What should you bear in mind when designing a pneumatic conveyancing system? Let’s look at five important factors.
1. Density of the bulk material
The density of the material is a key factor in the design, affecting the size of the components you need. This in turn relates to the volume of air per minute that will need to be moved through the conveying line. As you might expect, heavier materials need bigger vacuum receivers and more power.
2. How far the material needs to be moved
There is clearly a direct relationship between the length of the tube and the amount of energy needed to pull materials along it. The size of the vacuum receiver will also increase proportionately. It may therefore pay you to establish the shortest run than can be used.
3. How fast and how often you need to move the material
Another factor is whether the material is moving in batches or in a continuous flow and how quickly the material needs to move; for example, the material needs to move to a mixing point very quickly in some food applications, but this only happens for 15 minutes every hour. This will require a higher volume vacuum receiver than a constant lower flow.
4. The properties of the material
Items that need filtration, such as some powders, will call for bigger vacuum receivers. Vacuum conveying technology is particularly suitable for powders that are combustible. The supplier of your system will need to know as much as possible about the materials you are using and the processes that are part of your workflow to design a suitable system.
A paper from Manchester Metropolitan University emphasises what a complex subject area this is; however, users of these systems come from many different industrial sectors and do not need to be experts in vacuum technology. Many industries are using pneumatic conveying successfully; however, it is essential to obtain advice on a particular application from an expert such as http://www.aptech.uk.com/pneumatic-conveying/.
5. How the material will get into the conveyor
Getting the material into the conveying tube may require a customised solution, with different materials presenting different challenges. The type of feeder used will affect the design of the system and all the process equipment in use should be considered before the design is finalised.