Six considerations when choosing a conveying system

Conveying is the savvy way to move bulk solids for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. There are a host of considerations to be taken into account when designing a conveying system, but here are six of the most important.

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1. Bulk density

Without knowing the bulk density of a material, it is impossible to know how many cubic feet of air are required to push the product around the system. The general rule of thumb is that materials lighter than 55lb/cu ft but heavier than 25lb/cu ft are relatively easy to convey; lighter materials require more filtration and larger vacuum receivers; and heavier powders require more power to move.

2. Conveying distance

When you are sizing a conveyancing system, it is obviously also crucial to know the distance the products will be travelling – the further the distance, the larger the vacuum pump needed to convey the substance. Bear in mind that the distance for moving products horizontally and vertically is the same, while every 90-degree bend adds 20 linear feet.

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3. Continuous or batch conveying?

If you choose batch conveyancing, be aware that this will have an effect on system design. You will need a more powerful vacuum pump to deal with the demands of batching.

4. Material type

Whether your material is free flowing or sluggish will impact the way you design the system. There may be special considerations for handling combustible dust, which must be moved by a vacuum conveyor system. Knowing the characteristics of the material you are conveying will help you to make decisions around the vacuum conveyor you need and equipment modifications necessary for the system to run smoothly.

5. Pickup point

Once a material enters the system, it will generally convey without any issues; however, getting the material into the system in the first place can be a problem. The pickup point is perhaps the most customised part of your system, with a smooth feed crucial for hassle-free operation.

6. Process equipment

In the sealed environment of the conveying process, each piece of equipment affects design choices about every other piece of equipment. The upstream and downstream equipment should be designed to integrate seamlessly, be easy to maintain and clean and be flexible enough to respond to the type of equipment being used, including loss in weight feeders.

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