Archive: May 2023

5 Reasons Why AirSweep is Effective for Bulk Product Handling

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modern mill inside process making flour

All industrial processes use bulk product handling equipment. Some are used to transport and supply materials to processing units. Others perform more specific functions like blending, compacting, flushing, grinding, etc.

Flow aids are used to improve the material flow of bulk materials. They perform an important function because when materials don’t flow properly, the entire production line is affected. Without any bulk product handling equipment, workers must hammer the vessels to get the material moving again. This can cause hours or even days of delay.

AirSweep: Bulk Product Handling Equipment for Material Flow

AirSweep provides on-demand flow of even the toughest materials. It eliminates bridging, ratholing, arching and sticky build-up on the vessel walls.

Each AirSweep nozzle directs high-pressure, high-volume, 360-degree bursts of compressed air or inert gas along the inside walls of process equipment, vessels, chutes, and ducts.

The air pulses break the friction between the wall and the material to lift and sweep stalled material back into the flow stream. The unique, sweeping action can even result in the vessel or cone walls being flushed completely clean.

This video explains how the AirSweep system provides reliable bulk material handling.

Built for tough materials

AirSweep works on the toughest materials. The pulses are powerful enough to activate moist, sticky, damp, and wet materials — even with bulk densities up to 200 pounds per cubic foot.

Many companies shifted to AirSweep after becoming disappointed in other flow aids. A commercial bakery had issues with flax bridging above the discharge. “The vibrators that came installed on the bottom of the hopper above the mixture practically turned the flax into concrete,” said the maintenance department head. “Then we installed fluidizers, which were terrible. We still had to use hammers and sticks, and spent an hour a day to clean and keep things flowing.”

AirSweep resolved 90% of material retention problems—which increased production and eliminated the cost of wasted raw materials. “My experience totally exceeded my expectations—a 10 out of 10!”


The AirSweep system uses less plant air and electricity compared to other flow aids. Unlike fluidizers and vibrators, which run continuously, the units are pulsed in a sequence—one at a time—which minimizes overall energy use.

Low maintenance

The AirSweep can be mounted and dismounted from the process equipment without tools. This makes it very easy to remove the nozzle for routine cleaning.

The AirSweep can also run for 1,000,000 cycles before it needs preventative maintenance. Aside from replacing parts that are prone to wear and tear, a system can last for decades without any problem. If there are any issues, customers also enjoy a 7-year warranty—the longest in the business.

Easy installation

One of AirSweep’s key benefits is that it is installed outside the vessel. Drill small holes at the appropriate location, then weld the couplings into place. It can also be retrofitted into existing holes.

Safe for use in hazardous environments

The AirSweep design and materials of construction can withstand high process or material temperatures, corrosive environments and materials, and hazardous area classifications. It is also ATEX-certified, which means that it has been independently tested as safe for use in explosive atmospheres.

Watch AirSweep at work

The proof is in the flow. Watch these material flow videos to see how AirSweep activates different types of materials.

You can also contact us so we can personally explain how the system works, and how it can help you with your particular process.

5 Problematic Materials that AirSweep Can Handle

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chocolate factory during production

Most industries need heavy material handling equipment to move raw materials to warehouses and production facilities. However, the problem doesn’t end there. How do they ensure material flow during the process?

Many bulk powders and solids develop flow problems once they are poured into silos, hoppers, or chutes. They can form bridging and ratholing that blocks the vessel outlet until the flow slows down or stops completely. They can stick to the walls or segregate.

These material blocks would take hours to manually clean. Just like plants need heavy material handling equipment to transport materials to different facilities, they need industrial flow aids to move them through different processing stages.

What is the best heavy material handling equipment for material blocks?

There are three general kinds of industrial flow aids, each with its own pros and cons.

Vibrators and air hammers shake the material loose—but at a cost. These consume a lot of energy, can potentially damage vessels, and are very noisy and stressful for workers within the area. Some materials also tend to settle even more when shaken, so this can actually aggravate material flow issues.

Chemical flow aids break down the chemical bonds or change the flow properties. However, adding any material to a formula can affect its quality, consistency, and cost.

Pneumatic flow aids use air pressure to break up blocks or push material. The key is to pick a system aid that uses enough pressure and volume to activate the material. For example, fluidizers that use a combination of light aeration and vibration are only effective for fine powders like flour.

For most materials, you need AirSweep—the trusted heavy material handling equipment for the toughest material flow problems. It can activate bulk solids and powders that don’t respond to fluidizers, vibrators, and air cannons.

The proof is in the flow. Watch AirSweep activate the five most problematic materials used in different industries.

Heavy, sticky materials

It can’t get heavier or stickier than liquid cheese. In fact, many food companies use the USDA-accepted AirSweep to move ingredients used for making chocolate and pastries. This model is specifically designed for use in sanitary environments.

High oil and moisture content

Materials with high oil or moisture content tend to form clumps or bridging and ratholing over vessel walls. Material residue can also spoil and compromise the entire batch. AirSweep guarantees first-in/first-out flow for faster flow and product integrity.

Damp powders

Damp powders can settle during storage and form bridging and ratholing in silos and hoppers. AirSweep has been proven more effective than fluidizers and air cannons—and even uses less energy and air.

Flakes and shreds

These materials have a tendency to interlock and clump together, and won’t respond to agitation and vibration. AirSweep air pulses separate the material and sweep it back into the flow stream.

Heavy irregular particles

Irregularly shaped solids can interlock and aggregate. AirSweep can be used with solids with heavier densities such as mined materials or cement materials.

Find the right AirSweep for your materials

Thousands of plants around the world trust AirSweep for reliable material flow. Contact us for a free consultation on the best heavy material handling equipment for your process.