National Ceramic Industries, a ceramic tile manufacturing plant, have employed an Australian manufactured pneumatic reticulation system to double their capacity and safeguard their automation systems against downtime.
National Ceramic Industries installed an 800m Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system from Calair Pipe Systems to feed production, processing and packaging areas. The Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system features Calair piping, jointing and system components.
According to Sarel Badenhorst, Production Supervisor, National Ceramic Industries, one of the advantages of the Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system is the speed with which it can be brought back into service if anything goes wrong with it or something needs changing quickly.
National Ceramics Industries depend on the pneumatic system to power an automated production process designed to produce tiles.
These processes extend from automated processing of raw clay through to shaping, baking, finishing and packing and delivery of product from the automated packaging plant by laser-guided forklifts to the automated warehousing area.
Powered by three Atlas Copco GA75 variable speed drive compressors for energy efficiency, the Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system is maintained at 6.8 bar throughout the network of Calair piping, which includes smooth, non-corrosive internal bores to minimise friction and ensure ongoing energy efficiency.
Two compressors operate during normal production, with one kept in reserve and connected to a standby generator to maintain the system in the event of a power failure or other contingency.
The system also incorporates strategically located non-return valves, so that individual areas of the system can be isolated from other production areas if a problem arises in one spot.
Production failsafe measures are backed up by an accumulator tank to safeguard against any blips in air pressure affecting the automation systems.
In addition to the 2.5 inch (63.5mm) ring main, the Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system is used in smaller diameters for drops to feed individual machines. The fully welded system offers advantages such as its permanent colour-coding of contents for safety and can cope with elevated temperatures and pressures.
According to Calair Pipe Systems, the Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system can be readily cut and reconfigured. The Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system is available in sizes from 12.5mm to 100mm (half-inch to four-inch nominal bore).
It is flexible enough to be used by non-specialist labour without specialised tools. The Calair Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system features a range of joints, cross-pieces, elbows, fasteners and fittings.
Calair Pipe Systems’ blue coloured Air-Pro is fed by the plant’s 75 kW machines, the largest of which has a maximum capacity of 13 bar at 212litres per second and is pre-set at a lower pressure needed for production.
The backup machine, also of 75kw, runs at a maximum of 7.5 bar, and 236 litres a second, and is pre-set at 6.2 bar. CalAir Pipe Systems’ green coloured Water-Pro and violet coloured Water-Pro pipelines carry fresh water and recycled water respectively. Other Calair Pipe Systems’ products are also permanently colour-coded in accordance with AS 1345-1995.
Calair Pipe Systems observe that the permanent colour-coding of pipelines is of importance to sophisticated manufacturing plants, which want operational and maintenance staff to be able to immediately identify what is being carried by the pipelines they are working around.
Calair Pipe Systems recyclable Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system has better pressure capability characteristics at elevated temperatures.
The Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system can carry air, gases and water at temperatures from -20°C up to 100°C. This also means it carries compressed air and liquids across a wide range of temperatures, making it suitable for use in areas with higher ambient temperature fluctuations.
The Pro-Pipe II ring main pneumatic reticulation system reduces ongoing costs with its smooth internal bore, which imposes lower friction drag on airflows, so the compressor uses less power to push its load over the distances involved in National Ceramic Industries 488mlong plant.
Calair Pipe Systems note that the polymer will not rust and drop flakes into the pipes, or clog them. It does not prevent the entry of air or other fluids. As polymer insulates better, it is not prone to condensation when hot air meets cold pipes.