Key Technology introduces new air cleaner

Key Technology’s #16 Air Cleaner removes debris and extraneous material with its new design for better sanitation and reduced maintenance

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, has introduced its new #16 Air Cleaner. Removing extraneous vegetable matter (EVM), dirt and other lightweight materials, this system cleans product of debris to improve product quality and line efficiency. Key’s redesigned air cleaner features a new fan, motor, screen and chamber configuration to enhance sanitation and reduce maintenance while increasing air flow capacity and spreading air velocity more evenly across the product screen.

“At Key, we partner closely with customers to develop new solutions to their production problems. Our new air cleaner was driven by one customer’s desire to remove even more debris for a cleaner product. While we designed this system primarily to improve performance, we looked for opportunities to maximize sanitation and maintenance, too,” said Jack Lee, president of Key Technology Americas. “Predictive modeling software was crucial in the development of this air cleaner. Computational fluid dynamics enabled us to model the air flow to put together a revolutionary design backed by real data.”

Ideal for both wet and dry products such as peas, green beans, corn, berries and nuts, Key’s air cleaner removes leaves, steams, husks, dirt and more. Typically installed at receiving, this system separates EVM and debris early on the production line to improve line efficiency and reduce energy waste.

Key’s air cleaner uses positive air flow, which moves through the product as it falls above a diagonal screen, to push light debris up and into a collection hood.

Compared to the previous model that provided an air flow capacity of up to 453 cu metre per minute (16,000 cu ft per min), Key’s new air cleaner offers up to 538 cu metre per min (19,000 cu ft per min) depending on the application. Additionally, the new air cleaner achieves more even distribution of air velocity across the product screen to reliably remove more debris. This stronger, more even air velocity produced by a smaller fan that operates with the same 20 horsepower as the previous model to more efficiently meet processors’ product quality standards.

Key designed the new air cleaner with minimal wear parts. The new system has only one moving part, the motor, to reduce maintenance and operating costs.

Sanitation has been improved with the elimination of baffling, larger access doors for easy cleaning, and sloped surfaces to help prevent product and moisture build-up. A new hinge design, with a single lamination, replaces piano hinges that had many holes and laminations. A new screen design, with perforations integrated into the side panels, replaces spot-welded screens. The new fixed twist lock cam latches replace the previous model’s rubber draw latches and wing nuts.

To maximise system performance, Key has mounted and integrated each air cleaner with either their dewatering shaker for wet products or their transfer shaker for dry products.