Industrial Clean Sweep AC Air Control System

Most bulk material handlers would agree that a perfect day at the plant would include an uninterrupted material flow: no shutdowns, little to no maintenance, nothing but steady production from sun up to sundown. Clean Sweep AC eliminates bridging, ratholes, and material handling build-up. Each nozzle emits a high-pressure, high-volume, 360-degree burst of compressed air to lift and sweep stalled material back into the flow stream – clearing the way for higher factory and material handling efficiency.

Experienced operators also know how elusive such a scenario can be, especially when working with wet or sticky material such as sand or cement. In addition, pluggage and build-up can often interrupt the material flow in several ways, such as:

  • Clinging: Material deposits block the flow in hoppers and potentially contaminate other materials if they break off.
  • Bridging: Blockage forms at the outlet of the storage hopper or transfer chute, especially when working with finer particles and higher-moisture content.
  • Ratholing: Extreme clinging clogs material flow and requires repeated topping-up of small amounts of material.
  • Arching: Forces acting on hopper walls’ material particles equal the internal strength of the particles’ mass, creating problematic caking and packing.

If you have contended with these issues, you know how each can affect safety, profit, and production. For example, pluggage and build-up lower output, wastes material, damages equipment, creates extra maintenance and potentially endangers personnel.

Transfer chutes, in particular, can become bottlenecks for build-up, resulting in a rash of complications such as chute and liner wear, spillage, fugitive dust, and belt mistracking.

In addition to those challenges, the build-up is not always easy to identify because it can be out of view. As a result, personnel may have to go further into the system to locate it, climbing into confined spaces.

In addition, by that time, the build-up has usually already developed into a problem. Trying to eliminate the build-up in conventional ways can also compound the situation. For example, many operators may use hammers or vibrators to reduce pluggage, but those methods can make equipment even more vulnerable by creating dents, bumps, cracks, and ridges in it.

Some operators might also use air blasters to break up material accumulation. However, this method is typically more cure than prevention because it does not stop the recurrence of build-up; it only helps resolve what exists. Once your chute is cleaned, keep it cleaned; if it is plugged, it is too late.

You are not in business to contend with constant interference but rather to run a safe, efficient, and productive operation that serves customers with excellence. A significant factor in that goal is keeping bins, hoppers, silos, bunkers, and transfer chutes free of obstruction – something you can achieve with the proper flow aids.

What Is an Industrial Clean Sweep AC (Air Cannon System)?

Flow aids are system components that help maintain steady material transport while reducing pluggage and eliminating build-up. Industrial pneumatic air cannons, in particular, use strategically directed shots of compressed air to loosen build-up.

The components of a pneumatic air cannon system typically include a remote air tank, a quick-action solenoid valve with a trigger mechanism, and an engineered nozzle that distributes compressed air in an optimal pattern for dislodging bulk material.

The air pressure cannons are often installed in a sequenced series to significantly impact accumulation. The system can further be timed for specific process conditions or material characteristics. Beyond reducing or eliminating pluggage, the air pressure cannons help to clear blocked pathways and allow bulk material to resume its normal flow. Factors such as the frequency and amount of air also can be achieved by adjusting the pressure, tank volume, valve design, and nozzle shape.

Easier installation of a pneumatic air cannon system now favors bulk material handlers. In the past, when operators struggled with obstructed material flow, they often had to either make do until the next scheduled maintenance or absorb expensive downtime to install industrial pneumatic air cannons.

Today, engineers include the mountings in new retrofitting designs without a hot work permit and lengthy downtime. Industrial pneumatic air cannons can also be installed in high-temperature applications without a processing shutdown. Technicians can mount the air pressure cannons in locations such as furnaces, preheaters, and clinker coolers while production continues as well. Cannons can further be mounted on different surfaces such as metal, concrete, or wood.

What Can Benetech Industrial Clean Sweep Air Cannon Achieve?

As pioneers in safe, efficient, and profitable bulk material handling, Benetech researches, designs, tests, and applies the solutions we know operators need. Because we are always in the field, we learn about your challenges and what you wish to overcome.

Easy to install and maintain, the Benetech pneumatic air cannon system supports the steady flow of bulk material. It is an automatic radial system that uses standard plant compressed air at 80–100 PSIG to reduce pluggage and eliminate build-up.

Benetech removes existing vibrators and installs carefully positioned pneumatic air-cannon nozzles on the sidewall to implement the Clean Sweep AC. The system then does everything for you – no checking or monitoring is required. Instead, you program the settings and leave Clean Sweep AC to ensure material flow.

As the system is working, electronic controls trigger each wear-resistant nozzle to fire a precise burst of plant air at 360° for 0.1 seconds along the wall surface through a solenoid valve in the sequence you set. The air hits the wall at an adjustable distance of about two to three feet. Because the air moves in circles, the material cannot layer on the wall, and gravity carries the dislodged product back into the flow.

Benetech Clean Sweep AC can be set up in any configuration you need. Our engineers can customize system controls for your exact application, integrate Clean Sweep AC into a Distributed Control System, and write programs that meet your requirements. Our field techs also are trained to install, service, and maintain your system onsite.

Beyond its efficient and versatile function, Clean Sweep AC offers your plant simple operation and maintenance. The control station and the air tank are remote at ground level for convenient access. You also can locate the control panel and the timers for easy adjustment of air pressure and air-release sequencing. In addition, the Benetech Clean Sweep AC auto-cleans itself, so you don’t have to.

The Benetech pneumatic air cannon system does not require confined-space permits. In addition, because Clean Sweep AC frees personnel from climbing into containers or under unloading ports, it helps make your plant safer.

You can use the Clean Sweep AC for any bulk material or environment:

  • Coal-fired power plants
  • Mining
  • Ports and terminals
  • Trona
  • Cement
  • Pulp and paper
  • Glass
  • Aggregate
  • Sand
  • Kaolin
  • Biomass
  • Pet coke
  • Steel
  • Recycling & waste management
  • Wood chips

End Production Obstructions Starting Today

Benetech takes on the current issues that matter most to bulk material handlers. If you are ready to reduce pluggage and eliminate build-up, we welcome your questions about how Clean Sweep can contribute to a more efficient, safe, and profitable operation. Contact us at (630) 844-1300 to speak with a Benetech specialist.

Posted in Material Flow