A manufacturing plant had machines that would process ceramic 6mm beads into blanks for machining small components in the dental industry. Ceramic can be used in items like braces, crowns, root implants, and bridges. From the blanks above, they milled crowns and bridges in specific designs to fit in the patient’s mouth. In their current process, they used a belt conveyor that would move the ceramic beads into a hopper above the sintering machines. They had a failure with their conveyor, and they had to shut down the machines.
They contacted the conveyor manufacturer for assistance. Because of the complexity of conveying systems, as compared to EXAIR Line Vacs, they needed time to evaluate. They had to determine if it was the motor, the belt, the gear box, pulley bearings, or electrical system. Depending on which item that failed, there was a possibility that it would not be in stock or would have to be sent off-site for repair. With this amount of downtime, it would cost the company money and delays in shipments. Being that they were under pressure to meet deadlines, they contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.
In discussing their layout, the hopper was 10 feet (3 meters) away from the supply container, and the opening of the hopper was 10 feet (3 meters) above the floor. These lengths were well within the limits of the EXAIR Line Vacs. The bulk density was 70 lbs./ft3 (1,140 Kg/M3), and they needed 316SS since the equipment was used for medical devices. I suggested the model 6964-316 2” 316SS Line Vac Kit. At those distances, I mentioned that we could move roughly 10 lbs./min. (275 Kg/hr.) of ceramic beads at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar) air pressure. They wondered if we could get a bit more power from our Line Vacs. This we can do!!! EXAIR can modify our Line Vacs to fit into different applications. We can modify the inlet and outlet connections from a smooth connect for hose to a threaded connection for pipe, or vice versa. We can also modify the generator for our Stainless Steel Line Vacs to increase the capacity. This would be our “HP” (for High Power) prefix. I then recommended the model HP6964-316 High-Power 316SS Line Vac Kit. This model has a conveyance rate near 13.3 lbs./min. (362 Kg/hr.) at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar) air pressure. This was perfect for their operation. With the different hopper volumes, they could adjust the inlet air pressure to increase or decrease the conveyance rates.
The next question they asked was, how fast can we get them a special unit? EXAIR stocks every cataloged model number for same-day shipping with orders placed before 2 p.m. EST. For the “HP” special, we were able to ship the next day to get their operation running. They did mention to me afterwards that they wished they knew about the EXAIR Line Vacs before they purchased the conveyor system. Since the Line Vacs do not have any moving parts or motors to wear, they would have years of non-maintenance operations.
If your company relies on conveying systems to move product, you may want to have an EXAIR Line Vac on-hand just in case of an emergency. When things go wrong, you do not want to be down any longer than needed. If you need help in sizing the correct Line Vac for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help.