Industrial Utility Efficiency

Show Report: Pneumatic Conveying at 2018 Powder & Bulk Solids

The 2018 Powder & Bulk Solids Conference & Exhibition was held April 24-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Sponsored by the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA®) and produced by UBM Canon, this event is the leading conference for the powder industry. Vacuum, blower and compressed air technologies play an important role in dilute or dense phase pneumatic conveying systems. These technologies are well represented at this event and we hope you enjoy our Show Report.


Blower and Vacuum Packages

Howden Roots introduced me to the Roots® 412 HPT Blower for dry bulk conveying applications. This pump has a tri-lobe positive displacement impeller designed to optimize flow efficiency and ensure the blower is only delivering the required discharge pressure – and not over-pressurizing the system. The unit is designed for 25 psig/19” Hg vacuum intermittent duty and 22 psig/18” Hg vacuum continuous duty.  The unit is designed to go onboard trucks and has a speed-increasing gear set which ensures optimal blower speeds while keeping truck engine idling speeds between 800-1000 rpm.

Howden Roots PBS

Matt Vail next to the Roots® 412 HPT Blower at the Howden Roots booth.

Solberg turned 50 this year! Over the past five decades Solberg has supplied filtration, separation and silencing products for the Blower, Compressor and Vacuum pump markets from their home base in the greater Chicago area.  All employees, including international personnel from Solberg’s 19 locations around the world, gathered to celebrate the company’s history and discuss plans for an exciting future. It’s nice to see a family-run company grow into such an international brand.

Sorberg at PBS

Charlie Solberg, Chad Solberg and Clint Browning at the Solberg booth (left to right).

Gardner Denver had a massive booth for their blower, vacuum and air compressor technologies. Gardner Denver manufactures many technology styles ranging from side channel regenerative, Sutorbilt bi-lobe with/without dual splash lube, Duroflow solid bi-lobe, RBS Series tri-lobe, Heliflow twisted tri-lobe, CycloBlower® and Cycloblower H.E. rotary screw.  The CycloBlower VHX Series is the world’s first variable helix technology. The CycloBlower has over 25,000 installations world-wide. The H.E. takes this rotary screw technology to another level offering pressures to 36 psi, vacuum to 22 in. Hg., and flows to 2650 cfm. 

Gardner Denver at PBS

Shawn Boynton, Aaron Placke, Craig Stokes and Jason Costigan at the Gardner Denver booth (left to right).

Kaeser Compressors exhibited both their air compressor and blower packages able to cover dense and dilute phase conveying applications. On display was their Omega positive displacement rotary lobe blower. Kaeser demonstrated their packages with and without enclosures. They talk about reduced “slip” in the Omega blowers, meaning greater efficiencies.  Their booth was quite clever in that they had a tubing system with plastic balls being blown through-an attention grabber for conveying people! 

Kaeser at PBS

Steve Dagowitz, Tracy Carter, Shane Smith and Kim Pulford at the Kaeser Compressors booth (left to right).

Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems had a nice booth and when I walked up, Blower Product Manager Mike Gaines had a “show tour group” around him. He was reviewing their extensive line of M-D Pneumatics™ and blowers, vacuum boosters and blower packages.  These products serve a huge range of air and gas applications with pressures from .0001 Torr to 25 psig. He also reviewed Kinney® brand vacuum pumps and systems covering a range of .0001 to 760 Torr (mmHg). Kinney offers custom engineered systems up to 12,000 cfm seen in vacuum packaging, vacuum furnaces, chemical processing and solvent recovery.


Tuthill at PBS

Mike Gaines describes the Tuthill product range to a “show tour group”.

Aerzen continues it’s strong growth supported by their platform strategy of four oil-free, energy-efficient technologies available with optional variable frequency drives and sound attenuating enclosures; Delta Blower, Delta Screw, Delta Hybrid and Aerzen Turbos. Their literature says they produce 14,000 blowers per year and 10,000 compressors.  These four technologies offer positive pressures ranging from 15 to 51 psig and from 15” to 25” Hg vacuum. The flow ranges go from 18 to 8,100 cfm.


Scott Trail and Doug Cagney at the Aerzen booth (left to right).

Hardy Pro-Air had a nice booth where they continue to promote their line of  Pro-Pack blower packages and high vacuum pacakges. Based in Antioch, Illinois, they supply standard and custom units for a broad range of aeration/agitation, pneumatic conveying, dust collection, gas pressure boosting and mine ventilation applications.


Process Conveying Components

Kice was introducing a new compact bin vent filter and a new VJX Airlock. The new “easier to maintain” filter is designed for direct-mounting on surge hoppers, silos, bucket elevators and drag conveyors. There are four models for ducts of 3 to 6 inches and flows from 200 to 900 scfm. The VJX Airlock  is designed to comply with NFPA 69 criteria as a passive isolation device.  Kice Industries focuses on dilute phase conveying (6-15 psig). They provide all the conveying equipment required in the wheat flour milling, oil seed processing and general applications in the wood, plastic and food industries.

Kice at PBS

Ben Kice next to their new Compact Filter at the Kice Industries booth.

Meyer is a leading manufacturer of engineered products in pneumatic conveying. They offer rotary airlocks, slide gates, pneumatic screw pumps, gravity diverters, double-flapgate valves and their own line of Power Pak pressure or vacuum blower packages. They had a 50 year-old rotary airlock in their booth! I found it very interesting to learn that airlocks are the most vulnerable point in most conveying systems. This is where the bulk of service calls are about.

Meyer at PBS

Jeniffer Emetti and Charlie Meyer next to a 50 year-old Airlock at the Meyer booth (left to right).

SMC USA was excited to present their new pulse valve technology for bag houses. Bill Shrewsbury is a specialist in pulse valves and told me of very interesting projects he does with major processors – to reduce their use of compressed air and blower air – by having valves which function better! One client he mentioned has 10,000 valves at one plant!  They were excited to say their new pulse valve works up to 10 million cycles (vs the norm of 1 million), reduces blower energy consumption by up to 35% (due to reduced open time and 50% faster closing speeds). These double-diaphragm valves come in ¾”, 1” and 1 ½” sizes.


Harvey Tsuyuki, Scott Martin, Bill Shrewsbury, Chris Dodge, Ken Overby and Kevin Hicks at the SMC USA booth (left to right).


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