Pneumatic conveying applications are critical to many facilities – when you can’t move material you can’t make or sell your product. Because of a historical lack of availability of specialized rental blowers and air compressors for pneumatic conveying, plants often either accepted the production outage or rented a more readily available two-stage, oil-free rotary screw air compressor designed for 90 to 150 psig plant air service that is very inefficient at the reduced pressures needed for pneumatic conveying.
A major challenge our customers face is the way bulk materials are supplied to the market. We needed a material handling system that would keep up with our demand, ensure worker safety and limit manual manipulation of material. The VAC-U-MAX team designed and manufactured a material handling system capable of conveying over four and half million pounds of powders per year that now allows us to continually meet our growing business.
A long-held practice in the plastics industry is the use of high-speed, dilute-phase pneumatic conveying to deliver plastic resins to plant processes even if those same materials are the kind that can create problems ranging from excessive dust to damaged resins and more. All the while, slower-speed conveyance is normally unthinkable given production goals and the potential for plugged conveyor lines.
The 2018 Powder & Bulk Solids Conference & Exhibition was held April 24-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Sponsored by the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA®) and produced by UBM Canon, this event is the leading conference for the powder industry. Vacuum, blower and compressed air technologies play an important role in dilute or dense phase pneumatic conveying systems. These technologies are well represented at this event and we hope you enjoy our Show Report.
This article reviews two common pneumatic conveying system types and the importance for each operating plant to know their design and operating parameters particularly conveying air flow velocity and particle velocity profile.
Pneumatic conveying systems are widely used in manufacturing plants and process industries. They provide a practical method of bulk-solid material transport. A surprisingly wide variety of powders and granular material can be effectively moved from one location to another within the plant. “Compared with other bulk-solid transport systems, a properly designed pneumatic conveying system affords many advantages".
Industrial vacuum trucks, also known as industrial vacuum loaders, are used to recover, contain, and carry solids, dry bulk powders, liquids, slurries, and thick sludge from hard-to-reach areas. Guzzler Manufacturing, an industrial vacuum truck manufacturer based in Streator, Illinois, has long-standing expertise in pneumatic conveying—both dilute and dense phase—for all kinds of industrial applications.
In thermal power stations, nuclear plants, and chemical and industrial plants, different types of bulk materials are used. The materials exist in different forms including lump, powder, granules, chips, and pallets. These bulk materials, in their different forms, require efficient and reliable material handling systems.
In many manufacturing operations, a very significant compressed air use is pneumatic conveying of many types of materials such as cement, fly ash, starch, sugar, salt, sand, plastic pellets, oats, feeds, etc. Often these are systems that use high-pressure air (100 psig class) reduced to lower pressures (15 psig, 45 psig). This creates an air savings opportunity.
A compressed air system assessment saved this building materials manufacturer over $518,000 per year in energy costs, with a simple ROI of 11 months.