Will an EXAIR Vacuum Work with This Material?

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Activated carbon pellets in need of vacuuming

At the heart of EXAIR’s dry vacuum systems are a modified design to our Line Vac air operated conveyors.  These units convert a compressed air supply into a powerful vacuum source with no moving parts and thus no components to wear out.  This, in turn, translates to an instantaneous vacuum supply that is both durable and maintenance free.

These aspects of our vacuum systems led a pharmaceutical research company in Macau to contact us about using a Heavy Duty Dry Vac in one of their applications.  The complete details of the application were proprietary, but information about the specific use was made available.

What this customer needed to do, was to vacuum activated carbon chips in batches of ~300kg (660 pounds) into a contained drum or bag.  The ultimate question in the application was whether an EXAIR Heavy Duty Dry Vac system can vacuum 300kg of activated carbon.  And, if it can, how long will it take?  To answer these questions we turned to a bit of data about the activated carbon, and the potential vacuuming rate of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac System.

Activated carbon has a bulk density of ~0.52 g/cm³ (~32.5 pounds/ft³), and the Heavy Duty Dry Vac can vacuum this type of material at a rate of ~30kg/min. or more (~66 pounds/min. or more).  This means that we’ll be able to vacuum the full 300kg of activated carbon in ~10 minutes!

But, where will it all go?

If we were to use a 55 gallon Heavy Duty Dry Vac, we could vacuum ~105 kg. (232 pounds) of this material before filling the drum.  But, if we use a 110 gallon system, we will double this capacity while keeping the performance and compressed air demand of the system exactly the same.

The multiple sizes of EXAIR vacuum systems provided a wide array of solution options in this application.  After discussing these options and receiving a request for distributor contact in China, we passed this customer over to our Chinese distributor.

Providing solutions for industrial applications is the forte of EXAIR Application Engineers.  It doesn’t matter if the application is here in the States, or overseas, we’re available for any questions our customers have.

If you’d like to discuss your application with an EXAIR Application Engineer we’re available by phone, email, or online chat.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Two Vacuums For The Price Of One

I recently noticed on my mortgage statement that I own more of my house than the bank does now. That made me feel good, and it also gave me pause for a moment of reflection on all the adventures I’ve had as a suburban American homeowner.  Good times…then, another adventure happened:

I’m in the middle of a major (to me) construction project in our house. Now, if you’ve ever worked with drywall, you know that anything you do to it creates dust….sometimes in great volume. No worries, though – I’ve got a real nice portable wet/dry vacuum that makes light work of drywall dust & scrap. So, when I’m done for the day, I leave the area as dust-free and tidy as it was before (“tidy” is relative…there are two teenagers and a dog in my house.)

For the record, the dog was more interested in the new hole in the wall than the teenagers.

For the record, the dog was more interested in the new hole in the wall than the teenagers.

Anyway, the adventure happened last Saturday morning, when the basement sump high level alarm went off. I had to get the water out of the sump, and fast, so I could find out what was wrong with my sump pump. No problem…I’ve got that real nice portable wet/dry vacuum, right? That was full of drywall debris. So, I hastily dumped it into the garage trash can (making another mess I had to clean up later) and removed the particulate filter so I could drain the sump. Which it did, like a champ. It was a stuck float on the sump pump, which I remedied quickly, and all was well with the world again. At least in my (and my bank’s) almost 1/4 acre of it.

Speaking of the different things you can use vacuums for, I had the pleasure of talking with a caller the other day about industrial vacuum applications. When they wash down a particular area of their facility, they end up with puddles of water, mixed with lots of solid debris, all over the floor. They were using electric wet/dry vacuums (like mine) but had a recent scare involving a damaged power cord on a wet floor. Luckily, someone saw it before anything bad happened, but it made them think about other options…like compressed air operated Industrial Vacuums.

They looked at some dual Venturi systems, which would indeed replicate the function of their electric vacs, but at a considerable rate of compressed air consumption…over 100 SCFM (over 25HP worth of typical industrial air compressor load.) Their compressed air system simply didn’t have the capacity for this. They already had an EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac, and had plenty of capacity to run it since it only requires 19 SCFM @80psig (about 5HP worth of compressor load,) but it wasn’t greatly effective at picking up the solid debris. That’s where the EXAIR Chip Vac comes in to our story…it uses only 40 SCFM @80psig (about 10HP worth of compressor load) to clean up the solid debris that doesn’t get sucked up with the puddles of water & sludge that the Reversible Drum Vac takes care of.

Reversible Drum Vac (left) and Chip Vac (right) – two EXAIR Industrial Vacuums for lower cost (purchase AND operation) than wet-dry combo air operated vacuums.

And…(back to the title of this blog)…a Reversible Drum Vac AND a Chip Vac STILL cost less to purchase than the dual Venturi system they were looking at. Lower purchase cost. Lower operating cost. Two independent systems. That’s a win-win-win.  If you have wet…dry…or wet & dry…messes to clean up, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Reversible Drum Vac Services Ultrasonic Cleaner

The other day, I got a call from a customer who was frustrated with how long it took to change the solution out in their shop’s ultrasonic cleaners. Most folks are familiar with ultrasonic cleaners as the magic contraption that jewelry shops use to keep the gold and silver in their display cabinets all bright & shiny. My first thought was, this caller is NOT talking about those. Turns out, they come in MUCH larger sizes, and are used to clean a variety of industrial parts.

They were using a small submersible pump, but it was troublesome in that they could only use a 1/2″ hose (it was actually made for aquarium use,) and it took a long time to get 25-30 gallons out of their cleaners. Plus, there was always a little left in the bottom that had to be scooped out, because the centrifugal pump lost suction with about 1/2″ of liquid still standing in the bottom.

Since they were pumping it into one of the 30 gallon drums that they received the solution in, the EXAIR Model 6196-30 Reversible Drum Vac System (for 30 Gallon Drum) was an ideal choice. It used to take up to 15 minutes to empty the ultrasonic cleaner now takes about a minute, and they can get it all out, except for a small amount that has to be wiped up with a sponge.

The EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac - four sizes to choose from; tools & accessories to fit your needs.

The EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac – four sizes to choose from; tools & accessories to fit your needs.

EXAIR has a wide range of Industrial Vacuums to choose from…wet or dry, big or small, and a variety of accessories & tools to make life easier. If you’d like to find out how to turn a standard drum into an air operated vacuum system, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Condiment Sauce Recovery Using The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac

Last week I worked with a food manufacturer who makes a line of specialty sauces, with consistencies similar to BBQ sauce or ketchup, who was looking to vacuum spills off their production floors. During production, they will sometimes experience an overfill during the bottling process, which results in the product spilling on the floor. Their current clean up method is to have an operator with a wash down hose, “thin” the sauce spills with water then direct it to a drain in the floor so it can be sent to the scrap tank. This was causing a few issues though, first, the drains have filter traps that were clogging regularly from not only the sauces but other particulate that may have been on the floor, causing environmental concerns for the plant. The other concern was the amount of water they were wasting to perform the clean up. My contact was the newly appointed maintenance manager and was tasked with trying to find a more reliable, economical way to remedy the situation. He was familiar with EXAIR as he had used some of our Line Vac Conveyors at his previous employer and knew we also carried a line of Industrial Vacuums but was unsure which product would be best suited for his needs so he reached out for assistance.

After discussing the details of the application, I recommended he use our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac System. The High Lift RDV is a liquid only vacuum that provides 180″ H20 vacuum and is able to handle thicker, more viscous fluids (up to 1400 cP) than our standard Reversible Drum Vac. With the ability to vacuum liquid up to 15′, the unit comes standard with a 20′ flexible vacuum hose and has no motors or moving parts to wear out. The system quickly installs to a standard closed head steel drum with available capacities of 30, 55 or 110 gallons. For spills, we offer our optional Model # 6901 Spill Recovery Kit which includes a 54″ ABS wand and 14″ double-blade squeegee that makes floor cleanup a breeze. After the material has been vacuumed, the unit can then be set to “empty” to pump the liquid back out to their waste tank so it can be carried away by their environmental recovery supplier.

hlrdv

The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac is able to pump thicker liquids from sumps or tanks up to 15 feet deep.

For help selecting the best suited Industrial Vacuum for your specific need or to discuss a particular application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Improved Safety Benefits Employees & the Company

“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility” is a slogan that companies around the world have adopted.

A refinery that processes palm oil from palm seeds had pipes throughout their facility to transport the oil. They would periodically have to clean the 10” diameter pipes as part of a maintenance program.  To do this, they would use a rubber plunger-like device called a pig to move through the pipe lines.  When they opened the piping system to install the pig, palm oil would leak onto the floor.  In their safety protocol, they would place adsorbent barriers around the spills and use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the waste oil.  They would discard the liquid in a vat for disposal.  The wet/dry vacuum was limited in size to only hold 5 gallons because the operators would have to lift the container to dump the oil in the vat.  If the oil spills exceeded 5 gallons, then they would have to make multiple trips.  They wanted to get a better system as time was of the essence when you have oil on the floor.

6296 Deluxe RDV System

In speaking about their operations, they were needing to improve on their process and safety. I recommended the model 6296 Deluxe Reversible Drum Vac System.  This system uses a two-way pump and siphon tube that mounts into a 55 gallon drum easily without any modifications.  The pump uses compressed air, not electricity, to quietly generate a vacuum to a level of 96” of water. It does not have any moving parts, no motor or bearings to wear out, so it is very reliable and maintenance free.  The deluxe system comes with our Spill Recovery Kit for complete liquid pickup, a drum dolly, vacuum hose, and tool accessories with a holder.  In replacing their current system with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac, they could now vacuum a larger volume of liquid during excessive spillage without stopping.  Once the waste oil was vacuumed and contained, they could then just push their drum to the disposal vat.  With a simple turn of the knob, the two-way pump changes from a vacuum system to dispensing the waste oil into the vat.  This removed the need to lift any containers which could cause back damage to the operator.

Easy to change the operation

Easy to change the operation

As stated in the OSHA website, “Businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses — expenditures that come straight out of company profits. But workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. In today’s business environment, these costs can be the difference between operating in the black and running in the red.” Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and in using EXAIR products, you can do your part like the refinery above.

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

Need an Upgrade? EXAIR has options.

Occasionally we field calls from customers who are currently using an EXAIR product but are looking to “upgrade” to something that might provide just a little bit “extra”. Such was the case recently when I was working with a customer who was currently using our Reversible Drum Vac to clean out their coolant tanks on their milling machines. The RDV was working great in the application but in an effort to gain more floor space, they were now going to store their coolant drums on their mezzanine, located around 10′ above the machining area so they needed something with more power to lift the heavy liquid coolant up to the mezzanine. I promptly suggested our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac. The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac provides up to 15′ of vacuum lift and mounts through the same, 3/4″ NPT threaded hole in the drum lid as their current unit. By purchasing a new High Lift pump unit only, and a 20′ vacuum hose, this customer avoided purchasing a completely new system (they  or other unfamiliar product. They simply replaced the pump unit into the 3/4 NPT bung of the existing drum, and swapped out the hose to meet their existing needs of higher lift.

HLRDV

The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac is designed to fit 30, 55 and 110 gallon, closed head steel drums.

This is just one example how EXAIR continues to offer new products to meet increasing customer demands. In fact, several other products have also been recently expanded or developed to demonstrate this commitment. Here is a short list showcasing some of our newer offerings.

The Chip Trapper System which filters suspended solids in liquid and traps them in a reusable filter bag inside the drum, is also offered in a High Lift version as well, providing the extra vacuum (180″ water column) discussed above, for elevated tanks or below grade sumps.

high-lift-chip-trapper

High Lift Chip Trapper System

We now offer our Heavy Duty Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors in 2.5″ and 3″ sizes with either smooth or NPT threaded ends. The HD Line Vac is constructed of a proprietary hardened alloy construction for superior abrasion resistance and is capable of moving dry material, higher and farther distances.

Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

Our 1/2″ NPT Atomizing Nozzles provide higher flow rates, up to 303 GPH,  with varying spray patterns. Also available with our N0-Drip feature to positively stop the liquid flow when the compressed air supply is shut off.

ef5010ss

EF5010SS 1/2″ NPT External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Nozzle with flows up to 303 GPH.

no-drip

No-Drip Atomizing Nozzle eliminate liquid waste.

The High Velocity Air Jet and Adjustable Air Jet are now available in 303 Stainless Steel for application requiring superior construction where brass may not be suitable.

6013ss

Model # 6013SS Stainless Steel High Velocity Air Jet

 

Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Jet

Model # 6019SS Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Jet

Lastly, we now offer our HD HEPA Vac in a 30 gallon capacity for smaller area, lower scale cleanup for dusty environments.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

All of these products are shipped from stock and can ship same day with orders received by 3:00 PM EST. If you are looking to upgrade your current EXAIR product or with help selecting the best solution, please give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

EXAIR Chip Vac Removes Swarf and Keeps the Machining Center Running

The word of the day is “swarf”. Swarf is fine chips or filings of stone, metal or other material produced by a machining operation.

A company had four automatic profile cutting machines to cut aluminum stock.  They contacted me for help to improve their operation.  Each machine had a cleated belt conveyor to remove the swarf (or chips) from the cutting process.  Because the swarf was small in size, the chips could get around the edge of the belt and affect the conveying system.  Two of the four conveyors failed, and they wanted to find a better option to remove the swarf and keep the machines running.  They sent me a photo of the type and size of the swarf that was thwarting their conveying system.

Swarf - fine metal chips from machining

Swarf – fine metal chips from machining

EXAIR receives many calls about applications similar to this. I suggested the model 6193 Chip Vac System.  This assembly will fit onto a standard open-top 55 gallon drum which has a much smaller footprint than the conveying system.  The 0.1 micron filter allows for the air to escape and keep the fine particles inside the drum.  For this customer, once the drum was filled with aluminum chips, it was easy to rotate in an empty drum, sending the full drum of material to recycling.  The vacuum generator has no moving parts which makes it quiet, maintenance free, and long lasting.  It also creates a high vacuum level which was very useful when they attached it near the chip collection area.  The Chip Vac System was easy to install and it was very beneficial in keeping the machining area clean and running.

EXAIR Chip Vac

EXAIR Chip Vac

If you find that your chip conveying system is affecting your operations, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better and more reliable solution to remove your swarf.

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

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