Air Operated Conveyors for Dense and Abrasive Materials

Heavy Duty Line Vac Family

As an Application Engineer, I get the pleasure to speak to many companies about trying to find a simple, long-lasting, powerful but quiet type of transfer systems.  They have operators that climb steps to dump bags of material in hoppers above.  Or they need a compact way to remove scrap from your process.  Or they have budgetary constraints to convey material from point A to point B.  If your company had to tackle any of these issues, EXAIR can help you.  We manufacture Air Operated Conveyors that do not have any moving parts, very compact in design, and have a high throughput capacity.  They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges.   These inexpensive conveyors are designed to make conveyance safer and ergonomically better for your operators.  EXAIR calls this product line, Line Vacs™.

The Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design generates a high velocity to create a powerful vacuum on one side.  Once the product reaches the throat area of the Line Vac, the compressed air will carry the product the rest of the way.  We can reach horizontal distances up to 100 feet (30 meters) and vertical heights up to 20 feet (6 meters).  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials.  In this blog, I will cover our most powerful and abrasion resistant type, the Heavy Duty Line Vacs.

Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit

The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are engineered to move abrasive materials with increased conveyance rate.  They range from ¾” O.D. standpipes as our smallest up to 3” O.D. standpipes for hose connections.  The construction is made from a hardened alloy to resist wear from abrasive bulk products like steel parts, sand, glass, ceramic, etc.  The Heavy Duty Line Vac can create a high vacuum level to pick up heavier objects as well as conveying larger volume of material.  If purchased as a kit, the Line Vac will come with a filter, regulator, and a mounting bracket.  This adds overall value in mounting, controlling, and protecting the Line Vac for years to come.  This simple device has no moving parts and is a great product to use in rugged industrial applications.  You will not have to worry about any motors or bearing prematurely wearing out.

If you need to convey heavy materials like steel shot or abrasive products, the Heavy Duty Line Vac could be a blessing for you.  Not only can they transfer material safely and quickly, but they also will ergonomically help in saving the backs and knees of your operators.  For our U.S. and Canadian customers, we are running a promotional ad.  You will receive a 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, a $72.00 value, for free from now until the end of October 2020 with a qualified purchase online.  If you would like to discuss your conveying application further, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We may have a solution for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Desiccant Dryers: Heat of Compression Type

Desiccant Dryers

Desiccant dryers come in different forms.  They are designed for water sensitive areas as they can reach a dew point to -40oF (-40oC) and below.  That means that water will not condense in the compressed air lines until the temperature is below the dew point.  The desiccant inside these units will adsorb the water vapor as compressed air passes through a bed.  Once the desiccant bed is full of water vapor, it will have to be regenerated.

A typical system will use two towers that will switch back and forth.  One tower is used to remove the water from the compressed air system, and the other is used to regenerate the desiccant.  In this blog, I will cover how the desiccant can be regenerated with a Heat of Compression (HOC) type of desiccant dryer.

An air compressor is not an efficient device.  For every eight horsepower of energy to make compressed air, only one horsepower is used as work.  And for compressed air drying, the type of desiccant dryer is important.  Regeneration of desiccant beads can be done either with non-heated or heated means. The non-heated, or heatless version will use 15% of your compressed air to purge through the regeneration tank.  The air escapes into the atmosphere with the water vapor and is wasted.

With the heated type desiccant dryers, they come in three different categories.  One type uses a heater to increase the temperature of the compressed air. At the elevated temperature, the purge requirement can be reduced to 7% for the regeneration of desiccant.  But, still compressed air is wasted.  To cut the purge to zero, a blower-type heated desiccant dryer can be used.  Instead of heating the compressed air, the blower will push ambient air through a heater to regenerate the desiccant bed.  But can you get more efficient than that?

Well, what if you can remove the heater and the blower?  The heat of compression type of desiccant dryers can do that.  Remember above when I mentioned that “for every eight horsepower of energy to make compressed air, only one horsepower is used as work”.  The seven horsepower of energy that is lost is given off as heat.  The HOC dryer uses that heat to regenerate the desiccant bed.  So, the overall energy is reduced even further.  There is a restriction when using this type of dryer.  The air compressor will have to be oil-free because oil will coat the desiccant beads and stop the adsorption rate.

When the air is compressed, heat is generated.  This heated air can reach around 200oF (93oC).  With the higher temperature, air can hold more water vapor.  As the heated air passes through the desiccant bed that needs to be regenerated, the water vapor is picked up from the desiccant beads.  The saturated air would then pass through an aftercooler.  The aftercooler reduces the air temperature below 100oF (38oC) which will cause the water to drop out.  From the aftercooler, the air will then pass through the desiccant bed in the drying tower.   When the cycle time is reached, the towers will switch to regenerate the second tower.

Line Vacs can convey many things.

With these types of dryers, the desiccant beads will start to degrade from regeneration.  To help replace them, EXAIR offers a Line Vac.  Instead of climbing a ladder with many bags of desiccant, the Line Vac can do this safely and ergonomically.   EXAIR Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design of the generators creates a high velocity of air to create a low pressure on one side and a powerful thrust on the other.  The Line Vac can pick up and move solid material vertically up to 20 feet (6 meters).  You can watch a video on the operation of a Line Vac HERE.  The EXAIR Line Vacs are very quiet, compact, rugged, and powerful.  To replace the desiccant, it can do it quickly and safely.

If you need to convey solid materials in a quick and easy way, an EXAIR Line Vac could be a solution for you.  We have them in a variety of materials and designs to match your application.  Ergonomically, they can save the back-wrenching labor of picking up bags, climbing stairs, and dumping material into towers.  If you want to know if the EXAIR Line Vac could work for you, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can help to recommend the best unit for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo: Heated Desiccant Dryer by Compressor1Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivs 2.0 Generic

Helping with COVID-19 PPE production – EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors

A manufacturing company in Ohio altered their production process to start making face masks for the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was important for them to change their machines over quickly to start making Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.  As their operation began to produce many masks, they needed a way to extract the face masks from their cutting machine.  They contacted EXAIR as we are known for safe, efficient, problem solving products with high quality standards that are in stock and ready to ship to our customers.

At the end of the production line, the face masks went through an inspection/cutting machine.  The individual masks would be moved into two carts that were roughly 6 feet (1.8 meters) away.  One cart was for good product while the other cart was for noncompliant product.  The masks were roughly 6” (15cm) wide by 4” (10cm) high.  As the masks went through the inspection machine, they needed a way to move flagged masks to the nonconforming bin and the approved masks to a separate cart for packaging.

Light Duty Line Vacs

EXAIR manufactures Air Operated Conveyors to move product from one place to the another.  For short distance and light materials, EXAIR has the Light Duty Line Vac for conveying.  This was perfect for the company above.  The Light Duty Line Vac are made to use a range from ¾” (19mm) to 6” (152mm) diameter hoses for conveying.  They use less compressed air than the more powerful cousins like the Heavy Duty Line Vacs and the standard Line Vacs.  They are compact and simple to use.  They have a two-piece design and they do not have any moving parts or motors to wear.  For the application above, I recommended the model 130600 – 6” Light Duty Line Vac.  They were large enough to move the face masks at the speeds that they were producing.

One benefit in calling EXAIR was that we had these in stock and ready to go.  They purchased two units for their operation.  They shared some other details about their operation.  Since the Light Duty Line Vacs only use compressed air to work and can move product quickly, they connected a solenoid valve to each Light Duty Line Vac.  When the mask was inspected, the machine would trigger the appropriate solenoid valve to move the face masks to either the “good” bin or to the “bad” bin.

Line Vac Family

EXAIR manufactures a large variety of Air Operated Conveyors to move light materials like face masks up to heavier materials like steel shot.  And, if you need a quick unit to change or update your system, EXAIR stocks many of these in different sizes and types.  For the customer above, we shipped that same day in order for them to finish their change to start making PPE.  And for U.S. and Canadian customers, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try these units.  If you need to move product from point A to point B, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to discuss.  We will be happy to help you; even during this pandemic.

 John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo: Face Mask by leo2014Pixabay License

Heavy-Duty Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors Climbing to New Heights

During this COVID-19 shelter in place circumstance, as an avid outdoors man (specifically I do a lot of rock climbing), things have been frustrating to say the least. In the Cincinnati area with all the climbing gyms closed down climbers are flocking to their local crag to get that last climb in for the foreseeable future. My local crag is Red River Gorge in Rodgers, KY. As the climbing season has now ended due to this pandemic the season of indoor (aka at home) training has began to ramp up with everyone hitting their hang boards and starting harder work out routines in their free time. It came to my mind that now is the time to also check out my old gear and see what needs to be replaced.

Climbing gear needs to be strong, durable and light weight so that the gear does not fail you in your time of need. If properly set up, a climbing rated carabiner can withstand a force of 24 kN or 5395 lbs. Every bit of climbing material needs to be taken care of and replaced when the time comes. When your life is hanging by the gear that you use durability and maintenance is the difference from dropping or not dropping from a cliff. But climbing equipment isn’t the only thing that you want to be strong and durable; you also want your material handling equipment as well.

Climbing a 5.10d “Return of Manimal” at the Bruise Brothers Wall in Muir Valley

At EXAIR we strive to make strong, durable, and maintenance free compressed air products. One such product is our Heavy Duty Line Vac air operated conveyor; the Heavy Duty Line Vac is a stronger and more durable version of the standard aluminum Line Vacs. The body and cap of the Heavy Duty Line Vac is made out of a hardened alloy which provides abrasion resistance. This means that it can withstand materials such as sand, salts, steel shavings, tumbling and blast media, etc. They are available from 3/4″ through 3″ and are used with identical sized hose, tube or pipe. 

Heavy Duty Line Vac

The Heavy Duty Line Vac is also designed to lift heavier material and move it farther and/or higher. Materials such as steel shot, garnet and ground glass are common. More power also increases the distance materials can be conveyed. Heavy Duty Line Vacs convey 6 times farther than standard Line Vacs. 

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

The Heavy Duty Line Vac also comes with either smooth connections or threaded connections. The smooth connections allow for our reinforced PVC conveyance hose to attach to the ends using a standard hose clamp. If a flexible hose is not appropriate for your application the threaded connections allow the line vac to connect to a hard pipe. Both types of connections are interchangeable to fit your conveyance needs.

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

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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