EXAIR’s line of Heavy Duty Line Vacs are our most powerful of our pneumatic conveyors. It is very similar to our standard Lind Vacs, but the generator holes have been drilled out to boost the performance. You can also modify a standard Line Vac to match the performance of a Heavy Duty. We have a great video here that shows you exactly how. In addition to an increased performance, the Heavy Duty Line Vac is constructed of a hardened alloy steel that helps to prevent premature wear that can occur when conveying abrasive media.
I recently worked with a customer that had a Clean Sweep vacuum that they had purchased and were experiencing premature wear on the conveyor that was installed on the system. They were using it to reclaim blasting media that they use for several of their processes in the facility. The conveyor that was installed in the Clean Sweep vacuum system was constructed of aluminum and was quickly wearing out. By the time they found EXAIR, they had already replaced this unit twice and were getting close to needing a third replacement. A quick search of the internet brought him to our blog page where he saw this blog post about the Heavy Duty Line Vac. A quick review of the drawing for the vacuum system and we were able to identify that a 2” Model 151200 Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac would match up perfectly and allow for a quick and easy installation. They have a total of (3) of these systems in their warehouse and wanted to try one out first. Once the warehouse manager returned from vacation he intended to purchase another two to replace the other units before they too wore out. The operators were pretty pleased at the boosted performance that the Heavy Duty Line Vac offered, and management was pleased that they no longer have to worry about one of their vacuum systems wearing out. Another satisfied customer!
If you have a vacuum application with abrasive or harsh media, give EXAIR a call. Our team of Application Engineers is standing by ready to recommend the best solution for your application.
The image above shows a test at a customer’s facility to move a small particulate to a height of 7m (23’) with an EXAIR Line Vac. This particulate is used in the production of hand warmers and the end user needed a method to convey the material out of 55 gallon drums.
This same customer purchased a 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac from EXAIR in 2014 which is still in use and functioning well. So, when it came time to find a pneumatic conveyance solution for this material, they knew where to go.
And, we knew just the questions to ask to determine the best Line Vac solution. In order to do so, we had to determine the following:
Bulk density of the material
Size of the material
Required conveyance rate
Available compressed air supply
Bulk density was rather low at 320kg/m³ (~20 pounds/ft³), with a particle size between 3-5mm (~1/8”-3/16”). The conveyance height in this application was 5-7m (16.5-23ft.), with a distance of 1-2m (3.3-6.6ft) and a desired conveyance rate of over 4kg (8.8 pounds) per minute.
The customer ran a test with the 2” Line Vac they have on site and the results were excellent. Their only question was whether they could achieve the needed conveyance with a smaller unit, thereby reducing compressed air consumption and operating cost of the application.
In this case the answer was clear that a smaller Line Vac could be used due to the low bulk density of the material. By reducing the size of the Line Vac to 1”, or perhaps 1.5” we could reduce the compressed air consumption and still meet the required performance need.
EXAIR Line Vacs have, once again, brought a viable solution to this industrial facility. If you have a similar application or would like to discuss pneumatic conveyance needs, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’ll be happy to help.
I’ve written in the past about how to identify an EXAIR part, specifically how to identify a Vortex Tube. I recently ran into a very similar situation, only this customer was having difficulty identifying a Line Vac that was installed on one of his machines. The Line Vac was installed to remove a small pin from their part and convey it out to a separate bin for disposal. Rather than purchasing an additional machine, they were trying to expand the line and build one themselves. They reached some difficulty when trying to identify the EXAIR part that was installed and reached out to us for help.
Our Line Vacs come stock in (4) different materials of construction: aluminum, 303 stainless steel, 316 stainless steel, and for our Heavy Duty models a hardened alloy steel for abrasion resistance. The hardware used on the aluminum models is a black oxide screw whereas the others all have stainless steel hardware. Since his had black oxide hardware, it was easy to discern that this was in fact an aluminum Line Vac. To differentiate between the 303 and 316 models, we make a small cut around the circumference of the part. The outer appearance of the Heavy Duty is easily distinguishable.
Once we’ve identified the material of construction we must measure the O.D. of the inlet and outlet. By cross-referencing this measurement with the dimensions in our catalog you can then identify exactly which model number Line Vac that you have. In this scenario, the customer had to remove the Line Vac from the machine to measure the O.D. of the cap. The manufacturer of the machine had turned down the outside of the outlet on the body. Fortunately, he sent us a photo which clearly showed that this was the case. Based on his measurement, I determined that he had an EXAIR Model 6079 that had been modified. He was able to immediately place an order for the replacement and it shipped that day!
If you have an EXAIR part somewhere in your facility that you’re struggling to identify, give an Application Engineer a call. Through a series of investigative questions (and hopefully the help of photos!) we’ll be able to determine the model number that you have and clear up any uncertainty.
EXAIR’s Air Operated Conveyor product line just expanded, making it easier than ever for a wide range of industries to solve an ever growing range of bulk conveyance applications. Before we get to that, let’s look at just how versatile the Line Vacs are:
The standard Line Vac has been making bulk conveyance as easy as it could get for years now. They come in sizes from 3/8″ to 5″, and all you need is a hose to move material from point A to point B.
If you need high power for higher conveyance rates, longer distances, or very dense material, the Heavy Duty Line Vacs are what you’re looking for.
Light Duty Line Vacs are aimed at applications implied by the name…when smaller volumes of low density material don’t require all the head & flow generated by the standard or Heavy Duty models, these are as quick & convenient as the rest, and come in sizes from 3/4″ to 6″.
The newest additions to the Line Vac family are the Type 316 Stainless Steel Sanitary Flange models:
These are especially popular in pharmaceutical, food, and brewing applications.
If you’d like to find out more about how to move bulk product quickly, easily, safely, and cleanly, give me a call.
The other day I was talking to an operation manager about his fixed-bed reactors. These reactors are large tanks filled with different layers of material. The main component of the bed consisted of catalyst pellets which were placed in a centralized layer in the middle of the tank. Above and below the catalyst pellets, they used different sizes of ceramic balls to create a gradient buffer. This was important to disperse the gas to utilize the entire catalyst bed and reduce the possibility of channeling. The tanks were designed with a dump flange mounted at the bottom; so, when the catalyst material was used up, they could dump all the material from the tank and replenish. In recycling the reactors, they could reuse the ceramic balls after they have been reconditioned.
As we discussed the details further about the reconditioning process, the material from the reactor was dumped into drums and separated manually. The catalyst material was discarded; leaving the ceramic balls. The ceramic balls came in three different diameters, 6mm, 13mm, and 25mm. To separate these, they would slide three empty wire-meshed trays into the oven, and placed a specific diameter into a corresponding tray. Once the oven was filled with the ceramic balls, they would heat the oven to 400 deg. C. This would burn off any dangerous material that was collected on the surface from the process within the reactors. After the heat cycle, they would have to wait approximately one hour until the ceramic balls were cool enough to handle. After the cooling period, they would use a shovel to remove the ceramic balls from the trays.
The reconditioned ceramic balls were placed in storage drums and kept until they had to recycle another reactor. The removal of the ceramic balls from the oven would take an additional half hour to complete. The entire reconditioning process was labor intensive, time consuming, and ergonomically a safety issue. For each oven, they were only getting two cycles per day to recondition the ceramic balls. With the number of reactors that they had, they needed to either decrease the downtime for the oven, or purchase another batch oven.
After discovering the EXAIR website, they were intrigued with the Air Operated Conveyors (Line Vacs). If they could remove the ceramic balls at a much higher temperature, then this would allow them to reduce the cycle time. The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyor is a great product for moving bulk items over a short distance without manually having to shovel it, transfer it, or lift it. With the customer’s goal to minimize the downtime with the batch oven, I recommended the EXAIR model HT6064 2” Stainless Steel High Temperature Line Vac. With some standard PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), they could remove the ceramic balls from the oven without waiting for it to cool. The model HT6064 has a maximum temperature rating of 482 deg. C and a throat diameter of 45mm; large enough to move all three sizes of the ceramic balls.
The Line Vac, or Air Operated Conveyor, operates by using compressed air to generate a vacuum. It does not have any motors or moving parts to wear, and the inline design makes it easy to attach a transfer hose to the vacuum and exhaust ports. Personnel could now stand near the oven; stick the high temperature duct into the tray, remove all the ceramic balls, and transfer them to a nearby drum. By using the High Temperature Line Vac, they were able to reduce the oven down-time to only 15 minutes. This was plenty enough to reach the goal of increasing the cycles per day. As an added benefit, the back-breaking work of shoveling was removed; thus, increasing the health and safety of the workers.
If your company manually moves dry bulk products 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 my customer, the HT6064 Line Vac improved the speed of their reconditioning process, and it took away the pain of shoveling which made this process undesirable for the personnel.
Our distributor in Poland recently emailed me about an application in need of a method to collect plastic chips from the CNC router tables shown above. These machines are used for precision cutting, but face a problem when the cutting edge of the machine comes into contact with the chips and debris created during normal use.
The end user had considered a blow off device such as a nozzle or Air Knife, but this raised concerns with material collection. Ideally, the customer wanted to be able to capture the chips and debris for recycling.
So, we looked into a method of removing the chips with a Line Vac, conveying the debris to a stationary drum for collection and recycling. This type of solution has proven to be effective many times in the past, as shown in the image below. A Line Vac can be mounted at the cutting head to vacuum chips and debris as they are created by the cutting process.
Using the model 6081 Line Vac we can remove the plastic debris from the plotter as it is generated, and convey it to a drum located within the workspace. And, to facilitate collection of the plastics for recycling, we can use our model 6850 drum cover to separate the conveyed chips from the air used to move the materials.
By providing a dynamic solution for this application, the Line Vac is able to lessen the workload of machine operators, allowing them more time to perform value added tasks rather than cleaning. And, the solution is easy to install, requires little to no maintenance, and provides instantaneous vacuum only when needed.
If you have a similar application or would like to discuss problems facing your facilities, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’re available by phone, email, and online chat.
Recently, I worked with a customer that was looking for a way to make a difficult job easier, reducing stress and strain on the body and preventing injury. The customer was in the Environmental Services & Hazardous Waste Management area and regularly was called out to service acid neutralization tanks. These are commonly found in hospitals, laboratories, and schools, to neutralize lab wastewater before it is discharged to the sanitary sewer. The systems typically utilize limestone chips to aid the in process.
Periodic maintenance includes the removal and disposal of the spent limestone chips, tank cleaning and replenishment with new limestone chips. Some of the tanks are tall and narrow, making access to the limestone chips difficult, especially near the tank bottom. Current procedures involved small shovels and unnatural body positions to try to reach the bottom-most material. A better way had to be found.
The customer came across the EXAIR website and found the Line Vac product line. After watching the demonstration video, he knew he had found his solution! The Line Vac is a compressed air operated device that turns any hose or tube into a powerful in-line conveyor. Based on the height of the tanks and the size and weight of the limestone, we agreed the 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac would provide the power and durability to empty the tanks in a timely manner, and safely and efficiently. The customer would use a tow behind compressor so that a reliable source of compressed air would always be available.
The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are available in sizes from 3/4″ up to 3″ in both smooth end and threaded connections for use with hose or pipe for conveyance.
To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Line Vac can make your transfer process easier and safer, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.