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What Is a Vacuum Conveyor?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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A vacuum conveyor uses air pressure or suction to transport materials through an enclosed pipeline. These conveying systems are found in many types of manufacturing and industrial facilities, particularly those used in agriculture or food processing. While traditional conveyors carry materials using belts or other mechanical means, the vacuum conveyor transports materials using a blower, or through suction created via vacuum pressure. Vacuum systems are best-suited to bulk materials, such as grains or powdered chemicals. They can be used to move both large and small quantities, and typically serve as a part of a modular conveyance system for added flexibility.

Agriculture and food processing are the primary applications for the vacuum conveyor. These systems make it easy and efficient to carry grains and other food products through a factory or processing plant. The vacuum pipeline is often self-contained, which offers a level of sanitary protection, and also cuts cleaning requirements. A vacuum conveyor can also be used to transport mining products, such as coal or minerals, as well as chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Facilities that handle hazardous waste also rely on the airtight vacuum conveyor to safely move toxic materials.

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Conveyance systems that rely on this technology are often highly customizable to suit the needs of different users. In addition to sizing the pipelines correctly, designers and installers must also choose a vacuum or blower capable of generating enough power to effectively move the materials involved. Buyers can choose from electronic vacuum pumps and compressed air blowers, depending on whether the materials will be drawn or blown through the system.

The vacuum conveyor is one of the most cost effective and efficient systems for transporting bulk goods over a long distance. Given that the goods travel through pipelines located above ground level, these systems also help to keep floor space clear for other uses. Their self-contained nature results in a cleaner and more sanitary facility, and protects workers from chemicals or hazardous materials.

One drawback to the vacuum conveyor is that it can only be used with small objects, or those that are relatively lightweight. Even small rocks or gravel from mining operations may require advanced vacuum systems. These units also consume much more energy per unit of material transported, especially when compared to traditional belts or chain conveyors. Finally, the air pressure used in a vacuum conveyor can be loud, which can be unpleasant or dangerous, depending on the facility.

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