A gypsum facility was having issues in losing powder from the tailings in their conveying system. The conveyor moved gypsum from their processing plant to an outside silo bin location for loading and transportation. The conveyor that they used was 60” wide. As the conveyor went around the end to dump the gypsum powder, some of the material would stick to the belt and collect on the floor underneath. Depending on production rates, they would have to stop the operation to clean up the floor which added additional hours for custodial work. The customer sent a picture of the problem and wondered if EXAIR could help them with this application.
The facility did an annual cost projection to determine the loss of money from the gypsum material collecting under the conveyor. The custodial cost to clean up the excess powder was roughly $45,000/year. The unscheduled downtime was estimated at 115 hours per year. (They did not share the loss of dollars in production to EXAIR.) But it was large enough that they needed a solution from EXAIR. (The photo below is similar to the same application as written by Lee Evans: “EXAIR Super Air Knives Improve Process in an Aluminum Rodding Shop“.)
I suggested a model 110260PKI Super Air Knife Kit for this application. The Super Air Knife was 60” in length to cover the conveyor belt. The kit included a filter, a regulator, and a shim set to “dial” in the minimum amount of force to remove the material. This gives the customer the most flexibility when using an EXAIR Super Air Knife. The “PKI” suffix at the end of the model number indicates our Plumbing Kit. This kit which is Installed on the Super Air Knife allows for ease of installation to compressed air connections and it also allows for the proper airflow to get a consistent blow-off across the entire length of the Super Air Knife.
At EXAIR, we pride ourselves in energy efficiency. Compressed air is expensive to make, so why not use it as efficiently as you can? The Super Air Knife has a 40:1 amplification ratio which allows 40 parts of ambient “free” air for every 1 part of compressed air. And, with the “dirty” environment at the gypsum facility, the Super Air Knife would not be affected as they do not require a motor that can fail or a maintenance program to perform. After installing the model 110260PKI, the gypsum powder was no longer collecting on the floor underneath. If we look at the cost of removing the hourly rate of the custodian, the Return on Investment, ROI, was only 27 days (and this did not include the increase in production rates).
Spillage is wasteful, costly, and time consuming to cleanup. If you have excess waste from your conveying system, EXAIR will have the product to help you. For the gypsum facility above, the Super Air Knife Kit made it possible to increase production efficiencies with a short ROI. You can contact an Application Engineer to review your application and see if we can improve your conveying operation.
A few weeks back I worked with a customer on an unusual application for one of our Air Knives. The company runs a camp, located in the North-Central part of the United States, complete with their own ski hill for skiing, snowboarding or tubing. They use a conveyor belt ski lift where the skier or snowboarder will stand on the belt and be transported back to the top of the hill for another run. They were starting to see some safety issues arise when the mat would get wet and freeze, causing the skiers to slip and fall back.
In an effort to remedy the situation, the installed a brush to try and help remove some of the snow and ice from the belt and while this helped a little, there was still moisture on the belt that would re-freeze. To aid in the drying process, they tried to use a floor blower aimed at the belt but the turbulent airflow seemed to “push” the water around rather than wipe it clean and dry. Out of ideas, they found EXAIR while doing an internet search and decided to give us call for assistance.
Further reviewing the details of the application, I recommended our 30″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife for the application. The Super Air Knife provides an high velocity, laminar sheet of air across the length of the knife. The laminar flow from the air knife, would assure an even drying effect across the belt, rather than the turbulent flow from the blower. The stainless steel construction of the knife would hold up to the potentially harsh environmental conditions as well.
After some correspondence back and forth regarding air requirements and installation recommendations, the customer was able to source a rental compressor and ordered the 30″ Super Air Knife to test under our Unconditional 30 Day Guarantee. After a few weeks of testing, they were able to effectively dry the belt to an acceptable level, increasing the overall safety for their guests.
EXAIR offers the quietest (69 dBA at 80 PSIG) and longest (up to 108″) Air Knives on the market today and we stock them in the most materials (aluminum, 303SS, 316Ss and PVDF) to best suit your application. To see how you might be able to utilize an Air Knife in your unique application, give us a call at 800-903-9247.
A cement factory was having some issues with spillage of cement powder underneath his conveyor. This 48” wide conveyor system used a cleated belt to carry the cement ingredients up an incline to a mixing chamber. As the conveyor went around the end to dump the mix, some of it would stick to the cleats and corners where the cleats were attached to the belt. At the conveyor return, any ingredients that were sticking to the belt would dislodge and fall to the ground. Spillage is wasteful, costly, unsafe, and time consuming to cleanup. He wondered if I could help him with his application.
I recommended the model 110248PKI Super Air Knife. This model included a 48” (122cm) Super Air Knife, a filter, a regulator, a shim set, and a plumbing kit. The filter would capture any excess water and contamination from the compressed air line that you would not want on the belt or in the cement mix. The regulator and shim set would be used to control the amount of force required to remove the cement mix without creating a dust cloud. The plumbing kit provides all of the necessary fittings and hose to prevent pressure drops and keep our customers from hunting down all the right fittings.
The Super Air Knife would be placed underneath the conveyor on the return side after the mix was dumped. It should be mounted about 6” (15 cm) away from the belt and at a 45 degree angle blowing back toward the end of the conveyor. The force of the air would dislodge any excess mix and push it back to the opening of the mixer. As a result, the cement mix was not being wasted on the ground or creating a dust nuisance, but being used to make cement.
If you have excess waste and believe that we can help, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR at 1-800-903-9247.