Plastics Technology

NOV 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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If your conveying system isn't up to snuff, and you don't have the budget to overhaul or expand it, don't lose hope. There are many factors that could be limiting your conveying performance, and a number of them cost little or nothing to fix. How to Maximize Your Conveying System Performance Your material handling system is maxed out. Your machines are calling for material and the system can't keep up. You're falling behind on production and you think you need more conveying capacity to catch up. But before you go looking for a budget to expand your system, maybe there are some simpler, short- term solutions. A number of factors could cause your vacuum- conveying system to come up short in particular situations. These failures often can be traced to maintenance issues, production or material changes, or design flaws built into your system. Let's look at some of these. VACUUM IS THE KEY The vacuum level within your system is a key determinant of how much material can flow through your conveyor system in a given period of time. More than the speed of air flow, vacuum level is what determines how much material can be sus- pended and move in a given column of air. So, if your system isn't keeping pace, look for factors that may be reducing vacuum levels. Are all conveying-system air filters clean and free of dust? After maintenance, have filters and canisters been properly reconnected and sealed? Are all clamps and fasteners secure and leak-free? Any of these things can limit the vacuum your pumps can generate. Are all flexible hoses free of cracks or holes? Are all of them properly and tightly secured? Flexible hoses are frequently moved, and every move creates potential for wear, improper connection, or leakage. Generally, it is good to minimize use of flexible hoses, since—compared with rigid piping—they also reduce conveying throughput. PRODUCTION/MATERIAL CHANGES There are many reasons, including production changes, mold changes, or improvements in molding cycle times, that could mean that you are utilizing material at a higher rate than you used By Doug Brewster Conair Group Inadequate conveying performance can often be traced to mainte- nance issues, production or material changes, or design flaws built into your system. WHAT YOU WILL LEARN 1. VACUUM IS CRITICAL: It determines how much material can flow through your conveyor system in a given period of time. 2. DISTANCE CHANGES: Even small increases in distance can create conveying challenges. 3. DESIGN LIMITATIONS: Optimal layouts can be difficult to achieve and maintain in a fast- changing production environment. 4. UPGRADE: You can easily "tune up" the your existing conveying system by replacing and upgrading your pump. Well-designed conveying systems reflect clean, organized lines, with vertical drops used only where necessary, such as for resin-selection stations. 40 NOVEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com Tips and Techniques

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