A vacuum conveying system is used to transfer bulk materials and powders and is commonly used by industries such as agro-chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and sugar processing. There are many other possible applications, such as blending, milling and sifting, but this article focuses on conveying and transfer. The conveyor controls the flow of materials from large containers such as silos, totes, and railcars without manual intervention with the major benefit of improved dust control by eliminating hand-scooping.
So what do we need to know about this useful system and how to design one efficiently? Here are eight factors that we need to consider.
1. Bulk Density
The bulk density of the material to be transferred is used to calculate the size and speed of the vacuum conveyor. This is found by dividing the mass of powder by its bulk density. A higher bulk density powder will be transported at higher speeds.
2. Conveying Distance
This is simply the distance that will need to be traveled, including both horizontal and vertical distances and the number of bends. More guidance is available online at http://www2.hcmuaf.edu.vn/data/dh04cc/file/Pneumatic%20Conveying%20Design%20Guide.pdf.
3. Conveying Rate
This is a measure of the number of kilograms that will be conveyed by the system every hour and if this will take place by batch or continuous processing.
4. Bulk Material
The characteristics of bulk materials can vary considerably due to differences in the shape, size and cohesiveness of the material and the presence of pellets, flakes or grains. The physical properties of the material are also very important, including whether the material is abrasive, moisture-absorbing or flammable, for instance, all of which would obviously have implications for the system as a whole.
5. Receiving and Uploading
How will the material be delivered on and off the vacuum conveyor? It is essential to get all your equipment working together to get an efficient process – there are many specialist companies that can advise on this when it comes to Vaccuum Conveyors.
6. Headroom Requirements
Does your facility have enough space to install this system?
7. Geographic and Atmospheric Conditions
The conditions at your location will affect the performance of the system and need to be taken into account.
8. Construction Materials
Stainless steel is perfect for food and medical plastic processing, but other materials may be better elsewhere.