Efficient material flow has a huge impact on productivity, costs, and even plant safety. Companies can lose thousands of dollars a day because they had to stop operations to clear out a clogged silo or hopper. They may even have to throw out contaminated material or pull workers from other tasks to hammer away at the material blocks.
AirSweep can solve dry bulk materials handling issues and ensure efficient, reliable material flow. It is used in thousands of plants around the world and can handle materials that other flow aids can’t. In fact, many companies shifted to AirSweep because they saw that it was more powerful and cost-efficient than their current system.
Here are five ways AirSweep enhances material flow and paves the way for higher productivity and streamlined operations.
AirSweep: Bulk Product Handling Equipment for Material Flow
Bridging and ratholing are two of the most common dry bulk materials handling issues. In both cases, the material forms a solid mass that blocks the vessel discharge outlet. Material flow becomes slow and uneven, and “old” material remains in the vessel. This can become a safety issue for food or pharmaceutical companies that use materials that can spoil.
AirSweep breaks up bridging and ratholing and pushes the stagnant material back into the flow stream. The powerful air pulses work on damp, sticky, or problematic powders that don’t respond to other flow aids, such as titanium dioxide or flax and cocoa.
Enhance silo and hopper efficiency
Many dry bulk materials handling issues occur in silos and hoppers, where bulk materials are stored before being transferred to the next stage of the production process.
Material blocks can reduce storage capacity and speed of discharge. In fact, surveys show that most silos and hoppers only operate at 80% capacity because of poor material flow.
AirSweep can be installed on silos and hoppers to dislodge blocked material. The nozzles are strategically placed at the right points and then set to release air pulses in a specific pattern. This prevents slow flow, overflow, bottlenecks, uneven feeding, and material segregation.
Reduce cleaning and maintenance time
Cleaning and maintenance tasks can take up valuable time in manufacturing and industrial processes. AirSweep can be used to flush vessels completely clean between batch runs. It costs less than using flushing material and is safer and faster than manual cleaning.
AirSweep is so reliable that one of the world’s biggest infant formula companies uses it to prepare equipment between the production of regular and lactose-free milk. They installed it on their blenders, vacuum receivers, sifters, and packaging line vessels, and significantly cut down their turnaround and cleaning time.
The AirSweep unit itself is also very low-maintenance and can be removed for cleaning with simple hand tools. This is very convenient for processes that follow strict sanitation standards.
Minimize manual intervention
Sometimes, companies have to send workers to resolve dry bulk materials handling issues. They climb into a vessel with hammers and pick-axes to dislodge material blocks—a solution that takes too much time and puts them at risk for injuries and unnecessarily exposes them to materials.
Worker safety organizations discourage plants from giving any tasks that the worker is not specifically trained to do, or leads to prolonged contact with powders or substances that can cause irritation, respiratory problems, or other long-term health problems.
AirSweep is a safer, faster, and more effective way to solve material blocks. Not only does this reduce the risk of worker injury, but it also allows them to focus on more productive tasks.
The biggest and clearest benefit of the AirSweep system is that it increases productivity and output. When material flows, so does the rest of your process. Here’s just one example: a minerals processing plant was able to cut down the filling time of its supersacks from two hours to just a few minutes. Production increased so much that they had to hire more people—a “problem” that most plants would like to have.
Improve your plant efficiency with AirSweep
AirSweep offers a reliable and simple solution to dry bulk materials handling issues. Contact us to find out more about how you can use it to improve productivity, reduce maintenance time, and streamline your production processes.