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

Line Vac Video: Air Operated Conveyor Conveying Raw Coffee Beans

At EXAIR we’re committed to providing customers with as much information as possible to ensure an application will work the way it’s intended. If it happens to be something we’ve dealt with before, it’s easy enough to make a recommendation. If it’s not, with EXAIR’s 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee getting something in-house to test comes with no risk at all. If it doesn’t work, just send it back, simple as that!

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If it is something that we can test ourselves, we’re more than happy to. We recently have taken several requests from customers in the coffee industry, all looking for a similar solution: conveying raw coffee beans. While we were confident in the ability of the Line Vac to transfer those beans, it wasn’t a material that we had ever actually tested here in our shop. A quick trip down the road to a local coffee roaster, and we had some raw coffee beans that we could use for a quick conveyance test. Check out the video below of my colleague John Ball and I conducting a test with our Model 6084 2” Line Vac:

If you’re looking to convey bulk materials using the Line Vac, but have reservations regarding the performance, you can also send a sample of your material in for testing here at EXAIR. We’ll be happy to put the conditions of your application to the test and share the results with you. If you’ve been manually transferring bulk material and are looking for a safer, reliable, and efficient solution the Line Vac is the right tool for the job. With a variety of sizes and materials all available from stock, we’re able to address countless applications and achieve a wide variety of conveyance rates.

The conveyance rate of the Line Vac is easily adjusted. By regulating the input pressure supplied to the Line Vac, not only can you reduce the necessary compressed air demand but you can also control the amount of material flow. Higher pressures will move material, while lower pressures will reduce compressed air consumption. If you need help determining which size and material is most suitable for your application don’t hesitate to get in touch with an EXAIR Application Engineer today. Stop having your operators climbing up and down that ladder to dump material!

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