Design effective loading & conveying systems: 12 dos and don’ts
Manufacturers understand that effective loading and conveying systems are vital to their plastic manufacturing processes. Delivering adequate supplies of the right resin material to production equipment is what vacuum conveying, feeding, and loading systems are all about.
However, when manufacturers need to design a vacuum loading and conveying system, they may not know where to start. Conair is here to help by sharing the 12 Dos and Don’ts of designing an effective loading and conveying system.
- Do identify all sources – determine if the resin is stored in silos, bins, gaylords, or bulk bags.
- Do identify all material consumers – these can include injection/extrusion machines, blender component bins, drying hoppers, and intermediate surge bins or day bins.
- Do identify throughputs required for all material consumers – for applications where materials and throughput may change from day to day, a system design engineer will typically plan throughputs based on a “worst-case scenario.”
- Do envision where the pump will be placed and where the conveying lines will be run – the goal should be to minimize vacuum line “equivalent distance” as much as possible for each of the pump and receiver relationships so as to respect the limits of pump-vacuum capability.
- Don’t use mitered elbows on material lines – try to cut back the straights that are entering/exiting the elbow location so that there’s room for a CLR elbow. Otherwise, re-route the material line with a different exit point so that proper CLR elbows can be used throughout the run. This is to help maximize pump capacity.
- Do calculate the “equivalent distance” of conveying system lines to all destinations – horizontal, vertical, and bend degrees all factor into a calculated “equivalent distance” that you must design against.
- Do choose a line size and accessories that are matched to pump capacity and throughput requirements – line size dictates the size of the pump, while the physics of airflow and speed is determined by pump CFM and line size.
- Don’t overlook the relationship between pump sizing and line size – this is one of the most common errors that inexperienced people make when designing conveying systems. They try to retrofit the old pump from the previous system, but that rarely works and can cost a lot of money to fix.
- Do choose a conveying method, and equipment, that minimizes velocity to limit resin attrition and system erosion – both resin attrition and system erosion increase exponentially as material conveying velocity increases, so the best way to reduce both is to choose conveying methods and equipment that can convey adequate material throughputs at the lowest velocity.
- Do select a control system that easily accommodates future growth – invest in a new system with conveying system control that can handle current needs and accommodate future growth.
- Do choose a partner who offers deep experience in material handling system design and the support of expert installation, service, and support staff.
- Don’t get overwhelmed! Designing, building, or retrofitting a vacuum-driven resin conveying system isn’t necessarily easy, but if you turn to an experienced system designer and builder, with access to innovative technology and affordable, expandable solutions, you’re likely to find all the answers you need.
Want to learn more about designing an effective vacuum loading and conveying system for your facility? Get in touch with Conair Group today to get the experienced help you need.