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.
Thom Iwancio, plant system engineer, noted “when feeling the exterior of the long radius elbow, the elbow felt hot at the point of impact.”
Impact-related heat was causing the formation of “streamers” — threads of melted PET — inside the pipe at the magnet chute just before the molding operation, effectively choking off the flow of material. The streamers acted just like hair covering the drain of a shower, backing up the conveying lines.
When these stoppage events occurred (and they were occurring regularly), production came to a halt. The conveying system had to be taken offline to remove streamers from the magnet chute — all at a considerable loss in productivity, time and money.
In 1999, socket-weld end HammerTek Smart Elbow deflection elbows were installed, eliminating streamer-related stoppages and greatly reducing downtime.
At the same time, the amount of “fines” in the dust collector was reduced — translating into more material at the molding operation. This reduction in “fines” was the direct result of using a deflective turn instead of the impact turn of traditional long radius elbows.
Inside every Smart Elbow model 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.
Why not try the Smart Elbow deflection elbow for yourself? You can install a Smart Elbow product on your line for up to 120 days at no cost. Just click here for details.