Plants can manage tons of bulk powders and solids every month. In order to manage production costs, it is important to efficiently store, move, and process the materials without waste or delays.
However, many materials have intrinsic properties that can affect how they react to the environment or flow in a vessel. Powders can settle in storage or draw moisture to form clumps. Particles can segregate, and moist or heavy materials can cling to equipment. Bridging and ratholing are also very common.
Improve material handling efficiency
AirSweep pneumatic flow aids can prevent many problems that can increase material handling costs. Its powerful air pulses promote on-demand, first in/first out flow. It is effective for tough materials and has been proven to be more effective than vibrators, fluidizers, and other kinds of flow aids.
Many companies have used AirSweep to reduce material handling costs. One client even said, “The AirSweep paid for itself in just two weeks!”
A food company that uses flax and cocoa powder had to throw away up to 40 pounds of mixture a day and even had to pay to have it hauled away.
When they tried using vibrators and fluidizers, they not only spent more on energy consumption, but also had to spend one hour each day manually clearing out residue with sticks and hammers. However, AirSweep was able to solve 90% of the material retention problem, which significantly increased production and reduced waste.
Increase production speed
Poor material flow can affect production efficiency and the overall output of the plant. One paint company had issues with titanium dioxide, a fine powder that has a tendency to segregate. Since it did not completely empty out during the batch cycle, it would take 50 minutes to transport it a distance of 325 feet.
However, with the AirSweep system, the paint company was able to shorten batch time to 15 minutes.
Stagnant material that is left in the vessel can spoil or affect product size, color, and texture. In order to protect quality and safety, and maintain a consistent formula, it is important for materials to achieve first in/first out flow.
One of the world’s largest manufacturers of infant formulas trusts AirSweep to flush material build-up between production runs of regular and lactose-free milk. The USDA-accepted model also meets sanitation requirements and is so effective that it reduced cleaning time from 40 hours to 10 hours.
Prevent equipment damage
To reduce material handling costs, plants need to choose a flow aid that will not cause structural stress on the vessels. Hammering leaves deep dents and cracks, and air cannons and vibrators cause metal fatigue. Eventually, the vessel will need to be repaired or even replaced.
In contrast, AirSweep does not damage vessels, and can even be used on vessels with very thin walls.
Use energy efficiently
Another key factor in reducing material handling costs is to use energy-efficient equipment.
Though it taps the same level of air pressure as fluidizers and air vibrators, the AirSweep system does not run continuously. It starts and stops with the discharge cycle, and runs in a sequence with one pulse at a time. So overall, it uses less plant air and electricity than flow aids that run continuously.
The energy savings can be very significant for plants located in countries that have a high cost of electricity—such as this cement company in the Philippines.
AirSweep: the most cost-effective flow aid
The AirSweep system can improve material flow and prevent material handling costs. Contact us to find out more about how you can use AirSweep in your process.