SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Robert Ober & Associates is a specialty design/build firm that serves an international client base for bulk material handling projects that range from $25,000 retrofit contracts to $25-million turnkey plant projects. The company’s early focus on pneumatic material handling for concrete plants has grown to include a wide range of material handling, weigh batching, and powder blending systems in mining, grain, fertilizer, food, fly ash, plastics, pharmaceuticals and other industries. About 60% of that focus is on new plant designs and 40% on plant retrofits.Read More»
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions… to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually… to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed… to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord… To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us… and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
(Let’s be honest. Nobody says “Happy Thanksgiving” like George Washington, but we’ll say it anyway.)
From all of us, have a warm and wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving!
That’s why we invented the HammerTek® Smart Elbow® deflection elbow in the first place.Read More»
Rensselaer Plastics Co. of Rensselaer, Ind., produces PVC piping products for the plumbing trade, with annual sales in the $40 million range. One process at the plant uses a pneumatic conveying system to transfer resin and pellets from storage hoppers to pipe extruders, and therein lay the plant’s Achilles Heel.Read More»
When Gary Wright, Director of Plant Engineering, had one of the HammerTek® Smart Elbow® deflection elbows they had installed a year earlier pulled to check for wear and tear, he assumed it would require considerable repair, if not replacement. “After one year in service, we could still see the casting marks,” said Wright. “By now, we would have been through four or five sweep elbows and 12 rolls of duct tape.” He added, “We’re impressed.”
Five years later, we checked back with RheTech to see how the Smart Elbow units were holding up. None of the 170 Smart Elbow deflection elbows installed had worn out or been replaced since the installation six years earlier.Read More»
The Eufaula, Ala.-based manufacturer was performing weekly repairs on the worn elbows of its ceramic bead plant. The company replaced all 12 elbows in their system with HammerTek® Smart Elbow® deflection elbow technology. The Smart Elbow units have lasted at least four years compared to the one- or two-week lifespan of their previous elbows.Read More»
The elbows feature a spherical chamber that protrudes partially beyond the desired 90° or 45° pathway, which causes a ball of material suspended in air to rotate, gently deflecting incoming material around the bend without impacting the elbow wall or generating heat.Read More»
Similar to many manufacturing and production facilities, the Blythewood plant used conventional long-sweep elbows as part of the conveying system, moving the pellets from storage silos to molding machines. The problem? The way conventional elbows function. The design of a conventional elbow changes the direction of conveyed material through deflection off the inner walls, causing friction and heat.Read More»
In reality, however, the standard 316L stainless pipe elbows that made up the pneumatic conveying system were wearing out at an average of every four to six months, resulting in environmentally hazardous and costly spillages. Annual labor costs related to cleanup and repairs soared.Read More»
Each day, approximately 18,000 pounds of the highly abrasive, dusty material are conveyed through the facility using long-radius stainless steel sweep elbows. Long considered the industry standard, these conventional sweep elbows are critical components in any conveying system. Failures at these crucial points can be costly, messy affairs that negatively impact productivity. The powdered limestone was quite literally wearing the sweep elbows away from the inside out.
Moving such a high volume of material non-stop requires high pressure. If even a small leak develops in a sweep elbow (and they occurred frequently), the result would be a huge cloud of dust as the powdered limestone spewed out under pressure. A breach required immediate shutdown of the lines for repair and cleanup — and the clock started ticking: EPA regulations require a complete (and expensive) incinerator shutdown if the line shutdown lasts more than a few hours.Read More»
Plagued by maintenance and housekeeping problems stemming from a single automatic diverter in the grain upload system, Roy Marin, staff engineer at the facility, decided to replace the troublesome component with a more cost-effective piping panel. The original design specifications included a manifold with a dozen 4-foot radius sweep elbows, but therein laid the problem: there wasn’t enough room at the installation point.Read More»
That was exactly the case for Dave Goodwin, Plant Maintenance Superintendent for the Scarborough, Ontario plant of Fiberglas Canada. Goodwin’s plant suffered through as many as 20 wear-related clogs per year — always occurring at the same two refractory elbows in the conveying system connecting the batch house and the furnace hall.Read More»
These line failures were costly. Repairs and cleanups consumed valuable man-hours, and any leaked material potentially subjected the company to EPA fines.Read More»
How much dust? Try 120 tons of dust every 24 hours.
A portion of this dust is sold for use in various industrial and agricultural applications, but the majority must be moved pneumatically and recycled back through the kilns through a process call insufflation.
And that’s where the problems really begin.Read More»