Creative Uses for the Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors

Last week a customer called in looking for some help in solving a minor issue in the plant. The customer is a specialist in the filament winding business making all types of products from many types of fibers, such as Polyester, Nylon, Nomex®, PTFE and Kevlar®.

At the end of a run, there will be a small amount of thread left on several bobbins.   There is not enough thread to save for a future run, and so the customer has to strip the remaining thread off, to be able to reuse the bobbin.

I remembered that an EXAIR Application Engineer had done some testing on thread, using a Line Vac to pull and unwind a spool. See here for that demonstration.

The customer sent me the below photo, helping us to visualize the application better, and then went even further by shipping a couple of sample bobbins with some thread still remaining.

After running a few tests, it was determined that the smallest Line Vac available , the model 6078 – 3/8″ Aluminum Line Vac, produced the fastest results due to the narrow throat diameter in conjunction with the thin thread.  A brief demonstration of the test can be found below.

Using just 5.6 SCFM at 80 PSIG of compressed air, the Line Vac quickly unwound the bobbin, providing a simple, cost-effective way to automate what had been a tedious manual process.

The Line Vac conveyor are ideal for moving large volumes of material over long distances, using a small amount of compressed air. The material flow rate is easily controlled by use of a pressure regulator.  No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation.  EXAIR offers the Line Vac in sizes from 3/8″ up to 5″ in diameter, in materials including aluminum, Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steels, and a Heavy Duty model with hardened alloy construction.

To discuss your application and how a Line Vac or another EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Ion Air Cannon

Generally in the winter time, we see an increase in production issues due to static. When the ambient air becomes drier, static ions build more easily on the surface. For this application, the customer was drying a wood based compost with compressed air. His compressed air system used a heated desiccant dryer to remove the moisture to a dew point of -40 deg. F (-40 deg. C). (That means the compressed air system would not see any water unless the temperature was below -40 deg.) He would blow the very dry air into the bed to remove any moisture. This would make the compost very light and reduce decomposing.

Ion Air Cannon

Ion Air Cannon

The problem occurred during shipment. He would convey the compost up a conveyor belt to a chute. The chute had a line to direct the compost inside a rail car. Because of the non-conductive material of the conveyor belt and the extremely dry material of wood, a large amount of static was being generated. With like charges repelling each other, it would create a bridge in the chute, causing it to plug and backup. My suggestion was to use our Super Ion Air Cannon. It would remove the static charges that was being generated, and also create a small positive pressure to keep the compost moving. With the amount of material that he was conveying, he installed 4 Super Ion Air Cannons for each chute. The problem was solved and the operation was not hindered. If you have any issues with your system, you can contact one of our Application Engineers to see if we can help at 800-903-9247.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

Removing Oil From A Conveyor In South Africa

About three years ago, during the summer of 2012, I discussed an application with a palm oil producer who needed to clean and dry palm fruits as part of their oil production process.  I remember the application well because I knew nothing about palm fruits and came to learn of their popularity on other continents.

Now, years later and again from another continent, our South African distributor has a similar need.  However, rather than removing the cleaning residue from the outside of a palm fruit, this application needed to address the control and collection of the extracted palm oil on a production line.

The need in this application is the collection of spilled and residual oil that is filled into large containers and provided to culinary facilities.  The end user needed a way to keep any spilled oil from contaminating the process downstream, and a method to collect the oil once it was within a controlled space/container.

Conveyor with oil 1

Compromised conveyor line

To block the oil from travelling any further into the process, we recommended a series of 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives aimed at the conveyor belt, blowing opposite the direction of container travel.  This setup operated at the right pressure can not only keep the oil from any downstream components, but also blow the oil into a specified container.

Once the oil is removed from the conveyor and collected in a hopper, trough, or similar container, it can be removed with a High Lift Reversible Drum Vac.  Our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac is suitable for viscous fluids such as oils, coolants, and paints up to 1400 centipoise.  The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac can then be used to pump the oil into a final container, or back into the process for cleaning and recycling.

Its always great to pull from a previous application when speaking with an EXAIR customer.  And, with our full team of Application Engineers, we have plenty of applications to reference.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

How Much Force Does It Take?

In case you weren’t aware, the answer to “How much force does it take?” is always going to be, ALL OF IT.   At least that is what we generally think when trying to blow product off a conveyor belt or diverting parts into bin, etc. Speed and efficiency play a direct role in to what nozzle or blow off device you should use in order to get the job done and be able to repeat the process.

The question we are often asked by customers is, “How much force to I need to move this?”  That is a question that we cannot often answer without asking more questions.  The good part of this is, there is a formula to calculate just how much force you need to move an object.   A good video explaining friction is shown below.

In order to answer the question of how much force do I need, we really need to know all of the following:

Weight of the object
Distance from target
Is it on an incline or level
Distance needed to move
Then, the usually unknown variable, the coefficient of friction between the target and what it is sitting on.

Often times it is the thought process of, my target weighs 5 pounds, I need 5 pounds of force in order to move it from the center of this conveyor belt to the edge, this is not the case.   If you wanted to lift the object over a break between two conveyors then you would need slightly more than 5 pounds in order to ensure you are lifting the front edge of the unit high enough to meet the other conveyor.

Whether you know all of the variables or only a few, if you need to get an object moved and you want to try using compressed air to do so, give us a call and we will help you find the best engineered solution for your application.  Then, we’ll back all stock products with a 30 day guarantee if you don’t like how the system performs – but rest assured, we get it right almost every time.

30 Day Guarantee

The EXAIR 30 Day Guarantee

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

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:

HDLV

 

*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.

 

sslv

 

*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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Floating Plates With Compressed Air

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to work with a customer who was familiar with our product and was looking to roll out EXAIR’s Super Air Nozzle in various parts of the plant. Before purchasing our products, the customer was using (4) open 5/16″ aluminum tubing to move or “float” a 12 inches by 12 inches plate of aluminum. This plate is .187 inches thick and needed to be moved six inches against the wall of their conveyor. The (4) open tubes moved the plate, but the customer had some safety concerns. First, the open pipes violated the OSHA standard 1910.242(b) that any open pipe that can be dead ended must only be pressurized to 30 PSIG. Second, to move the plate successfully the shop pressure needed increase to 100 PSIG which increases the amount of load on the compressor and could lead to higher maintenance in the future. Finally, the noise level of open pipes was well over 110 dBA which was another OSHA violation.

1132ss

Considering all of these problems the customer contacted me, looking for an air nozzle to use instead of the open pipe. After a short discussion we decided to try (3) HP 1125 nozzles. Once the customer installed the air nozzles, they only used 2 of the air nozzles, and they were able to move the plate easily across the conveyor. This netted them several key results. The most noticeable at the plant was how quiet the operation became. Instead of dealing with noise levels in excess of 110 dBa (which is equivalent to the noise level of a turbo-fan aircraft at take off)  the HP1125 comes in at 83 dBA which is roughly the noise of a milling machine.  This was much more pleasant to the operator and any plant passersby.  The most important was the operation now complied with OSHA safety requirement of 1910.242(b).  Because of the width of the Flat Nozzle and the overhang of the cap, the nozzle can not be dead ended.  Since the unit can not be dead ended, pressure above 30 PSIG can be safely used.  Finally, the most economically result was that the air savings for the units.

The 5/16 tube had an ID of .183 and was 18″ long. When supplying it with 100 PSIG of compressed air, it will flow 22.8 SCFM of compressed air, so the customer was using 91.3 SCFM. The HP1125 nozzle uses 37 SCFM at 80 PSIG, so they were able to use 74 SCFM, which means each minute they were using 17.3 fewer cubic feet. At a cost of $0.25 per 1,000 Cubic feet, the HP1125 saved $0.26 per hour or $6.23 per day or $1,557 per year with 250 working days.

Replacing (4) open tubes with (2) HP1125 Flat Super saved $1,557 per year in compressed air savings, an OSHA violation, employees hearing, and lowered the system pressure from 100 psi to 80 psi.  Needless to say the customer was sold on the benefits on our products, and is looking for any more open pipes in his facility.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

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