The Case For The Heavy Duty Line Vac

When it comes to conveying bulk materials like pellets, grains, powders, etc., you’ve got plenty of choices:  Mechanical conveyor types, like bucket, auger, and cleated belt conveyors can move product as far as you want, and as quickly as you want…they can be made as long as you want, and as big & fast as you want.  “Fast” as in conveyance rate, that is.  Lead time, including engineering, design, fabrication, and installation, can be months.

Large mechanical conveyors can move tons of material over great distances.

Air operated conveyors are quite popular too, and the dense phase models can move a lot of material a great distance, and quickly.  Like the mechanical types, they have a wide range of economy to scale…and the price tags to prove it.  Medium- and dilute-phase pneumatic conveyors are less complicated in design, which brings us to the heart of today’s blog.

EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs, are the simplest of all:  the Line Vac itself used compressed air to generate a “pull/push” to draw material into the suction, and propel it through the discharge.  We have a variety of models to choose from, but our focus today will be the Heavy Duty Line Vac.

EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vacs are the workhorse of our Air Operated Conveyors product line.  Consider their advantages:

*Made of a proprietary hardened alloy, they offer superior abrasion resistance & durability.  They’re ideal for shot blast and tumbling media…the very stuff that’s MADE to wear metal surfaces down…and it’s no problem for the Heavy Duty Line Vac.

Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

*Heavy Duty also means higher power, which means higher suction heads (up to 2-1/2 times increase) and conveyance rates (up to 11 times greater.)  Oh, and that blasting shot & tumbling media I mentioned?  Standard dilute-phase conveyors may have trouble moving that at all.

*Like our Standard Line Vacs, the Heavy Duty models’ Kits come with a Mounting Bracket for ease of installation, an Automatic Drain Filter Separator to keep the air clean & dry, and a Pressure Regulator so you can ‘dial in’ the performance you need.

Line Vac Kits come with a Mounting Bracket (not shown,) an Automatic Drain Filter Separator (left,) and a Pressure Regulator (right.) Oil Removal Filters (optional; center) are also available if needed.

*Also like our Standard Line Vacs, the Heavy Duty models use common sized conveyance hose (3/4″ to 3″ ID) and are also available with male NPT threads (3/4″ to 3″ as well) if you want to hard pipe them.

Male NPT Threads make permanent and rigid installation into a piping system a breeze.

If you’re looking for a simple, durable, and powerful conveyor system, look no further than the Heavy Duty Line Vac Give me a call if you’d like to discuss your application and/or product selection.

Russ Bowman

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Stockpile Conveyor photo courtesy of Peter Craven.  Creative Commons License.

Light Duty Line Vac For Paper Trim Removal

Today I worked with a customer that manufactures a wide variety of material handling equipment including coil unwinders.  The engineer was calling because there was a special project for a coil unwinder that could handle a waste piece of paper trim.  As the metal coil is being unwound for delivery to a metal processing machine, the protective paper is pulled off and was to be collected into a waste receptacle for easy handling and disposal/recycling.  The engineer was hoping to replicate an existing system that used a hybrid blower system, with an extra compressed air nozzle, but in a simpler form.

Coil Unwinder

We proposed the use of the 4″ Light Duty Line Vac– shown below.130400The Light Duty Line Vacs offer an effective way to convey small and light materials a short distance. Like the standard Line Vac, the Light Duty Line Vac converts an ordinary hose or tube into a  conveyor for scrap, trim, and bulk materials.

When the process involves moving low volumes of materials over short distances, the Light Duty Line Vac is a great choice. The simplified (2) piece design offers effective conveying at a lower cost. As an added plus, the compressed air consumption is lowered to levels commensurate with handling the lighter materials, at lower volumes and short distances.  Using a pressure regulator to control the supply air allows for tuning of the transfer rate, and keeps air usage to the minimum amount needed.

The Light Duty Line Vacs are available with inlet/outlet diameters from 3/4″ up to 6″.  With no moving parts, maintenance free operation is assured.

ldlvsz
Light Duty Line Vacs – Available in 3/4″, 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 2″, 3″, 4″ and 6″ Diameters. All in Stock!

For other larger materials, higher transfer rates, corrosive environments, or abrasive materials, take a look at the other EXAIR Line Vac offerings including the aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless standard Line Vacs, the aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless steel Threaded Line Vacs, high temperature models, standard and threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs, and lastly the new Sanitary Flanged 316 stainless steel type.

If you would like to talk about Light Duty Line Vacs or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Threaded Line Vacs: Low Cost Conveyor Uses Ordinary Pipe!

EXAIR’s Threaded Line Vac air operated conveyor takes an ordinary pipe and converts it into a powerful conveying system.  A fast, low cost way to convey items such as pellets, scrap trim, bulk solids, chips, paper, small parts, sawdust, granules, and so much more. The Threaded Line Vac attached easily to plumbing pipe couplers, like PVC or iron, making it easy to build a complete system with parts readily available from your local supply house or hardware store.

The Threaded Line Vac are ideally suited for conveying large volumes of materials over long distances.  Like the standard, smooth bore ended Line Vacs, the unit works by ejecting a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum suction on the inlet side and a high output flow from the outlet side.  By using a pressure regulator to control the compressed air supply pressure, the rate of conveyance can be controlled to match the application needs, while minimizing the compressed air usage.

3inTrLVbckls_prHR1670x574

Models are available from 3/8 NPT to 3 NPT with materials of construction of aluminum and types 313 and 316 stainless steels (excellent corrosion resistance.)  High temperature versions of the stainless steel Threaded Line Vacs are available as well, for temperatures up to 900°F.

For those processes requiring the highest rates of conveyance over the longest distances and/or the most abrasive of materials, the Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac is the right choice.  Designed with the most rugged industrial processes and applications in mind, the special hardened alloy construction helps prevent premature wear that could occur with standard aluminum or stainless steel models, under the harshest of conditions.  The performance has been boosted, to be able to convey more material, over longer distances and higher vertical rises.

HDLV

To select the right model, information regarding these criteria is helpful-

  • Size of parts and bulk density of material being conveyed
  • What size hose, tube, or pipe is desired
  • Target conveyance rate
  • Distance of conveyance, both horizontal and vertical legs
  • Preferred material of construction

For another look, please see the video available that provides more details about the Line Vac family.

If you would like to talk about Line Vacs or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Line Vac – Air Operated Conveyors

Convey parts, materials, and waste – with no moving parts!

The Line Vac is a fast, low cost way to convey pellets, scrap trim, textiles, bulk solids, food products, chips, and much more.  Simply connect to a standard hose, tube, or pipe and a powerful in-line conveyor is created.

Available in (4) materials – aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless steels, and a special hardened alloy, and (3) end connection types – NPT threaded, smooth bore, and the new sanitary flanged. Sizes range from 3/8″ up to a 6″. It is certain that an available Line Vac option will meet your process criteria.

For lighter materials and short conveyance distances, the Light Duty model is ideal, and for the most abrasive and heaviest materials over longer distances, the Heavy Duty style is available.

The Line Vacs offer many safety benefits, including eliminating the dangers of lifting heavy sacks and climbing ladders to fill hoppers, and with the 316 stainless steel sanitary flanged Line Vacs, food materials are kept enclosed and and separated and provides ease of cleaning.

Check out the video by clicking the photo below

Capture

The Line Vac works by having a small amount of compressed air injected through directed nozzles to produce a vacuum on one end and high output air flow on the other, with instantaneous response.  By using a pressure regulator, available as part of a kit or separately, the flow of the material transfer can be easily controlled. No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation!

lvmatrix
Trim Scrap Removal

Conveyance rates are determined by the material bulk density, typical particle size, total distance of conveyance, including vertical rise, and the targeted transfer rate.  An EXAIR Application Engineer can assist you, and with the above information, recommend the right size and type of Line Vac to meet the desired results.

All catalog models are in stock and we ship same day with an order received by 3 pm EDT in the US and 2 pm EDT for orders shipping to Canada.

Our team of engineers can design a special Line Vac to meet many applications special requirements, from special materials such as PVC and PVDF to special end connections such as pipe flanges and barbed hose connections.  Let us know the special requirements of your process and we’ll design a solution.

Special Flanged LV
This special 3/4″ Line Vac was designed to evacuate fumes from a silicone wafer etching operation

To go with the Line Vac, we can provide a reinforced, heavy wall, clear PVC conveyance hose in lengths up to 50′.  Additionally, the Line Vac Drum Cover is a fine mesh, non-woven cover built to fit on the top of a 30 or 55 gallon drum.  It is designed to contain the material to the drum and allow the air from the Line Vac to escape.

6850drumcover
Drum Cover, for 30 and 55 Gallon Drums

If you have questions regarding the Line Vac, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Heavy Duty Line Vac Saves Backs and Shoulders!

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.

Acid Neutralization Tank
                       Typical Acid Neutralization Tank Layout Sketch

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.

hdlvkit (2)
Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit – Includes Auto Drain Filter Separator and Pressure Regulator

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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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EXAIR Knowledge Base Makes Problem Solving Easy

EXAIR makes every effort to solve your manufacturing problems, increase your efficiency and raise the bar on your safety practices. We try to do that immediately, today, right now and we’d like you to be on your way to an improved facility by tomorrow – that is why we stock all of our cataloged products and ship same day on domestic orders received by 3 pm. In order to do that it seems you would prefer to be working with a company that’s easy to do business with, and EXAIR is easy. One way we try and achieve this is by providing as much general information as we can under the Knowledge Base section of our website.  By taking advantage of the free registration, you gain access to a variety of helpful information that can help simplify your selection process and provide the final details to complete a particular project.

Knowledge Base
The Knowledge Base can be found in the black menu bar at the top of our webpage.

Take, for example, our full CAD Library providing 3D models and 2D dimensional drawings in several different formats which can be used by MANY different programs. Whether you are looking for a .stp file for a 72″ Super Air Knife or the .dwg file for a medium sized Vortex Tube, the information is readily available for download without needing to place a call to our office.

Another useful tool is our Case Study library which features a database showcasing the  benefits of using an EXAIR product in place of existing inefficient or unsafe blowoffs. Just a few benefits to list would be compressed air savings, safety improvements, achieving OSHA compliance, an increase in production, lowering the decibel level in a work area or overall money savings. We are continually looking to add useful information to the library and can offer some EXAIR swag or an incentive in exchange for quantifiable data. (give me a call for details!)

Case Study (505x640)
Example of a Case Study Report.

Maybe your looking for a specific EXAIR solution to a common industrial process? I invite you to take a look at our Application Database. From conveying plastic pellets to a hopper or needing to remove noxious fumes from a coating application, the desired information might just be a simple click away.

These are just a small sample of the useful tools available for easy use. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or have a specific application you would like to discuss, give us a call so we can help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Line Vac Troubleshooting / Alumina Ball Conveying

Recently, I had a good interaction with a customer on a Line Vac Application. You can read through the e-mail below to get a better understanding of the issues at work in a typical conveying application.

INQUIRY:
Dear Sir,

We have Line Vac model 6084 operating at between 80 & 90 psig. We are trying to convey alumina balls to a height of about 12 ft. The balls are spherical with diam. between 4 & 7mm (about 1/4 inch). Packed density =50lbs/ ft3 actual density must be in region of 60lbs/ft3. We are only able to convey a very small amount of alumina. Feeding more than a nominal amount blocks the feed tube. Can you please help?

Regards,
Robert

RESPONSE:
Hello Robert,

Yes, I think we have a few ideas you can consider to make the application work a little better.

First thing you must do is to verify with zero doubt about the actual, net operating pressure at the Line Vac inlet. The way you do this is to install a pressure gauge onto a pipe tee and install the pipe tee into the inlet of the Line Vac. Then re-connect your compressed air supply to the 3rd leg of the pipe tee. Operate the Line Vac and note your working pressure on the gauge. If it is less than 80 PSIG, you could do better on the pressure by up-sizing your feed lines and all fittings that are included within. Re-test the Line vac as outlined above and note any improvement in net working pressure.

OK, let us assume you were able to fix the supply problems that contributed to the excessive pressure drop. You can then make a modification to the Line Vac itself by taking it apart and removing the internal part called a generator. This is the part with the air jet holes drilled into it. You can proceed by enlarging these holes to a larger diameter. This will give you higher vacuum performance similar to our Heavy Duty Line Vac series of Line Vac. Do note that if you do not check your plumbing supply lines as indicated in the first paragraph, making this modification could make things worse. So, you do need to be confident that your compressed air system is up to the task.

Another direction you can take will be to go to a smaller size Line Vac to improve your performance. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but have an open mind.  Going smaller size on Line Vac reduces your air consumption requirement which makes the demand on your compressed air system less which reduces the chances of you have an extreme pressure drop at the Line Vac. The other idea at work here is that you are essentially trying to pull a vacuum over a smaller cross-section area with a smaller Line Vac which enables higher air velocity within the conveying tube with less effort. That higher conveying air velocity is what you need to pull these relatively dense alumina balls without having them stall inside the conveying hose.

If I were to suggest a size to move down to, I’d go with a 1-1/4″ unit from the 2″ model you have now. That would take your air requirement at 80 PSIG down from 45 SCFM to 26 SCFM. In other words, cutting the air required by almost half.  Hopefully, now you are beginning to have the understanding. And then, you can make the same hole enlarging modification to the 1-1/4″ unit that I described above if you wanted to in order to improve through put by about 20 – 30%.  Do note that you have to be able to maintain input pressure right at the Line Vac in all cases.

Best regards,
Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com