Airweep® Solves a 4-Year-Old Material Flow Problem in Just 2 Weeks

Manual cleaning wasted time, money, and most importantly, put their workers at risk

Asphalt is made from aggregates, sands and asphalt cement. The materials have a tendency to conglomerate and compact in the silos. However, other flow aids like electric vibrators actually pack the material even more.

An asphalt factory installed eight AirSweep units to solve their problem of compacted materials in their silo, which resulted in saved time and money.

Problem

A Control Concepts, Inc. distributor, BMH Equipos said this was exactly what happened in the Mexico plant of a regional manufacturer of asphalt products. Despite having electric vibrators, plant workers still had to hit silos with a hammer or climb in the vessel to clean it.

“Over the weekend, when the plant was unstaffed, the asphalt materials would settle completely. When workers returned on Monday, they had to climb seven meters down into the dark silo, and clear thick layers of compacted material just to get the factory running again,” said Rolando Cavazos, Sales Manager, BMH Equipos.

Their “Monday Morning Cleanup” wasted time, money, and most importantly, put their workers at risk. The company wanted to show their employees that they cared about their safety, and traded the hammers for an effective and reliable material flow aid system.

Solution

Control Concepts sent BMH Equipos the AirSweep® system for a free trial. The system was customized according to their client’s process and vessel size. The AirSweep® Model VA-51 unit was ideal for large silos, and had the power to activate 6 to 8 feet (1.8 m to 2.4 m) of heavy material with one pulse. Eight units were positioned to ensure first-in/first-out on-demand flow.

The cones were made of concrete, but a BMH engineer visited the site and quickly resolved the issue. After inspecting the vessel, he recommended adding a metal sheet – a cheap, fast and effective workaround.

Results

After two weeks, the plant manager called BMH Equipos to congratulate them. “After four years, we finally have the right solution! We are very happy with the system.” They have saved time, energy, money from maintenance costs and losses from downtimes. Workers were safe, and free to focus on their real jobs. They are looking to install units in their other plants – and retiring the hammers for good.

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