EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors Helped in a “Sticky” Situation.

An office furniture manufacturing company wanted to increase their production by installing two new automated edge banding lines in their facility.  These lines are designed to glue a plastic film to the outside edge of laminated wood panels.  Each system contained four gluing stations, one on each side of the line, positioned 15 meters apart.  Their goal was to duplicate their existing lines but with less floor space (and haven’t we all heard this one).  They were having issues in fitting the same type of equipment inside that limited amount of space.  Since they could not change the automated lines, they had to look at their next biggest system; the vacuum conveying system.  It consisted of a motor, a vacuum pump, an accumulator, and a control panel.  So, it had a large footprint (reference sketch below).

From the vacuum system, they branched out with conveyance lines that were fitted with a large actuator valve to open and close at certain times for filling.  With this configuration, they had a centerline distance between lines of 11 meters.  This conveying system was not only large, but very expensive.  They had to find an alternate method in order to add their new process lines.  They took to the internet and came across the EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors or, Line Vacs.

Sketch of Vacuum System
Sketch of Vacuum System

During our discussion, they gave me their design specifications required for the application. The glue pellets were 5.5mm in diameter and had a bulk density of 1100 Kg/M^3.  The gluing stations would only use 50 kg/hr  per hopper at full capacity.  The opening of the hopper was positioned 4 meters from the ground level above the processing line.

Hot Melt Glue Beads
Hot Melt Glue Beads
Hopper
Hopper

With these requirements, the EXAIR Line Vac was the perfect product to use.  I suggested using one of a model 6982 Aluminum Line Vac Kit per hopper.   This kit comes with a 1 ¼” Line Vac, a mounting bracket, a filter separator, and a regulator.  They could mount them near the super sack of glue pellets, individually control each Line Vac, and convey the desired amount of material to each hopper.  At a 4 meter height and a maximum 15 meter distance, the model 6982 has the ability to convey nearly 150 Kg/hr at 5.5 bar.  The pressure regulator that is included in each kit could be used to “dial in” the required amount of material at the different distances.  With its compact size, 61mm diameter by 91mm long, it could fit nicely near the machines without taking up valuable floor space.

They were able to mount the Line Vac Kits next to the lines which allowed them to move the edge banding lines closer together.  They were able to decrease the centerline distance from the original system of 11 meters to a distance of 6 meters.   Thus, solving the above issue by gaining valuable floor space.  As an added value in conveying with EXAIR Line Vacs, they were able to reduce the cost by 1/10 of the original vacuum system.

Line Vac
Line Vac

The design of the Line Vac makes it very easy to mount, setup, and use right away. They do not have any moving parts or motor bearings to wear, making them very reliable and long lasting.  In addition to that, the cost comparison between the large vacuum system and the EXAIR Line Vacs has a great financial benefit as well.  If your company needs a compact, simple, inexpensive conveying systems to move product, you should contact an Application Engineer to see if we have an Air Operated Conveyor that will suit your application.

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

Super Air Knife Removes Dust In Furniture Application

One of the biggest disruptions to the home furniture business in the latter half of the 20th century was the introduction of self-assembled units.  Consumers found more attractive prices for items they put together themselves, and manufacturers found a way to expand their markets.

This change, coupled with the advances in CNC machining, has led to a booming industry.  And, EXAIR Super Air Knives provide a solution within this industry that allows the manufacturer of component based furniture to package their items with better quality and at higher production rates.

SAK at IKEA 2
Cutting and routing machine

The application involved cutting and routing components in the machine above.  The machining is precise, but the manufacturer found that the bottom of the pieces held an undesirable dust, and they needed a way to remove the dust before packaging.

SAK at IKEA 1
Super Air Knife installed to blow off dust from the bottom of finished pieces

The solution was to install a Super Air Knife onto the machine, below the track rollers used to guide the ejected parts.  When the wood pieces travel over the Super Air Knife, the dust is blown away and they are completely ready for packaging.

Installing the Super Air Knife improved product quality and increased production throughput by removing a wasteful and needless process of hand treating each piece.

If you have a similar application or problem, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Liquid Atomizing Nozzle Used To Mark Furniture During Production

EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle
EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle mounted and ready for air and liquid supply.

A major furniture manufacturer recently developed a need to replace an outdated spraying system with an efficient, engineered solution.  The need was to mark a production piece as it travels from one process to the next along a linear conveyor.  At intermittent points in the conveyor there is an opening through which liquid can be sprayed, but the opening is small and the available time is short.

The photo above shows the mounted nozzle awaiting final connection to air and liquid supply lines.  The pressure of these supply lines, combined with the fine tuning of the needle valve (top center of the Atomizing Nozzle) allow the liquid flow of the application to be dialed in to precisely the right point.  (Note that the photo has been rotated 180° and the nozzle actually sprays liquid upward.  EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can be installed in any orientation.)

This application, with limited space and instantaneous or near-instantaneous liquid spray needs, is a great fit for an EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle.

Fast delivery, and precision control are two of the biggest advantages to using an engineered solution.  If you have an application in need of an atomized liquid spray, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE