An aero mechanical conveyor is one of the most efficient ways to move material in a plant, but how much do they cost? We get this question all of the time.
There’s not a simple answer because it depends on several factors. It depends on the construction materials, layout, and selected options. I’ll describe all of the determining factors for the price and why an aero mechanical conveyor could work for you.
What is an Aero Mechanical Conveyor?
An aero mechanical conveyor (AMC) is used to move material from point A to point B at a high rate. The conveyor uses a cable with molded on discs. The discs create an air stream that carries the material through the circuit. The rapid movement keeps the material from being dragged along the tube. Each pocket is made up of about 80% air and 20% material. These conveyors provide a total batch transfer.
How an aero mechanical conveyor is constructed plays a huge role in the cost. They’re made with stainless steel tubes. The cables can be made from carbon steel or stainless steel. The discs are polyurethane.
At Spiroflow, we offer aero mechanical conveyors in 3 sizes (tube diameters): 3” (75mm), 4” (100mm), and 5” (125mm).
Layout & Operational Flexibility
- Can have multiple inlets and outlets.
- Multiple conveyors can be linked to span greater distances.
- Can have conveyor bends up to 90˚.
- Can operate in two planes.
- Must be meter
- Can run while empty.
Speeds & Capacities
Speed and capacity rates can vary depending on the material in your process. The cable speeds can run as high as 1,200 ft/min (365m/min) and capacities are typically up to 36 ft3/min (1.0m3/min) There are no variable conveying rates with AMCs.
Options & Features
Options and features are also key contributors to an AMC’s price.
I want to mention our patented Dynamic Automatic Rope Tensioning system first. The DART uses an air cylinder at one of the housings to keep constant pressure on the rope/cable, which stretches over time. The DART will keep tension on the sprocket, so you don’t have to manually maintain the tension. It also keeps the rope/cable on the sprocket. This prevents equipment failure and keeps your process moving.
Cleanability is a topic that customers ask about often. A wash gate and drain is a useful feature if cleanability is a priority for you. The wash gate and drain allows you to cycle hot and soapy water through the conveyor. You can then run the conveyor while it’s empty for about one hour to dry it. AMCs can also be dry-cleaned. Operators can run a material like salt to remove any residual product.
Other options to consider:
- Hytrel discs
- Corner sprockets
- Inlet base support
- Hinged access covers
- Electric or pneumatic inlet vibration
- Extended capacity chute
- Dust hood
- Splash guard
- Pneumatic inlet baffle
- Rotation sensor
- Level indicators
- Mobile base
- Explosion proofing
- Food grade construction
Aero mechanical conveyors are utilized in many industries to convey material that’s dry, moist, and/or cohesive.
We recommend material testing no matter what your product is. Material testing is highly recommended if you need to convey fragile, abrasive, hygroscopic, or fine particles in an aero mechanical conveyor.
Slurries and sludge-like materials cannot be conveyed in an AMC.
What’s the price of an Aero Mechanical Conveyor?
Now it’s time to answer the most asked question our sales team receives. The cost of an aero mechanical conveyor typically runs from about $25,000 (£19,500) to $60,000 (£47,000).
It’s also worth mentioning that aero mechanical conveyors have low maintenance costs, especially with the addition of an auto-tensioning system. You can expect to replace the cable every 2,000 to 6,000 hours of operation.
These conveyors consume a low amount of energy. The motor of a typical AMC ranges from 2-3 hp. The lower energy draw is a huge advantage over pneumatic conveying systems. Pneumatic conveyors use much larger motors and cost more to run when compared to AMCs.
Give us a call or send us an email if there’s anything you’d like to know more about. We don’t just design and build aero mechanical conveyors. You can check out our full line of products here. We also do control systems integrations. More information on automation is here.