Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors: What to Know When Specifying

So you are thinking about using a Line Vac… Is it time to replace that ladder and bucket, and automate? There are many factors involved when deciding to use a conveyor system such as EXAIR Line Vacs. First of all let’s take a look at your product that needs conveyed. Will the integrity of your media be compromised by adding this much air to it? How heavy is it? What type of (how much) surface area does it have?

You know your media better than most. You should be able to answer most of those questions pretty easily, but what about the weight? For the weight, we work best knowing the bulk density, or pounds per cubic foot. If you do not readily know, this is easily found by finding the weight of your media in a box (or container). Then take the total cubic inches of the box (L x W x H) and divide that by 1728 (cubic inches per cubic foot), this will give you the cubic feet of that box. Then you simply divide the weight by the cubic feet, and you now have the density.

Line Vacs can convey many things.

Next we need to focus on your conveyance run. We would like to know what type of container is your product sitting in? A super sack, a hopper, a drum, a box? And where is it going? How far away is the destination hopper, dumpster, assembly station, etc.? This will help us determine the type of fitting or tools necessary to extract or release the media. How high do you need to go? How far horizontally? Our Line Vacs, are amazing, but they do have their limits. We will also need to know if there are any turns, and at what angles. Turns are many times unavoidable, but will have an adverse effect on the conveyance run as the airflow is halted and or deflected. Is there a way to minimize or eliminate the turns?

The final question is; how many pounds per minute do you need to be conveyed?

With the size, mass, and geometry of your parts, along with the vertical lift length, and the horizontal conveyance length, added to the turns and twists, you are just about ready to call one of our our application engineers for recommendations. We have some comparison materials for conveyance rates, to get you close to your actual needs. Here are some published conveyance rates as well:

There is one more part to this equation. What type and size of Line Vac will you need? EXAIR has many types of Line Vacs to choose from. As with most products, we have options that take into consideration the temperature and the abrasiveness of your product. We also have options to fit the type of conveyance hose or pipe you want to use , such as sanitary fittings, or threaded. And since we manufacture these right here in Cincinnati, OH, we can make custom Line Vacs for customers fairly quickly. We have designed and manufactured them with custom bolt on flanges, special materials or inlet sizes to name a few.

EXAIR Line Vacs: For bulk material conveyance through lines from 3/8″ to 6″, in aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, or abrasion resistant hardened alloy, available from stock with the widest variety of connections in the industry.

Please do not hesitate to call. We will be happy to help you with any technical questions about our products.

Application Engineer

Brian Wages

EXAIR Corporation
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Yellow Ladder pic from OpenClipart-Vectors / 27385 & Bucket Pic from Jazella / 704 images on a Pixabay License

Customized for Your Process: Special Pneumatic Conveyors

For many, material conveyance is a necessary factor in their manufacturing and processing procedures. Much of the time our large array of different Line Vacs (air operated conveyors) can suit a large array of different conveying applications; but sometimes the stock item is just not the right fit for a specific application. Fortunately, since we manufacture everything here in Cincinnati, OH we have the flexibility to provide custom products throughout all of our 16 product lines. The Line Vac product line, even as large as it is, is a pretty common product for us to customize and manufacture. The following are a few examples of special Line Vacs that we have made in the past.

Liner Vacs connect to a hose, tube or pipe to create a powerful inline conveyor, powered by compressed air.

The Special Mini Line Vac:

This special was designed with barbed fittings for easier installation for a manufacturer of integrated circuit chips. It was used to remove microscopic debris. The small body and high vacuum flow made it a perfect fit for the confined working space.

Special Mini Line Vac

The PVDF Line Vac:

This 1 ½” flanged Line Vac was designed using PVDF to provide a superior chemical resistance. In this case the unit was going to be exposed to a chloride wash which will corrode all versions of steel including stainless steel. The QF Flanges were also added to provide easy disassembly when the Line Vac was scheduled for cleaning.

Special Flanged PVDF Line Vac

The Special Flanged Line Vac:

This next special Line Vac was used to convey a measured granulated material into a pouch. The funnel side was loaded with the pre-measured material and pushed into a mesh pouch when the air was activated.

Special Flanged Line Vac

Special Flanged Refumigation Line Vac:

This flanged Line Vac was used to retrofit existing machinery to remove acidic vapors resulting from surface etching of a silicon wafer. Where this would typically be a nice fit for a Stainless Steel Air Amplifier, the existing exhaust piping was lengthy with many bends that would have caused back pressure on any Air Amplifiers. In this case, they needed the additional force from the Line Vac to overcome this downstream resistance.

Special Flanged Line Vac

As you can see there isn’t much that we can’t do for you. The sky is the limit when it comes to thinking up of a custom-made solution for your application. Our Application Engineers are just the right folks to work with when considering a custom solution for your process. They have seen and heard many requests and past success stories, which can aid with any future solutions you may need. Whether it is for a blow off application using air knives, cooling application using vortex tubes, or of course conveyance application using a Line Vac.

If you have questions about our custom made Line Vac solutions or any of our engineered Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR or any Application Engineer.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Custom Products Designed Just for Your Application

Because EXAIR designs and manufactures our own products, if you need something a little different we can probably help. This is true throughout our entire product line, the following examples are of our Line Vac products.

Do you have an application that may not be best served by one of our stock Line Vac products? While we have quite a variety of both materials, sizes, and connection types sometimes a special application requires a special solution. For this reason,  EXAIR manufactures special Line Vacs suited EXACTLY for the type of application or environment that it’ll be operating in.

This special Miniature Line Vac was manufactured with barb fittings and designed for a manufacturer of integrated circuit chips. It was used to remove microscopic debris during the chip making process. It’s small overall footprint makes it ideal for applications requiring tight mounting conditions. It has also been used by other manufacturers to vacuum liquid and chips from small drilled holes. While the Line Vac isn’t typically suitable for liquids, the higher vacuum level associated with the smaller Line Vacs makes it a possibility.

ldlvspec1

This next special Line Vac was used to convey fine powders or granulated materials from a hopper. While this is a pretty straight-forward application for a standard Line Vac, their material could sometimes be moist which would pack the tube and restrict the flow of material. The funnel-shaped design created a suction on the existing tube that permitted a continuous product flow.

ldlvspec5

This flanged Line Vac was used to retrofit existing machinery to remove acidic vapors resulting from surface etching of a silicon wafer. Where this would typically be a nice fit for a Stainless Steel Air Amplifier, the existing exhaust piping was lengthy with many bends that would have caused back pressure on any Air Amplifiers. In this case, they needed the high velocity airflow from the directed nozzles of the Line Vac to overcome this downstream resistance.

ldlvspec3

In addition to making Line Vacs in different shapes and sizes, we can also use special materials. In this instance, the special flanged Line Vac was manufactured out of PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) due to its superior corrosive resistance. The Line Vac would be regularly exposed to a chloride wash that would corrode even stainless steel. It was also manufactured with special QF flanges to allow for easy assembly and removal of the conveying hoses for cleaning purposes.

ldlvspec4

As you can see the sky is the limit when it comes to potential styles of Line Vacs. Don’t think just because you don’t find something you need in the catalog that EXAIR can’t do it! We’ll create special manufactured products for just about anything that you can find in the catalog, not just the Line Vacs. Whether it’s custom-length Super Air Knives or special Air Amplifiers we can make it happen. Reach out to an Application Engineer today for help designing a solution, just for YOU!

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