empty drum, sending the full drum of material to recycling. The vacuum generator has no moving parts which makes it quiet, maintenance free, and long lasting. It also creates a high vacuum level which was very useful when they attached it near the chip collection area. The Chip Vac System was easy to install and it was very beneficial in keeping the machining area clean and running.
If you find that your chip conveying system is affecting your operations, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better and more reliable solution to remove your swarf.