ACRO Extrusion Corporation is a Wilmington-based company that produces vinyl window systems and extrusions. PVC resin is conveyed pneumatically from the plant’s outdoor silos to the mixing room at a rate of 34,000 pounds per day. The abrasive product was causing failures in the Delaware company’s sweep elbows at an alarming frequency – as often as every two to three weeks.
Maintenance manager Al Husni knew he had to do something. Line failures were causing costly and time-consuming repairs and cleanups, and any incidents involving leaked material released to either the air or ground required documentation, subjecting the company to EPA fines.Read More»
As the primary wastewater treatment facility for the city of Alexandria and Fairfax County, Va., the Alexandria Sanitation Authority’s sewage plant operates around the clock – with a daily volume that can exceed 80 million gallons. For pH control, the facility uses more than 500,000 pounds of pelletized lime each month, conveyed from trucks delivering the material to 70-foot silos via a pair of four-inch lines.
A key component in the wastewater treatment process, pelletized lime is a powdery, abrasive material. The plant was plagued by leaks in the lime conveying system, its traditional long-sweep elbows rapidly wearing down from the inside out.Read More»
For manufacturers of abrasive materials, repair and replacement of conveying system components is a nearly constant task. And an expensive one.
Chromalloy is one such manufacturer. Its Drilling Division produces ground barite (barium sulfate) at a plant in Houston, Texas. This high-density and highly abrasive material was causing a host of problems in the conveying system. When the conventional long-sweep elbows weren’t plugging, they were prematurely wearing out.Read More»
PET poly pellets conveyed pneumatically from rail transport cars into holding silos – then again from storage silos into molding machines – were proving to be an expensive problem for Schmalbach-Lubeca’s Blythewood, S.C., plant. The company operates 24/7, manufacturing millions upon millions of plastic bottles each day for the beverage industry.
Similar to many manufacturing and production facilities, the Blythewood plant used conventional long-sweep elbows as part of the conveying system. The design of a conventional elbow changes the direction of conveyed material through deflection off the inner walls, causing friction and heat.Read More»
Even the most innocent looking material can wear down conventional long-radius sweep elbows when high volume meets high pressure. Bob DiCanio, engineering and maintenance manager at the Pet Foods Division of Quaker Oats (Rockbridge, Ill.), could practically set his watch to the timing of stainless steel elbow failures in his pneumatic conveying systems.
Every three months, almost to the day.Read More»
Essroc Materials Inc. is a wet-process cement plant in Frederick, Md., producing nearly 400,000 tons of cement annually using two 400-foot rotary kilns.
Dust produced during kilning of the cement must be removed from the exhaust gases — and Essroc’s kilns produced 120 tons of dust every 24 hours. While portion of this dust is sod for use in various industrial and agricultural applications, the majority must be moved pneumatically and recycled through the kilns via a process called insufflation. The rate of insufflation is controlled by the central control operator and is dictated by the chemistry of the cement being produced in the kiln.
Therein lay the problem, as they say.Read More»
Indiana’s Rensselaer Plastics Co. produces PVC pipe for commercial and residential plumbing with annual sales around $40 million. Resin and pellets are transferred via a pneumatic conveying system from storage hoppers to extruders.
These same pellets and resins are abrasive, and the long-radius sweep elbows installed in the conveying system were continually being worn away by the material moving through. L.E. Koehler, assistant plant manager, was replacing worn-out elbows every two to four months in order to keep the lines running efficiently, but maintenance costs and plant downtime were steadily chewing away at profits.Read More»
To meet EPA air pollution standards for sulfur dioxide emissions, Montgomery County’s North Incinerator plant injects finely powdered limestone into the three incinerator units housed at the facility.
Long-radius stainless steel sweep elbows conveyed approximately 18,000 pounds of the material through the company’s dense phase pneumatic conveying system daily. The problem? Lime is incredibly abrasive and those elbows — critical components of the conveying system — were literally being worn away.Read More»
That’s how long it’s been since Tom Sorensen, maintenance manager at Carbo Ceramics’ Eufaula, Ala. facility, has had to replace even a single elbow in his pneumatic conveying lines since making the switch to the Smart Elbow® by Hammertek.Read More»
It turns out that even ordinary wood particles can become highly abrasive when moving at a high volume and pressure.
At Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd, in Prince George, British Columbia, wear-back sweep elbows were wearing out at an alarming rate (approximately every three months), thanks in part to the “hog fuel” mixture of bark and sawdust pneumatically conveyed through the plant’s system.Read More»
A maker of oat cereal and oat flour, National Oats (a subsidiary of Curtice Burns, Inc.) uses a pneumatic conveyance system to move raw oats from their outdoor storage tanks to blending vessels housed inside the plant at a rate of 90,000 lbs/hour through an 8” pipeline. The volume of material moving through the system was taking its toll on the wear-back ceramic sweep elbows.
These sweep elbows required periodic repair and replacement — which meant stopping the line and patching worn areas of the sweeps with welded-on steel plate. When patching no longer became effective (at approximately two years after initial installation) the entire elbow and adjoining sections had to completely replaced. Maintenance teams were being called five times per year, just for elbow repair and replacement.Read More»
In order to meet federal sulfur dioxide emissions standards, PECO Energy Company’s Eddystone plant employs a scrubbing process using magnesium oxide (MgO) pneumatically conveyed from storage silos to a mixer before being sprayed into the plant’s exhaust stacks. The MgO must be fully operational whenever the coal-fired plant is generating electricity to keep sulfur dioxide emissions below mandated levels. Elbow failure is not an option.Read More»
Wishing you and yours a most joyous holiday season and much success in the New Year!
2014 has been a year dedicated to helping companies increase productivity and minimize repair-related costs in their conveyance systems. Our library of case studies demonstrates how revolutionary the Smart Elbow® has been for a wide variety of industries, from PVC manufacturers to breweries, wastewater treatment facilities and composite flooring fabricators.Read More»
Worn-out elbows — and the problems associated with them — are a fact of life in industrial environments. Most elbows wear out and have to be repaired and replaced frequently (sometimes as often as every 90 days in high-wear applications conveying abrasive material), costing production lines a heavy price in time, equipment and materials.
That’s what Gary Wright, Director of Plant Engineering at RheTech, always assumed to be true. Until he discovered the Smart Elbow® from Hammertek. Pulling a year-old Smart Elbow® to check for damage, he fully expected to see considerable wear. What he found instead astounded him.Read More»
Blowouts aren’t just costly due to lost productivity and extensive cleanup; they often carry substantial health risks and safety concerns from spilled material and environmental conditions.
This was certainly the case with the Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA). The wastewater treatment plant handles upwards of 30 million gallons per day and provides potable water to more than 300,000 people in portions of Fairfax and Prince William counties in northern Virginia. Its chemical treatment system relies on a non-stop supply of pebble lime for raising the pH to levels where bacteria and phosphorous can be efficiently removed.Read More»
Space is often at a premium in commercial breweries. Raw ingredients, fermentation vessels, and other brewery equipment have large footprints. Engineers and plant managers are always looking at ways to maximize efficiencies without crowding out existing equipment and personnel.
Roy Marin, staff engineer at the Miller Brewing Co. plant in Fort Worth, Texas, found himself in just such a situation.Read More»
When materials clog in pneumatic conveyor systems, manufacturers feel the pinch. Line shutdowns are costly and result in lost productivity and missed production schedules. They’re a headache too many manufacturers assumed were unavoidable. The best a manufacturer of loose, abrasive material could hope for infrequent clogs which could be cleared quickly without significantly impacting productivity.
Fiberglas Canada used to think this way, until they installed Hammertek’s Smart Elbow® on their pneumatic conveyor system.Read More»
A key ingredient in industrial and commercial flooring products, silica aggregate is incredibly abrasive. Manufacturers like Stonhard are fighting a losing battle in their pneumatic systems, replacing costly ceramic pipe elbows far too often. Their ceramic elbows, vital for moving the aggregate through the pneumatic lines, were literally being worn away by the fast moving material.
According to Greg Sosenheimer, plant manager at Stonhard’s Fort Wayne, IN, plant, 82,000 pounds of the coarse and abrasive material move through the system daily. The ceramic elbows were failing on average every three months, and the costs associated with replacement were getting out of control.Read More»
One of the things we’ve always tried to demonstrate on this blog is how the Smart Elbow® saves space, time and money.
We’ve highlighted companies dealing with plastics, abrasives, grain, wood pulp, power and wastewater through a series of case studies addressing maintenance issues, operational inefficiencies, mitigation of material costs, and flow control, to name just a few. They all had one thing in common: their conveyor systems were all improved significantly through the addition of HammerTek’s revolutionary Smart Elbow. They experienced less product degradation, the downtime of their production lines was significantly decreased, and productivity outputs were higher.Read More»
We’re back from the Oil Sands Trade Show and Conference! Two wonderful days of learning and networking with visionaries and leaders from the oil sands industry. The HammerTek team was on the expo floor showcasing the Smart Elbow®, networking with other suppliers and vendors from both the United States and Canada and, most importantly, learning about some of the critical issues facing this industry in the coming years.Read More»
If you’ve ever wanted to see HammerTek’s Smart Elbow® up close and personal (including the unique Vortex Chamber) and meet the team responsible for the design and manufacture of this innovative piece of technology, I have just the opportunity for you.
HammerTek Corporation will be exhibiting at the Oil Sands Trade Show and Conference September 9 – 10, 2014 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. This conference will explore issues of community engagement, sustainable development and environmental technology facing the Canadian oil market. Since 1985, it has brought visionaries and industry leaders together to discuss the newest technologies, processes and manufacturing advancements from the oil sands sector.Read More»
In case after case, we have shown that replacing worn sweep elbows in pneumatic, liquid, slurry and steam conveying lines with HammerTek’s revolutionary Smart Elbows® eliminated frequent leaks and their costs in product loss, repair and replacement, production line downtime and product and facility contamination. In case after case, HammerTek Smart Elbows have prevened exposure to OSHA and EPA compliance risk.Read More»
Regular readers of this blog already know that Hammertek’s Smart Elbow® saves space, time and money.
The Smart Elbow® takes 60% less linear space than long-radius elbow layouts, virtually eliminates elbow replacement costs, improves laminar flow, practically eliminates downtime due to wear, prevents plugging, surging and cross-contamination, and vastly reduces maintenance needs.Read More»
The Declaration of Independence was approved in a closed-door session of Congress on July 2, 1776. The nation decided to celebrate the holiday on the day the document was printed and made public, two days later – although several of our Founding Fathers, including President John Adams, pushed unsuccessfully for a July 2 observance. (Yes, our politicians have been squabbling – literally – since Day One.)Read More»
Engineers at Alexandria Sanitation Authority’s municipal wastewater treatment facility, a sprawling plant that treats more than 80 million gallons of wastewater a day from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., had had enough troubles with lime spills. It was the mid-1990s and the plant was new and state-of-the-art, but the lime – which is carried in pelletized form through two four-inch pneumatic lines from truck to silo and used for pH control – kept wearing through pipe elbows in the line every six months or so.Read More»
For many in this generation who have not taken part in defending our country, Memorial Day has come to mean little more than a day off from work or the official beginning of the summer season. To families who have lost a loved one on foreign soil, its meaning is entirely different.
At Hammertek we ask you to take a moment this year and think about the fact that the freedom we enjoy in the United States comes with a price. Memorial Day reminds us of our duties toward wounded soldiers, bereaved families, and the orphans and widows of those who have died protecting our freedom.Read More»
Abrasive materials are, well, abrasive – whether they’re being used in their intended manner or passing through pipelines in the plant where they’re produced. So what do you do when these materials are causing constant pipeline problems in the manufacturing process? You can’t stop the abrasive from being abrasive, so you have to look elsewhere – and that’s exactly what engineers at Chromalloy’s Drilling Division had to do.Read More»
As faithfully as an old hound, pneumatic pipe elbows were wearing out at the Pet Foods Division of Quaker Oats in Rockford, Illinois. Time after time – every three months, on average – the stainless steel elbows in the lines carrying grain from the plant’s storage areas to receiving tanks were wearing out.
Quaker had been using conventional, long-radius sweep elbows in these lines. But the constant ruptures, resulting in clouds of grain dust, line shutdowns and expensive maintenance time – not to mention all those replacement elbows – were getting old.Read More»
Rennselaer Plastics Co. has learned the easy way that sometimes it’s good to go by your elbow when you need a new rule of thumb.
The Rennselaer, Ind. company, which produces PVC piping products for the plumbing trade, utilizes a pneumatic conveying system to transfer plastic resin beads and pellets from outdoor storage hoppers to its pipe extruders. While the company had the whole process state-of-the-art and finely tuned, there was one area that left engineers scratching their heads – and their wallets.Read More»
If you’ve read other posts in this blog, you’ve undoubtedly picked up on the fact that HammerTek’s Smart Elbow® is the answer for industrial applications requiring the movement of abrasive product pneumatically from one place to another. Just in case you haven’t, or you need one more reason before picking up that phone, this case study is for you.
Essroc Materials Inc. had the whole cement manufacturing process set in stone save one Achilles heel: moving cement dust produced in the company’s kilns was a constant problem of plugged and surging lines. Once again, the Smart Elbow® came to the rescue.Read More»
As time goes by, HammerTek’s patented Smart Elbow® is proving that it can move your product through bends in pneumatic conveying lines – no matter the product.
In Prince George, British Columbia, Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd. has applied the Smart Elbow® to successfully remedy a problem common to the pulp and paper industry: moving wood chips, bark and sawdust – known in the industry as hog fuel – while eliminating the damaging effects of this material on the conveying line.Read More»
Cost-effective, Compact, Convenient and Durable: Smart Elbow® Shows Measurable Improvements at National Oats
Smart Elbows® may be known for their ability to handle changes in pipeline direction with much less wear, tear and maintenance than traditional sweep elbows, but many of our customers are reporting additional benefits.
Take, for example, National Oats. The Cedar Rapids, IA, plant has been processing oat cereal and flour for decades. Prior to 1985, conveyance of these materials from outdoor storage tanks to indoor blending vessels was handled the traditional way, using an 8-inch pipeline with ceramic sweep elbows everywhere the line turned.Read More»
There’s something odd about an industry that’s designed to be good for the environment having environmental concerns of its own. Yet that’s just what was happening at Montgomery County’s North Incinerator plant, which converts household waste to energy in the Dayton, Ohio, area. Try as they did, engineers could not find a way to convey powdered lime – part of the plant’s phase pneumatic conveying system – for any great length of time before a sweep elbow failure resulted in a plant shutdown and expensive cleanup operation.Read More»
Global Warming. Climate Change. Carbon Credits. Green Engineering. Repurposing. You’ve heard the buzzwords, and we’re getting new ones all the time. The pressure is on manufacturers worldwide to do it better, cleaner, and more efficiently than ever.
Why not start the new year off right and replace those unreliable sweep elbows with HammerTek Smart Elbows®?Read More»
All of us at HammerTek would like to convey our wishes for your most successful New Year! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
When we look back on 2013, it’s easy to see just how much our Smart Elbow® has revolutionized how your plants convey materials. In lines where the Smart Elbow has replaced traditional elbows, we’ve reduced maintenance, practically eliminated downtime, even improved overall product flow. From PVC manufacturers to breweries, the Smart Elbow’s, er, footprint on American industry grew significantly in 2013.Read More»
A customer of ours – a PVC pipe producer with $40 million in annual sales – uses a pneumatic conveying system to transfer resin and pellets from storage to the pipe extruders. The abrasive nature of their product was causing elbow wear – and serious down time – every couple of months.
Another customer producing vinyl windows and extrusions experienced elbow failure – along with expensive down time and EPA fines – every couple of weeks. PVC resin running from hoppers to the plants mixers at a rate of up to 34,000 pounds per day was simply too much for conventional sweep elbows.
HammerTek’s Smart Elbow® was engineered for PVC.Read More»
That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection… for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence… for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have enjoyed… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness… for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
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 at HammerTek, have a warm and wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving!
Your conveyor system is your company’s lifeline. Anything – make that everything – you can do to keep it performing at peak capacity will carry through to your bottom line.
There is nothing “routine” about routine maintenance. When your system is down for any reason, even if just for a few minutes, those few minutes cost real dollars.
That’s why we invented the Smart Elbow® in the first place.Read More»
The ingenious engineering behind HammerTek’s Smart Elbow® – how its patented deflection zone reduces elbow wear, and with it product contamination and especially costly down time – isn’t always easy to explain. As a result, this blog, along with a virtual library of case studies, tends to focus on industry problems – and their Smart Elbow® solutions.
But whether you are conveying grains, plastics, abrasives, or something else entirely, we can do so much more than write about how others with similar issues now save time and money simply by upgrading their lines to include Smart Elbow® technology. Our Video Library allows you to see it for yourself.
When you watch this video, you can see how the Smart Elbow® design greatly extends the life of the elbow, prevents breakage, and practically eliminates product degradation.
Want to learn more about Smart Elbow® flow characteristics? This 3D animation is what you’re looking for.
Our videos demonstrate how the Smart Elbow® prevents material from striking the sides of the elbow wall, improves flow control with no decrease in pressure, and eliminating plugging and surging.
It doesn’t matter whether you are moving barley through a brewery or bark and sawdust across a paper mill. Our library includes video demonstrations for a wide variety of industrial solutions. There is even a demonstration using a transparent Smart Elbow® and smoke to demonstrate actual product movement.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, HammerTek Corporation’s Video Library might just be priceless!
Keeping your costs down is easy with the Smart Elbow. In an actual conveyance installation, a long-sweep elbow made of stainless steel was wearing out every four months, requiring downtime, installation effort and of course the replacement cost of the elbows.Read More»
It’s Labor Day. As people enjoy those last barbecues that mark the unofficial end of summer, we at the HammerTek Corporation want to express our appreciation for all of America’s workers. We do business with all sorts of enterprises, from small factories to huge plants that supply raw material and finished products.Read More»
When Miller Brewing Company’s Fort Worth, TX facility needed to make a change in its conveying system, HammerTek and its patented Smart Elbow proved the right recipe for the job.
Roy Marin, staff engineer at the facility, needed to replace a worn-out automatic diverter that switched its rail car unload line from one storage silo to another. This diverter had been a source of maintenance and housekeeping problems, and Marin wanted to replace it with a new piping panel. The trick was getting the new piping to fit into the confined space the diverter once occupied; the conventional solution, a piping manifold using 4-foot-radius sweep elbows, just wouldn’t be small enough.Read More»
The Engineers at PECO Energy Company’s Eddystone Generating Plant near Philadelphia had a problem on their hands: The scrubbing process line responsible for meeting Federal emissions standards was failing on a regular basis, causing costly cleanup, environmental and regulatory concerns.
The plant utilizes a magnesium oxide-based scrubbing process to remove sulfur dioxide – a component in acid rain – from the coal-fired plant’s exhaust. Magnesium oxide powder is conveyed pneumatically from storage silos to a mixer that mixes it withRead More»
Robert Forgione was tired of slipping and sliding his way through another pile of dry pebble line and dust, half-blinded by the cloud it had created as it spewed from a failed conveying line elbow at the Upper Occoquan Water Reclamation Plant in Centreville, Virginia.
The half-inch hole created by the mere passage of lime powder through a bend in a line, called a sweep elbow in the industry, had blown the fine powder all over the building, creating not only a gigantic, slippery mess, but hazards to breathing, above-acceptable air quality levels, and danger to sensitive electronic controls – not to mention the cost of downtime on the line.Read More»
Gary Wright may have discovered something that works better than duct tape.
Wright is director of plant engineering at RheTech Inc. of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, an industry that designs, manufactures and produces propriety thermoplastic polyolefin alloys and compounds that are sold to the transportation and consumer durable goods markets.
In 1998, RheTech opened a new plant in Fowlerville, Michigan.Read More»
Tom Sorensen had a real dilemma on his hands. And it was on his hands because it wouldn’t stay in his plant’s conveying lines where it belonged.
His problem: When your plant manufactures highly abrasive ceramic beads that are used as proppants in oil and gas exploration and drilling, how do you keep those beads from doing their destructive work inside your conveying lines?
Carbo Ceramics’ Eufaula, Ala. facility manufactures calcined kaolin ceramic beads that are used by global giants like Halliburton and Schlumberger. The beads are pumped into well bores to prop open newly induced fractures and enhance the flow of oil and natural gas to the surface.Read More»
Like many states, Pennsylvania likes to stake its claim to firsts. The list is long and historic, including such feats as the first subscription public library in 1731, first U.S. capital in 1777, first turnpike in 1795, first department store in 1877, first World Series in 1903, and first cable TV system in 1948. And according to one proud town of patriotic people, Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Memorial Day.Read More»
In an environment where product mixture is critical and rapidly failing sweep elbows were causing expensive downtime and EPA fines, Al Husni had to do something.
Husni is maintenance manager at ACRO Extrusion Corporation, a Wilmington, DE plant that produces vinyl window systems and extrusions. PVC resin runs from ACRO’s outdoor silos to the plant’s mixing room at a rate of as much as 34,000 pounds per day, and the abrasive product was causing the system’s sweep elbows to fail as often as every two to three weeks. Cleanup and repair was time-consuming and expensive, and any material released to the air or the ground required documentation and was subject to federal fines.Read More»
Frequent shutdowns weren’t the only inconvenience caused by failing sweep elbows at Montgomery County’s North Incinerator plant. They also created a cleanup nightmare every time the finely powdered limestone they were conveying exploded into the air like so much talcum powder.
The plant, which serves the Dayton area, also faced hefty downtime expenses if it stayed shut down too long, Plant Manager Dave Martin said.
Powdered limestone must be injected into the plant’s three incinerators to meet EPA air pollution control standards for sulfur dioxide emissions. The pneumatic conveying system used in this process contained long-radius sweep elbows. But these elbows proved unable to withstand the lime’s abrasive action.Read More»
HammerTek’s Smart Elbow handles a hopeless situation like just another day on the job.
Chromalloy’s Drilling Division produces ground barite (barium sulfate) at a plant in Houston, Texas. Barite is an abrasive material that was causing premature wear and plugging problems with the conventional elbows being used to transport it pneumatically from the plant’s grinding mills to its storage tanks.Read More»
HammerTek’s Smart Elbows work so well because they don’t allow product to impact and erode their walls. No matter the product – from highly abrasive crushed granite to seemingly harmless sawdust – all have the ability, under high speed and pressure, to erode sweep elbows.
Time and again, the stainless steel elbows in the pneumatic conveying systems at the Pet Foods Division of Quaker Oats in Rockbridge, Ill., were wearing out prematurely – sometimes in less than three months.Read More»
A company that produces pipe was having some troubles of its own before HammerTek’s Smart Elbow solved their problem.
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»
Like many other industries that need to move abrasive product through pneumatic lines, Essroc Materials Inc. has solved a lot of its plugging and wear headaches with HammerTek’s Smart Elbow technology.
Essroc, formerly Coplay Cement, is a wet-process cement plant in Frederick, Md., that produces 350,000 to 400,000 tons of cement annually using two 400-foot rotary cement kilns.Read More»
Mario Rezendes had a problem – until he discovered HammerTek’s Smart Elbow.
Rezendes, maintenance supervisor at Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd. in Prince George, British Columbia, was facing a problem common in the pulp and paper industry: Moving product through bends in pneumatic lines where friction causes failure, leaks and downtime.
Wood products – in Northwood’s case, “hog fuel” (bark and sawdust) – can become highly abrasive when pneumatically conveyed. At Northwood, wear-back sweep elbows in the plant’s 12-inch diameter hog fuel conveying line were wearing out every three months, requiring repair, cleanup work and associated expenses at a frequency that was far from satisfactory.
Rezendes had heard about HammerTek’s Smart Elbow and decided to give it a try. He fitted a Smart Elbow at one location in the line’s three-elbow system. The Smart Elbow is designed to convey direction through deflection instead of impact with elbow walls, resulting in smoother flow and elimination of elbow wear. Sure enough, this design provided the solution to the problem.
Rezendes’ original Smart Elbow lasted four years – some 16 times longer than the wear-back sweep elbow it replaced. Based on this performance, he replaced the other two elbows in the line with Smart Elbows. This modification proved so successful that the plant is now specifying the installation of three 10-inch Smart Elbows in its chip handling system.
To read the full case study, please visit the HammerTek website.
HammerTek’s patented Smart Elbow has proven itself as the smart solution for abrasive issues in pneumatic lines conveying products like oats, lime and wood particulates. But what about an intensely abrasive product like granite dust?
Western Paving Corp., a division of Western Mobil, has to move granite dust from one area to another in its manufacturing process. Granite dust from the kiln is collected and pneumatically conveyed to a point where it is combined with oil and returned to the mix. This compound then functions as a binding agent that is essential to the entire operation.
The operation’s long-radius sweep elbows, fitted with concrete strongbacks, proved no match for the highly abrasive granite dust, which was wearing these elbows down and causing them to leak hot material within six weeks of installation. Leaks require a rapid shutdown of the 15-ton-per-hour operation for repair, a situation that Western Paving deems unacceptable in terms of waste, downtime and cleanup liabilities.
After learning about HammerTek’s Smart Elbow and its method of conveyance by deflection instead of impact, the corporation installed six 90-degree Smart Elbows in place of its concrete-backed sweep elbows. The result? System shutdown due to elbow wear was eliminated because of the Smart Elbow’s unique characteristics.
Western Paving initially purchased three Smart Elbows in 1988, followed by another three in 1990. The HammerTek elbows are lasting about five years, as opposed to the six-week lifespan of the original sweeps. This incredible increase in elbow life has prompted Western to specify the phasing in of Smart Elbows in all of its plants as older equipment wears out. Western also reports the added benefit of reduced line pressure on systems equipped with the Smart Elbow.
To read the full case study, please visit the HammerTek website.
The ability of HammerTek’s patented Smart Elbows to eliminate elbow wear due to abrasive impact and friction has made a major impact on downtime at a high-volume municipal wastewater treatment facility serving the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
As the primary wastewater treatment facility for the city of Alexandria and Fairfax County, Va., the Alexandria Sanitation Authority’s sewage plant operates 24 hours a day with a volume that can exceed 80 million gallons per day. For pH control, the operation uses a half-million pounds of pelletized lime per month, conveyed from trucks to 70-foot silos via twin four-inch lines.
Initially the lines were fitted with four-inch sweep elbows. When the sweeps began leaking after about six months in service, the Authority swapped them for sweeps fitted with wear-backs.
“Then we were probably losing an elbow every nine months,” Lead Mechanic Bob Devereaux said, adding that the resulting dust and downtime was not a good thing for such a high-volume facility.
In early 1998, Devereaux received a postcard from Plant Process Manager Tom Tyler offering a free trial of the HammerTek Smart Elbow. The Authority began replacing sweeps in its lime lines with four-inch HammerLoy Smart Elbows in April, and by June there were five Smart Elbows in service.
Two years later Devereaux pulled a couple of the Smart Elbows out of service and inspected them for wear. Finding none, the Authority continued replacing its old-style sweeps with Smart Elbows, which have consistently resisted any hint of wear. Devereaux says the switch to Smart Elbows has more than paid for itself.
To read the full case study, please visit the HammerTek website.
One of the benefits of HammerTek’s patented Smart Elbow design is the reduction in friction and heat that results from keeping material from contacting the walls of its pipe elbows.
Getting rid of that friction has done nothing but good for Schmalbach-Lubeca’sBlythewood,South Carolinalocation. One of the company’s 63 plants worldwide producing millions of plastic beverage bottles daily, the Blythewood plant was using long-radius elbows to convey PET Poly Pellets from rail car to silo, and from silo to molding.
Traditional elbows change a material’s direction by causing the material to deflect off the inside of the pipe walls. With materials like the pellets used at the beverage plant, this contact is the source of friction, heat, and the unwanted side effects of both.
“When feeling the exterior of the long-radius elbow, the elbow felt hot at the point of impact,” said Thom Iwancio, plant system engineer. After changing over to HammerTek’s product in the same system, “when feeling the Smart Elbow it was cool to the touch.”
Impact-generated heat was causing the product to produce “streamers” inside the pipe that collected on the magnet protection before the molding operation, effectively “choking” off the material flow to the injection molding machines. Once this happened, the system would have to be shut down to clean out the magnet chute, causing loss of production, time and money.
Since changing to Smart Elbows in 1999, the streamers have been eliminated. Operational time has improved, the Smart Elbow changeover has paid for itself, and less material is being found in the system’s dust collection system – a result of the Smart Elbow’s method of deflecting material without impact.
Inside every Smart Elbow is a patented Vortex Chamber, a nearly spherical chamber that allows the formation of a slowly rotating ball of material which, instead of creating eddies or other pockets of turbulence, redirects and smooths the flow of material into its new direction while keeping it from impacting the walls of the chamber. This eliminates elbow wear, helps save energy in pumping costs, and increases product quantity and quality by improving material delivery rate and flow.
To read the complete case study, go to: http://www.hammertek.com/case-study-plastic-schmalbach.asp For more information on the HammerTek Smart Elbow, please visit www.hammertek.com.
If an elephant truly can be eaten “one bite at a time,” then it stands to reason that something as light and fluffy as a dried oat can – eventually – blast a hole through a cast-iron pipe elbow.
As long as that elbow isn’t a HammerTek Smart Elbow.
Prior to 1985, National Oats of Cedar Rapids, IA, had been conveying oats for its oat cereal and oat flour from its outdoor storage tanks to its indoor blending vessels the old-fashioned way: using an 8-inch pipeline with ceramic sweep elbows everywhere that line turned.
That method required five maintenance calls per year for elbow repair and replacement, as the oats – traveling at 90,000 pounds per hour through the pipeline – ate away at the elbows from the inside out.
In 1985, HammerTek offered National Oats three Smart Elbows with a money-back guarantee. National, which had been seeking a solution to the maintenance problem for years, agreed to the offer. Today, the formerly high cost of elbow maintenance and replacement has been eliminated, and the company has installed additional Smart Elbows on its lines.
The secret to the Smart Elbow is its patented Vortex Chamber, a nearly spherical chamber located at the back of the bend where traditional elbows fail. The chamber’s patented shape allows the formation of a slowly rotating ball of material which, instead of creating eddies or other pockets of turbulence, redirects and smooths the flow of material into its new direction. This eliminates elbow wear, helps save energy in pumping costs, and increases product quantity and quality by improving material delivery rate and flow.
Bob Williams, National Oats’ chief project engineer, gives the Smart Elbow three C’s and a D.
“Cost-effective, Compact, Convenient and Durable,” he said.
Replacing three ceramic sweep elbows with Smart Elbows has resulted in an 11 percent increase in conveying rate – from 90,000 to 100,000 pounds per hour. The improved flow provided by the Smart Elbow has resulted in more even discharge as the storage tanks empty. Last but not least, Williams estimates that the Smart Elbows have reduced the conveying system’s electric bill by $800 to $1,200 per year.
To read the full case study, go to: http://www.hammertek.com/case-study-grain-national.asp For more information on the HammerTek Smart Elbow, please visit www.hammertek.com.
Frequent shutdowns weren’t the only inconvenience caused by failing sweep elbows at Montgomery County’s North Incinerator plant. They also created a cleanup nightmare every time the finely powdered limestone they were conveying exploded into the air like so much talcum powder. To read the full Case Study click here.Read More»
Greg Sosenheimer’s maintenance problems were starting to grate on his nerves almost as much as his product was wearing down the pipe elbows in use at his Ft. Wayne, IN plant. You can read the full case study here.Read More»
Close to five years after HammerTek did a case study on the 120 Smart Elbows® installed at RheTech, Inc., we checked in with them to find out how the 120 elbows were holding up. RheTech is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary thermoplastic polyolefin alloys and compounds which are sold to the transportation and consumer durable goods markets. RheTech uses additives such as minerals and fiber reinforcements in their products, which are highly abrasive. Gary Wright, Director of Plant Engineering, told us that after almost six years of operation, no elbows have worn out or been replaced. For the full case study, click here.Read More»
At PECO Energy Company’s Eddystone facility, standard type 316L stainless pipe elbows frequently wore out, creating a wide range of costly problems. The Philadelphia-area power plant was experiencing magnesium oxide leaks from the bottom and top of their stainless-steel elbows in the line that releases pressure from the system. A hole would appear every four to six months due to wear in the elbow, releasing a mass of MgO dust throughout the plant. While an obvious environmental safety concern, the powdery material also caused expensive cleanup and repairs — about $4000 a year in labor alone. For the full case study, click here.Read More»
The pulp and paper industry is no stranger to the problems that result from the demands that wood chips and dust put on conveying systems. That’s why when a engineers at a British Columbian sawmill designed their new pneumatic conveying system, they were sure to specify a manufacturing elbow that could withstand the abrasive nature of cedar by-products without plugging. For the full case study, click here.Read More»
Smart Elbows® can offer benefits beyond solving manufacturing problems. When Miller Brewing Company needed a space-saving design solution, they found the elbows solved their predicament and saved them money in the process.Read More»
Without labor nothing prospers. ~Sophocles
As we look forward to the long Labor Day weekend, and say a fond farewell to summer, we at HammerTek Corporation would like to take time to honor the American men and women who work hard to make America a country of opportunity, growth and prosperity. HammerTek is proud to manufacture American-made products, and that American work ethic shows in everything we manufacture.Read More»
When the Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA) experienced a blowout, it caused not only costly and time-consuming downtime and cleanup, but also health risks and safety concerns. Thanks to the Smart Elbow® from HammerTek Corp., the wastewater treatment plant hasn’t had an elbow failure again since installation. Click here to read the full case study.Read More»
HammerTek Smart Elbows® reduce the costly headaches of manufacturing plug-ups. Read how we solved this problem for Fiberglas Canada by reading the full case study here.Read More»
RheTech, Inc. was all too familiar with worn out elbows in their plant.
When Gary Wright, Director of Plant Engineering, had one of the Smart 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 Elbows® were holding up. None of the 170 Smart Elbows® installed had worn out or been replaced since the installation six years earlier.Read More»
Happy Birthday, America!
The Fourth of July commemorates one of the most important events in American history: the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Drafted in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson, the infamous 1,328-word document transformed the colonists into Americans independent from England, and it is the foundation upon what our government is built on today.Read More»
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – President Harry S. Truman, WWII Memorial inscription, Washington D.C.
We dedicate this blog to the memory of all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country.Read More»
Abrasive materials can wreak havoc on conveying systems and Carbo Ceramics’ application is a perfect example. To read the full case study, click here.
In 1999 and 2000, the Eufaula, Ala.-based manufacturer was performing weekly repairs on the worn elbows of its ceramic bead plant. After teaming with HammerTek, the company replaced all 12 elbows in their system with Smart Elbow® technology. The Smart Elbows® have lasted at least four years compared to the one- or two-week lifespan of their previous elbows.Read More»
HammerTek’s Smart Elbow® is revolutionizing conveying systems across the country and around the world. That’s because the Smart Elbow® , with its patented deflection zone and versatile design, is, well, revolutionary.
But that’s not what Elbow Room is all about.
HammerTek has been in the business of improving conveyor systems for decades. We have a long history, complete with case studies, to demonstrate just how cost-effective and just plain effective the Smart Elbow® technology really is.Read More»
This question was put to Jack Osborn, engineering manager for Airdusco: What effect will an increase in pipe bends have on dense- and dilute-phase pneumatic conveyors?Read More»