An overseas company was using aluminum granules to react with caustic vapors inside a scrubber system. The scrubber was a large tank that stood 4 meters high (13 feet), and it was located outside of the facility (see photo below). Their current process was to refill the scrubber tank with aluminum pellets every three to four months to replenish the bed. In order to refill, they would use a ladder with a bucket to pour the aluminum in the top opening of the tank. This was a time-consuming process as well as an unsafe practice. They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them.
In discussing the details further about their application, the aluminum pellets were stored in 208L (55 gallon) drums. The diameter of the pellets ranged from 5 to 15mm (0.2 to 0.6 inches) and the bulk density was 1500 Kg/m^3 (94 lbs/ft^3). The maximum conveyance distance was 4 meters (13 feet) horizontally and 4 meters (13 feet) vertically. The customer required a simple device to transfer the material from the drums to the scrubber tank safely and ergonomically at the fastest conveyance rate possible.
From the information above, I recommended the EXAIR model 152200; 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit. This vacuum generator is made from a hardened steel construction which is very resistant to wear. It is also designed for higher vacuum levels to convey heavier materials at a faster rate. The Line Vac is operated by compressed air to generate a Venturi vacuum, and the kit will include a filter, regulator and a bracket for cleaning, controlling and mounting. 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. Now, the operator could place the hose inside the scrubber tank, stand near the drum with the Line Vac; open a valve to regulated air, and watch the Line Vac move the entire drum of aluminum granules inside the tank. Instead of multiple trips up and down a ladder to pour in buckets of aluminum, the operators can fill the scrubber tank easily and quickly.
The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs™, are great tools for conveying items in a “bucket and ladder” type of application. If your company manually moves 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 the overseas customer above, the model 152200 Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit improved the manual operation of filling while reducing hazardous issues.