In the plastics industry, efficient granule conveying ensures smooth production operations. Companies in this sector know how important this phase is to optimise costs and time and preserve the quality of the material. Thus, in this article, we will present the different systems for conveying granules. Then we will focus on the solutions proposed by Vismec and explain their advantages.

Conveying of plastic granule: types and alternatives

The conveying of plastic granules can be managed in different ways. Let’s present them below:

  • Manual conveying. This is the most traditional method using manual handling and emptying of sacks. It does not require specialised manpower and has low labour costs. However, it requires longer times and exposes to the risk of waste, material contamination and safety risks.
  • Mechanical conveying. It involves the use of mechanical systems to facilitate the movement of the granules: augers, rigid or flexible spiral feeders, conveyor belts. It does not require ordinary maintenance of the filter, which is not present, but entails problems of cleaning and wear of the mechanisms. Moreover, it can only be used over limited distances.
  • Pressure conveying. It uses compressed air pumps to push the plastic granules through a system of pipes and containers. It offers a higher transport speed, with a capacity of more 1000 kg/h. In addition, it can be operated through stable or mobile conveying units. However, it usually involves the presence of single stations: a multi-station configuration is only possible with the use of special diverter valves. Furthermore, the air is discharged through a cyclonic filter (or other filtering system) that requires periodic maintenance.

A different and more efficient mechanism is the vacuum plastic granule conveying system: we will talk about it in the next paragraph, presenting the innovative solutions offered by Vismec. 

Vismec solutions for vacuum conveying of granule

The vacuum granules conveying system uses differential pressure to move plastic granules through a pipeline system. This method is based on the creation of a partial vacuum generated by a special pump inside the pipes. The pressure difference between the suction point and the destination point of the granules allows the conveying of the material.

Vismec offers several solutions for vacuum conveying. Below we will present the main ones, focusing on the centralised conveying system

  • Vismec feeding kit: connected to the drying system, from which it is controlled, it offers an integrated drying/ conveying and allows connecting up to two stations with receivers. It can be installed near the drying system or on its frame, but manages a limited flow rate of plastic granule (100 kg/h) over short distances. These limit can be crossed by integrating the feeding kit with a VB system. However, the connection remains limited to two receiver stations.  
  • Single-phase feeder: it entails a reduced initial economic investment and enables automatic filter cleaning, reducing time and costs for maintenance. It is also equipped with an automatic alarm system that signals the exhaustion of material.  
  • Conveying by Venturi system: independent compressed air feeder for transporting materials such as masterbatch or granule additives. Compact and reliable, it can also be installed on top of a drying hopper and is suitable for low throughputs. It allows a continuous granule conveying with the possibility of adapting the air power and transport speed through a flow regulator. It ensures an accurate separation of powders thanks to the unique cyclonic vortex.
  • Small three-phase centralised systems: the conveying mechanism becomes more articulated and involves a vacuum system with centralised self-cleaning filter and bypass valve, side channel blowers and a 4.0 control system of the different stations. The material flow is unlimited and the system can handle up to 2, 2,4 +4 or 9 stations.

Vismec also designs and manufactures large centralised conveying systems. They are more articulated feeding systems that allow the rapid, efficient and controlled conveying of dried plastic granules.

These systems represent the evolution of the smaller systems we have presented so far and incorporate some of the most innovative solutions developed by Vismec:  

  • FW50 control system manages up to 48 transport stations per vacuum line, with possible emergency stock system. Now it is also available in a touchscreen version with remote control and with three different solutions: magnet, table-top and wall-mounted.
  • integrated Vismec Dryfeed dehumidifier delivers dry air to prevent moisture absorption during transport;
  • the system can be integrated with a vacuum unit or an emergency blower to avoid the risk of downtime machine;
  • receivers of the different stations are made of stainless steel, in different sizes and equipped with an optimised filter system and discharge, inspection and cleaning mechanisms.

Vismec large centralised conveying systems can be integrated with various accessories and provide several advantages to the companies that choose them. In particular, they make it possible to control and optimise the logistics of plastic granules thanks to integrated supervision and management systems, and they concentrate the filtration phase in one point, keeping the production environment clean. They also reduce energy consumption, and time and costs for maintenance, resulting in savings for the company.

Do you want to know how they work in detail? Contact our technical team.