What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Pneumatic Conveying System over a Mechanical Conveying System? So why should you choose one of the conveying types over the other? This questions has been asked many times by our clients and suppliers. Therefore, we decided to answer this question today within this blog post. If you have any questions after reading this blog post or if you would like to go through the different kind of possibilities for your application, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Let’s start by looking at mechanical conveying or bulk material handling systems. A conventional mechanical conveying system runs in a straight line, with minimal directional changes, and each directional change typically requires its own motor and drive. The mechanical conveying system may be open rather than enclosed, potentially generating dust. It also has a relatively large number of moving parts, which usually require frequent maintenance. The possibility of jams, through foreign object like spanners, brooms, robs, or steel materials, can create obstructions in conveying the material with downtime of your bulk material handling system as a result. The system also tends to take up a lot of valuable real estate on-board or in a plant/terminal.
On the other hand, a pneumatic conveying system uses a simple, (small-diameter) pipeline to transfer material. The pipeline can be arranged with bends to fit around existing equipment, giving the system more layout flexibility, and the system also has a relatively small footprint. The system is totally enclosed and typically has minimum/few moving parts. Also, the possible downtime of your bulk material handling system because of foreign object will be very minimum. These objects will be conveyed through the pipeline without creating an obstruction in the conveying process. This does not mean that the objects cannot damage any equipment down the pipeline.
So in regards to the conveying process it selves the pneumatic conveying system has far more advantages compared to the mechanical conveying system. On the other hand, a pneumatic conveying system typically requires more energy and horsepower to operate than an equivalently sized mechanical conveying system. The reason is that changing the air pressure to achieve pneumatic conveying consumes a large amount of power and is inherently less efficient than a mechanical conveying system’s mechanical transfer. In fact, in applications with the same transfer rate over the same conveying distance, a pneumatic conveying system can require 5-10 times the horsepower of a mechanical conveying system.
A pneumatic conveying system also requires a larger dust collection system than a mechanical conveying system. This is because the pneumatic system must separate the conveyed material from the conveying air at the system’s end.
Would you like to know, which type of conveying system suits your application best, please contact our engineers for more information.