Food Service Supplies and Equipment: Buying, Cleaning and Repairing

Factors to Consider When Buying an Industrial Air Cannon

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Date: June 10th 2016


Air cannons are flow aid equipment used in industries to ensure continued flow of materials. Materials can get stuck to each other so that they form a bridge across the length of a bin or silo and slow down the flow of the product. An air cannon can be fitted to the side of a silo, bin, or rail car to blast these materials with a shot of pressurized air, so they separate and begin flowing again. If you are looking for a good air cannon for industrial use, there are various factors you should consider. Types of material blockage When you go shopping for an air cannon, you will be asked about the kind of material blockage that occurs in your bin, silo, or rail track. Material blockage usually occurs in the form of bridging, ratholing, and arching. •    Bridging occurs when materials clump together across the width of the silo or rail track, so that they create a bridge-like barrier. The barrier prevents material above it from flowing. •    Ratholing occurs when material sticks to the side of the bin and creates a void or dead storage area. Although this does not prevent flow, the rate of flow is significantly decreased. •    Arching is where material sticks at the near the dispenser or above the sloping section of the silo preventing further flow. For bridging, you will want a cannon which allows a wide dispersal of air to reach the width of that bridge. Ratholing and arching problems require a smaller section of air, but with greater pressure to break the concentration of material in a particular area. Weight and capacity of material The pressure of the air dispensed by an air cannon is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Heavier material such as stone chips, raw coal, and pebbles require an air cannon with high PSI. However, for lighter materials such as cereals, a cannon with lower PSI will be suitable. To get the best value from your air cannon, you should purchase one with adjustable PSI. That way, the equipment will be versatile to production changes. Material of pressure vessel The pressure vessel is the part of the cannon that exerts air into the silo or rail truck. It is ideal to choose a pressure vessel with a durable and quality material such as steel. Material such as plastic may be affordable, but you will […]

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Commercial Cabling Support: Material Options for Cable Ladders

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Date: April 20th 2016


Electrical and data cabling upgrades can improve the efficiency of your commercial operation by supporting appliances and telecommunications more effectively. However, the improvement will present a challenge with regard to organising and supporting the new network of wiring. One of the most advantageous options that can resolve this problem is the cable ladder. Basically, the cable ladder network is fabricated be connecting rungs to side rails. The platform created will be strong and can support long and heavy cable lengths. Here is a short description of primary types of cable ladders in terms of fabrication materials. Fibre Reinforced Plastic Generally, fibre reinforced plastic is formed as a composite material which consists of a polymer base mixed with fibres. The incorporated fibres can be diverse and usually include materials like glass, basalt and even carbon. This type of cable ladder is favourable because the plastic material does not conduct electricity. Therefore, the use of the product will not interfere with the electrical signals passing through the cabling. The plastic is also not vulnerable to corrosion from humidity and even chemicals, so this is an ideal choice for an industrial setup. In addition, the fibres in the plastic increase the strength of the cable ladder, preventing stress damage and accelerated wear. Steel Steel cable ladders are suitable for commercial cabling support because the material is strong. Steel is not prone to damage from mechanical impact or even extended stress from heavy wires. If you are worried about physical damage during the activities in your premises, this is a suitable choice. On the other hand, steel can be easily damaged by rust if the cable ladders are installed in moist or corrosive environments. Therefore, if you choose this type of product, you should ensure that the surfaces are galvanised thoroughly for protection. Alternatively, you can purchase stainless steel ladders which can withstand adverse environments without damage. Aluminium Aluminium cable ladders are advantageous because they have natural resistance to corrosion, unlike normal steel. Therefore, you will not need to purchase specially-treated cable ladders to get good performance in humid, saline and corrosive environments. The material is also lightweight, so it is easier to lift and set up during the installation process. Unfortunately, aluminium is not as resilient as steel or fibre reinforced plastic. The ladder might become prone to damage if the surfaces sustain mechanical impact. Therefore, you should ensure that the cable support […]

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How to clean your water tank

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Date: March 21st 2016


Using a rainwater tank to add to your personal water supply is a great way to save money and also to have access to water even in droughts. Maintaining your water tank is very important in order to have all parts of it functioning like they should, but also to keep the water clean enough to drink and wash yourselves in. The most important maintenance you need to perform on your water tank is that you need to clean it regularly. In order to clean your water tank properly, there are a few things you should think about. Inside of the tank To properly clean you tank, you first need to empty it. If the water is clean, you should use a container that you can tap water from. When you’ve gotten rid of all the water in the container, you need to scrub the insides from top to bottom. Use a stiff brush and a mixture of water and detergent to get it completely clean. If your tank can’t be climbed into, you should use a long handle for your brush to make sure you can still reach all parts of the tank. Wash it out with a high pressure hose to make sure no detergent is left in the tank. The small parts You also need to make sure that you’re cleaning all the small parts of the tank as well. You can do this by leaving water mixed with detergent in the tank and let the water pump drag this through all the pipes of the tank. This way, the tank pump itself will get cleaned too. Water pumps and tank pumps can be sensitive to certain substances, and you should make sure the detergent isn’t abrasive on some materials before you use it. If you choose to do this type of cleaning, you’ll also have to leave clean water for the pump to pump through the system afterwards to prevent the detergent leaving any residue in the system. Disinfectant After cleaning the tank, you also need to disinfect it. The most common substance to use for this is chlorine. Fill the tank with a mixture of chlorine and water based on the size of your tank. Leave the outlet valve open when doing this and make sure the water is collected so that the chlorine isn’t absorbed by the ground. After the disinfectant has been through the tank, […]

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What to Consider When Buying a Shipping Container for Something Other Than Shipping

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Date: January 25th 2016


Shipping containers have become very popular in recent years for uses other than shipping; they can be used for storage, for an outside workroom, and even as a small home! Because shipping containers are so sturdy and durable, they can last for many years even after having traveled all over the world. Before you buy a shipping container for something other than shipping, you want to consider a few important features about the container itself and its use. Note the following. 1. As a small home If you love the idea of a small home that you make yourself from a reused shipping container, remember that your home still needs to be up to code when it comes to electrical, plumbing, and the like. Some shipping containers have electrical wires run through them so they can provide power to heaters and coolers or inside generators while in transit, but this type of electrical system is rarely the proper type used in a home. Remember that you will usually need to make many adjustments and modifications to your shipping container before you can legally live in it, so be prepared for that added expense. 2. As a workroom If you have a hobby for which you need some shelter but which cannot fit into your home’s garage such as metalworking or restoring cars, a shipping container can be a good choice for an outside workroom. However, you might want to add a window or two so you don’t feel so claustrophobic even if you leave the entry doors open. This can also help with air circulation so that you’re safe from fumes, heat, and the like. Typically you would need to cut out an area of the container and have windows installed, so be prepared for this work and expense. An insulated container can also help to keep you warmer or cooler during inclement weather, so this might be a good investment. 3. For storage Depending on what you plan on storing in the shipping container, consider an insulated container that can protect your goods during extreme weather conditions. Note that some older containers may have rust along the seams or connectors, so inspect these carefully before buying. This rust damage can allow in water, condensation, and even snow. If a container was used to transport furs or some type of chemical, the resultant smell might be absorbed by your stored […]

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The Dangers of DIY Welding

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Date: January 7th 2016


One of the most widely used materials in the world is metal and for most people it is the only thing they will use in their production process. There are so many products that can be made with metal, but there are many processes that will need to be done by professionals. In order to join multiple pieces of metal together, you will need to have them welded. Many people feel that they can save time and money by doing their own welding, but this is not the case at all. The only way that you can get the results that you are looking for is by letting a professional do the welding for you. The following are a few of the many dangers that come with DIY welding. Consider the Material Being Used There are some consumables and processes are better for welding specific materials and in some cases will require extra tools. For example, it is possible to weld aluminium material with the MIG process, but if you use a spool gun for feeding the consumable you will achieve better results. Take some time to evaluate what you will be welding to make choose the best technique. Modifications When Needed Another danger that you will run into when trying to do your own welding is that you will not have the knowledge needed to get the modifications that may be needed during the process. Not every weld will be by the book and when you have to make modifications, you want to make sure that you have a professional helping you. Neglecting to have this type of assistance will lead to less than stellar results from the welding jobs. The money that you pay a professional to get the welding done for your will be more than worth it in the end. The Turnaround that You Need Yet another reason that you need to hire a professional for your welding needs is that they will be able to get the job done fast. This means that you will be able to get the product that you need without having to wait a long period of time. Trying to do the welding on your own will be a very slow process and it will usually end with mixed results. Make sure that you talk with the company you are using to see how long it will take them. When […]

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About Me

Hi, my name is Howie, and I have worked in restaurants since I was seventeen. Over the years, I have cleaned and serviced every type of food service equipment from meat slicers to potato peelers. I have helped my bosses buy equipment and figure out the best protocols for servicing, maintaining and repairing that equipment. If you have questions on food service equipment or other types of industrial equipment, you should be able to find the answers you need here. Please, get comfortable and explore these posts. I have loved my time in restaurants, and this blog takes me back to them in a virtual sense. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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