The productivity advantages of pneumatic conveying are numerous, and vacuum-driven systems have additional ones.
Profits are related to scale. Tubing reaches further than a human arm, so vats and silos can become larger. Parts are easy to move on casters or overhead suspension.
Easy to swing into position, multiple inlets can deliver to one outlet or vice versa, or multiple materials moved without cleaning in between. In some cases, loading and unloading can be performed using the same conveyor. If the focus of your business changes, you’re more likely to be able to keep using your system with new materials.
In a vacuum conveyor there’s no positive pressure at the inlet so no need for a rotary valve, and large particles can feed into the system without damage. Being able to vary the speed means hauliers are less likely to have to queue to load or unload.
For example, a direct charge blender loading system might convey 7000 lb/hr. Extra throughput doesn’t require extra labour, and you can run it 24 hours a day at minimal extra cost or switch off when not in use.
Support operations like weighing, mixing, drying, or sifting can often be integrated with a little extra equipment.
Fewer parts mean less wear, down-time and maintenance. Vacuum-driven conveyors are the least prone to impacted blockages.
Pneumatics put distance between personnel and potentially dangerous situations. The cost of falls when employees climb to fill silos can be astronomical. Pneumatic systems help you comply with the revised machinery directive 2006/42/EC.
These very simple and safe systems require little training for staff to operate.
Pneumatic systems easily go around or over other plant machinery, saving construction time and labour. Like time, space is an overhead and pneumatic conveyors use less. Vacuum conveyors can lift material as high as 40m. For examples of vacuum conveyor equipment, see http://www.aptech.uk.com/pneumatic-conveying/vacuum-conveying/.
Material is protected from the environment and, especially in vacuum conveying, vice versa. For flammable materials, air can be replaced with nitrogen. Vacuum is gentler than pressure conveying.
Monitoring and Quality Control
Precise metering allows fine-tuning from a central console, and exact details can be fed directly into a management system. By consistently weighing and protecting raw materials, the product quality and consistency are enhanced.