Martin Engineering, a global provider of bulk handling solutions, is celebrating 50 years since the invention of the world's first low-pressure air cannon.

Air cannons have transformed material flow in bulk processing systems, eliminating problematic internal buildup and blockages. After 50 years of continuous innovation, Martin Engineering has achieved success. is constantly striving to advance air cannons, allowing industrial plants to operate more profitably, efficiently and safely than ever before.

The company launched the world's first low-pressure pneumatic air cannon, the Big Blaster.® It was conceived and developed by Carl Matson, a member of Martin's senior team and cousin of the company's founder, Edwin F. Peterson.

This patented technology is designed to dislodge stubborn material stuck to the inside walls of hoppers and silos with precisely timed jets of compressed air, helping to maintain bulk material flow and eliminate serious Prevents build-up and clogging.

Air cannons were originally intended for the same quarrying applications as vibrators.®Martin's patented industrial ball vibrator has been the foundation of Martin's success since its inception in 1944.

By the 1980s, as Martin Engineering expanded its global presence, the Big Blaster was used in high-temperature industrial applications to maintain the flow of sticky materials during the process and minimize unscheduled downtime. It had already been reconsidered for use.

Martin's air cannon quickly proved useful in fields such as cement, allowing workers to access the interior of preheater vessels and use high-pressure water jets to manually remove large build-ups of material. No longer needed. This task is one of the most unpleasant for him. Dangerous work in a cement factory.

By the 1990s, Martin Engineering developed the XHV, an ultra-high-temperature and high-velocity version of the Big Blaster with an all-metal construction capable of withstanding the harshest conditions. In the 2000s, Martin first introduced a safer positive pressure firing valve in the Tornado air cannon. This technology prevents unintentional firing even when system pressure drops and also allows the solenoid valve to be located up to 60 m (200 ft). Easier access and maintenance from air cannons. Designed with safety in mind, the positive firing valve also delivers a more powerful injection.

Shortly after, the hurricane valve was introduced and placed at the rear of the air cannon tank rather than at the tank/nozzle junction, improving safety and ease of maintenance. The outward-facing design eliminates the need to remove the tank, so maintenance is easy for one person and replacement takes only minutes.

In 2008, Martin Engineering opened an Innovation Center to accelerate advances in the company's air cannon technology, including:

SMART™ Series nozzles with multiple nozzle tips. One of them features a retractable design that extends his 360° nozzle head into the material stream only when firing, protecting it from repeated wear and extreme temperatures. The Y-shaped assembly means the nozzle can be installed, accessed and serviced without removing the air cannon or further destroying the vessel structure or refractory.

The Martin® Thermo Safety Shield acts as a safety barrier and allows for timely and safe maintenance of your air cannon system. By protecting your workers from exposure to extreme temperatures, you can perform maintenance safely and keep production on schedule.

Martin Engineering's current air cannon design is the result of research and development at its Innovation Center at its headquarters in Neponset, Illinois, USA. The center plans to open its doors to visitors in summer 2024 as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Brad Pronschinske, global air cannon product manager for Martin Engineering, said: “From the beginning, our air cannons were specifically designed to deliver a quiet, powerful, and high-velocity release of plant compressed air to remove buildup and facilitate material flow. Developed to handle high temperatures, harsh gases, abrasive and corrosive materials with low maintenance requirements and costs, since the introduction of the Big Blaster 50 years ago. We continue to innovate and introduce smarter and more powerful air cannon systems that improve efficiency, productivity and safety.

“We are committed to reducing the health and safety risks associated with manual clog removal, including working in confined spaces, working at height, falling materials, and working in hot and dusty environments. We are especially proud of the importance Martin air cannons have become. Our team is constantly working on new developments and we look forward to bringing the next generation of air cannon technology to our customers around the world. I am.”

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