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In this issue...

Ask an Expert: Safely removing combustible dusts
More Questions and Answers
Feature: How to analyze bid differences in blower package horsepower requirements
Read It Here First: Selecting the right bag palletizer for your needs
Industry News


APRIL 18, 2012



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Ask an Expert

Safely removing combustible dusts

Q: We know that eliminating combustible dust is one of the most important things we can do to keep our plant operating safely. What are some different approaches to cleaning up dust accumulations, and what safety considerations should we keep in mind during removal?

Gary Q. Johnson, Workplace Exposure Solutions, says: While removing accumulated dust is important for preventing dust deflagration conditions in your plant, failing to pay attention to safety details during dust cleanup will increase the dust explosion risk.

Continued ...  

Gary Q. Johnson is principal consultant at Workplace Exposure Solutions.

Think you've got what it takes to be the Expert?
We're looking for guest contributors for the Ask the Expert section—email mvasaly@cscpub.com for more info.
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NOL-TEC

More Questions and Answers

Q: We're conveying foundry sand, and our diverter valves wear out too frequently. What qualities should we look for when we replace these valves?

read the answer

Send Us Your Questions!

To send us your questions email mvasaly@cscpub.com


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Schenck Accurate

Feature

How to analyze bid differences in blower package horsepower requirements
Brad Schultz, Smoot Co., div. Magnum Systems

photo When you solicit bids from various equipment suppliers for your pneumatic conveying system, there may be some obvious differences—like conveying line diameters and construction materials—among the proposals you receive. But aside from these, the one difference that's likely to jump out at you is the variation in the motor horsepower requirements for the blower packages. (Besides the rotary-lobe positive-displacement blower and motor, a typical standard blower package includes a drive assembly, inlet and outlet silencers, switches, and gauges, all mounted on a base.)

So how can the blower package horsepower requirement vary widely among the bids for the same conveying system? Equipment suppliers have different approaches to sizing the blower motor based on what safety factor (that is, extra capability over the minimum required) they elect to build into the blower package and its components. Some suppliers are more liberal with this safety factor, and some are more conservative. Examining how blower horsepower requirements for a pneumatic conveying system are calculated will help explain why.

Continued...

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Vac-U-Max

Read It Here First:

Selecting the right bag palletizer for your needs
Jack Bertram, Chantland MHS

A robotic bag palletizer is just one type of industrial robot at work in today's efficient, fast-paced manufacturing plants. But as tempting as it is to think that robotics can always improve production speed and economy, here's the surprising truth: Choosing an automatic robotic palletizer over a conventional automatic unit isn't always the best option. This article compares features of both palletizer types and outlines their benefits to help you determine which is best suited to your packaging operation, production rate, and budget.

Both conventional and robotic bag palletizers automatically accept filled bags from bagging equipment, arrange the bags into layers, and load the layers onto pallets. Both are controlled by PLCs with a touchscreen operator interface. But conventional and robotic palletizers have different mechanisms for arranging the filled bags in layers and on pallets, and they're suited to different production rates:

photo • The conventional palletizer uses a belt conveyor or live roller bed and flow dividers to automatically move filled bags into layers, then stacks the layers to form a pallet load. See a typical example in Figure 1a. Depending on the model, this palletizer can handle high-speed packaging rates from 25 to 40 bags per minute.photo

• The robotic palletizer, as shown in Figure 1b, has a robotic arm that lifts bags and places them on a pallet to form and stack layers. The arm can swivel between two or more adjacent stations to begin loading bags on another pallet while a completed pallet load is removed. The arm's end effector is typically a hand-like gripper; for some low-speed applications, the end effector is a vacuum lifting device. Typically the robotic palletizer can safely handle up to 20 bags per minute; operating the units at higher rates can produce unstable pallet loads.

Perhaps because of its futuristic appearance or our increasing fascination with robots, the robotic palletizer has rapidly become the go-to choice for most bag palletizing operations today. However, many users overlook the robotic palletizer's pitfalls while underestimating the benefits a conventional palletizer can provide. Before you select a palletizer, you need to take an objective look at both types.

To learn more about choosing between palletizer types, you can read the article "Automatic bag palletizers: Robotic versus conventional" by Jack Bertram, Chantland MHS, in the May issue of Powder and Bulk Engineering.

To read it today, click here.
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Sentry

Industry News

New global market reports

Global Industry Analysts has released a number of new reports relevant to the powder and bulk solids industries. These include global market projections for metal matrix composites (expected to exceed $322 million by 2017); spices and seasonings (to reach 5.3 billion pounds by the same year); and antimicrobial coatings (to reach $1.2 billion).

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FLSmidth

Supplier News

Stedman names new sales manager

Jim Suetholz has been appointed central U.S. sales manager for Aurora, Ind., size reduction equipment supplier Stedman Machine Co. Suetholz holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky and has over 17 years of experience in capital equipment sales in the North American mining, steel, and other heavy industries.

BinMaster 3-D scanner receives Canadian FM approvals

The 3DLevelScanner by BinMaster, Lincoln, Neb., has received FM approval to Canadian standards (cFMus), allowing its installation in potentially explosive environments. The 3DLevelScanner measures and maps multiple points in a bin, calculates a volume estimate, and visually maps the topography of the contents. Read the full press release here.

Editor's note: Send your news items to mvasaly@cscpub.com.

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Events

Last call for RAPID 2012 award nominations

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will present awards to two exhibitors at the RAPID 2012 Exposition, being held May 22–25 in Atlanta. The "Exhibitor Innovation" award, open to online nominations until April 30, will be judged by members of the SME Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) community. Meanwhile, "Best in Show" will be chosen through popular vote by attendees. Visit the RAPID webpage for more information on the conference.

Australian dust hazards conference coming to Penrith Panthers

Dust Explosions 2012, hosted by the Australian Bulk Handling Review (ABHR) and the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling (ASBSH), will be held May 29–30 at the Panthers event center in Penrith, NSW. This event will examine industrial hazards and the means to control or eliminate dust as well as analyze the latest technology to ensure maximum protection and safety. Click here for more information.

PowderMet in Nashville

The Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) and APMI International will host their annual International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials June 10–13 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. PowderMet2012 will showcase the latest developments and trends in metal powders as well as powder metallurgy (PM) processes, products, and applications. The social highlight of the conference is the All-American Evening at the Grand Ole Opry. For program details and registration, visit the MPIF website.

Ninth annual International Conference on Coatings on Glass & Plastics

The Ninth International Conference on Coatings on Glass & Plastics (ICCG) will be held at the Chassé Theater in Breda, the Netherlands, on June 24–28, 2012. Topics will include technologies such as ALD, roll-to-roll processing, inkjet printing, and HIPIMS magnetron sputtering in addition to application areas such as photovoltaics, touch panels, and optical filters. Learn more on the ICCG9 website

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Camfill Farr APC

Continuing Education

Pneumatic conveying webinar

PBE will host the webinar "The Basics of Pneumatic Conveying" at noon EDT on Tuesday, May 1. Paul E. Solt and Jack D. Hilbert will discuss pneumatic conveying system types and major components, provide guidelines for selecting a system for your application, and answer your questions. Click here for more info and to register.

ASME/AIChE bulk solids course

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will offer "Flow of Solids in Bins, Hoppers, Chutes, and Feeders" June 4–5 at the Omni Houston Hotel Westside in Houston, Tex. This course provides practical training for effective design and troubleshooting principles for handling bulk solids. Click here to learn more.

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Copyright 2012, CSC Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
PBE-News provides information updates about the dry bulk materials processing and handling industry twice a month. The opt-out link below will allow you to opt out of future PBE-News. This will in no way affect our contact methods regarding your subscription or communication. Thank you.

 

PBE-News Editor
Madeleine Vasaly
mvasaly@cscpub.com

 

PBE-News Designer
Kelly Weyandt
kweyandt@cscpub.com