When it comes to bulk material conveyance, it doesn’t get much easier than EXAIR Line Vacs. They’re on the shelf, in sizes from 3/8″ to 6″. All you need is the right length of Conveyance Hose and a supply of compressed air, and voila: instant conveyor system. Sizes up to 3″ can also come with NPT male threads, so you can pipe them up with PVC, black iron, or stainless steel piping, depending on the nature of the application.
When EXAIR introduced the Sanitary Flange Line Vacs, we figured the food & pharmaceutical markets would find a number of uses for them…and we were right:
- A pharmaceutical plant that had been using a maintenance-intensive blower operated conveyor to move capsules from a fill press to a dryer installed a stainless steel piping system, fitted with sanitary flanges and a Model 161150-316 1-1/2″ Sanitary Flange Line Vac. The ease of installation and elimination of the heavy maintenance required by the blower system made the project a great success.
- Another pharmaceutical plant uses the same Model 161150-316 to convey caps to the automated part of the system that places the caps onto the vials. This eliminated a concern with aluminum particulate contamination, which had specifically been an issue with other mechanical conveyor designs.
- A machinery builder that specializes in food processing systems uses Model 161300-316 3″ Sanitary Flange Line Vacs to pull away casings from pepperoni rounds, prior to slicing & packaging. The casing scrap is conveyed to a waste receptacle. They also use Model 110006SS 6″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knives to blow the sliced casings into the Line Vacs’ suctions.
These Sanitary Flanges are compatible with stainless steel clamp pipe couplings that were developed to accommodate the stringent cleanliness requirements of the food and pharmaceutical industries. Also known as Tri-Clamp, Tri-Clover, S-clamp, 3A, and Sanitary fittings, they’re easily made & unmade for periodic maintenance. They’re designed specifically to limit areas where bacteria might grow (along the flanks of NPT threads, for example) so complete & thorough decontamination is more easily achieved.
These features have proven to be beneficial to other Line Vac users, too:
- A chemical plant needed to convey long strands of cotton, 60 feet horizontally, to a scrap bin. They designed a system with sanitary tubing because of the smooth, finished interior surface, which reduces the chances for the fine cotton strands to catch on imperfections on the inside walls of other types of conduit. They installed a Model 161150-316 1-1/2” Sanitary Flange Line Vac, which easily conveys the scrap over that distance.
- A bullet manufacturer uses Model 161200-316 2” Sanitary Flange Line Vacs to convey .22 caliber long rifle casings. They use sanitary flange piping for ease of installation and because there are no sharp edges or burrs in the line, which could potentially mar the brass casings.
This is a small representation of a great number of challenges associated with bulk material conveyance that can be quickly, easily, and cost-effectively addressed by the use of EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors. If you have a potential application you’d like to discuss, give me a call.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
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