Sanitary Flange Air Operated Conveyors – The EXAIR Line Vac

The ability to control the flow of materials has been a staple in human civilization since 4000 BCE. This includes the creation of pipes which have appeared as early as 2400 BCE from the Egyptians. These piping systems have since then been improved on to be made stronger, lighter, cheaper,  of various styles, and in a variety of materials. One of these styles is the sanitary flange pipe.

Sanitary flange pipe and fittings is one of the larger milestones in piping innovation. Sanitary flange pipes came about due the stringent cleanliness controls in certain industries such as food and pharmaceutical. Both of these use a highly corrosive and caustic soap to sanitize surfaces and, in most cases, entire rooms. Sanitary flange pipes allow for pipe systems to be taken apart easily so that components can be easily cleaned out on a regular sterilization process, and are generally made of 316 Stainless Steel to withstand the corrosive nature of the cleaning compound.

Type 316 Stainless Steel Line Vac

EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for these applications since the internal components are smooth and can be cleaned out easily and sanitized. They have also been made out of 316 Stainless Steel for years which provides superior corrosion resistance and can withstand most caustic cleaners and oxidants. Type-316 Stainless Steel is the preferred material for many food and pharmaceutical applications. Before EXAIR’s Sanitary Flange Line Vac, we noticed our customers would use the standard smooth Line Vac and weld a sanitary flange onto the ends, or installing adaptors on our Threaded Line Vac.

With that thought we decided to make things easier and developed the Sanitary Line Vac which follows the basic design of the Standard Line Vac and operates with the same performance characteristics. Sanitary Flange Line Vacs come in four sizes: 1-1/2”, 2”, 2-1/2”, and 3”. These sizes are the most common sizes for Line Vacs and covers the majority of application needs.

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs in increasing sizes: 1-1/2”, 2”, 2-1/2”, and 3”

If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any of EXAIR’s products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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The Heavy Duty Line Vac™ moves CO2 Cartridges

Threaded Heavy Duty Family

In trying to cut over-all costs, companies are reviewing process flows throughout their plant.  A CO2 cartridge manufacturer was following that same strategy.  They wanted to move the silk-screening process that marked the outside of the cartridges to a different location.  Currently, the operators would have to pick up bins to move them about 50 feet (15 meters) to the packaging area.  They currently were using blower-type vacuum systems in other parts of their process to move the cartridges through different stages.  But, the bulkiness and noise level of the blower system made them have to find an alternative way; so, they contacted EXAIR.

For their process, they would start with a steel cap.  The metal caps would run through a series of different forms where round punches would “redraw” the metal into a final diameter and thickness.  Once it is finished through this process, it would look like a test tube.  The metal tubes would have the ends heated and pressed with a set of different dies to create the “neck” region.  The “neck” section would be cut and lathe to make a sealing edge.  The cylinders would then go through a washing and drying system to clean.  Once dried, they would travel to the filling station where the cylinders would be partly filled with liquid CO2, and then capped.  The bare steel cylinders would move through a zinc-coating process for protection and appearance.  The filled cartridges would then be inspected by quality control prior to screen printing on the outer diameter.  The finished CO2 cartridges had an outer diameter of ¾” (19mm) (reference photo below).  Once they are printed, the shipping staff would carry them to their department for packing.

The process flow change for this company was to move the silk-screening process about 50 feet (15 meters) from the current position.  With an EXAIR Air Operated Conveyor or Line Vac™, the QC department can transfer the cartridges to the screen printer near the packaging department.  This would stop the needless handling of the filled bins between the printing station and the packaging station.  Not only did this speed up packaging, but it also ergonomically helped the operators from lifting and carrying.

Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit

For the material, distance, and size; I recommended the model 152125 1 ¼” Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit.  This Line Vac is made from a hardened alloy material which makes them resistant to abrasion and wear.  The throat diameter has a clearance of 1” (25mm) which is enough to carry the ¾” (19mm) diameter cartridges.  With a kit, it will also include a filter, regulator and a bracket.  The filter will help keep the Line Vac and the cylinders clean.  The regulator will allow for flexibility in conveyance rates, distances, and speeds.  The bracket helps to mount the Line Vac to a sturdy base for support.    With the small footprint and compact design, it was easy to set up and use as a simple conveyor.

After installation, the Production Manager was amazed by the simplicity of the design and the ease of operation.  He could also reduce maintenance cost without having to change intake filters, check bearings, monitor electrical controls, and replace any failed motors within the blower-type system.  The EXAIR Line Vacs do not have any moving parts to wear; so, they are reliable and long-lasting.  Overall, as compared to the blower-type systems; the cost, set-up, and operation were greatly improved with the EXAIR Line Vac.  They were so happy in meeting the criteria above; the Production Manager mentioned that he would be replacing their existing blower systems when they fail.  And as mentioned above with all the transfers to the different stations, there would be many spots for the EXAIR Line Vac to be used.

If you need to convey materials like cartridges, steel shot or abrasive products, the Heavy Duty Line Vac could be a blessing for you.  Not only can they transfer material safely and quickly, but they also will ergonomically help in saving the backs and knees of your operators.  How can this get any better?  Until the end of October 2020, we are running a promotional ad for our U.S. and Canadian customers.  You will receive a 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, a $72.00 value, free with qualified purchases online.  If you would like to discuss any of your conveying application, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We may have a solution for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

EXAIR Line Vacs™ can be Customized for Your Application

Line Vacs can convey many things.

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 point A to point B?  Do you want to get rid of your bulky, loud blower conveying system?   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, a very compact design, and 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™.

If you wish to read about our different Line Vacs that we stock, I wrote a blog that has an overview of this product line, and you can find it HERE.  We offer them in a variety of materials, sizes, and connection types.  But in the blog, I will tell you how EXAIR can manufacture special types of Line Vacs for specific applications.

One of our quickest turnarounds for a special Line Vac is when we can change the cap or body connection type to be dissimilar.  EXAIR offers a slip-on connection for hoses and a threaded connection for pipe.  In some instances, customers want to connect a hose to one end while attaching a pipe to the other.  Without needing to find special connectors, EXAIR can deliver this to you in one day.  Here are some other specials that EXAIR has manufactured over the years to solve specific issues for our customers.

This Stainless Steel Line Vac with flanges was used to fit an ASME flange connection to an existing machine.  We have used this same type of connection for our special Air Amplifiers which has a higher exhaust rate, but with the many bends in the exhaust piping and higher back pressure, the Line Vac’s performance could handle it much better.  This application was for removing acidic vapors resulting from surface etching in the silicon industry.

In addition to making Line Vacs with various connections, we can also manufacture Line Vacs from special materials.  In this instance, the flanged Line Vac was manufactured out of PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) due to its superior corrosive resistance.  It was manufactured with special QF vacuum flanges which allowed for easy assembly and disassembly for cleaning purposes.  This Line Vac would be regularly exposed to a chloride wash that would corrode even stainless steel.

Here is a special Miniature Line Vac that was manufactured with barb fittings.  It was designed for an integrated circuit chip manufacturer where they can attach a tube to remove the collected material.  Its small overall footprint made it ideal for applications requiring confined work spaces.  For this application, it was used to remove microscopic contamination during the chip making process.  It has also been used by other manufacturers to clear small drilled holes from liquid and chips.

This next special Line Vac was used to fill small packets of fine salt or sugar.  The funnel shape helped to capture the material from a hopper above.  A feed tube in the hopper would move the material from the hopper to the special Line Vac, then into the packets.  An additional feature that the Line Vac provided was the vacuum pressure.  It was able to keep the gravity tube clear and allow for a continuous flow, even if the powder got moist.

As you can see, EXAIR is not limited to the products that we have on our website or in our catalog.  We can alter, change, or create special products to fit your application.  EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air products since 1983, so we know a few things.  Whether you are an OEM or an end-user, if you need a special design to coat, clean, cool, convey, or conserve, you can speak with an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to hear from you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Air Operated Conveyors for Dense and Abrasive Materials

Heavy Duty Line Vac Family

As an Application Engineer, I get the pleasure to speak to many companies about trying to find a simple, long-lasting, powerful but quiet type of transfer systems.  They have operators that climb steps to dump bags of material in hoppers above.  Or they need a compact way to remove scrap from your process.  Or they have budgetary constraints to convey material from point A to point B.  If your company had to tackle any of these issues, EXAIR can help you.  We manufacture Air Operated Conveyors that do not have any moving parts, very compact in design, and have a high throughput capacity.  They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges.   These inexpensive conveyors are designed to make conveyance safer and ergonomically better for your operators.  EXAIR calls this product line, Line Vacs™.

The Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design generates a high velocity to create a powerful vacuum on one side.  Once the product reaches the throat area of the Line Vac, the compressed air will carry the product the rest of the way.  We can reach horizontal distances up to 100 feet (30 meters) and vertical heights up to 20 feet (6 meters).  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials.  In this blog, I will cover our most powerful and abrasion resistant type, the Heavy Duty Line Vacs.

Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit

The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are engineered to move abrasive materials with increased conveyance rate.  They range from ¾” O.D. standpipes as our smallest up to 3” O.D. standpipes for hose connections.  The construction is made from a hardened alloy to resist wear from abrasive bulk products like steel parts, sand, glass, ceramic, etc.  The Heavy Duty Line Vac can create a high vacuum level to pick up heavier objects as well as conveying larger volume of material.  If purchased as a kit, the Line Vac will come with a filter, regulator, and a mounting bracket.  This adds overall value in mounting, controlling, and protecting the Line Vac for years to come.  This simple device has no moving parts and is a great product to use in rugged industrial applications.  You will not have to worry about any motors or bearing prematurely wearing out.

If you need to convey heavy materials like steel shot or abrasive products, the Heavy Duty Line Vac could be a blessing for you.  Not only can they transfer material safely and quickly, but they also will ergonomically help in saving the backs and knees of your operators.  For our U.S. and Canadian customers, we are running a promotional ad.  You will receive a 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, a $72.00 value, for free from now until the end of October 2020 with a qualified purchase online.  If you would like to discuss your conveying application further, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We may have a solution for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb