Six vacuum conveyor design tips

Vacuum conveyor systems are the smart way to move difficult to convey materials from A to B. Using vacuum pressure has the additional advantage of controlling dust, while accurate controls enable materials to be conveyed and discharged on demand.

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If you are designing a vacuum conveying system for your product, here are six critical tips to ensure optimal efficiency.

1. Know your bulk density

To calculate the size of the vacuum receiver, you need to know the bulk density in pounds per cubic foot. Lighter powders may require larger receivers, while high-bulk materials need higher transport velocity.

2. Know your conveying distance

Distance is another important element in vacuum conveyor design. Horizontal and vertical factors should be taken into account, as should the number of sweep elbows required. Each 45- or 90-degree elbow equates to 20 feet of linear tubing. A miscalculation can prove costly.

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3. Know your conveying rate

Next, you need to consider how many pounds or kilograms of materials will be conveyed using a system from a provider such as The system needs to be sized correctly to determine the correct conveying rate.

4. Batch or continuous

It is important to define this process as part of determining the right conveying rate. Small conveyors discharging into a surge bin use the batch process, so you will need to establish whether the material will be received by an intermediate hopper or feeder during the process. Your conveying process should be capable of handling the surge of material during batch conveyancing.

If the material is metered directly into the process, you need a continuous conveying system. This enables materials to be fed in and discharged in a metered way.

5. Know your bulk material characteristics

Is your material fine or free-flowing, abrasive or combustible? Are you conveying powders or pellets, flakes or granules? Understanding the particle size, distribution and characteristics is essential when designing a conveying system.

6. Know your upstream process

However the material is received and introduced into the system, you must be able to define the upstream process that is supplying the material, whether this is a volumetric feeder, extruder hopper, loss-in-weight feeder or other equipment. The frequency of the flow rate and the way the material behaves will affect the type of upstream equipment used; in turn, this will affect the choice of downstream equipment.


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