High-Power Stainless Steel Line Vacs for Dental Work

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. 

Air Operated Conveyor

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.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Photo: Tooth Replacement by dental-innoPixabay License

Heavy Duty Line Vac Solves Alumina Spillage Problem

Spilled alumina material which needs to be vacuumed and returned to the main hopper.

The image above shows spillage of small alumina particles at an aluminum manufacturing plant in South America.  This customer needed a method to vacuum the spilled material and return it to the main hopper.  The ideal solution needed to be compact, simple, and provide repeatable results.  All of these are key aspects of EXAIR Line Vacs, so we began discussing application variables to make a solution recommendation.

Whenever we consider Line Vac applications we always explore the following variables:

  •      Bulk density of the material
  •      Size of the material
  •      Conveyance height
  •      Conveyance distance
  •      Required conveyance rate
  •      Available compressed air supply

The spilled alumina in this application has a bulk density of 1.1 g/cm³ (~68.7 pounds/ft³) which needs to be conveyed to a height of 3.3m (~11ft.).  The conveyance rate is not mandated, but the alumina particles are rather small in diameter and the customer wanted to move as much material as possible in as little time as possible.  Compressed air is readily available at proper pressures and flows, so we were left to determine whether a Line Vac could be a viable solution.  Fortunately we’ve found success in transferring alumina with our Line Vacs in multiple applications before, so we were confident we could find a solution here as well.

The height of this application is 3308mm (~11ft.) – an easy conveyance height for an EXAIR Line Vac.

After exploring the specifics of this application we determined the best solution to be the 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac model 150200.  The 150200 Heavy Duty Line Vac can easily move the alumina to a height of 3.3m at an estimated conveyance rate of 11kg/minute (25 pounds/minute).  There are no moving parts to wear out, which means little to no maintenance and reliable performance each time the Line Vac is used.

Our local distributor assisted with product procurement and in-country technical support.  So even though this customer was in a different continent, we were able to quickly get them the assistance and products they needed to solve their problems.

If you have an application and would like to work with an EXAIR Application Engineer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.  1-800-903-9247.

EXAIR Corporation Application Engineers
Techelp@EXAIR.com

Why Is Ambient Air Entrainment Needed For Pneumatic Conveyance?

When attempting to convey material pneumatically it can sometimes not work as one may hope. This could be due to the lack of ambient air entrainment to generate the vacuum flow which lifts the material away and moves the material. The video above gives a brief example of this.

If you would like to discuss pneumatic conveying products or processes, please contact us. EXAIR’s Line Vac air operated conveyors are a great solution for manual “bucket and ladder” applications, hopper loading, scrap conveyance, media recovery and more!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Compressed Air in Farming and Agriculture

I used to help my father-in-law around his farm and this city boy had his eyes opened when he realized it was more than shovels, tractors and livestock. Agriculture is vital for human existence and has become far more advanced over the centuries with a continual thirst for efficiency and technology. Agriculture is just like many other industries looking for continued ways to increase yield, improve quality, maximize labor and improve technology.

EXAIR has many products used in the agriculture and food processing industries. The following details a few example by product line how we can influence efficiencies and quality of products:

Super Air Knife drying fruits and vegetables

Super Air Knives:

EXAIRs Super Air Knives are have ben used to help harvest apples and peaches. In this case they use our Super Air Knives to dry and blow off the fruit after the rinsing process just before the waxing process then again after waxing to blow off any remaining debris or moisture from the fruit before being packed.

A processing company using the Super Air Knife to clean a conveying belt equipped with a weighing system. Before the installation of the the Super Air Knife some of the cut vegetables being weighed would stick to the belt. Their solution was to clean the conveyor belt with EXAIR’s Super Air Knife to ensure continuous operation of the weighing and packaging systems.

Super Air Nozzles:

An onion farmer used EXAIR’s Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle to blow loose onion skins from the onions before packaging to improve the aesthetics to the customers.

Line Vacs:

A food packaging company repackages banana peppers from 55 gallon drums to 1 and 5 gallon containers using our Model 6066 3″ Stainless Steel Line Vac.

Using EXAIRs Model 150200 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vacs a feed stock manufacturer conveys various grains and feed stock simultaneously to a mixer which blends the ingredients. This reduced their blend time by 50%.

A grain processor used Model 142200 aluminum threaded Line Vac to convey small amounts of corn meal into a hopper which feeds into their inspection process.

A company producing worm eggs encapsulated in water soluble wax sold to farmers to enhance soil conditions. They eliminated a hand operation using Model 6081 1″ Aluminum Line Vac  to convey the worm eggs from one classifier to another.

EXAIR has several applications using Atomizing Spray nozzles to add moisture in growing environments . Greenhouses use our Atomizing spray nozzles to control humidity in the air and keep their soils moist to maintain optimal growing environments.

There are many other applications using compressed AIR on farms such as filling tires, cleaning equipment, blowing out water lines and more. Technology drives labor savings and improved quality prototypes are being designed and tested to use compressed air using drones to shoot pods filled with seeds, fertilizer and other nutrients into the soil. EXAIR will remain a strong influence in the growth of compressed air products helping to reduce the carbon footprint, enhance efficiencies and improve cost and quality within the agriculture and food processing industries.

If you have an application and you would like to talk please contact me or any of our qualified Application Engineers at 800.903.9247 and we will gladly help with our best recommendations.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK