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

Let’s Go Fishing with EXAIR Sanitary Flange Line Vacs™

A group of us went to the northern part of Ohio to do some fishing.  We had a great time.  We caught a variety of fish; even some small ones like above.  We had one person that could fillet fish; and, we definitely let him do the work.  I enjoy eating fish, but I do not enjoy the fish bones.  If the fish is filleted correctly, finding a bone is rare.  Now, traveling from a small boat in Ohio to an international commercial fishing company, it is also important to keep the bones at a minimum.  A salmon processing plant contacted EXAIR about our Line Vacs for removing fish bones.

In 2014, this processing plant purchased two 1 ½” 316SS Line Vacs, model 6063-316, to remove bones from salmon fillets.  The Line Vacs were positioned after the “bone removal” rollers.  Cups that spanned across the salmon fillets were attached to the vacuum end of the Line Vacs.  They loved how the product worked without any moving parts, and how compact and reliable they were since they were in operation for over 6 years.  But they needed to increase fish production rates; so, they needed a higher conveyance rate to remove the bones.  They sent me a photo of their current process (reference below).

Deboning Process

The interesting thing was that they welded sanitary flanges to the ends of each Line Vac.  Sanitary flanges are great for mandatory and frequent cleaning.  And believe it or not, EXAIR introduced Sanitary Flange Line Vacs™ in yr2017.  At EXAIR, we are always progressing with new products to solve different issues in a variety of industries.  The Sanitary Flange Line Vacs were designed for food and pharmaceutical industries.  For this customer above, they were surprised and amazed that we added the Sanitary Flange Line Vacs to our product line.

So, now they would not have to weld flanges.  This would save them time from welding and buffering to remove any “catches” inside where bacteria could grow.  They wished to replace their current Line Vacs with 2” size Line Vacs to increase the throat diameter and conveyance rate.  Since they requested the 2” size, I recommend the model 161200-316.

Sanitary Line Vac Family

The Sanitary Flange Line Vacs 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.  EXAIR manufactures four different sizes from 1 ½” up to 3” flanges.  If we were three years earlier in production at EXAIR, it would have been an easy choice for this fish processing plant.

EXAIR Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design of the generators creates a high velocity of air to create a low pressure on one side and a powerful thrust on the other.  You can watch a video of the operation of a Line Vac HERE.  Compared to other vacuum or conveying systems, the EXAIR Line Vacs are very quiet, rugged, and powerful.  For sensitive applications where cleanliness is a major need, the Sanitary Flange Line Vac are designed for these conditions.

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, materials, and sizes to easily match your application.  For the salmon processing plant, it improved their operations in removing fish bones.  EXAIR Line Vacs can save 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.  But, if you want to catch fish, you may want to ask a professional 😊.

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

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