Fiberglas Canada used to think this way, until they installed Hammertek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow on their pneumatic conveyor system.
Dave Goodwin, plant maintenance superintendent for Fiberglas Canada’s Scarborough, Ont. plant, had to regularly deal with pneumatic conveyor clogs — up to 20 per year — in the system that connected the batch house and the furnace hall. The raw materials which comprise Fiberglas’ fiberglass product, including sand, borax, soda ash and limestone, are intensely abrasive.
The ceramic piping elbows used as part of the conveyor system just couldn’t stand up to the high-wear environment and were failing at an average rate of five per year. Costly to repair ($350 USD each) and prone to clogging, these elbows were responsible for costly fabrication delays and overall quality degradation.
Hammertek’s Smart Elbow deflection elbow, designed to minimize flow turbulence and material plugging, proved to be just the solution he needed to address the high failure rate and poor performance of ceramic refractory elbows.
Despite being used in a high-wear environment, the first Smart Elbow model installed onsite functioned without a single clog or use-related failure for more than 15 months. An $800 investment (the cost of a single Smart Elbow unit) yielded significant returns for Goodwin: the plant experienced a measurable reduction in line shut-downs, and overall productivity increased.
A second Smart Elbow product installed a short time later continued to keep the lines operational and clog-free.