The Versatile Line Vac

Of all the tools that I own, my cordless drill has to be just about my favorite. I’m remodeling a bathroom in my house right now, and last night I was setting the new toilet flange onto the new tile floor. I had to drill some holes for this through the new tile. I’d never done this before, and was definitely feeling some heartburn about it. Especially after finding out just how fragile and brittle ceramic tile is…I cracked two pieces, just trying to cut a hole for the heat & AC vent register. Luckily, that was BEFORE I mortared & grouted it in, so it wasn’t a big deal…they’re about a buck a piece, and I got five extra anyway.

I know how to do this...but I have no idea how to fix this.
I know how to do this                                                 but I have no idea how to fix this.

THIS one, though, was fully installed, and, despite all the internet videos I found & watched on how to install a tile floor, I haven’t yet had the need to find one that shows me how to replace a broken tile. And I don’t really want to, so I went slowly and carefully with the drill, using the special glass & tile bit that I bought. On my first hole, when I got the bit through the tile itself, I changed to a different (smaller) bit to pilot the screw hole through the subfloor. Then, I put a Phillip’s head bit in to drive the screw. It occurred to me that I was performing these three related but separate tasks, with the same tool…I just thought that was very cool.

Over the course of the last couple of days, I’ve talked to three different callers, with three different Line Vac applications:



*One wants to use a Model 150200 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac to convey cement. They’re currently hauling the bags, by hand, up to a hopper, where they cut them open and dump them in.


Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac

*One needs to move small springs, one at a time, from a hopper to an automated assembly turret machine.  The springs are 5/8″ in diameter, and they’ll be fed through a length of PVC pipe.  Our Model 151100 1″ NPT Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac will be easily installed in the pipe line using standard threaded fittings, and the springs will pass through the 0.75″ throat nicely.




*One has a auger-type chip conveyor that removes machining debris from a lathe, and it’s broken…again. They needed a Model 6066 3” Stainless Steel Line Vac, in a hurry, to use until they get their chip conveyor fixed. In fact, if it works, they may not fix the chip conveyor.


With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we've got your solution.  Call us.
With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we’ve got your solution. Call us.

So, kind of like my cordless drill, our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have a variety of uses, right out of the box. If you have an application that you think a Line Vac may be able to solve, give me a call.  By the way, if you order one before the end of October, 2014we’ll give you a FREE 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.  Really.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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On the lighter side

Well, it’s almost everyone’s favorite time of the year, swimsuit season!!!. I said ALMOST everyone. Which means that crash diets and “lighter” fare choices are in full swing. (I know I need to be incorporating these myself).

Sticking with this theme, I thought I would write this week’s blog on our Light Duty Line Vac. These units provide an alternative solution for conveying smaller volumes of material over a short distance.

Available in eight common sizes, ¾” up to 6”, in aluminum construction, these units use less compressed air than our other Line Vac products. The Light Duty Line Vac also has no moving parts and requires no electricity to operate, making them virtually maintenance free!

Light Duty Line VacAir consumption is minimal, ranging from our smallest unit consuming 7.30 SCFM @ 80 PSI, up to our largest unit consuming 80.20 SCFM @ 80 PSI.  You can also control the conveying rate by regulating your compressed air supply pressure.

For even more control, you could add one of our Electronic Flow Control (EFC) which uses timing control and a photoelectric sensor to turn off your compressed air when there is no media/part present.


To see our complete line of Air Operated Conveyors, visit our website or if you need assistance with an application, please do not hesitate to contact an application engineer at 1-800-903-9247.


Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer

Line Vac Used In Coffee Roasting Applications


It is no surprise that coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. And, as a result, coffee roasting operations are quite prevalent anywhere from Seattle, Washington to Durban, South Africa. With so many roasters in operation in various capacities, there is a need to handle the product in order to get it from point A to point B throughout the operation. This is where our Line Vac product has come into play.

ss lv

As mentioned, coffee roasting companies can vary in size from small, custom houses, to large concerns who produce the bulk of the coffee roasted. The Line Vac tends to work very well in the hopper loading applications for the smaller, custom roasting companies who might process up to a few hundred pounds of a particular blend. More specifically, our Stainless Steel and 316 Stainless Steel varieties are used due to the normal practice of using stainless steels in food processing applications. Generally, most customers stick with the 1-1/2” size as this seems to convey the coffee beans quite well and at a reasonable conveying rate. This would be either model 6063 or 6063-316 depending on your process preferences concerning which type of stainless to use.

The Line Vac is easy to disassemble for cleaning and sanitizing purposes as well.

If your company is concerned with roasting coffee (and thus transporting it around), perhaps the EXAIR Line Vac might be a real solution to your handling needs.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer

Super Air Knife Eliminates Alumina Dust Carryover on Conveyor

EXAIR Super Air Knives are quite often used on belt-style conveyors to blow off and clean the conveyor of any residual product that may try to stick to the belt and fall off at points along the travel where the product can pile up and create a real mess.

Our most recent version of this application was for a conveyor moving alumina dust in a foundry. Our Australian distributor, Compressed Air Australia, worked with the end user to apply this solution.

Mounting an Aluminum Super Air Knife across the width of the conveyor on the underside, just down-stream of the head pulley, the customer was able to completely eliminate the dust accumulation under the belt.

Before Super Air Knife Installation:                          After Super Air Knife Installation:

Alumina dust 1Alumina dust 2

The Super Air Knife with Plumbing Kit, installed below the conveyor belt:

Alumina dust 3

By installing the Super Air Knife, the customer was able to keep production running on the conveyor. Before, they had to stop periodically so the operators could clean up the dust. Dealing with the dust is a safety hazard for the operators for a variety of reasons including inhalation and personal safety risk working around moving parts. The solution allowed production to remain up and moving for longer periods. It also allowed workers to be safer in the environment and also concentrate their manpower and time on other activities as they no longer had to worry about cleaning up this material.

The compact nature of the Super Air Knife with the Plumbing Kit allowed the customer to tuck the unit right up where it was needed most. Notice how the Super Air Knife is blowing almost parallel to the belt. This is key in any Air Knife installation to allow for the longest contact time possible between the airflow and the target. This counter-flow arrangement is how the best performance is achieved with the Super Air Knife.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer

Line Vac for Matrix Removal from Labelling Application

We have been able to specify Line Vacs for a variety of interesting applications that generally tend to be classified as “hopper loading” types of applications. But sometimes, we also get to see them used for other tasks for which they are perfectly matched in their ability. One is for movement of yarn/string as shown in this video originally mentioned in Brian Farno’s blog “Yet Another Way to Help You, Customer”.

Matrix Removal 1Matrix Removal

Another great application is in the labeling process (1. Line Vac; 2. Conveying hose; 3. Compressed air supply and on/off valve). After the labels have been applied to their respective product, there is a waste stream that is referred to as “the matrix”. No, I’m not talking about the movie, but rather the release liner that labels are affixed to in bulk format prior to being used. The normal method for taking up this waste stream was to use a winder. However, after some amount of time, the winder inevitably becomes filled with the matrix and must be emptied. The Line Vac presents a unique advantage in that it can pull the matrix from the machine and simply blow it out to a waste receptacle. The above photos are the most recent incarnation of this system. Below is an older system that has a little different twist.

Matrix Removal 2Matrix Removal 3

If you have a labeling system giving you trouble due to the winding process getting fouled, give the Line Vac products a try. We have models from 3/8” hose size up to 4” hose size which can accommodate various sizes of product moving through.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer

What is a good Line Vac Application?

Many times, we receive inquiries for Line Vac from customers who want to move 400 tons of some bulk material over 100 meters horizontal and 35 meters vertical into a silo (or some similar scenario). We have to let those customers know that our product does not have the capability to work at this capacity.  Such a conveying requirement would require the construction of a custom system with special feed hopper, piping, and blower assembly and sometimes even a cyclone separator at the end.

The Line Vac product is not made for such applications that require a great deal of customization. You may ask, “Well then, what is a good application for a Line Vac?”  I have just the example for you below.

Dear Sir/Madam,

 I am a mechanical design engineer working for a company that manufactures steel pipe systems. Part of the coating process involves externally blasting the pipes with steel shot. During that process a small amount of steel shot falls between the pipes, just outside the blasting cabinet. Presently, the shot is manually collected and recycled. See a photo of the area I am talking about below.

I am looking at installing a small hopper with one EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vac conveyor at the bottom of the hopper. Another option is to use a Line Vac conveyor as a “vacuum cleaner”. Line Vac conveyor would convey the steel shot inside the blasting cabinet, through a 2-3m long rubber hose.

My estimate is that about half a bucket steel shot need to be recycled every 10 minutes.

1. Could you please suggest whether Heavy Duty Line Vac conveyor is the right choice for the application?

2. Could you recommend the proper size for my application?

Please contact me if you need additional information.

Mr. Customer

When I replied to the customer, I did so with a confident, “Yes, our Heavy Duty Line Vac would be the best option for your application”. I went on to explain that the rate and volume of material that he wanted to convey as well as the distance were all well within the parameters of the Heavy Duty Line Vac capability. Beyond the conveying ability, the Heavy Duty Line Vac also has the added feature that it is made from a hardened tool steel alloy that will resist wear for a long time to come. Not a bad feature since the material being conveyed is made specifically to wear away at metals, oxidation and other debris on their pipe.

Since the customer had only 2 – 3 meters through which the material needed to travel and only about a half a bucket every 10 minutes, I recommended model 150125 (1-1/4” Heavy Duty Line Vac) for his application. He began using as an in-line vacuum cleaner, but then implemented a tapered bottom hopper and has been satisfied ever since.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer