Blue Jeans have been around for centuries. They are made from denim which is durable, comfortable, and fashionable cotton material; and, on casual Fridays, I get to wear them at EXAIR. Over the years, the denim companies started to create different styles. For one international denim company, they were making stonewashed jeans. This process, like the name states, uses stones to wash with the blue jeans to get that “worn-out” look.
The stone-washing process consisted of dumping a 50 Kg (110 lbs.) bag of pumice stones inside a large washer with many blue jeans. The stones were between 20 – 35 mm (¾” to 1 3/8”) in size. During the wash cycle, the stones would scrape off bits of the blue dye particles to give that worn appearance. They would wash the jeans for a specified time, and once finished, they would empty the washer into a bin with the jeans and the rocks. They would move the bin over to a dryer tumbler where they could separate the rocks from the jeans. The rocks would get collected in 50 Kg containers and reuse them for another wash cycle.
Their current system had the washer door opening roughly 3.3 feet (1 meter) from the ground. The manual operation of handling each bag or bin of rocks was “back-breaking”. The idea for safety was a concern for this denim manufacturer. So, they contacted EXAIR to see if we can help.
The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs, are the perfect product for this type of application. They are compact, inexpensive, and simple conveyors that only need compressed air to move material from point A to point B. They do not have any moving parts or motor bearings to wear, making them very reliable and long-lasting. I recommended a model 152200 Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit as it was able to convey the stones to the washer. This kit comes with a 2” hardened alloy Line Vac to resist wear, a mounting bracket, a filter separator, and a pressure regulator. The filter separator will clean the compressed air as it moves the stones to its destination. The pressure regulator is used to “dial in” the desired conveyance rates making it simple to control. The Line Vac is an easy-to-use product that can improve health and safety for your operators.
For the company above, the managers and operators were extremely happy with the safety features that the Air Operated Conveyors provide. The bags and bins of pumice stone could stay on the floor, while the Line Vac was able to move them into the washers. EXAIR offers a large range of Line Vacs to work in many types of applications. If your company has safety issues for your operators while moving material, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better way.