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Air Control Industries (ACI) has revealed that its blower-powered airknives have been installed by Marshalls to improve the efficiency of natural stone cutting and handling.

Industrial cutting of natural stone paving slabs involves the use of copious amounts of water.

It is required to lubricate the diamond cutting blade, clean the cut and to prevent the generation of dust in the working environment.

The subsequent operations of handling and secondary processing demand that this water is removed.

The ACI airknives have been installed at Marshall’s Howley Park quarry near Dewsbury, to provide an efficient means of achieving this.

The airknives replace the manual operation of removing the water from each stone paving slab with a squeegee.

The airknives avoid potential shortcomings in the manual operation to ensure effective moisture removal.

This in turn reduces maintenance on vacuum lifting systems such as frequent emptying of water collection reservoirs on the power units.

It also minimises the risk of steel shot used for blasting non-slip and decorative finishes adhering to the slabs and causing rust stains.

As a result of the efficiency of the airknives’ air-delivery pattern, an even and continuous curtain of air across the full width of the slabs is achieved.

In addition, there is the advantage for those on the cutting line who no longer get wet as a result of ’squeegeeing’ the slabs, the natural action being to drag the water from the slabs towards themselves.

Andy Reed, maintenance manager at Marshalls, said: ’The airknives are very effective.

’After discovering ACI’s airknives online, I contacted the company and we were given one on trial to prove its effectiveness.

’We now have two installed at this plant and are having others installed on other sites,’ he added.

At Howley Park the 700mm-long airknives are powered by ACI’s EV fans.

Other options are available.

Air Control Industries

Air Control Industries (ACI) is a leading global provider of industrial air movement products.

We analyse the application and select or design the product with the right materials, performance and environmental characteristics to provide the most efficient and cost-effective solution.

ACI has the expertise to help satisfy all your air handling requirements, be it cooling drying or spreading.

Since 1969, ACI has been designing and manufacturing fans and blowers, both for general applications and for specific tasks that demand custom-engineered solutions. We have also been developing value-added products employing our fans and blowers.

These include Airknives, bottle/can-drying systems for the drinks industry and our extruded product/cable/wire drying unit. All are employed around the world by leading international companies.

Another ACI innovation for the health and hygiene market is our Jetblack personnel cleaning stations. Being blower powered, Jetblack provides a safe and economic method of de-dusting personnel. To extend options for our customers, we also offer EBM-Papst products, for which we are the exclusive distributor.

ACI has around 50 employees split between its UK headquarters in Chard, Somerset, and its US subsidiary in Maine, New England. There is a network of overseas distributors to provide international sales and support.

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