Even innocent-looking PET poly pellets can wreak havoc on conveying systems when the perfect storm of variables come into play. Such was the case with Schmalbach-Lubeca’s Blythewood, SC plant. Manufacturing plastic bottles for use in the beverage industry is a 24/7 operation, and line shutdowns were proving to be an expensive problem.
Similar to many manufacturing and production facilities, the Blythewood plant used conventional long-sweep elbows as part of the conveying system, moving the pellets from storage silos to molding machines. The problem? The way conventional elbows function. The design of a conventional elbow changes the direction of conveyed material through deflection off the inner walls, causing friction and heat.
You can read the full case study here.
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 frequently — productivity came to a halt. The affected lines had to be shut down completely so the clog could be removed. Iwancio and his team responded dutifully, though Iwancio knew there had to be a solution to these persistent problems.
So he installed socket-weld end HammerTek® Smart Elbow® deflection elbows, immediately eliminating streamer-related stoppages and greatly reducing downtime.
Innovative design and intelligent engineering set the Smart Elbow products apart from conventional models in *how* they redirect the flow of material.
Inside every Smart Elbow deflection 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.
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. Click here for details.