Advantages and Disadvantages of Pneumatic Conveyors in Material Handling
An intuitive piece of equipment that uses gas or air pressure to operate, pneumatic conveying systems enable the transportation of bulk materials across a conveying line from one location to another. A conveyor system that features moving parts revolving to move different types of material through a closed system, pneumatic conveyors are used across a variety of industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, powder pressing, pharmaceuticals and aggregates for filling and packing tasks. There are a number of pneumatic conveyors on the market which deliver different results depending on your requirements. In essence, you want to invest in a system that gets the job done on time, with ease and can withstand your expectations.
Pneumatic Conveyors Advantages
When researching the types of pneumatic systems available that will fit your needs, there are a plethora of benefits to why they’re great for your industry.
- Flexibility – From dense phase pneumatic to dilute phase pneumatic their ability to process conveyed material is impressive. With multiple destination points, they can be designed in a bespoke manner to fit your existing processing equipment. Whether that’s to fit in a small space or you need conveying systems including longer distances, they can be manufactured to suit.
- Low maintenance – With fewer moving parts than mechanical conveying systems which require more maintenance, these can be cleaned and kept up to scratch with ease.
- Reduce clean-up – As pneumatic conveyors transport materials through an enclosed pipe, this dust collection system means that there will be less dust leakage and spillage in the long run compared to a mechanical system.
- Improve sanitation – With the lower risk of dust getting into the air, this means that exposure to contamination is reduced making the working environment more pleasant for all. Plus the pipe itself can be cleaned and dried with ease.
- Better safety – With a reduced amount of moving parts compared to mechanical conveyors, there is a reduced risk of danger and incident to those operating and maintaining it.
Pneumatic Conveyors Disadvantages
Whilst there are plenty of benefits of pneumatic conveyors, there are some points to consider about why they may not be a first choice.
- Handling of Materials – A great choice for lower density items such as flour, whey and sugar, there are some items that may be difficult to convey from A to B such as good with high-fat contact as they can cause a build-up in the pipeline.
- Hazards – Due to its air and gas operation, some combustible dust could pose a fire hazard if an ignition source is nearby.
- Bigger dust collection system needed – Although it’s beneficial to have a dust collection system, those featured in a pneumatic conveying system need to be larger as the product has to be separate from the air stream at the endpoint.
- Energy efficiency – As these systems use air to push products through the conveyor, this means that they need more power to achieve maximum results.
- Initial cost – Compared to mechanical systems, pneumatic conveyors can at first be a costly investment as they include items such as compressors, filtration systems and specialised components. However, they require fewer parts meaning they won’t need to be repaired as much.
When looking at the pros and cons of pneumatic conveyor systems it’s easy to identify the benefits of why they’re an efficient and effective item to invest in. At SN Engineering we provide expert and insightful advice and guidance on what system is best for you and your needs.