The 2023 International Powder and Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition took place April 25-27, 2023 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The event, sponsored by the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA®) and produced by Informa Markets, is the leading powder and bulk handling and dry processing event in North America. It attracted more than 3,000 attendees and featured over 30 conference sessions and 350 exhibitors, showcasing bulk material handling equipment from 30 different countries. Blower & Vacuum Best Practices and Compressed Air Best Practices Magazines were among the publications available at the show’s entrance.
In choosing a system for the safe, clean conveyance of materials, it seems that the choices can be remarkably complex. Prior to such a choice, a facility is usually operating with, live personnel, open conveyor belts and implements such as buckets. While employees may be protected by proper clothing, masks and goggles, materials are exposed to air and dirt, waste is a constant worry, and expensive equipment is endangered by particulates that can slow or jam it.
Nowadays, pneumatic suction conveying is an important technology for feeding bulk goods gently through piping systems to the various process steps. In the area of food processing, the pharmaceutical and chemical industry and for material feed in plastics processing, suction conveying is indispensable when powder or granular materials have to be transported. The proper choice of the vacuum generator essentially determines the operating costs of a pneumatic conveying system.
In an ongoing project to improve processes whenever and wherever it can, a global manufacturer of private label retail, food service and specialty brand teas, purchased an extension conveyor system to improve efficiency and ergonomics. Prior to implementing the extension conveyor, a vacuum conveyor system transferred raw materials into portable silos that workers rolled from one production machine to the next.
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.
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.
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.
In open end pipe line suspension flow, or dilute phase pneumatic conveying, proper particle velocity is critical to continuing productivity and product quality. Until recently, measurement of actual particle velocity within the pipe has not been practical outside the laboratory. The plant operating personnel depend on a much less accurate metric - estimating the conveying air velocity in the pipe and relating that to particle velocity.
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".
Formaldehyde is an organic compound that can adopt several different forms. It can be used in solution form as formalin, as a free gas, or in a solid form as paraformaldehyde prills. Formaldehyde is highly toxic to humans, regardless of the method of intake. At room temperature it is a colorless gas characterized by a pungent odor. Even with very short-term exposure, formaldehyde will cause irritation to the eyes including pain, redness, blurred vision followed by sneezing, soreness, coughing, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Exposure to elevated levels can lead to accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
It’s one thing to move materials during the production process, but when it’s a finished product on the packaging line, choosing the right material handling system is essential. Getting it wrong results in squandered production time when product loss occurs, and wasted raw materials.