Line Vacs- Air Operated Conveyors, and Much More

The EXAIR Line Vac is a tried and true device for conveying parts, materials, and waste – with no moving parts. The list of successfully conveyed materials in the application database is far reaching – including plastic pellets, scrap/trim, chips, pills/tablets, shavings, sawdust and granules.

The Line Vacs can be used for more than conveying large amounts of material from A to B. Recently, one of our automation customers found an application for the Line Vac in the design and manufacture of a custom fill machine.  The machine was commissioned to fill small, plastic cups.  To move the cups from the material staging area to the filler processing area, (10) of the 2″ aluminum Line Vacs were used.  Using a sensor to measure the stack height in each tube, the compressed air is triggered on/off to transfer a group of cups over to the filling area.  See photo below-

Line Vac Transporter

Other types of applications that Line Vacs have been used for include pick and place, small space ventilation, fine powder dispersion and light vacuum generation. Another popular use is to integrate into a machining process for waste removal of chips, shavings, and waste removal.

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1-1/4″ (32mm) Line Vac Mounted to Remove Plastic Shavings and Transport to Waste Container

The Line Vacs come in (3) types- Standard, Light Duty and Heavy Duty.  Also, (3) different end connections are available including smooth bore, threaded, and the new sanitary flanged. Depending on the model type, materials of construction may include aluminum, type 303 and 316 stainless steels, and a hardened alloy.  Special high temperature versions are available with temperature ratings up to 900°F (482°C.)

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To discuss your application and how a Line Vac or any other EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can improve your process, feel free to contact EXAIR, myself, or one of our other Application Engineers. We can help you determine the best solution!

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Light Duty Line Vac For Paper Trim Removal

Today I worked with a customer that manufactures a wide variety of material handling equipment including coil unwinders.  The engineer was calling because there was a special project for a coil unwinder that could handle a waste piece of paper trim.  As the metal coil is being unwound for delivery to a metal processing machine, the protective paper is pulled off and was to be collected into a waste receptacle for easy handling and disposal/recycling.  The engineer was hoping to replicate an existing system that used a hybrid blower system, with an extra compressed air nozzle, but in a simpler form.

Coil Unwinder

We proposed the use of the 4″ Light Duty Line Vac– shown below.130400The Light Duty Line Vacs offer an effective way to convey small and light materials a short distance. Like the standard Line Vac, the Light Duty Line Vac converts an ordinary hose or tube into a  conveyor for scrap, trim, and bulk materials.

When the process involves moving low volumes of materials over short distances, the Light Duty Line Vac is a great choice. The simplified (2) piece design offers effective conveying at a lower cost. As an added plus, the compressed air consumption is lowered to levels commensurate with handling the lighter materials, at lower volumes and short distances.  Using a pressure regulator to control the supply air allows for tuning of the transfer rate, and keeps air usage to the minimum amount needed.

The Light Duty Line Vacs are available with inlet/outlet diameters from 3/4″ up to 6″.  With no moving parts, maintenance free operation is assured.

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Light Duty Line Vacs – Available in 3/4″, 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 2″, 3″, 4″ and 6″ Diameters. All in Stock!

For other larger materials, higher transfer rates, corrosive environments, or abrasive materials, take a look at the other EXAIR Line Vac offerings including the aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless standard Line Vacs, the aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless steel Threaded Line Vacs, high temperature models, standard and threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs, and lastly the new Sanitary Flanged 316 stainless steel type.

If you would like to talk about Light Duty Line Vacs or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Threaded Line Vacs: Low Cost Conveyor Uses Ordinary Pipe!

EXAIR’s Threaded Line Vac air operated conveyor takes an ordinary pipe and converts it into a powerful conveying system.  A fast, low cost way to convey items such as pellets, scrap trim, bulk solids, chips, paper, small parts, sawdust, granules, and so much more. The Threaded Line Vac attached easily to plumbing pipe couplers, like PVC or iron, making it easy to build a complete system with parts readily available from your local supply house or hardware store.

The Threaded Line Vac are ideally suited for conveying large volumes of materials over long distances.  Like the standard, smooth bore ended Line Vacs, the unit works by ejecting a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum suction on the inlet side and a high output flow from the outlet side.  By using a pressure regulator to control the compressed air supply pressure, the rate of conveyance can be controlled to match the application needs, while minimizing the compressed air usage.

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Models are available from 3/8 NPT to 3 NPT with materials of construction of aluminum and types 313 and 316 stainless steels (excellent corrosion resistance.)  High temperature versions of the stainless steel Threaded Line Vacs are available as well, for temperatures up to 900°F.

For those processes requiring the highest rates of conveyance over the longest distances and/or the most abrasive of materials, the Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac is the right choice.  Designed with the most rugged industrial processes and applications in mind, the special hardened alloy construction helps prevent premature wear that could occur with standard aluminum or stainless steel models, under the harshest of conditions.  The performance has been boosted, to be able to convey more material, over longer distances and higher vertical rises.

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To select the right model, information regarding these criteria is helpful-

  • Size of parts and bulk density of material being conveyed
  • What size hose, tube, or pipe is desired
  • Target conveyance rate
  • Distance of conveyance, both horizontal and vertical legs
  • Preferred material of construction

For another look, please see the video available that provides more details about the Line Vac family.

If you would like to talk about Line Vacs or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Line Vac – Air Operated Conveyors

Convey parts, materials, and waste – with no moving parts!

The Line Vac is a fast, low cost way to convey pellets, scrap trim, textiles, bulk solids, food products, chips, and much more.  Simply connect to a standard hose, tube, or pipe and a powerful in-line conveyor is created.

Available in (4) materials – aluminum, 303 and 316 stainless steels, and a special hardened alloy, and (3) end connection types – NPT threaded, smooth bore, and the new sanitary flanged. Sizes range from 3/8″ up to a 6″. It is certain that an available Line Vac option will meet your process criteria.

For lighter materials and short conveyance distances, the Light Duty model is ideal, and for the most abrasive and heaviest materials over longer distances, the Heavy Duty style is available.

The Line Vacs offer many safety benefits, including eliminating the dangers of lifting heavy sacks and climbing ladders to fill hoppers, and with the 316 stainless steel sanitary flanged Line Vacs, food materials are kept enclosed and and separated and provides ease of cleaning.

Check out the video by clicking the photo below

Capture

The Line Vac works by having a small amount of compressed air injected through directed nozzles to produce a vacuum on one end and high output air flow on the other, with instantaneous response.  By using a pressure regulator, available as part of a kit or separately, the flow of the material transfer can be easily controlled. No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation!

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Trim Scrap Removal

Conveyance rates are determined by the material bulk density, typical particle size, total distance of conveyance, including vertical rise, and the targeted transfer rate.  An EXAIR Application Engineer can assist you, and with the above information, recommend the right size and type of Line Vac to meet the desired results.

All catalog models are in stock and we ship same day with an order received by 3 pm EDT in the US and 2 pm EDT for orders shipping to Canada.

Our team of engineers can design a special Line Vac to meet many applications special requirements, from special materials such as PVC and PVDF to special end connections such as pipe flanges and barbed hose connections.  Let us know the special requirements of your process and we’ll design a solution.

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This special 3/4″ Line Vac was designed to evacuate fumes from a silicone wafer etching operation

To go with the Line Vac, we can provide a reinforced, heavy wall, clear PVC conveyance hose in lengths up to 50′.  Additionally, the Line Vac Drum Cover is a fine mesh, non-woven cover built to fit on the top of a 30 or 55 gallon drum.  It is designed to contain the material to the drum and allow the air from the Line Vac to escape.

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Drum Cover, for 30 and 55 Gallon Drums

If you have questions regarding the Line Vac, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Heavy Duty Line Vac Saves Backs and Shoulders!

Recently, I worked with a customer that was looking for a way to make a difficult job easier, reducing stress and strain on the body and preventing injury.  The customer was in the Environmental Services & Hazardous Waste Management area and regularly was called out to service acid neutralization tanks. These are commonly found in hospitals, laboratories, and schools, to neutralize lab wastewater before it is discharged to the sanitary sewer.  The systems typically utilize limestone chips to aid the in process.

Acid Neutralization Tank
                       Typical Acid Neutralization Tank Layout Sketch

Periodic maintenance includes the removal and disposal of the spent limestone chips, tank cleaning and replenishment with new limestone chips.  Some of the tanks are tall and narrow, making access to the limestone chips difficult, especially near the tank bottom. Current procedures involved small shovels and unnatural body positions to try to reach the bottom-most material.  A better way had to be found.

The customer came across the EXAIR website and found the Line Vac product line. After watching the demonstration video, he knew he had found his solution!  The Line Vac is a compressed air operated device that turns any hose or tube into a powerful in-line conveyor. Based on the height of the tanks and the size and weight of the limestone, we agreed the 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac would provide the power and durability to empty the tanks in a timely manner, and safely and efficiently.  The customer would use a tow behind compressor so that a reliable source of compressed air would always be available.

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Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit – Includes Auto Drain Filter Separator and Pressure Regulator

The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are available in sizes from 3/4″ up to 3″ in both smooth end and threaded connections for use with hose or pipe for conveyance.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Line Vac can make your transfer process easier and safer, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Don’t Throw the Baby Out With The Bath Water – and How it Applies to Manufacturing

There are many curious sayings from history that are still part of our vernacular, and whose origins are debated.  Examples are ‘Spill the Beans’ and ‘Bite the Bullet.’  One of my first supervisors liked to use the expression ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.’  Initially, I didn’t quite understand what was meant by this, and then wasn’t sure it was relevant in some instances.  Fast forward many years, I hadn’t thought too much about it, but for some reason, the phrase recently came back into my thinking.

Today the phrase generally means not to get rid of something good when getting rid of something bad (when throwing out the dirty bath water, you don’t want to throw out the baby, too!)  As I look back to the supervisor that used it, it was for situations where the solution was within grasp, but due to recent shortcomings it may seemed out of reach. Scrapping the whole thing (the baby and the bathwater) and trying something new would not be the favorable way to proceed.

I remembered this phrase when recently a customer called in about the 3″ Line Vac they were using.  It was performing OK, but just was’t doing what they had hoped. They asked if it was still returnable under the 30 day guarantee (it was) and how to start the return process.

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EXAIR Line Vac Family

While we aim to make the return procedure simple and efficient, we will most likely ask a few questions.  We’ll ask ‘what are trying to do?’  ‘Can you send in any photos of the installation’ (we solve lots of issues by seeing something that can be easily remedied) and certainly we will ask ‘about the compressed air supply.’ In the recent customer call, the customer was trying to convey dog food, a distance of 25′ vertical and 18′ horizontal –  a fairly challenging distance, but not impossible.  A photo could be sent in if needed and then the discussion turned to the compressed air supply.  It was determined that the compressed air supply line was undersized for the 68.5 SCFM of 80 PSIG compressed air needed to for the Line Vac to operate to its full capability.  We reviewed the Installation and Maintenance Guide and suggested the proper pipe and air hose sizing for this installation. Armed with this new knowledge, the customer set about to modify the installation.

I got an email later that day from the customer.  Results were dramatically improved! Average of first measured trials yielded 50 lbs of material in 46 seconds, one of the fastest conveyance rates recorded for those types of distances. Customer was pleased and was looking forward to keeping the unit and getting the benefit that was expected.

In this case, the baby was not thrown out with the bath water.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can be a benefit at your facility, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Light Duty Line Vac For Part Rejection

Today I worked with a long standing customer that was interested in using the Line Vac technology to provide a method for part rejection.  The parts come out of a bin and travel to the next station for final assembly.  There is an accept/reject analysis system along the way, and it was decided that the Line Vac would offer an easy way to remove the part from the conveyor and transport it to a reject bin.

The parts are very small, with 0.093″ to 0.187″ OD and 0.178″ to 0.335″ lengths.  Part weights were 0.27 grams or less, so a very small and light weight item.  Maximum part processing was estimated at less than 6 parts per minute, so low speed and low transfer rates apply.  The final piece of information was the distance for conveyance, and here it was only a few inches up and then 4′ over to the reject bin.

Based on all the information about the parts, the process and the transfer distance, it was determined that the 3/4″ Light Duty Line Vac would be an ideal choice for the application. The unit is available as part of the  model 132075 Light Duty Line Vac Kit, which includes a Automatic Drain Filter Separator and a Pressure Regulator.  The Pressure Regulator is especially important in this application, as it will allow for pressure adjustment to provide the best performance while keeping the compressed air usage to a minimum.

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The EXAIR Family of Line Vacs

 

EXAIR manufactures 3 styles of Line Vac- Light Duty, Standard, and Heavy Duty with either smooth bore hose or NPT threaded ends.  They are offered in 4 types of materials- Aluminum, Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steel, and a hardened alloy construction. An important factor in material selection is the abrasiveness of the material to be conveyed.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
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