The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors with Stonewashed Jeans.

Stonewashed Jeans

Blue Jeans have been around for centuries.  They are made from denim which is durable, comfortable, and fashionable cotton material; and, on casual Fridays, I get to wear them at EXAIR.  Over the years, the denim companies started to create different styles.  For one international denim company, they were making stonewashed jeans.   This process, like the name states, uses stones to wash with the blue jeans to get that “worn-out” look.

The stone-washing process consisted of dumping a 50 Kg (110 lbs.) bag of pumice stones inside a large washer with many blue jeans.  The stones were between 20 – 35 mm (¾” to 1 3/8”) in size.  During the wash cycle, the stones would scrape off bits of the blue dye particles to give that worn appearance.  They would wash the jeans for a specified time, and once finished, they would empty the washer into a bin with the jeans and the rocks.  They would move the bin over to a dryer tumbler where they could separate the rocks from the jeans.  The rocks would get collected in 50 Kg containers and reuse them for another wash cycle.

Their current system had the washer door opening roughly 3.3 feet (1 meter) from the ground.  The manual operation of handling each bag or bin of rocks was “back-breaking”.  The idea for safety was a concern for this denim manufacturer.  So, they contacted EXAIR to see if we can help.

Threaded Heavy Duty Family

The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs, are the perfect product for this type of application.  They are compact, inexpensive, and simple conveyors that only need compressed air to move material from point A to point B.  They do not have any moving parts or motor bearings to wear, making them very reliable and long-lasting.  I recommended a model 152200 Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit as it was able to convey the stones to the washer.  This kit comes with a 2” hardened alloy Line Vac to resist wear, a mounting bracket, a filter separator, and a pressure regulator.  The filter separator will clean the compressed air as it moves the stones to its destination.  The pressure regulator is used to “dial in” the desired conveyance rates making it simple to control.  The Line Vac is an easy-to-use product that can improve health and safety for your operators.

For the company above, the managers and operators were extremely happy with the safety features that the Air Operated Conveyors provide.  The bags and bins of pumice stone could stay on the floor, while the Line Vac was able to move them into the washers.  EXAIR offers a large range of Line Vacs to work in many types of applications.  If your company has safety issues for your operators while moving material, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better way.

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

 

Photo: Stonewash Jeans by realworkhardPixabay License.

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

Line Vac Video: Air Operated Conveyor Conveying Raw Coffee Beans

At EXAIR we’re committed to providing customers with as much information as possible to ensure an application will work the way it’s intended. If it happens to be something we’ve dealt with before, it’s easy enough to make a recommendation. If it’s not, with EXAIR’s 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee getting something in-house to test comes with no risk at all. If it doesn’t work, just send it back, simple as that!

coffee-1291656_960_720

If it is something that we can test ourselves, we’re more than happy to. We recently have taken several requests from customers in the coffee industry, all looking for a similar solution: conveying raw coffee beans. While we were confident in the ability of the Line Vac to transfer those beans, it wasn’t a material that we had ever actually tested here in our shop. A quick trip down the road to a local coffee roaster, and we had some raw coffee beans that we could use for a quick conveyance test. Check out the video below of my colleague John Ball and I conducting a test with our Model 6084 2” Line Vac:

If you’re looking to convey bulk materials using the Line Vac, but have reservations regarding the performance, you can also send a sample of your material in for testing here at EXAIR. We’ll be happy to put the conditions of your application to the test and share the results with you. If you’ve been manually transferring bulk material and are looking for a safer, reliable, and efficient solution the Line Vac is the right tool for the job. With a variety of sizes and materials all available from stock, we’re able to address countless applications and achieve a wide variety of conveyance rates.

The conveyance rate of the Line Vac is easily adjusted. By regulating the input pressure supplied to the Line Vac, not only can you reduce the necessary compressed air demand but you can also control the amount of material flow. Higher pressures will move material, while lower pressures will reduce compressed air consumption. If you need help determining which size and material is most suitable for your application don’t hesitate to get in touch with an EXAIR Application Engineer today. Stop having your operators climbing up and down that ladder to dump material!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyor Helps an HSE Engineer

Air Operated Conveyor

A Health and Safety Engineer, HSE, is a position that combines knowledge of engineering with safety development procedures. EXAIR speaks to many HSEs from different companies about our OSHA safe and reliable products. The discussions typically surround blow-off devices that violate noise level and dead-end pressure rules. In this instance, I was contacted by a HSE from a plastic extrusion company that needed a safe solution for a slightly different matter.

The HSE stated that they had an operator that twisted an ankle while carrying a bag of pellets up the stairs to a mezzanine. With his hands occupied on the bag, he was not able to use the handrails. Luckily, he did not fall down the stairs, but there was a chance for that dangerous possibility to occur. The mezzanine was needed to feed a hopper that was located above an extrusion machine about 12 feet (3.6 meters) above the ground. Whenever a material change was needed, they would have to clean the machine. The cleaning process was done with purge pellets.

In this scenario, a worker would pick up a 50 lb. (22.7 Kg) bag of purge pellets, walk up the stairs, and dump in about half the bag. This was enough material to completely clean the entire extrusion machine before the next production run. After their operator twisted an ankle during this method, they had to find a safer solution. And they found EXAIR.

Model 6983

The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyor, or Line Vac, was the perfect product for this. It is a compact, inexpensive, and simple conveyor that only needs compressed air to move material from point A to point B. They do not have any moving parts or motor bearings to wear, making them very reliable and long-lasting.

I recommended a model 6983 Aluminum Line Vac Kit as it was able to convey the desired amount of material to that height. This kit comes with a 1 1/2” Aluminum Line Vac, a mounting bracket, a filter separator, and a pressure regulator. The filter separator will keep the air clean as it moves the material to its destination. The pressure regulator is used to “dial in” the desired conveyance rates. At 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar), the model 6983 can convey nearly 13 lbs./min (355 Kg/hr.) at the height of the hopper. So, to move the required amount for a clean out, it would only take about two minutes to move 25 lbs. (11.4 Kg) of purge pellets.

Line Vac Family

For the company above, the HSE was extremely happy with the safety feature that the Air Operated Conveyor provided. The bag of purge pellets could stay on the floor, while the Line Vac was able to move the pellets to the hopper above. The operator could watch the required amount that was being transferred; and, once the bag was half empty, the operator could turn off the compressed air. It is that simple. EXAIR offers a range of Line Vacs to work in many types of applications. If your company has a potential for dangerous problems while moving material, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a safer way.

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