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 PracticesÆ 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.
Nearly all vacuum pumping technologies have some degree of sensitivity to inlet particulate contamination. Since everything from a vacuum assisted production process ends up at the inlet of the vacuum pump, it is important to figure out how to best protect the pump in that particular environment. In many cases, the expected service life of a vacuum pump comes down to how well it is protected from incoming contamination.