Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Your material handling operation has grown, and it’s finally time to consider updating to a system that not only transfers your product faster, but does so without the mess and affected air quality of antiquated mechanical material handling systems. While there’s no arguing that a new pneumatic conveyor system is an investment, there’s also no denying the countless benefits that come with the implementation of this advanced technology in your facility. Curious about how a pneumatic conveyor can help you save money, keep your facility safer, expedite processes, and help boost sales? Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Pneumatic Conveyor? To put it simply, a pneumatic conveyor is a material handling system designed to easily transport granules, powders, or other dry bulk material through a fully-enclosed conveying line. This advanced transfer technology involves a flow of gas or air from a source, like a fan or blower, combined with a pressure differential. Material is fed into the conveyor line, and a dust collection system removes the particles in the air. Unlike other types of conveying systems which can move pastes or wet materials, pneumatic conveyors are designed for dry materials like sand, powdered chemicals and minerals, sugar, flour and food ingredients.
What’s Wrong With my Old Mechanical Conveying System? The mechanical conveying system in your facility may “get the job done”, but is it doing so in a way that is energy efficient, clean, and fast? Most likely not. A mechanical conveying system runs in a straight line with few directional changes. For each directional change, the system requires an additional motor and drive. That’s a lot of moving parts!
Most mechanical conveying systems are also open to the the ambient air in your
facility, rather than closed with the the added protection of a dust collector. This means that all the dust being produced in the mechanical handling process escapes into the air of your facility, increasing the danger of dust explosion and negatively affecting air and finished product quality. If you’ve ever opened a bag of flour in your kitchen and seen the mess that can cause, just imagine that multiplied by a few thousand, with far more dangerous dusts than flour.
Above: Mechanical Conveyor at a facility we serviced. | Notice the excess dust covering the outside and ground.
Wasted product and a dust explosion hazard.
Another common complaint about mechanical conveying systems is the amount of space they take up and the required horsepower, which can make a big difference in a facility with a smaller footprint. As mentioned before, every change in direction requires another motor and drive. That kind of power output adds up quick!
So a Pneumatic Conveyor is Better? Since material in a pneumatic conveying system is transferred through a streamlined, small-diameter pipeline, there is much less energy needed for the process, and material is transferred faster and with less material lost due to fugitive dust. In a pneumatic conveyor, a custom pipe can be created to bend around the equipment already in place at your facility, so it takes up no extra space.
On the topic of space, a pneumatic conveyor also has a considerably smaller footprint than your existing mechanical conveyor, so it may even free up additional floor space. If you aren’t already convinced of the benefits of this superior, dust free material transfer utility, consider that a pneumatic conveyor has fewer moving parts, meaning fewer parts to replace or repair; that’s money saved in the long run!
If you’re interested in learning how a pneumatic conveyor system can improve your material handling process, contact Air Dynamics. Or visit our Pneumatic Conveying page by clicking here.