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.
Then Bob DiCanio, Engineering and Maintenance Manager at Quaker, heard about the Smart Elbow deflection elbow.
Designed by Hammertek Corp. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Smart Elbow model is a whole new take on elbow design. It remedies the problem of wearing impact caused by grain, stone and other abrasive materials because its unique shape is designed to prevent impacts with the elbow walls entirely, promoting directional change without adversely affecting system pressure.
Its secret is the patented vortex chamber at the back of the elbow. At a point where traditional elbows fail, the Smart Elbow deflection elbow’s shape creates a rotating ball of suspended material that helps redirect the entire product without friction, impact or wear. Smart Elbow units are also easier to install, requiring much less physical space than long-radius sweep elbows.
DiCanio decided to purchase 11 Smart Elbow deflection elbows and give them the acid test by placing them in areas where conventional stainless steel elbows had failed the most frequently. To his surprise, the Smart Elbow units lasted not months, but years — in fact, they’re still in service today. Since that time he has installed Smart Elbow units in three-, four-, and five-inch lines at the plant.
He has not placed a dollar figure on the savings derived from the Smart Elbow deflection elbow, but he says the plant has saved money in three different ways… no more downtime due to ruptured elbows, no more maintenance costs from spilled grain dust, and no more replacement elbows to order. That’s a well-balanced diet for success at Quaker.