Cutting Costs with Retrofits & Keeping Air Cannons from Retiring

PROBLEM

Several cannon suppliers made the decision to no longer supply spare parts for their high-performance air cannons. This has coincided with the roll out of the next generation of air cannons.

 

SOLUTION

IGS has developed a simple retrofit kit that easily replaces the internal components allowing plants to keep their existing air cannons operating.

CUSTOMER

Roanoke Cement Company LLC purchased 12 IGS retrofit kits in early 2019. Roanoke Cement is recognized for its clean manufacturing practices, energy efficiency practices, resource conservation and its outstanding safety record. Roanoke Cement is an Energy Star® Partner and the recipient of multiple of environmental, industry and safety awards.

Is Replacement Necessary?

Many air cannons that have been successful solving buildup problems do not require replacement and only call for the replacement of a few spare parts. However, recently, several cannon suppliers made the decision to no longer supply spare parts for their high-performance air cannons. This has coincided with the roll out of the next generation of air cannons.

This replacement would have forced plants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars unnecessarily, to make sure they have air cannons operating in their plant.

Inexpensive Retrofit Solution

IGS has developed a simple retrofit kit that easily replaces the internal components allowing plants to keep their existing air cannons operating. The cost of a retrofit typically comes at a fraction of the cost of the new air cannon installation expenditure.

IGS made several improvements to the internals of traditional air cannons:

  • upgrading aluminum to carbon steel
  • the use of standard hard chrome tubing
  • the addition of an air cylinder

IGS Retrofit

 

Inside Behind Piston

Inexpensive Retrofit Solution

IGS made several improvements to the internals of traditional air cannons. First, the manufacture of construction was upgraded to coated carbon steel from aluminum. IGS experience with aluminum in this application is that the material is too soft to withstand the pounding (requires a spring cushion) and does not resist corrosion well. The elimination of the spring is a major step in reduction of air cannon failures.

Traditional air cannons have an aluminum piston, a spring, and an aluminum tube that the piston moves in. The tube can become scarred or dirty causing malfunctions. The IGS solution is the use of standard hard chrome tubing which is part of the IGS backplate. The backplate can be simply unbolted and removed. This honed and chrome tubing is used in tens of thousands air cylinders each year and provides a smoother surface which facilitates a more reliable operation.

IGS also offers an upgrade to these air cannons. This includes the addition of an air cylinder. This provides better control of the pounding action of the air cannon and extends maintenance-free periods. In addition, the air cylinder will allow you not to store air in the air tank between firing and will reduce air consumption by at least 50%.

Installation of New Components in Action

Roanoke Cement purchased 12 IGS retrofit kits in early 2019. The kits were installed on existing air cannons within the plant. Some of the cannons were still firing while others had not been operational for quite some time.

The original components were removed from the air cannon valve bodies while the cannons were still mounted in place, and the IGS components were installed. Existing solenoid valves, air lines, and programming were used making installation very quick and easy.

The plant was in full production and not in an outage at the time of the changeover. On average it took 20 minutes per air cannon to change the internals. In cases where unoperational air cannons were filled with cement, the process took one hour per cannon.
After 6 months the plant reports that the cannons are still firing the same as when originally installed, and they have had no required maintenance or problems.

IGS have unmatched experience in air cannon installations, for more information contact: info@intergratedglobal.com