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Air Conveying System Design (for Cups and Containers)

Companies should weigh key considerations with air conveying system design, which will impact critical business operation needs. The right systems rapidly and efficiently transport newly formed cups or containers along production lines, typically in the food and beverage industry. Air Con Tech Systems help companies save time, labor and expenses, supplying flexibility and speeds that far exceed the capabilities of standard belt-driven conveyors.   

Each air conveyor that we custom-design and construct is built to suit the customer’s specific purposes and production goals. Which factors are most important when selecting the best system for your operation?  

Main design factors will include: 

  • Cup size 
  • Cup shape 
  • Weight of the cup 
  • Movement or cup repositioning 
  • Location of the next production step 
  • Desired production speed 

Cup size, shape and weight 

An air conveyor is typically installed as the next stage in the production process when cups or containers emerge from a press, newly formed and ready to either be labelled and/or filled with product.  

The air conveyor can handle a wide range of diameters, dimensions and sizes.  Common cup sizes the air conveyor can transport range from an inch up to six or seven inches in diameter. The cup size, shape and weight are critical factors in determining the design parameters of the air conveying system.  

While the air conveyor typically transports cups used for foods and beverages, an air conveyor can transport cups or containers destined for non-food use as well. Potential uses or purposes for the types of cups transported by an air conveyor can include:  

  • Pop (Soda) 
  • Beverages 
  • Pet food  
  • Soups 
  • Single-serve brewing capsules (for coffee, tea or cocoa) 
  • Instant foods 
  • Oil filters 
  • Batteries 


Presses might form cups from the same lot that are different sizes, or cups that need to be flipped or moved into a different position. Often cups are moving to the next station for labelling or filling and need to be properly positioned and held there for this purpose.   

An air conveyor system can be designed and configured to handle cups of different sizes and hold them in place after flipping them.  


Manufacturing space can be one of the most precious resources a company owns. Maximizing this resource for optimal productivity is essential to maintain profitability. The air conveyor occupies a small plant footprint, offering greater efficiencies for fillers and the potential to set up more lines to increase production.  

In addition, pneumatic conveyors can move product in any direction or to different levels (floors) within the plan to access the next step in the production cycle. This flexibility is not guaranteed with a standard mechanical belt system, yet creates new windows of opportunity for plant managers, with an air conveyor.  

Production Speeds 

Pneumatic or air conveyor systems move product at greater speeds than a mechanical belt system, up to three times faster or more. Operators can adjust the speed to adapt to individual line conditions.  

Air Con Tech Systems focuses on supplying speeds that exceed the press outputs. For example, if a manufacturer requests a machine that can run 800 cups per minute, we can design a conveyor that handles 1000 per minute. This cushion supplies future capabilities to not just meet current line speeds but increase as plant efficiencies improve. Our conveyors are compatible with most types of presses, both redraw and forming die presses.  

With fewer moving parts, our systems require little to no maintenance and are easy to operate. All air conveyors designed and built by Air Con Tech Systems conform with stringent FDA requirements for food safety.  

Personal Attention, Research and Design 

Air Con Tech Systems will personally visit a facility, when possible, to complete a thorough survey of customer needs such as the location and space available for the air conveying system. Customers often send us physical samples of the sizes and styles of the cups so we can design, build and test with real product examples.  

Personal attention and customer care have helped us maintain a leading position in the industry since 1987. Our systems are recognized internationally for quality and performance and can be found in processing plants around the globe.  

Contact us today to discuss your conveyance needs and trust Air Con Tech Systems to design a system that will meet and exceed expectations.  

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