Direct-Drive(TM) Blower and Air Knife Technology Improves Up-Time While Reducing Maintenance at Beverage Plants

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A new design that harnesses an industrial blower directly to a high-speed motor capitalizes on the advantages of fewer moving parts.

fewer parts means greater reliability

When famous, Chicago architect Mies van der Rohe said, "Less is more," he could have easily been referring to the complexity of industrial equipment in a beverage plant, as a less-complicated design improvement to the industrial blower promises to improve up-time and reduce maintenance by foregoing unnecessary belts, tensioners and spindles. By harnessing the blower impeller directly to the driving motor, this new design brings the "fewer parts means greater reliability" reality to the use of an air knife within production facilities used by bottlers, brewers, canners and vintners.

The immediate appeal of this new design can be attributed to its ability to ensure long periods of uninterrupted performance with minimal attention by facility maintenance personnel--providing a competitive edge over plants that employ air knives that still rely on maintenance-intensive and failure-prone belts, pulleys and tensioners.

Of particular appeal within the beverage industry, a Direct-Drive blower from Jet Air Technologies has already proven itself among early-adopting bottlers and canners for drying, vacuum, fluidized bed and aeration applications.

"We use JetAir air knives for getting the moisture off of PET bottles, glass bottles, and cans," says Johan Smit, marketing sales manager for HG Molenaar & Co. of Johannesburg, South Africa, an integrator of equipment and systems for the food, wine, and beverage industry. "It dries very well, and is also very reliable because it is direct driven. We have no maintenance issues at all."

Based in Ventura, California, JetAir produces advanced high-speed centrifugal industrial blower systems to meet most moderate pressure, high flow applications where reliability and non-stop performance are critical. JetAir's patented Direct-Drive(TM) technology enables their new air knife systems to provide several advantages.

With belt-driven blowers, the belts themselves must be replaced typically every 3 to 6 months. Additionally, because belts create a high radial load when not properly tensioned, bearings can fail, bringing production to a halt. Even with labor-intensive regular lubricating maintenance, belt tensioners require replacement approximately every six months. At such time, drying operations must be suspended.

In contrast, Direct-Drive technology creates no radial load at all, since the impeller is mounted directly onto the motor shaft. This design greatly increases reliability and boosts performance by eliminating belts, tensioning devices and complex spindle assemblies.

Air knife and blower systems from JetAir also employ a variable frequency drive (VFD), also referred to as an “inverter.” The VFD eliminates the need for an additional motor starter that is required on belt drive blowers, along with the added benefit of built-in motor protection. MTBFs typically exceed 20,000 hours. Ready PLC connectivity to the VFD speeds installation, and also reduces demands on facility personnel.

"We have used regular belt blowers before, but the lifespan of the direct-driven air knives, we believe will be longer," says Smit. "The JetAir direct drive units are very compact and perform well, so we often recommend them for our beverage and canning installations that need high-speed drying."

JetAir Technologies offers a complete line of air knife, blower, and vacuum systems engineered for demanding applications between 5-50HP and 4-37kW.

For more information:

JetAir Technologies, LLC

1884 Eastman Avenue, #112

Ventura, California 93003

USA, 805-654-7000

or visit

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