Revolutionizing Precleaner Products

Sy-Klone International
Written by Allison Dempsey

When it comes to engine and HVAC precleaning systems, Sy-Klone International is a renowned, worldwide leader in both the production and design of products used in construction, mining, waste handling, agriculture and heavy equipment applications. The company has been leading the way since 1986, and its latest innovation, the patented XLR Powered Precleaner®, is the latest example.

The XLR is groundbreaking in its efficiency and ability to remove more than 90 percent of potentially damaging dust particles before reaching the prefilter, ensuring Sy-Klone’s continued position as the world leader in powered precleaning and high efficiency prefiltering technologies.

The state-of-the-art XLR (eXtra Low Restriction) Powered Precleaner boasts a number of impressive features including zero restriction up to 130 CFM and a high-efficiency radial seal prefilter that removes 99.99 percent of ISO fine test dust.

“In the early ‘90s Sy-Klone developed its own precleaner which became the first plastic precleaner ever made” says Executive Vice President Jeff Moredock. “What has changed over time is the realization of what a precleaner does, and how we could improve the precleaning process to include high efficiency prefiltration.”

Cyclonic style precleaners — products used to remove the dust in the air before it can pass in the engine filter housing — evolved in the 1970s, utilizing a moving rotor that created a cyclonic air flow, gathering the dust and ejecting it from the precleaner.

“Sy-Klone innovated on the traditional precleaner technology, by optimizing the precleaning process through particle stratification which minimized the energy required to perform the precleaning process, reducing inlet restriction and optimizing precleaning efficiency. The Sy-Klone Series 9000 is not just a plastic precleaner it is a technological marvel.” Says Moredock

The XLR works by bringing debris-laden air into the precleaner, where the fan whips the air into a vortex with the debris riding along the outer walls of the precleaner housing. Debris is then ejected from the precleaner and the clean air in the center of the system is pushed through the prefilter with low restriction. The prefilter and housing are self-cleaning as debris falls off the filter and is ejected from the housing.

The XLR comes in two sizes to maximize precleaning flexibility, lower cost-per-operating hour, recover cost of investment, and extend the primary engine air filter life for an indefinite period. The XLR prefilter changes don’t expose engines to field service contamination, helping preserve the engine and catalytic converter, while avoiding related downtime costs.

In high dust conditions, engine filters are often changed well before the planned maintenance of the filter, resulting in higher operational costs and machine downtime.

“Most machines spend time on the job site idling,” explains Moredock. “Whether the operator is waiting to do the next job or on break, other trucks driving around are creating dust and the idling engine is pulling very little air into it. When that’s going on, traditional precleaners, which rely upon engine intake air to drive them, are working at very low efficiency, which results in the engine air filter being prematurely saturated with dust.”

The conversations at Sy-Klone about how to reach the next level and innovation resulted in the notion of applying an electrical motor driving a fan to create its own separation energy, and therefore no longer being dependent on anything the engine was doing, says Moredock. Even if you’re idling, the efficiency of the precleaning process would be the same if you are not dependent on the engine’s air flow.

“We were looking at around 80 percent efficiency on 20 to 30 microns, and the new process enabled better than 90 percent efficiency at five microns,” he says. “That was a huge leap forward. In fact, the precleaning process alone was producing air that had fewer particles in it than filtered air from a traditional engine filter housing.”

The process creates an opportunity for all kinds of good things to happen, he says. “The innovation was figuring out how to take dirt out of the air at a very high efficiency with no filter and doing it in a very short distance. Air comes in, and 16 inches later, particles are ejected out the back of the precleaner and clean air is passed through the high efficiency prefilter and then down to the engine’s air filter. We are precleaning the air down to five microns and then filtering it to 99.99 percent efficiency on ISO fine test dust, and we’re doing this in sixteen inches.”

Accomplishing all of this in a very compact space makes this technology accessible to engines on smaller machines and operator enclosures.

“Sy-Klone’s RESPA® and XLR Powered Precleaner® technology takes dirt out of the air prior to the prefilter at more than 90 percent efficiency; this is magical,” says Moredock. “If you want to know what makes Sy-Klone unique, it’s that we’re the only ones who have a patented, highly effective mechanical separation process that’s electrically powered and can be applied to engine intake systems and operator enclosures,” he explains. “Dust is the enemy of both an engine and the human lung.”

Building a simple device with a minimum amount of moving parts and applying the laws of physics that are engineered into the physical structure of the device, created a long-lasting product not dependent on electronics or moving parts. The only wear parts are the fan motor and the filter. The housing mechanism for running the precleaning process is engineered for durability and has no moving parts.

“We’re able to produce a precleaning device that is low-tech in terms of electronics and high-tech in terms of performance. That’s what’s brilliant about it. Our products are simple, compact, highly effective and elegant by design,” says Moredock. “It’s low maintenance, we have almost no warranty issues, it’s very robust and can withstand the harshest environments in terms of vibration as well as heat and cold and can run on any kind of machine in the world. We don’t have sensitive components that can break inside the unit. Its simplicity contributes to its durability.”

Whether you’re running a machine that experiences short filter life or premature engine failure, an XLR Powered Precleaner can make a huge difference when you are running machines in demolition and road construction, as well as harsh environments like landfills, recycling facilities, cement factories or mines, says Moredock.

“The goal is to have a machine run throughout its planned maintenance interval without servicing the engine filter,” he says. “Machine owners see downtime associated with premature filter or engine failure as a significant cost to their operations.”

The XLR creates a tornado in the air around the filter, and the safest place in a tornado is at its center.

“There’s no movement of the air in the center of a tornado; it’s just dead air space. We create the tornado in the device and place the prefilter in the center of the tornado. The prefilter is in the center of the tornado. The tornado picks up the dust and throws it to the outside where it is ejected from the precleaner back into the environment,” explains Moredock. “Our filter housings remain clean, and our prefilters are self cleaning. This unique process technology allows us to get extended filter life from a compact precleaner and compact prefilter without collecting particles inside the filter housing. With previous technologies, this was impossible to do.”

The fewer the particles passing into the engine or human lung the less engine wear and lung disease. “It’s a total paradigm change,” says Moredock. “It’s a tectonic shift in the way we look at filtration. We took old technology ideas and stood them on their head. The ability to take dust out of air before filtering the air through high efficiency filtration allows us to provide levels of protection that were previously impossible. Sy-Klone RESPA® technology is protecting the lung health of tens of thousands of machine operators around the world. Sy-Klone XLR® technology is improving machine productivity of thousands of machines around the world. That’s the magic in our revolution.”

Although the XLR is used primarily on heavy machinery, it works extremely well anywhere you have an engine running in high dust environment, says Moredock. It can be on a generator or piece of fixed equipment, or a crusher in rock quarry. The diversity of product application and industries makes this a very useful product.

“We’re committed to advancing the art or precleaning and prefiltering air,” says Moredock. “We started a revolution in air quality over 30 years ago and it has changed the world. We are and will continue to be known as a Tier One supplier to the world’s largest machine manufacturers and a company that innovates, delivers on time and builds quality, fully tested products that are cost effective.”



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