Commercial, industrial, and manufacturing settings frequently face the challenges of efficiently transporting items from one place to another in an efficient manner, especially when the products are in powder, pellet, or granule form. Fortunately, there are several types of pneumatic conveyor systems available that make the task of moving these items much less burdensome. One type of these pneumatic systems is known as the vacuum conveyor. Vacuum conveyors are capable of moving materials across distances up to 330 feet, and are ideal for transporting items from multiple sources to a single destination.
Powdered products must be efficiently transferred to the packaging systems from the production equipment from which they are made. Depending on the ultimate use of the products, they may be required to be stored in a certain type of container, such as a bag or barrel. Therefore, the conveying system must be equipped to safely and efficiently dispense the material into the container. This step in the process must be carefully analyzed, for there are some types of material, such as several types of fertilizers, that can pose a safety and environmental risk if not properly handled. Therefore, a pneumatic conveyor is one of the safest, most efficient, and most effective option available for the handling of products that are potentially harmful.
A vacuum conveyor is a type of pneumatic conveyor. Also known as air conveyors, pneumatic conveyors are highly beneficial to a variety of industries. One primary feature of a typical vacuum conveyor is a set of perforated belts. Air is drawn through the perforated areas on the belts, which assists in holding the equipment in place during the conveying process. Perforated belts are an essential component, especially for the processing of items that are light in weight and have a fine particle size.
Vacuum conveyors also feature an enclosed chamber to contain the materials, and a vacuum mechanism that uses suction to move them along. The vacuum mechanism—which is typically located in a chamber such as a hopper or silo—draws the materials toward it and into the chamber where the materials are stored. A more specific example is a grain storage container, which can sometimes be equipped with a hose that is positioned with one end at the chamber’s highest point and the other at its lowest, where the receiver tank is located. The receiver tank features a valve at its bottom that maintains pressure while the vacuum is in use. The suction of the vacuum pump pulls the materials through the hose toward the entryway to the receiver tank where they are ultimately contained. Once the chamber becomes full, the vacuum pump shuts down. The pressure valve opens, emptying the materials into the chamber. No matter what the type of conveyor system, they all share a similar process.
There are several factors that a business should take into consideration in deciding whether or not a vacuum conveyor is a necessary investment.
- If the conveyor is required to traverse varying elevations. Often times, components need to pass through areas of a workspace that are on multiple levels in a timely manner. In addition, a workspace may have space that would otherwise remain unused. Fortunately, the flexibility of vacuum conveyors can not only efficiently transport items, but help eliminate wasted space.
- If the parts need to move upside down. Vacuum conveyors can generate enough pressure to move items along regardless of how the conveyor is oriented. For applications where moving items upside down is inevitable, vacuum conveyors are ideal.
- If the parts need to be transported through a vacuum-sealed space. Sensitive environments such as clean rooms or factories that manufacture semiconductors cannot afford disruptions such as sparking, contamination, or mechanical interruptions. Vacuum conveyors can safely transport items while greatly minimizing these risks.
Vacuum conveyors can be classified into two types: dilute phase and dense phase. Dilute phase conveyors transport materials for longer distances at a higher velocity, and are ideal for handling materials that tend to not easily compress or pack. Materials that are typically handled by dilute phase vacuum conveyors include fibrous materials, wood shavings, and hazardous materials that must be contained. The second category, dense phase vacuum conveyors, are gentler. They transport materials for shorter distances and at a lower velocity. These conveyors are often utilized to handle materials that are abrasive or fragile.
No matter what the type or structure, vacuum conveyors are highly beneficial across a multitude of industries because of their efficiency, flexibility, and versatility. Before investing in a vacuum conveyor, it is highly recommended that you get in touch with a manufacturer in order to ensure that the features of the vacuum conveyor appropriately fulfill requirements of your application.
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