Vortex Tube Cools Glue On A Paper Folding Machine

I recently worked on a cooling application with an engineering company who designed a paper folding machine for their customer. As the paper enters the machine, it travels over a series of rollers or “plows” that folds the paper into the desired design. At the last step a heated glue is applied to the edge so the paper stays folded. After the paper leaves the folder it is sent to a stack machine to be processed and packaged for shipment. It was at this area they were starting to see some issues arise as the glue was retaining heat, causing it to leak onto the dividers of the stacker or other finished papers.

Example of a paper folding machine

To try and remedy the situation, the customer had installed an air nozzle to blow compressed air across the last fold and while this did work somewhat, they had to operate at really low pressure so they didn’t cause the paper to move while trying to cool the glue. This slowed the process down, which was negatively affecting their production output, so they reached out for assistance on a more reliable solution.

After further discussing the process with the design company, I recommended they use our Model # 3908 Small Vortex Tube Cooling Kit. The Vortex Tube Cooling Kits include the Vortex Tube, cold muffler, tubing, filter separator and all of the generators to change the flow rate and cooling capacity of the Vortex Tube during operation. The temperature drop from the supply air temperature and the volume of air being exhausted can be controlled by adjusting the valve in the hot end to change the cold fraction (the percentage of air being exhausted out of the cold end versus the amount of air being exhausted out of the hot end).

Items included in a Vortex Tube Cooling Kit

By incorporating the Cooling Kit into the process, the customer would be able to experiment with the airflow and temperature to achieve an acceptable balance, providing enough cold air to cure the glue, while not disrupting the process. If you have a similar process you would like to discuss, please contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247 for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

The Folding Machine 4 image courtesy of Ms. Tharpe via creative commons license

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