High-Power Stainless Steel Line Vacs for Dental Work

A manufacturing plant had machines that would process ceramic 6mm beads into blanks for machining small components in the dental industry.  Ceramic can be used in items like braces, crowns, root implants, and bridges.  From the blanks above, they milled crowns and bridges in specific designs to fit in the patient’s mouth.  In their current process, they used a belt conveyor that would move the ceramic beads into a hopper above the sintering machines.  They had a failure with their conveyor, and they had to shut down the machines. 

They contacted the conveyor manufacturer for assistance.  Because of the complexity of conveying systems, as compared to EXAIR Line Vacs, they needed time to evaluate.  They had to determine if it was the motor, the belt, the gear box, pulley bearings, or electrical system.  Depending on which item that failed, there was a possibility that it would not be in stock or would have to be sent off-site for repair.  With this amount of downtime, it would cost the company money and delays in shipments.  Being that they were under pressure to meet deadlines, they contacted EXAIR to see if we could help. 

Air Operated Conveyor

In discussing their layout, the hopper was 10 feet (3 meters) away from the supply container, and the opening of the hopper was 10 feet (3 meters) above the floor.  These lengths were well within the limits of the EXAIR Line Vacs.  The bulk density was 70 lbs./ft3 (1,140 Kg/M3), and they needed 316SS since the equipment was used for medical devices.   I suggested the model 6964-316 2” 316SS Line Vac Kit.  At those distances, I mentioned that we could move roughly 10 lbs./min. (275 Kg/hr.) of ceramic beads at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar) air pressure.  They wondered if we could get a bit more power from our Line Vacs.  This we can do!!!  EXAIR can modify our Line Vacs to fit into different applications.  We can modify the inlet and outlet connections from a smooth connect for hose to a threaded connection for pipe, or vice versa.  We can also modify the generator for our Stainless Steel Line Vacs to increase the capacity.  This would be our “HP” (for High Power) prefix.  I then recommended the model HP6964-316 High-Power 316SS Line Vac Kit.   This model has a conveyance rate near 13.3 lbs./min. (362 Kg/hr.) at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar) air pressure.  This was perfect for their operation.  With the different hopper volumes, they could adjust the inlet air pressure to increase or decrease the conveyance rates. 

The next question they asked was, how fast can we get them a special unit?   EXAIR stocks every cataloged model number for same-day shipping with orders placed before 2 p.m. EST.  For the “HP” special, we were able to ship the next day to get their operation running.  They did mention to me afterwards that they wished they knew about the EXAIR Line Vacs before they purchased the conveyor system.  Since the Line Vacs do not have any moving parts or motors to wear, they would have years of non-maintenance operations.      

If your company relies on conveying systems to move product, you may want to have an EXAIR Line Vac on-hand just in case of an emergency.  When things go wrong, you do not want to be down any longer than needed.  If you need help in sizing the correct Line Vac for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help.

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

Photo: Tooth Replacement by dental-innoPixabay License

Taming The Dust Cloud With EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles

Have you ever dropped one of your nice dinner plates on a tiled kitchen floor? And noticed how they seem to go in slow motion as they hurtle to their doom? I never cease to be impressed at how far some of the smaller pieces can go. I recently had to replace our oven, and I found broken dishware shards (and an impressive amount of trash scraps, pet toys, and ‘dust bunnies’) all the way against the back wall.

Curiously, as small as the pieces can be when a dinner plate meets its end, it started its life in even smaller pieces…as a fine ceramic powder, pressed into a mold and heated to a temperature that is WAY hotter than when the server at your favorite restaurant warns you that plate “might be hot.”

I’m writing about this because recently, I had the pleasure of assisting a maker of ceramic dishware with a messy little problem…this fine ceramic powder is moved from where it’s produced, to the various mold stations (dinner plates, salad plates, saucers, etc.) on a vibratory belt conveyor. The vibration keeps the powder loose and homogenous, both of which are extremely important to the molding & firing process. It also causes a cloud of dust to rise along the entire length of travel, and they wanted to minimize this. Their chemists had told the engineer who called me that they could live with a small amount of moisture, as long as it wasn’t enough to make the powder clump up – this would evaporate out at a point closer to the molds anyway.

This was an ideal application for the EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles…they produce a fine mist of liquid that is precisely controllable…one Model AW1010SS Internal Mix, Wide Angle Round Pattern Nozzle was installed near the beginning of the line, and once they find out how long it takes the dust-suppression supplied by the misted water to evaporate away, they will install more nozzles accordingly.

EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are a perfect solution for dust suppression.
EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are a perfect solution for dust suppression.

EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles are ideal for situations where you need a fine liquid mist and fine adjustment of the flow & pattern. With ninety models to choose from, we’ve got the one you’re looking for. Call me if you want to find out more.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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