Industrial Utility Efficiency

Show Report: Pneumatic Conveying at the 2023 Powder Show

The 2023 International Powder and Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition (also known as the Powder Show) took place April 25-27, 2023 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The event, sponsored by the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA®) and produced by Informa Markets, is the leading powder and bulk handling and dry processing event in North America. It attracted more than 3,000 attendees and featured over 30 conference sessions and 350 exhibitors, showcasing bulk material handling equipment from 30 different countries. Blower & Vacuum Best Practices and Compressed Air Best Practices Magazines were among the publications available at the show’s entrance.

Pneumatic Conveying Systems and Components

VAC-U-MAX is a manufacturer of custom and pre-engineered pneumatic conveying systems and related equipment used to convey, batch, and weigh powders and bulk solids. Systems enhance safety and productivity in various industries. David Kennedy demonstrated the Signature Series, a vacuum conveying system that is typically used above the process. It can handle up to 3,500 lbs/hour of material and can be configured for standard or sanitary applications. He also showed me a tube hopper vacuum receiver for non-free flowing powders and bulk solids. VAC-U-MAX pneumatic conveying systems are closed, clean, and efficient. They use vacuum to draw material from containers without leaks or spills. He also presented their ColumnLift and mobile vacuum conveying system for lowering equipment and easy cleaning, and their combustible dust industrial vacuum cleaners.

David Kennedy, Business Development Manager with the VAC-U-MAX Signature Series.


At their booth, Kice Industries from Wichita, Kansas, displayed their bulk handling equipment. Brent McIntosh showed me their Positive Displacement Blowers for pneumatic conveying of dry bulk material. These blowers run cooler and slower than others, reducing noise, slip and heat gain. They have sanitary housings with heavy-duty cast-iron bodies and rotors made by Kice's own foundry in Oklahoma, CFM Corporation. He also introduced me to Kice’s Rotary Airlocks, Cyclone Receivers and Dust Collectors for pneumatic conveying and dust control applications in various industries.

Brent McIntosh with Kice’s Positive Displacement Blower for pneumatic conveying.

Schenck Process displayed their pneumatic conveyors for dilute and dense phases of conveying. They demonstrated the Low Rate Vacuum (LRV) Receiver, a stainless steel vacuum conveying system that can transfer up to 5,000 lbs./hr of material from various sources to feeders or downstream processes. It has filters and valves and can work with a Schenck Process controller. They also showed me the MechaTron® feeder, a versatile and easy to maintain feeder for volumetric or gravimetric feeding of various dry materials. It has multiple configurations, feed rates, agitation methods and control options for any process application.

Mike Oberrieder, Schenck Process LLC and Ryan Krejci, Pesco Inc (left to right) with the Schenck Process MechaTron® feeder.

Coperion and Coperion K-Tron showcased their pneumatic conveying products. I got to see their Traveling Equipment Display (TED), a bus with multiple display units and demonstrations. I also checked out the ZXD Rotary Valve, a sanitary and easy to clean valve that can feed bulk materials at high capacities and low leakage. They also displayed their ProRate PLUS Continuous Gravimetric Feeder, K3 Vibratory Feeder, KCM-III feeder controller, WYK-CIP two-way diverter valve, Smart Weigh Belt Feeder and 2400 Series Receiver.

 Fabian Siffert, Coperion with the original ProRate™ PLUS feeder (photo courtesy of Coperion).


Piabs’ new piFLOW® Batch Volume Optimization series is a vacuum conveyor that transfers powders, granules and small particles in batches. It uses a sensor to pick up the exact amount of product needed and avoid overpacking. It also releases the product automatically when the conveyor is full. This makes the transfer process more efficient and reduces energy consumption. The series can handle 7.5 -15 tons/hour of product and offers different options for steel quality and surface finish.

Julie Whitten, Division Manager with the piFLOW® Batch Volume Optimization series.

William Shrewsbury introduced me to SMC’s new SMARTVENT Type reverse pulse jet valve for dust collectors. This innovative valve system does not require a traditional timer box and can operate up to 32 valves in one system. A single base valve can manage up to 31 remote valves, saving energy and increasing efficiency by adjusting the response time collectively. The valves can clean filters either by timing or on-demand and the pulse sequence can be modified.

William Shrewsbury with SMC’s new SMARTVENT Type valve for dust collectors.

WM. W. Meyer & Sons, Inc., from Libertyville, Illinois, displayed multiple products at their booth. Mike Doorey demonstrated their best-selling rotary airlock, the HDX Shaft Mount Direct Drive Rotary Airlock. This product eliminates side-mounted sprockets and chains, which reduces maintenance and increases efficiency. It is also compact, streamlined, quiet, cost-effective and easy to install. Another product I saw was a sanitary rotary valve for applications that require inspection or system clean-out of dry raw or finished products. This product can be disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled without tools. They also showcased their Screw Pump for dilute phase pneumatic conveying. This product forms an airtight seal with the conveyed material and has a large material throughput capacity using a low-pressure, high-velocity air supply. It is a rugged, dust-free alternative to many more fragile styles of pneumatic feeders and can handle 80-100 tons/hour of product.

Mike Doorey, Regional Sales Manager at the WM. W. Meyer & Sons, Inc. booth.


Blower and Vacuum Packages for Pneumatic Conveying

Howden, the home of the original Roots blower, was recently acquired by Chart Industries. The company has been manufacturing its blowers in Connersville, Indiana since 1854. Eric Oberhaus showed me their positive displacement product line, which offers flows from 10 cfm to 30,000 cfm. They also have the Root’s centrifugal line offering flows exceeding 400,000 CFM. The URAI and RAM Series were on display. The URAI series is compact, sturdy, and reliable. The RAM series is versatile, durable, and efficient. They can create vacuum or pressure and provide both with one unit. The URAI and RAM line have cylindrical roller bearings and splash lubrication for long bearing life.

Eric Oberhaus, Regional Sales Manager, showing the Howden Rotary PD Blower.

Aerzen displayed three products at the show. Evan Rutenbar and Joel Schomo demonstrated their PD Packaged Delta Blower, which comes with a sound enclosure and an option of a touch screen HMI or gauges. They also introduced me to their Delta Hybrid, which offers benefits at higher pressures from 9 to 20 psi. Finally, they presented the Aerzen Rental Blower, which provides a turnkey solution, for 50 psig and lower, with a remarkable 24-hour response time.

Regional Sales Managers Evan Rutenbar and Joel Schomo (left to right) showing the Aerzen PD Delta Blower.


Eurus Blower is a USA Company belonging to Shandong Zhangqiu Blower Co., Ltd. It produces both bare shaft blowers and blower packages. This year, it has launched two new blowers: the RR & ZR Series Large Rotary Blowers and the VR Series Steam Blower. The RR & ZR Series can deliver pressures up to 14.2 psig and flows up to 44,425 CFM. The VR Series can evaporate up to 16,300 LB/HR of steam and has duplex stainless steel, titanium and special corrosion resistant coatings. The steam blower also offers various seal options.

Roger Blanton, General Manager, Eurus Blower.

Hardy Pro-Air Systems & Services manufactures custom blower packages in Antioch, Illinois. Tim Meyer and Yonda Abogunrin showed me their 50-horsepower direct drive blower package, which has a variable frequency drive and a remote HMI. It can deliver pressures up to 15 psi. The HMI can alert the operator when the filter needs to be changed or when the blower is overheating or overpressurized. This custom blower package is mounted inside an optional sound enclosure that can reduce noise by up to 15 decibels.

Tim Meyer and Yonda Abogunrin (left to right) showing a Hardy Pro-Air custom blower package.

Solberg is an Itasca, Illinois-based manufacturer of intake filters for blowers. It showcased many new products at its booth, such as filter silencers, vacuum pump filters, and liquid separators. The 2G Series are filter silencers for PD blowers that reduce noise with a high flow tube and a quiet band. They are modular, customizable, and have options for HEPA food grade filtering and explosion protection. The ST Series are vacuum pump filters that remove liquids and particles from various vacuum applications. They have a cast aluminum head and a clear bucket for easy visual inspection and maintenance. The RST Series are heavy-duty vacuum pump filters that use pressurized air bursts to clean the filter element from extreme dust loads. They are self-cleaning air filters with a see-through design, optional automation, and extended bucket for easy inspection and maintenance. The STS Series are liquid separators that use a baffle mechanism and air flow changes to separate harmful liquid and large particles from inlet air. They have a float capsule that prevents them from damaging the pump.

Clint Browning, Joe Thode, Mike DeLise, Carlos Romero, Will Schwerdtmann, Jason Cox, Kevin Dumont, Sean Mellin, Ryan Billings and Bettina Schaub (left to right).

Paul Mosher and Shawn Boynton greeted me at the Gardner Denver booth. Gardner Denver has been manufacturing efficient blowers, which they called the heart of pneumatic conveying, in Sedalia, Missouri since 1859. They have the widest range of products under one brand and told me about three products at their booth. The DuroFlow is a straight lobe designed for dusty, abrasive environments. It provides airflow up to 4,300 cfm and pressure up to 15 psig. The RBS is a straight tri-lobe whose rotors offer quiet, efficient operation. It provides airflow up to 14,570 cfm and pressure up to 15 psig. The HeliFlow is a helical tri-lobe with an innovative and revolutionary positive displacement blower design that reduces noise by 4-7 dBA. It provides airflow up to 4,500 cfm and pressure up to 18 psig.

Amanda Tuley, Paul Mosher, Shawn Boynton, and Joe Jorgensen (left to right) at the Gardner Denver booth.

MD-Kinney displayed their M-D Pneumatics products at their booth. Josh Williams and Adam Crampton showed me the CP Series that can be used as a vacuum or blower. It is a bare shafted blower that can be integrated into a system. They are designed to be interchangeable with equivalent sizes of competitive models and are rated up to 15 PSIG discharge pressure or 16” Hg dry vacuum. Their MD compact rotary blower packages are open pressure packages that provide a dependable and economical high-volume air source for many applications, such as pneumatic conveying and wastewater aeration.

Josh Williams, Regional Sales Manager and Adam Crampton, Director of Sales (left to right) at the MD-Kinney booth.

The 2025 International Powder and Bulk Solids Conference and Exhibition will take place from April 29 to May 1 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. For more information, visit

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