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 deflection elbow and decided to give it a try. He fitted a Smart Elbow model at one location in the line’s three-elbow system. The Smart Elbow unit 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 deflection 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 Elbow units. This modification proved so successful that the plant is now specifying the installation of three 10-inch Smart Elbow models in its chip handling system.
To read the full case study, please visit the HammerTek website.