It’s one thing to move materials during the production process, but when it’s a finished product on the packaging line, choosing the right material handling system is essential. Getting it wrong results in squandered production time when product loss occurs, and wasted raw materials.
Nutriom sets the bar high when it comes to producing its premium quality natural powdered egg products Ova Easy® and Egg Crystals®, that are sold at outdoor retailers such as REI, and online merchants such as Amazon.com; so, when the screw conveyor in their FSIS USDA facility required regular unexpected attention, Leonardo Etcheto, Plant Manager at the Lacey, WA facility knew it was time to look for a better solution.
Two years ago, sales were picking up and we began operating six extrusion lines on most days. We had to bring in some portable chillers, to keep up, and we started looking at buying a larger cooling system. We wanted to get rid of the portable chillers and have room to grow into four more extrusion lines. The new system we looked at was a 100-ton system that would have cost us around $150,000 in capital and installation and with a larger monthly electricity bill. We were about to buy the new 100-ton chiller when our President, Abe Gaskins said, “Hold-on, can we replace the Liquid Ring pumps with something that doesn’t consume water”? That was our “Eureka!” moment.
Using suction cups and air-driven vacuum pumps is a preferable gripping and handling method of corrugated cardboard materials and boxes in carton-machines like case/carton erectors and rotary cartoners. Robot based applications, like palletizing and de-palletizing, are other examples where the best practice technology for gripping and handling is by suction cups and air-driven vacuum pumps.
This article will examine in detail four of the five acceptable WAGD implementations under NFPA 99, along with some alternative ways they may be implemented. This article will not deal with passive implementations.
The roots of our company start with my father, Jan Dekker, who was heavily involved with oil-sealed liquid ring vacuum systems used in the gold mines of South Africa. This was in the mid-1970’s when gold prices were going up. Vacuum systems (in the mines) were optimized by improving vacuum levels using oil instead of water and by adding vacuum boosters.
There is an enormous population of vacuum generators being used successfully by industry. Applications range from pick & place to vapor extraction to bulk material handling and the number of installations is growing. Before proceeding with an installation utilizing these devices, there are two general issues to consider: efficiency and appropriateness.
Most printing facilities use vacuum for one process or another. I recently spoke with Jesse Krivolavek, (a vacuum system efficiency specialist with IVS, Inc.) about his recent adventures in the world of printing.
A recent comparative vacuum technology study performed by Dr. Kingman Yee, as part of a Chrysler Summer Intern Professors Program, found that air consumption could be reduced by 98% when equipping a robot’s end-of-arm tooling with COAXÆ technology and a Vacustat™ check valve.
Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine spoke with Mr. Ed McGovern (VP Sales & Business Development) of PIAB North America.
In February of 2008, a sugar plant near Savannah, Georgia suffered the ultimate tragedy. Fouteen employees were killed and 40 injured when finely ground motes of sugar dust ignited, setting off a violent blast. If the fatalities and a tarnished reputation weren’t enough, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) then fined the company more than 8 million dollars in workplace violations related to combustible dust.
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