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Buzzi Unicem USA's terminal in Pensacola, Fla., reclaims 500 to 600 pounds of portland cement every other day with air-operated vacuums.
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Centralized, continuous duty vacuum systems, like this VAC-U-MAX system at California Portland Cement Co., are precisely engineered for maximum efficiency in automated test labs where dust control and accuracy are essential.

The unit has a unique pulse jet filter cleaning system that, with the push of a button, backwashes the filter and eliminates the need to manually clean the unit. This virtually eliminates clogging. Like anything else, if you take care of it, it will last a long time,” says Glaze. “You just push a button on top of the vacuum mechanism to keep the filters clean.”

Glaze also appreciates that using ear protection is not necessary with the unit. “There's just no noise to it all,” he says. These units are equipped with noise mufflers and guards for sound levels below 80 dbA. “You don't even know this is running unless you put your hand on the end of the hose,” adds Pensacola's Rodgers.

Beyond the friendly competition of keeping their terminals clean, reclaiming hundreds of pounds of material each day is important to the terminal managers. “We wanted this because the barrel was so easy to maneuver around,” says Rodgers. “We just vacuum it up, roll it over to the pit, and put it right back into the system. We don't lose anything.”

Cleanup for bulk transport loading

Buzzi Unicem is sensitive to environmental issues and is proactive in adhering to EPA guidelines.

For example, the Stockertown, Pa., plant uses two VAC-U-MAX Monobloc centralized vacuum systems to remove product buildup around the hatches of bulk tankers and railcars that are loaded from above. This helps to prevent fugitive dust from spreading when the trucks leave the facility.

These stationary Monoblocs include strategically placed piping throughout the facility, allowing hoses to be connected to clean several areas simultaneously.

Quality control in automated labs

In automated labs where constant operations produce fine dust, vacuum systems can easily become overwhelmed, skewing test results. To maintain accurate results, automated labs require central, continuous duty vacuum systems that are precisely engineered.

Considerations such as floor space, pick-up points, collection capacity, the need for manual vacs, and other parameters must be weighed. When Lehigh Cement Co.'s European-made central vacuum system wasn't performing as well as expected, Lehigh turned to VAC-U-MAX. The company sent an engineer, along with a demo truck equipped with a 20 HP vacuum, to perform an audit and make recommendations that delivered the desired results.

Bag filling reclamation

Continuous duty vacuums, although less sophisticated than the central vacuum systems used in the lab, capture and reclaim cement in the bagging process.

In cement bagging operations, it is difficult to avoid dust spillage. Texas-based Featherlite uses a VAC-U-MAX continuous duty vacuum to avoid product loss with their bag-filling machines. The unit captures the spillage and puts it back into the packaging machine to maximize profit.

In rugged industrial applications where environmental safety, ergonomics, and productivity matter, vacuum cleaners designed specifically to withstand harsh 24/7 operations can deliver consistent performance that adds to a company's bottom line.

— Lisa Zocco is a technical writer based in Long Beach, Calif., and specializes in industrial manufacturing. To read more about VAC-U-MAX solutions in the cement industry visitwww.vac-u-max.comand click on case histories on the vacuum cleaning page, or telephone 800-822-8629.

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