Ultrasonic Sieve Machine vs High Energy Vibratory Sifter
As the demand for finer particles with tighter specifications continues to grow, companies are being forced to develop 21st-century products using 20th-century technologies. While air classifiers have somewhat helped service the market of fine separations, there is no denying that a sieving machine allows for much higher efficiency separations. The ability to sieve at fine sizes like 10um allows companies to achieve higher efficiencies without the common “tails” associated with a classifier. Patented in 2016, the Hi-Sifter is a mechanical screening machine capable of achieving fine separations down to 10 microns without using balls, sliders, or ultrasonics! Eliminating these industry-standard devices allows companies to experience higher throughput rates with much lower operating costs and production downtime.
How does the Hi-Sifter sieve compare to an Ultrasonic sieve machine?
The Hi-Sifter employs a high amplitude, low-frequency approach for making precise particle separations. This energy keeps particles inside of the machine elevated and prevents blinding from ever occurring in the first place. Other sieving technologies, like ultrasonic sifting machines, traditionally stimulate each wire within the mesh to vibrate independently from the machine. Where ultrasonic sifters fall short is that it will not work with coarse or ultra-fine mesh. Ultrasonic sieving machines are unlike the Hi-Sifter because they require external hardware, and damaged screen mesh is highly costly to repair (not to mention lengthy lead times). The Hi-Sifter, however, allows the user to stock their screen cloth in-house, and if it needs to be replaced, the user can change the mesh by themselves in less than 15 minutes. Elcan is the only company in the world that employs tensionless screen cloth inside their sieves. Sending a screen mesh out for repair can cause significant problems for any manufacturing facility because it can take weeks, if not months, to get the mesh repaired and shipped back. Elcan recognized this problem and has designed the Hi-Sifter so that should there be an issue, there is very minimal (if any) downtime at all.
What sizes can I sieve at on the Hi-Sifter vs Ultrasonic sieve machine?
We have been told by customers that have converted to the Hi-Sifters from using other screening technologies, mainly Ultrasonic sieving machines, that they have experienced a reasonable level of performance on coarser materials. However, when they try to sieve powders down around the 44um range, the machine does not perform as efficiently, and they begin to see screen blinding occurring, further decreasing performance. On the other hand, the Hi-Sifter performs exceptionally well at 44um with extremely high rates, and efficiencies, with NO screen blinding. The Hi-Sifter sieving technology can sieve materials down to as fine as 10um on a commercial scale. Most companies are under the impression that only Air Classifiers can make particle separations finer than 20um, which the Hi-Sifter has proven time and again to be false. The finest separation Elcan has ever made on the Hi-Sifter was a slurry at 5um for a battery-grade application with 96% efficiency!
Should I test before purchasing sieving equipment?
Elcan recommends that all companies perform a test before purchasing any equipment. Companies typically offer a “trial” or a test to prove the process will work on their equipment. Customers will either pay for a trial, or some OEMs provide a free trial (this is subject to whatever terms both parties agree to). The customer will send in the material and can either watch the test being conducted (if they decide to travel to the location) or have the OEM run testing and send them the test results at a later date. This helps the customer better understand what the equipment is capable of and if it will meet their processing requirements.
What’s the difference between testing at Elcan and testing elsewhere?
One of the key differences between testing at Elcan and other facilities is that when testing at other facilities, you will not get a test that is representative of running that piece of equipment for large-scale processing. Most customers who ultimately end up coming over to test on Elcan’s sieving equipment are often surprised that we run tests on hundreds of pounds or a super sack worth of their material. Elcan conducts these large-scale tests for companies for an entire day, running for several hours that day, often performing several different separations the same day.
Other companies run a 60-second test and tell a potential customer that “this is the rate they will achieve while running the equipment on a more extended timeframe,” which is false. No company can run a test for less than a minute and say with absolute certainty that it will accurately represent how the equipment will run for several hours per day, 365 days a year, in a production setting. At Elcan, we run our Hi-Sifter sieving equipment daily for toll processing for companies. We know that running a 60-second test does not represent how a piece of equipment will perform for an extended period. We always advise our potential customers to NOT FALL FOR COMPANIES THAT OFFER 60-SECOND TESTING!
What is the operational cost of the Hi-Sifter Sifter vs Ultrasonic Sieve?
Ultrasonic sieving machines were invented in the 1970s and have not changed much, if at all. The difference between the Hi-Sifter and Ultrasonics when it comes to cost is that the Ultrasonics (as well as other vibratory sieving machines) have a low barrier to entry in that the upfront cost for their machines is low, but the cost to repair and maintain them is very high. The Hi-Sifter is the opposite of this: the upfront cost is much higher, but the maintenance (if any) is extremely low over the machine’s life.
Elcan initially manufactured the Hi-Sifter for internal use only in our factories to help us produce high-quality powders for our customers. Over time, our customers started asking us if we would sell this equipment to them because of the superior results Elcan would deliver, putting us in the equipment sales business. Since Elcan did not initially set out to sell equipment, this allowed us to develop a robust sieving technology that would be reliable, produce more efficient products, have little to no maintenance costs, no downtime, and extremely high outputs for use at our toll processing facilities every single day.
If you would like to schedule a trial to run your powder materials at our toll processing facility, give us a call!
Call today to schedule your trial!