Recently, we at EXAIR worked with a major player in the golf ball manufacturing world. As an avid golfer myself, this was an application I could really get a ‘grip’ on and I had the ‘drive’ to propose a solution.
The customer was involved in Research & Development, performing testing on the golf balls through robotic hitting, collection, and attribute measurement. The current set up involved the ball being hit, gravity collection into a PVC tube, and then an operator unhooking the tube, walking it over to and unloading the balls onto a rack, in the same order of hitting. The customer wanted to eliminate the manual task of the tube handling and have the balls delivered directly to the rack area. The transfer would need to be 15′ vertically, then 15′ horizontally, before dropping down to table level. A typical rate is only 5 balls per minute. This is a perfect application for the Line Vac, a compressed air operated conveyor.
EXAIR had previously tested golf ball conveyance, as seen in the Line Vac video below (at the 1:53 mark) where golf balls are conveyed 100′, at only 30 PSIG of supply pressure.
To present the best solution to customer, we had 2 dozen golf balls sent to us, and we set-up and simulated the actual conveyance conditions of 15′ vertical and 15′ horizontal travel. We found that the balls could be conveyed at only 20 PSIG of supply pressure, when presented one at a time. When the inlet was flooded with golf balls, simulating a worst case condition, the Line Vac was able to perform the conveyance at 60 PSIG. Operation at 80-100 PSIG is possible providing a operational safety factor.
The customer was impressed with the results and has implemented the model 6984 – 2″ Aluminum Line Vac Kit into the process, making the process more efficient.
We have a team of Application Engineers that are ready to review your process and application, and help to determine if an EXAIR Line Vac can convey your material at the distance and rate desired. We may even have you send in small sample of the material, and we can set-up, test, and share the results with you.
If you have questions about 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.
The below video reviews the Sanitary Flange Line Vac, the newest type from the EXAIR family of Line Vacs.
If you have questions about the Sanitary Line Vac, 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.
EXAIR’sHeavy Duty Threaded Line Vac air operated conveyors can take ordinary threaded pipe and convert it into a powerful conveying system for pellets, scrap trim, bulk solids, chips, paper, small parts, sawdust, granules, and many other bulk materials. The Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac attaches easily to plumbing pipe couplers, making it easy to build a complete system with parts that are readily available from your local home supply or hardware store.
They are available in 7 different sizes ranging from 3/8 NPT to 3 NPT and are made from a proprietary hardened alloy for superior abrasion resistance and performance. Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac Air Conveyors are ideally suited for conveying large volumes of materials over long distances. They eject a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum on the intake side and a high output flow from the outlet side. Using a regulator to control the compressed air supply pressure, the rate of conveyance can be controlled to match what the application requires all while minimizing your compressed air usage!
The Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac Kit includes a pressure regulator, filter separator to keep the air clean, modular coupler clamp (connects air regulator to filter separator, not shown below) and the mounting bracket for ease of installation.
Line Vacs are still on promotion through October, so act now to receive a free air nozzle with your purchase.
If you would like to discuss Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac Air Conveyors or any of EXAIR’s safe, quiet & efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.
On any given day myself and my Application Engineering Brethren here at EXAIR have discussions with customers on air starvation of any given EXAIR Product. The calls generally start off the same, “The Line Vac is not performing like it should”. We at EXAIR absolutely want to help you get the most out of our products and we certainly want them to perform to your expectation. However they must be supplied with clean/dry compressed air at sufficient pressure and volume.
Just the other day I was discussing a performance issue with a customer on a 1″ Line Vac. The customer thought he needed a larger Line Vac. I asked the questions regarding the diameter of his Supply Line and if he was using Quick Connect or Push Lock connectors. He was attempting to feed this Line Vac with 1/4″ Poly Tubing through a elbow Push to Loc fitting.
This 1″ Line Vac was being severely starved for air and therefore not performing as expected. The 1″ Line Vac require’s 14.7 SCFM @ 80PSI to reach the rated performance of 42″ of water column.
Below is a table for Pipe/Hose sizing from the Line Vac installation manual that you can use as a reference guide. It is recommended that if using hose for the supply air to go up to the next size over the pipe recommendation.
Don’t forget that quick connects and Push Lock fittings are not recommended and could restrict the air flow which will have a negative impact on performance.
Do you have operators climbing steps to dump bags of material into hoppers? Do you need a faster way to remove scrap from a process? Do you have budgetary constraints in trying to move material from punt A to point B? If you answered yes to any of these, EXAIR may have a simple solution. We manufacture an air-operated conveyor that does not have any moving parts, has a very compact design, and generates a high throughput capacity. They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges to convert your piping system into a powerful conveying system. EXAIR manufactures these air-operated conveyors and trademarks them as Line Vacs™.
EXAIR Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum by a Venturi effect. The unique design of the generator 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 from light and fluffy batting to steel components. They can transfer product horizontally up to 100 feet (30 meters) away and vertically up to 20 feet (6 meters) high. You can watch a video on the operation of a Line Vac HERE. Compared to other vacuum or conveying systems, the EXAIR Line Vacs are very quiet, rugged, and powerful. EXAIR makes a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials to best fit your application.
The standard Line Vac is the most versatile product in this family. EXAIR stocks a wide range of sizes, materials, and styles for targeting the best solution for moving material. We have two types of connections, slip-on ends for hose connections and threaded ends for pipe connection. EXAIR can swap the connections with a slip-on hose on one end with a threaded connection on the other. They range in diameters from 3/8” (10mm) up to 5” (127mm). We manufacture the Line Vacs in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS; but don’t let that deter you if your need them manufactures in any other type of material. We have high temperature models that can withstand temperatures up to 900 deg. F (482 deg. C). These Line Vacs work great in applications for loading plastic pellets in hoppers, discarding scrap pieces, trim removal, and transferring material. If an operator has to carry a container of dry material and climb stairs, a Line Vac could be a much better alternative.
The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are made from a hardened alloy steel for abrasion resistance. The generators inside these Line Vacs are more powerful than the standard models; so, that they can convey heavier materials at higher conveyance rates. They can reach rates as high as 40 lbs./min. (18.2Kg/min) of material. With the hardened alloy construction, they are great for sand blasting applications, ceramic, glass and steel shot. They are manufactured with inlet and outlet connections for ship-on hoses or threaded pipes. EXAIR stocks the Heavy Duty Line Vacs in the range from ¾” (19mm) to 3” (76mm) for both hose and NPT connections. These Line Vacs are our most powerful design with great wear resistance.
On the other end of the Line-Vac spectrum, EXAIR also created the Light Duty Line Vac. They use much less compressed air than the other Line Vacs which work great for moving lightweight materials over short distances. They can also be used for removing smoke and fumes from a work area. The Light Duty Line Vac ranges from ¾” (19mm) up to 6” (152mm) diameter for slip-on hose connections. This two-piece design provides an effective way of moving material at a lower cost. It can be used in applications like hopper loading, fiber tensioning, filling operations, and smoke removal. For moving material within a short distance, the Light Duty Line Vac could be the proper product to use.
Our latest engineering design within the Line Vac family is the Sanitary Flange Line Vacs. They can fit within sanitary piping systems to convert pipes into a useful conveyor for bulk material and waste removal. They use an ISO2852 flange for easy disassembly and cleaning to reduce bacterial entrapment. They ae made from 316 stainless steel material for superior corrosion resistance. They come in four different sizes to fit the sanitary flanges from 1-½” up to a 3” flange. For sensitive applications where cleanliness is a major requirement, the Sanitary Flange Line Vac are manufactured for these conditions.
With all of the EXAIR Line Vacs above, they can be sold as kits. A kit will include a filter, regulator and a bracket. (A bracket is not sold with the Light Duty Line Vac kits.) The filter will help keep the Line Vac clean as well as the product that it is conveying. The regulator is a great tool to vary the conveyance rates for better control. The bracket helps to mount the Line Vac to a sturdy base for support. A useful accessory to conveniently hide the compact Line Vac for ease of use and operation.
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 formats to match your application. They are compact, quiet, and simple to use without any moving parts. As compared to a conveying system which is bulky and rigid, the Line Vacs are flexible and inexpensive. Ergonomically, they can save the back-wrenching labor of picking up bags, climbing stairs, and dumping material into hoppers. If you want to know if the EXAIR Line Vac could work for you, please fill out the Line Vac Data Sheet (click HERE). An Application Engineer at EXAIR will help to recommend the best unit for you.
The Heavy Duty Line Vac is EXAIR’s most powerful air conveyor. While the appearance is similar to our other Line Vacs the Heavy Duty Line Vac it is constructed from a proprietary hardened alloy for greater wear resistance in highly abrasive applications, it is also designed to convey heavier product over greater distances!
The performance of the Heavy Duty Line Vac’s is nothing short of amazing! With vacuum ratings between -144 to -20 inches of water column, it is more than likely there is a Heavy Duty Line Vac model that will suit your application.
Models range from 3/4″ OD to 3″ OD either in smooth bore or NPT threaded models for the ultimate in versatility. The table below shows the different Heavy Duty Line Vac Models and their respective recommended kit, which includes a pressure regulator for fine tuning performance, filter separator to keep the compressed air supply clean and a mounting bracket.
The EXAIRLine Vac is a tried and true device for conveying parts, materials, and waste – with no moving parts. The list of successfully conveyed materials in the application database is far reaching – including plastic pellets, scrap/trim, chips, pills/tablets, shavings, sawdust and granules.
The Line Vacs can be used for more than conveying large amounts of material from A to B. Recently, one of our automation customers found an application for the Line Vac in the design and manufacture of a custom fill machine. The machine was commissioned to fill small, plastic cups. To move the cups from the material staging area to the filler processing area, (10) of the 2″ aluminum Line Vacs were used. Using a sensor to measure the stack height in each tube, the compressed air is triggered on/off to transfer a group of cups over to the filling area. See photo below-
Other types of applications that Line Vacs have been used for include pick and place, small space ventilation, fine powder dispersion and light vacuum generation. Another popular use is to integrate into a machining process for waste removal of chips, shavings, and waste removal.
The Line Vacs come in (3) types- Standard, Light Duty and Heavy Duty. Also, (3) different end connections are available including smooth bore, threaded, and the new sanitary flanged. Depending on the model type, materials of construction may include aluminum, type 303 and 316 stainless steels, and a hardened alloy. Special high temperature versions are available with temperature ratings up to 900°F (482°C.)