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Are you losing profit because of these conditions in your transfer bins?

Then give us a call!


Description of how an Air cannon functions:

The basic principle of an Air cannon system, envisages the introduction of compressed air at a velocity, which kinetically activates dust particles clinging to any surface, with this energy making them vibrate and break free from other particles and surface to which they had adhered to.

The compressed air is stored in an air receiver which maintains air pressure at 5 to 7 Bar. This compressed air is fed to a point of discharge through an opening, by means of a pneumatically controlled valves. The sudden but controlled release of compressed air into the stored material is at a rate faster than the material can absorb, thereby causing the material to dislodge and move. The controlled release of air ensures that the reaction is not transmitted to the support structure and also there is minimal effect of noise or vibration. The actuation of pneumatic air cannons can be triggered by either manually or through electronic sequence timers.

Advantages of Air cannons:

Energy efficient - all forces is absorbed by the material.
Non-destructive - forces is focused on the material and not on the structure.
Self-cleaning seat - air flows over seat into hopper.
Low noise level - material absorbs discharge.
Low maintenance - one moving wear part.
Impact-resistant piston.
No special air requirements - operates on standard plant air pressure.
Minimum CFM requirements - timer cycles system as needed.

Installation where Air cannons are applicable:

  • Silo’s and bunkers
  • Cyclones
  • Shuts
  • Transport pipelines
  • Funnels and throats
  • Filter installations
  • Hot lines of cement kilns
  • Exhausts of grid cooling beds
  • Chutes
  • Ball mill intakes
  • Unloading shafts

Monthly Air cannon maintenance proposal.

Maintenance is probably the most important factor, regarding the depreciation factor of any machinery. Not only does it influence the lifespan of a product/machine, but it can also lead to massive production losses caused by pre-failure of product/machine.

What one should remember is, that an Air cannon is a vessel under pressure, and as a result of Regulation 23.12.3, Chapter 23, Minerals act, an Air cannon is classified as a pressure vessel as it exceeds a factor of 10 (and ultimately 30). This leads to a number of compliances to be in place, of which FC Consultant is willing to assist with.

Therefore we as FC Consultant has taken everything in consideration, whether it is cost, legislation, increased life expectancy and unpredicted failure. It is with these considerations that we have found that it is important to be pro-active rather than reactive, and it is this service that we offer to you as our future client.

Our monthly maintenance consists of the following:

Fixed monthly rate.
Monthly inspections of all air cannons on premises.
Repair of all faulty air cannons (excluding spares).
Maintenance/Inspection report.
Aim to deliver a 100% availability of equipment.

Advantages of our monthly maintenance:

A considerable saving in maintenance cost, as the air cannons are inspected & maintained at monthly intervals. Forexample, water built-up in vessel is removed at regular intervals (increased efficiency and a reduction in corrosion), excessive compressed air losses due to wear of o-rings, act.

Increased safety, for example. The test and inspection of the following devices, the emergency release valve, solenoid valve, exhaust valve and pressure gauge. As well as the inspection of all fittings and bends.

Reduction in unpredicted failures, due to the more hands-on approach by our Air cannon consultants, we have managed to reduce the unpredicted failure rate by more than half.

Increase production, this is mainly due to less failures of critical air cannons. This results in less built-up of product in silos/chutes.

Annual Air cannon service proposal

Our focus as a service provider company is to assure our client of a safe, proper working air pressure vessel functioning as a bulk material-moving system. With our annual air cannon service, the whole air vessel is removed, taken apart, all components (internal and external) are cleaned, inspected, repaired/replaced and assembled again. After which the vessel is re-installed.

Our annual air cannon service consists of the following:

  • Fixed rate per air cannon.
  • Removal of air cannon.
  • Cleaning of air cannon.
  • Inspection of internal surfaces and seams.
  • Inspection of pressure gauge & red mark on dial.
  • Inspection of all valves.
  • Inspection of dual-piston and seals.
  • Replacement of all seals.
  • Replacement of all faulty components (excluding piston, solenoid & exhaust valve)
  • Re-installation of air cannon.

Pressure testing on pressure vessels

As illustrated in Regulation 23.12.3, it is of utmost importance that the pressure vessels get tested.
FC Consultant have notice the importance of annual pressure tests, and have therefore set in place
the necessary competent persons to conduct these tests as stipulated by the Mineral Act.


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