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What are the cost savings associated with material handling fans vs. venturis for trim waste removal?

We're doing a series of blog posts about how in-line cutter systems (cutter/fan systems) efficiently convey, process and remove continuous edge trim and waste filaments. Part 4 discusses conveying lines. Part 5 explores material handling fans.

The material handling fan is the pump or driver of the in-line cutter pneumatic trim waste removal system.


Material handling fans normally have an open or single shroud impeller through which the cut material can easily pass without entanglement or balling up.

Fans are available in a wide range of sizes. Those designed for high air volume and low pressure heads have wide, small diameter impellers. Those for low air volume and high pressure heads have narrow, large diameter impellers.

Actual fan selection is based on the flow and pressure requirements of the system with which it is to be used. First, the airflow required to provide adequate take-away tension at the pick-up locations and a satisfactory conveying capability is ascertained. Then, the driving pressure — or head — required to maintain that air flow is calculated.

The theoretical horsepower required to handle the system air flow and pressure requirements is:

HP (air) = weight of air (lbs) x pressure (feet of air)/33,000

The actual HP required will be the theoretical horsepower divided by the efficiency of the fan or driver used:

HP (actual) = HP (air)/fan efficiency

The efficiency of a material handling fan is usually 3 to 4 times that of a venturi system. Simply stated, the energy cost to run the venturi system is 3 to 4 times that to run the fan for any given system.

With energy commonly costing $600 per HP per year, the savings incurred with a material handling fan can be substantial in even a small continuously operating system. For example, using a 15HP material handling fan vs. a 50HP venturi to develop the same head and flow required for a system operating 24 hours/day in a location where electricity costs a conservative 10 cents/KW-HR ($652/HP/year) results in an annual power savings of (50-15) $653 = $22,820/year.

However, the material handling fan cannot handle continuous trim or filaments as can the venturi. The key to capitalizing on the substantial energy savings from using a material handling fan instead of a venturi is to use an in-line cutter to cut the continuous trim or filament into lengths which will readily pass through the fan.

Part 6 of our series explores air-trim separators.

Contact us to learn more about how a cutter/fan system can save your company money.



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