What To Ask Before Setting Up Pneumatic Conveying Systems
Pneumatic conveying systems are ideal for moving materials that are dry and easily transported through a tube. Pneumatic conveying systems use air pressure and gases to carry powders and other dry bulk materials from one point to another. Unlike mechanical transport systems, they are self-contained and use less space, among other benefits. But before you make the switch, here’s what to ask before setting up pneumatic conveying systems.
What Material Is Being Conveyed?
One of the most obvious questions to ask is, what do you plan to transport through your pneumatic material handling equipment? Some items simply cannot be carried through a pneumatic conveying system. As mentioned, powders and other loose and dry items made of small particles are best for this method. Anything that’s wet, sticky, or reliant on slurry will adhere to the interior of the tubing, building up and eventually blocking the tube. Hard and heavy items can’t be carried using this method either, so rocks, metallic items, and the like are out. If you stick with non-sticky items, however, pneumatic material handling equipment is ideal.
How Much Power Do You Need To Provide?
Still wondering what to ask before setting up pneumatic conveying systems? Think about how much power you can provide. Pneumatic material handling equipment requires a lot of power to operate, much more so than that required by mechanical transportation systems. Pneumatic conveying systems use plenty of juice to create the air pressure that carries the goods. By some accounts, it uses 10 times as much power as a mechanical system. The system also requires machinery to separate and collect the materials, gas, and dust that results from the process. That can add up. Of course, what you save in terms of preventing the loss of materials through a self-contained system might make up the difference.
How Much Space Do You Need?
Another thing that makes pneumatic conveying systems cooler, safer, and more economical than mechanical ones is that they take up less space because they can be installed overhead. That said, you still need to account for the height of the lifts on either end, the length of the tubing in-between, and whatever distance is added by any angles or elbows along the way. A vertical lift can’t exceed a certain height; otherwise, the material within will stop rising at a certain point and fall back down, impeding progress. Do the math because physics is unforgiving.
What Safety Issues Are Involved?
You already know the volatility level of the products you handle. Organic stuff like flour, sugar, coffee, and similar materials risk exploding or catching fire when allowed to scatter and become suspended in the air. Pneumatic systems protect these materials from exposure to the air, sparks, flames, and the like, preventing accidents, injuries, and worse. Stay safe by keeping them enclosed and moving!