Air conveyors are materials handling machines that move various objects by way of pressurized air. They can be found within businesses that manufacture and sell large quantities of products, and thus need equipment to assist in moving these items from one place to another in a timely and efficient manner. These machines can also be referred to as pneumatic conveyors.
Air conveyor systems are used for the bulk handling of materials in large quantities, such as powders and food. They are one of the most widely used of all conveyor systems, and are available in various configurations. There are some cases in which the handling of these materials manually by workers is a more cost-effective option. However, in larger scale manufacturing settings, it is far more beneficial for this task to be handled by a machine. Without conveyor systems in place, manufacturing processes such as packaging lines and assembly lines would be impossible to carry out. Industries in which air conveyors can be found include mining, glassworking, textile production, powder coating services, aircraft and watercraft manufacturing, pharmaceutical products development, plastic fabrication, and food and beverage processing.
Air conveyors come in a variety of types, and are distinguishable from the way they process items. Dense phase conveyors use compressed air to move items along. They are typically used for heavy, fragile, or abrasive materials such as high-density plastics and metals. Other materials that are commonly handled by air conveyors include puffed rice cereal, hazelnuts, cocoa beans, resins, candies, dextrose, sorbitol, carbon black, glass batch mix, alumina, glass cullet, fly ash, feldspar, and silica sand. Because they deal with heavier items, they move at a much slower rate.
Dilute phase conveyors convey items by using negatively or positively pressurized air to dilute and suspend various objects. Common materials that are processed by these conveyors include wood shavings, zinc oxide, activated carbon, hydrated lime, sodium bicarbonate, plastic granules, corn starch, sugar, flour, fibrous materials, and toxic materials that cannot leak into the air. Dilute phase conveyors are economical, very user friendly, and typically do not need much room to operate.
Both dense phase and dilute phase air conveyors can operate under pressure or vacuum. Vacuum and pressure conveyors differ in the way they operate and the materials they are best suited to handle. Dense phase pressure conveyors are greater in length, and are made to gently convey materials that are abrasive or fragile at a slow and steady pace. Dense phase vacuum conveyors convey the same types of materials, but at a quicker speed and for a shorter distance. Dilute phase pressure conveyors handle materials that are light in density and not fragile or abrasive. Dilute phase vacuum conveyors, on the other hand, handle materials that can compress or pack under pressure.
Dense phase and dilute phase air conveyors are built to handle a wide range of materials, but there are other types of air conveyors get their name from the types of objects which they specialize in conveying. Examples include the food handling conveyor, the bulk materials conveyor, and the abrasive materials conveyor.
Although mechanical conveyors are also used, there are some differences between these devices and air conveyors. Mechanical conveyors move objects using vibrating plates and conveyor belts. Air conveyors, however, have capabilities that cannot be found with a mechanical conveyor. For instance, they can be configured with bends that enable them to fit around tight spaces and other fixed pieces of equipment.
This capability makes them more favorable than mechanical conveyors in terms of their flexibility. Air conveying systems process their materials in an enclosed space, which prevents the escape of dust and other possibly harmful materials.
Air conveying is a highly reliable process that can save a company both time and money, and they are highly versatile in the items they can process. Examples of these items include: asbestos, toxic waste, wood chips, plastics, food, textiles, chemicals, gravel, coal, carbon black, metals, rocks, tablets, pellets, pills, sands, soils, grains, and powders. However, air conveyors are not perfect, and can come with a few disadvantages. Air conveyors require more horsepower to operate, and are unable to efficiently process materials that are of a greater density or a larger particle size. Examples of materials that are not recommended for an air conveying system include sticky materials, gravel, or rocks. It is crucial to determine whether or not the desired materials are compatible with an air conveyor.
Air conveyors are easy to maintain and easy to manipulate around pre-existing equipment. All of these capabilities make air conveyors a wise investment for a materials handling company, and a seasoned air conveyor manufacturer will assist you in finding one that fits your application perfectly.
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