Creative Uses for the Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors

Last week a customer called in looking for some help in solving a minor issue in the plant. The customer is a specialist in the filament winding business making all types of products from many types of fibers, such as Polyester, Nylon, Nomex®, PTFE and Kevlar®.

At the end of a run, there will be a small amount of thread left on several bobbins.   There is not enough thread to save for a future run, and so the customer has to strip the remaining thread off, to be able to reuse the bobbin.

I remembered that an EXAIR Application Engineer had done some testing on thread, using a Line Vac to pull and unwind a spool. See here for that demonstration.

The customer sent me the below photo, helping us to visualize the application better, and then went even further by shipping a couple of sample bobbins with some thread still remaining.

After running a few tests, it was determined that the smallest Line Vac available , the model 6078 – 3/8″ Aluminum Line Vac, produced the fastest results due to the narrow throat diameter in conjunction with the thin thread.  A brief demonstration of the test can be found below.

Using just 5.6 SCFM at 80 PSIG of compressed air, the Line Vac quickly unwound the bobbin, providing a simple, cost-effective way to automate what had been a tedious manual process.

The Line Vac conveyor are ideal for moving large volumes of material over long distances, using a small amount of compressed air. The material flow rate is easily controlled by use of a pressure regulator.  No moving parts or electricity assures maintenance free operation.  EXAIR offers the Line Vac in sizes from 3/8″ up to 5″ in diameter, in materials including aluminum, Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steels, and a Heavy Duty model with hardened alloy construction.

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

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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A Burst of Air From Our Super Air Nozzles Keeps Vacuum System Pipes Clean

Bales of cotton and polyester fibers
Bales of cotton and polyester fibers

An overseas textile company had many automated spinning machines to manufacture yarn from raw cotton and polyester fibers. They used a vacuum collection system to remove any floating fibers from within their spinning machines for safety reasons.  In this facility, they had three rows of ten spinning machines.  Above each row, a collection duct, ranging for 8” to 30” in diameter, would collect the fibers and transport them to a baghouse.  The difference in diameters was to keep the vacuum pressure the same in each spinning machine.  The machine that was the farthest from the baghouse had the smallest diameter pipe, and the machine that was closest to the vacuum system had the largest.  They needed to keep an optimum vacuum pressure inside each machine because too much would affect the production of the yarn and too little would allow the fibers to migrate into the production area.  The concern with fibers migrating in the production area was a fire hazard, a big safety issue.  In order to have each row of machines performing effectively, they needed to keep the static pressure as low as possible.

Blending Machine (Note: the spinning machines are behind this)
Blending Machine (Note: the spinning machines are behind this)

The issue that they had was the discarded fibers would gather and collect in the ductwork. Each machine had a 4” duct that would draw the fiber from the spinning machine into the bottom of the collection duct overhead.  The velocity profile inside the main line was being disrupted by each feed duct, as it allowed a “dead” spot for the fibers to gather.  As fibers would entangle with each other and become larger, the static pressure would increase.  This would cause the vacuum pressures to change inside the spinning machines, affecting production.  They would have to shut the row down, open the ductwork, and clean the entire piping system.  This was time consuming and costly as it stopped production.

The customer tried a homemade nozzle made of a copper tube. He flattened one end and placed it in the bottom of the ductwork just upstream of the problem area.  He triggered it intermittently, and after a while he noticed that he still had the fibers collecting in the pipes, but in different areas.  In knowing how the velocity profile is very sensitive in dust collection systems, any additional obstructions could cause the problem to change to another location within the system.  He contacted EXAIR to see if we could help him.

I put on my engineering hat to help solve this issue. I suggested our model 1104 Super Air Nozzles because it had enough force to reach the other side within the range of diameters.  The EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are very powerful and efficient nozzles.  It is designed to entrain the ambient air.  This gives it a powerful force without using a lot of compressed air.  My suggestion was to place them along the top of the collection pipe as we needed to keep the profile smooth along the bottom section of the pipe.  As a recommendation, I suggested for them to use an angled extraction port (not made by EXAIR).

Extraction Port (Not sold by EXAIR)
Extraction Port (Not sold by EXAIR)

It screws to the outside of the ductwork, and it has a 2” opening with a 45 degree angle (reference photo above).  They could aim the Super Air Nozzles at the “dead” spots to lift the fibers off the bottom; allowing the system to pull them toward the baghouse.  Without having to redo their entire collection system, they were able to cut an opening in the top of the duct and mount the Super Air Nozzles.  As an added benefit, the nozzles were not in the air stream; so, there was no additional static pressure in the system.  The customer was able to design a solenoid triggering system to have only one Super Air Nozzle to operate at one time.  It would start from the farthest point, and trigger one at a time toward the bag house.  With a short burst of air, it would keep the fibers in the air stream without affecting the operations of the spinning machines.  This customer was very happy as they were able to keep their operation running without a buildup of static pressure in the vacuum system and without allowing fibers to escape into the work area.

EXAIR Nozzles
EXAIR Nozzles

If you have contamination that gets stuck in your system, and you need a powerful burst of air to break it up, EXAIR may have the right nozzle for you. It can save you from much frustration, headaches, and waste of time in making your own blow off devices.

 John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb