Changes in the Bulk Solids Market over the Last 40 Years

March 16, 2016

3 Min Read
Changes in the Bulk Solids Market over the Last 40 Years
Conveying pipelines to cement silos

I have been involved in the bulk solids market for over 40 years and in that time I have seen a variety of changes, as well as improvements.    
With our particular niche in this market, we see more emphasis on containing leaks to lessen exposure of employees to harmful materials, protect the environment, save cleanup costs and avoid paperwork. We have seen some movement towards longer term design, attempting to engineer more reliability into new plants, but concerns on immediate ROI have sometimes blunted these efforts.  
There is also an increase in more stringent design requirements for piping systems and those designs are becoming the standard with more QA/QC requirements and more ASME code welding to B31 or similar standards.  
Dense phase systems have increased their presence in the last 40 years. The control systems have become much more sophisticated with the advances in technology.
Product designs and requirements are not the only changes; markets have also fluctuated with the economy. Cement is still a strong market, as competition from imports is minor. Changes in the types of equipment used at cement plants have altered the types of conveying systems used in processing the raw materials.
Coal-fired power has provided new applications with the pneumatic conveyance of limestone and carbon for the emission equipment used to capture SO2 and mercury. Many coal-fired power stations have also switched to low sulfur western coal, adding a new market for dust collection, made necessary by the friability of the western coal.
The glass and plastics industries have seen a significant part of the business depart for Asia, though there are still major segments in the U.S.  
The sewage industry has seen growth in pneumatic systems, mainly in the facilities where the sludge is dried to pellets and re-used as fertilizer or alternate fuel in the cement industry. Other applications include the transport of lime for odor control. Building products such as shingles and insulation have also seen growth as the country’s population has grown, and imports do not have much impact on these particular products.
The mining industry has seen many changes over the years due mainly to demand cycles. They are one of the markets where dust collection is taken much more seriously than 40 years ago.
    Joe Accetta is president, Kalenborn Abresist, Urbana, IN, a leader in the design and supply of wear solutions for a wide range of industries utilizing various mineral and metallic solutions. Accetta graduated from Northwestern University in 1973. He was originally employed as vice president of sales in 1983 at Kalenborn Abresist (then Abresist Corp.) and was named president in 1990. He has served in that capacity for 26 years. For 10 years prior to 1983, Accetta was involved in the sales and Abresist product management for M.H. Detrick, an early joint venture partner in Kalenborn Abresist Corp. For more information, visit

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