Material Handling: Versatile Diverter Valve Meets Industry 4.0 Objectives

Standard sizes are 1.5-4 in.; the unit can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically.

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Vactec LLC, Kalamazoo Mich., has developed a patent-pending, material-diverter valve called the Director. Designed for vacuum conveying systems, the Director is available in either a manual or automatic configuration and can accommodate up to 12 materials feeding a single destination. Optional designs are available to feed multiple destinations. Standard sizes are 1.5-4 in.; the unit can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically. Director V, the vertical model, has a footprint of less than 1 ft² and can interface with new or existing vacuum systems. All connections in and out are hard piped, so there aren't any of those cumbersome flexible hose connections to worry about.

Contamination is avoided with a purge cycle that can either be manually or automatically activated when a material change is required. One inlet is dedicated as a purge port and single conveying/purge cycle cleans the valve preparing it for the new material. If the material being conveyed is abrasive, the valve is supplied with Vactecs NiTec finish, which raises the hardness to 1100-1300.

“What processors will appreciate most about the Director is its versatility and the ability to have a traceable, verifiable, material diverter. with a manual or an automatic, remote controlled option, that meets Industry 4.0 objectives while eliminating those bothersome flex hose 'spaghetti bowls,' once and for all,” comments Chuck Thiele, Vactec's president. The automatic model can be pre-programed to trace the material selected, time of the start of a run and time of completion. “Coupling the valve with an in line weighing system enhances data acquisition and process management capabilities,” Thiele adds.