NEWS

Air Conveyors: Moving Products with Air

For example two-liter PET bottles have narrow bases and easily fall over on conventional table-top conveyors at speeds over 50 fps when empty. If the conveyor must start and stop frequently, the top speed must be even lower. The same empty bottles can easily be transported by air conveyors at speeds up to 1,000 fps, and frequent starts and stops have no effect.Some common air conveyor tasks are moving empty beverage cans and PET bottles. They are also widely used to move scrap such as wood chips, an application in which conventional conveyors would quickly become clogged and contaminated with debris.

 

Air conveyors are typically powered by simple centrifugal blowers, which only have one moving part—an advantage in terms of safety and maintenance. Air can be ducted in remotely, so air conveyors can be used in various explosion-proof type settings. In fact, the original patent for air conveyors was for moving coal.Coal comes in a variety of sizes and easily breaks down into smaller, highly flammable particles. Air conveyors keep the coal dust contained, and it’s simple to design air conveyors without features or details that attract and accumulate dust. This means air conveyors require much less frequent cleanings than belt conveyors moving coal would need. Maintenance is also greatly reduced on air conveyors versus conveyor belts, because the only bearings are on the blowers which are typically located well outside the area where they would encounter dust and small particles.

 

Thanks to wide availability of high-quality HEPA filters, air can easily and economically be filtered. This lets air conveyors be used in aseptic and clean-room applications. For typical industrial air conveyors, HEPA filters cost a few hundred dollars and will often last a year before needing to be replaced. Newer HEPA filters work with minimal pressure drops, so blower efficiency is still maintained. Because there are minimal moving parts and no pockets to collect water and debris in air conveyors, they are easy to keep clean—another key advantage for aseptic uses.Conveyor belts, on the other hand, can be damaged by abrasive and sharp materials, some of which are better handled by air conveyors. For example, metal scrap conveyors in machining centers and recycling sites are perfect applications for air conveyors because the long ribbons of scrap metal easily snag and are razor-sharp.

Thanks to wide availability of high-quality HEPA filters, air can easily and economically be filtered. This lets air conveyors be used in aseptic and clean-room applications. For typical industrial air conveyors, HEPA filters cost a few hundred dollars and will often last a year before needing to be replaced. Newer HEPA filters work with minimal pressure drops, so blower efficiency is still maintained. Because there are minimal moving parts and no pockets to collect water and debris in air conveyors, they are easy to keep clean—another key advantage for aseptic uses.

Conveyor belts, on the other hand, can be damaged by abrasive and sharp materials, some of which are better handled by air conveyors. For example, metal scrap conveyors in machining centers and recycling sites are perfect applications for air conveyors because the long ribbons of scrap metal easily snag and are razor-sharp.

 

 

 

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