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Last week, I accompanied our Latin American Sales Manager, Gerardo Alaniz on a visit to Chilé.  We met with prospective distributors and provided consultation.

Beverage Packaging Factory Looks For A More Effective Drying System

First, we met with a prospective distributor that builds drying systems for their customers, among other things. They are having issues with an existing principle, specifically the variable-frequency drive (VFD). Republic does not use VFDs on systems that are exposed to moisture, the conditions are not ideal for VFDs. While a VFD is a great option for many other applications, they are quite expensive to replace. Republic uses a bearing housing assembly that lasts much, much longer in moist environments.

The next day, this prospective distributor took us to meet with a local beverage packaging factory, who is looking to replace their ineffective drying system.  As a short-term solution, they replaced their air knife drying system with compressed air. (Read about Centrifugal Air VS Compressed Air) After inspecting the ineffective system, i found that the air knives were too short. The output air did not cover the entire bottle. We were able to help quote out a new and very promising air knife drying system for their client.

Centrifugal Blowers Beat Out PD Blowers For This Very Interesting Application

Our next stop included a very interesting application for our blowers. This customer uses three of our centrifugal blowers (200-9600HC) to gather up sand and water that is used to remove  worn out road lines, this is a process that is done before relocating the placement of road lines or freshening up the paint. This customer previously used a positive displacement blower (pd blower) for this application, but found that they could adequately do the job with a centrifugal blower, while creating less noise and avoiding lock-ups due to rusting. While inspecting their setup, we noticed that the sand was slowly eating away at their impellers. To decrease the rate of erosion of this vital part, and to avoid disruption of operations, we advised them to use stainless steel impellers and stainless steel housings.

Centrifugal Blowers and Vacuum Pumps in Wineries

Lastly, we met with a drying system consultant that serves a good many Chilé wineries. Wineries use drying systems and vacuum pumps in their processes. Drying systems are used to dry wine bottles before and after being labeled. Vacuum pumps are used to crush grapes in the wine press and corking process. During the corking process a vacuum pump is used to remove air out of the wine bottle while nitrogen is injected into it to keep it fresh.

My Experience of Chilé During Its Winter Season

Although it is winter time in Chilé, the locals seemed to really enjoy the outdoors. The streets were full of entertainers and friends playing board games, and shopping. Gerardo and I visited Los Dominicos, an area with a ton of outdoor local shops. We had lunch outside everyday. I especially enjoyed parrilla, which is a steak dish, served over french fries or yuca. Chile´s subway system was definitely cleaner than the NY subways from last month’s trip. An interesting fact we learned; If you drive an hour north of the airport, you’ll arrive at a ski resort. If you’d like something different, drive an hour south and you’ll arrive at a beach.Be sure to check out my photos from last week’s adventure.


Written by: David Gradney