An overseas automotive company was using six machines that milled, stamped, and punched aluminum parts. The machining center used two machines for stamping, and the piece of aluminum was 10mm X 10mm. The second operation used two machines to punch out a 2mm diameter by 40mm rod. The last operation was milling the edges of the surface to a specific dimension. The curly swarf that was being produced was around 5mm in diameter by 40mm in length.
Currently they had mechanical conveyors that would dump the scrap material into bins. The operators would move the full bins to a central dumping area for recycling about 20 meters (66 feet) away. They used shovels to move the scrap from the bins to a larger container. This part of the operation took time and was ergonomically unsafe with lifting and twisting. They were making about 300grams per minute, and with a 24-hour operation, that was a lot of material. They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them.
To move the aluminum scrap from the machines to the recycle container, they had to travel 20 meters (66 feet) horizontally, and 3 meters (10 feet) vertically above the floor. For this distance and the size of the aluminum pieces, I recommended the EXAIR model 152200; 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit. The through opening for the 2” Line Vac was 44mm (1.75”) in order to move the material through. This Line Vac is made from a hardened steel construction which is very resistant to wear. It is also designed for higher vacuum levels to convey materials at a faster rate and longer distances.
The Line Vac is operated with only compressed air to generate a Venturi vacuum, and they are very compact and easy-to-use. The vacuum generator does not have any motors or moving parts to wear, and the inline design makes it simple to attach a hose to the vacuum and exhaust side. The kit includes a Filter Separator, Regulator and a bracket for cleaning, controlling and mounting. They did have to add a hopper to each mechanical conveyor to collect the scrap. Now, the Line Vac is connected to the hopper with a hose, and the scrap material would travel to the recycle container 20 meters (66 feet) away.
The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs™, are great tools for conveying items in a “scoop and shovel” type of applications. If your company manually moves a product from point A to point B, you can contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to see if an Air Operated Conveyor could improve your process. For this overseas customer above, the model 152200 Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit improved their operation and removed the ergonomic hazard for their operators.