316SS Sanitary Flange Air Operated Conveyors Pull Corn Meal Quality Samples

Agriculture, it’s a word that invokes a lot of imagery. From the vast rolling fields, to animals roaming, to a simple life of tending to the land. For some it is the perfect life of hard work and simple living. Agriculture can make one think of tractors, heavy equipment, silos, fencing, and much more. But there is one thing that does not typically come to mind, and that is compressed air. Even though compressed air is not commonly thought of being used in agriculture does not mean that it cannot be used. In fact, it can be very useful.

In one application a manufacturer of corn meal needed to take a sample of the product to test the moisture content and quality before it was loaded into a rail car. The lab tech use to have to go out to the silo to scoop up about a pint and transport it back to the lab to be tested. To eliminate the manual retrieval and delivery of the corn meal EXAIR recommended a model #163300-316 3″ St. St. Sanitary Flange Line Vac Kit and was sold to the customer. A system of 100ft of pipe was installed from the silo to the lab so that the test sample could be conveyed by the Line Vac directly to the lab to be tested. This simple fix improved the reliability of the sample and decreased the time it takes to grab a sample. Along with the added benefit that now the lab tech does not need to walk over and scoop the sample out of the container or off the ground.

EXAIR’s Family of Sanitary Flange Line Vacs

Line Vacs are a great product for conveying bulk material from point A to point B and excel with “bucket and ladder” type scenarios where personnel is manually loading or unloading batches of material or scrap. EXAIR’s Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications involving food as the internal components are smooth and can be cleaned out easily and sanitized. With a 316 Stainless Steel body the unit provides superior corrosion resistance and can withstand most caustic cleaners and oxidants. The flange style connection also makes it easy to hook up and remove for cleaning purposes.

Model 161200-316 – 316 Stainless Steel Sanitary Flange Line Vac

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs are all made from 316 Stainless Steel and come in four sizes: 1-1/2”, 2”, 2-1/2”, and 3”.

If you are interested in more applications, check out our application database on our Website. Or if you have any questions on our Line Vacs 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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Sanitary Flange Line Vacs for Bulk Conveying

Piping systems have been a hallmark of human civilization for almost as long as people have been living in community with each other. Evidence of complex earthen pipe systems, with flanged fittings & asphalt sealants, date to 2700 BC. These were used for crop irrigation, potable water distribution, and wastewater removal in ancient civilizations from the Mediterranean to the Far East.

Over the centuries, new ways to use pipe led to new ways to make pipe.  Scientists and engineers figured out ways to make pipe stronger, lighter, cheaper, and in a variety of materials.  One of the more recent milestones is the development of sanitary piping and fittings.  The stringent cleanliness controls in certain industries (food and pharmaceutical, I’m looking at you) require highly corrosion resistant materials of construction.  The inside & outside surfaces of the pipe have to be finely finished so that they can be thoroughly and positively cleaned, with no crevices, “nooks & crannies,” etc., for material to gather or cling.  And since regular cleaning & sterilization is performed, the fittings must be able to be made & unmade in a manner that still provides for positive sealing when the system is restored to operation.

EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications like this.  With their open, unobstructed throats and smooth bores, they’re intuitively easy to clean, by design.  And we’ve made them, for years, in Type 316 Stainless Steel – the preferred material of construction for many food and pharmaceutical applications.  Many users in these industries were able to install them in sanitary piping systems by welding the flanges on our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, or by installing adapters on our Threaded Stainless Steel Line Vacs.

In the spring of 2017, EXAIR released the Sanitary Flange Line Vac with those same users in mind – eliminating the need to weld or thread flanges onto existing products.  They feature the same conveyance power as our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, and can even be modified to meet Heavy Duty Line Vac performance, if needed.  There are four sizes: 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3″…which covers the most popular size range of sanitary pipe systems.

While the sanitary piping systems are certainly most often found in those cleanliness-critical food & pharma type applications, other users incorporate them because of the smooth, continuous bore of the pipe and fittings, as opposed to a threaded pipe system, where the OD of the pipe threads into the ID of the fittings, causing a “step” in the throughput.  Because sanitary fittings mate via face-to-face flange seals, this eliminates that “step” which can make for a catch-point for certain items.  It’s for this very reason that a popular ammunition manufacturer uses sanitary pipe systems to convey shell casings…because they tumble with such turbulence in the air flow, they are especially prone to hanging up on any kind of catch-point.  So, they use sanitary piping & fittings, long radius elbows, and EXAIR Model 161150-316 1-1/2″ Sanitary Flange Line Vacs.

Air conveying of certain items, like these ammo shell casings, can be prone to clogging or jamming in systems where pipe, hose, and/or fittings are inserted into each other, creating catch-points.

EXAIR has a wide selection of engineered compressed air products that are “textbook” solutions for certain applications, but also make perfect sense for use in places you might not have thought of.  If you have a bulk material conveyance operation you’d like to discuss, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Shells photo courtesy of hydropeek  Creative Commons License

Cookie Blowoff Using The Full-Flow Air Knife

A machine manufacturer was working with a food company who was looking to design a blowoff station for their cookie making process. During the production cycle, the cookie dough is put into a former that pushes the dough through round dyes that forms several rows of cookies across a conveyor. As the cookies travel down the conveyor, they are topped with ground peanut bits and sent through a flash freezing process. It was after this process, the company was looking to install the blowoff station to remove any excess peanut bits but were concerned if the air velocity was too high, they may remove too much of the ground peanuts or possibly blow the cookies themselves off of the conveyor. Another area of concern was the amount of space available to install the station was limited, so they were needing something “compact” so they could design the machine to take the least amount of real estate as possible.

The machine designer was somewhat familiar with our Air Knives, but was unsure which design would best fit the customer’s needs so they decided to reach out for assistance. After discussing the particulars, I recommended our 36″ Stainless Steel Full-Flow Air Knife Kit. Of the 3 designs of Air Knife we offer, the Super, Standard and Full-Flow, the Full-Flow Air Knife produces the lowest outlet velocities, it is also our smallest profile offering at only 1.25″ x 1″  for stainless steel construction. The Full-Flow Air Knife provides a laminar flow of air the entire length of the knife and uses a 30:1 amplification rate (entrained air to compressed air) for efficient compressed air usage. By incorporating the pressure regulator included in the kit, they would be able to easily control the exiting air velocity to effectively remove the excess peanut bits without ejecting the cookies from the line.

Full-Flow
The Full-Flow Air Knife is the ideal choice where mounting space is limited. Lengths available up to 36″ in aluminum or stainless steel construction.

For assistance in selecting the best Air Knife to fit your needs or for additional support with another application or EXAIR product, give me a call at 800-903-9247, I’d be happy to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN