Escape to the Hills

I’m leaving for a short three day vacation this week in Hocking Hills. This is my biannual family reunion of my Great Grandfather’s family the Trouts. This will be our 7th or 8th trip down there, and I still have yet to go hiking at Old Man’s Cave, the local tourist attraction. I have always stuck closer to the pool and the golf course and away from the trail. Russ Bowman puts me to shame. He heads up there every year with his boys to go hiking and camping, and we tend to stay at a cabin which is more like a hotel with some wood paneling. To each their own.

For my parent’s generation the reunion is a chance to catch up with cousins that they spent summers with growing up. For my generation, it is a chance to meet and reconnect with our second cousins that we normally would only see at weddings and funerals. The three day reunion allows a longer more free flowing opportunity to see who people are. It is a different perceptive to get to know people that have a lot of history in common, but you only see once in a while. Most of the weekend is amazingly unscheduled, so you can come and go as you please.

This will be different for me. I’m taking my son who was born last August to meet his third cousins. It is different for a couple reasons. First, now I don’t just have to worry how I behave at the family reunion. I have to make sure my son doesn’t head-butt the other babies like he has been known to do at day care. Second, my family gets to see him grow up and learn stories about me when I was his age through the eyes of the people that were there and knew me best. I hope they stay away from a few stories until he is older, but probably not.

Getting together with the family reminds me of working here at EXAIR. As we witnessed with the Professor’s departure, and Dear Joe’s departure we see that some people might chose to not come into work everyday anymore, but they are always a member of our community. As time passes we are constantly reminded of their impact. With the Professor’s message we constantly drive to safe customers compressed air energy, and Joe always reminded us that we are here for the customer first, and if you can, help them in any way you should.

But, of course, the messages from those two individuals are the result of EXAIR’s company culture, our product’s ability to solve customer problems, and EXAIR’s commitment to customer service.

Contact an Application Engineer today to join our family of customers.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Cleaning A Super Air Knife? Know Your Materials.

IMG_5227

An Aluminum Super Air Knife, disassembled and showing how a clean unit should look

While having dinner with some friends a few days ago, another engineer in the room asked what I did for a living and where I work.  When I told them I work for EXAIR, they immediately knew the name and commented on our Super Air Knives.  This gentleman was an automation engineer and has used our Super Air Knives for automated blow off.

The ability to automate and control an instantaneous blow off makes the Super Air Knife a versatile tool in an automation application.  But, how do they stand up to cleaning over time?

The answer, is that when properly configured for the application a Super Air Knife can last indefinitely.  If the temperatures are below 82C (180F) and there is no caustic chemical used for wash-down, an aluminum knife can usually fit the bill.  But, when a caustic chemical is to be used for wash-down, a stainless steel knife, or specially configured aluminum knife must be used.

This advice was not heeded by one of our overseas customers, and the results of what happens over time are shown below.

SAK with deteriorated shim 3

Polyester shim of an aluminum Super Air Knife after the unit was cleaned with Sea Foam

SAK with deteriorated shim 4

Cap of an aluminum Super Air Knife after the unit was cleaned with Sea Foam

SAK with deteriorated shim 2

Body and cap of an aluminum Super Air Knife showing the results of improper cleaning

This customer coated the exterior of an aluminum Super Air Knife with a product by the name of Sea Foam.  The surfaces and air slot of the knife were completely covered with Sea Foam, and then the exterior was wiped down.  Over time, the Sea Foam entered into the plenum chamber of the knife and caused the polyester shim to deteriorate.

Sea Foam is a wonderful product that has found a home in many shops and maintenance departments, and for many applications it presents an excellent cleaning agent.  But, for an Aluminum Super Air Knife, it poses a problem.  But why?

Sea Foam is a combination of Isopropyl Alcohol (10%-20%), Naphtha (25%-35%), and Pale Oil (40%-60%).  Isopropyl alcohol is a solvent, naphtha is petroleum distillate that is highly flammable, and Pale Oil is a heavy distillate naphthenic oil refined from wax-free crude oil.  These characteristics make the product a “go-to” cleaner for carbon/dirt buildup, especially on metal surfaces.  But, these same characteristics are “bad news” for polyester (Aluminum Super Air Knifes use polyester shims), and over time will cause the polyester to break down (as shown in the photos above).

So, what is the solution?  First and foremost, the solution is to follow the cleaning instructions found in our Installation and Maintenance (I&M) guide.  We provide an I&M guide with every product we sell, and have free downloads available on our site here.  But, to remedy the current condition in this application we recommended one of two actions.  The first is to use a Stainless Steel Super Air Knife which will be able to handle Sea Foam.  And, the second is to make a stainless steel shim for this aluminum knife made of 0.002″ stainless steel shim stock.  Either of these solutions will not only correct the present condition, but will prevent such a problem from occurring in the future.

For our end user in this case, a short, thorough discussion with an EXAIR Application Engineer could have saved them downtime and headache.  If you have an application involving EXAIR products, never hesitate to give us a call.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with Extensions up to 72″

Have you ever walked through a facility and looked up?  Most facilities have compressed air lines, electrical conduits, HVAC duct work, lighting ballast, beams, sprinkler systems, etc. located near the ceiling.  Can you imagine the amount of dirt and debris that has been collecting up there?  I received a phone call from a food processing plant.  They knew the necessity in keeping the entire area clean, even above their equipment.  They contacted me for help in trying to remove the dirt and debris from above all the structures near the ceiling.

72" Extension on Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

72″ Extension on Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

I suggested the model 1330-72 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with a 72” (1829mm) extension.  I also suggested a model 9053 swivel fitting to help angle the 2” (51mm) Flat Super Air Nozzle, installed at the end of the extension.  The customer would use a scissor lift to reach close to the ceiling and with the 72” (1829mm) extension, they could reach all the hard-to-get areas.  The 2” (51mm) Flat Super Air Nozzle would cover a larger area above HVAC duct work and racks of pipe and conduit.  When you add the model 9053 swivel fitting, it will help in directing the force of the compressed air at the top surfaces of your target.  Adding the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun to this assembly, it makes a very reliable, durable system that can handle the banging and bumping in this application.

Dirt and dust can get everywhere, and EXAIR can help to remove it.  We carry a variety of Safety Air Guns, Super Air Nozzles, and lengths of extension pipes.  If you cannot reach it, give us a call and ask one of our Application Engineers for help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Making Safety A Priority

Everyone has heard the term “idiot-proof,” and most of us know what a misnomer it is. No matter how hard we try to ensure that nothing can go wrong with a plan, there’s always going to be that possibility. And when it does, it’s frequently going to be traceable back to human error. Of course, material failures happen, and they can be darn near impossible to predict…anyone who’s ever owned an automobile for any length of time surely knows this.

Sometimes, not keeping up with regular maintenance is to blame...

Sometimes, not keeping up with regular maintenance is to blame…

...but, it can happen to anyone, it seems.

…but, it can happen to anyone, it seems.

In the Navy, we had another term, which, curiously, none of us ever regarded as derogatory: “sailor-proof.” It, of course, meant the same thing, and its use always provoked the same warning about how difficult it was to achieve. Of course, our training, attention to detail, and self-preservation instincts ensured a pretty good track record, as far as safety goes.

I was thinking about all this when I saw, in recent news, that a British submarine shipyard had trapped two workers inside a ballast tank by accident. When banging on the hull with a tool didn’t attract anyone’s attention, one of them was able to find a spot, near the top of the tank, where his cell phone got reception and was able to call for help.

At EXAIR, we’re dedicated to safety. Not only in providing Intelligent Compressed Air Products that comply with OSHA standards in regard to use for cleaning (1910.242(b)) – and noise levels (1910.95(a)), but also in the way we do business here. We have regular “all hands” training on subjects such as hazard communication & forklift safety. We’ve got ready access to Safety Data Sheets on any product used in the shop. Clear and visible signs indicate where personal protective gear (i.e. safety glasses, ear plugs, etc.) are required. Fork lift paths are clearly defined, and nobody operates one without current and specific certification. I’ve said it before and I’m proud to say it again: Getting hurt on the job is the last thing someone has to worry about here, because safety is the first thing everybody is thinking about.

Is your company paying that kind of attention to safety? If you use compressed air products for cleaning, blow off, cooling, etc., we’ll be happy to discuss that aspect with you, just to make sure. Give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Aston Martin Vantage S broken down image courtesy Paul Townsend. Creative Commons License.

busted image courtesy Jenny oh. Creative Commons License.

The Bigger, The Better

One of my favorite hobbies over the summer months is going camping with my family. I grew up camping with my grandparents, brother and 2 cousins. My grandparents did have a camper but the majority of the time, the 4 of us kids, camped behind the trailer in tents. My wife on the other hand was a “newbie” to the whole camping scene so when we decided to begin this adventure we purchased a low-cost, lightweight hybrid style camper so she could have all the amenities to keep her comfortable – a bed, A/C, toilet and TV.

This year we were planning on going on an early vacation in May so I wanted to get the camper out of storage and prepare it before we left so when we got back we could start our weekend camping trips right away. I headed over to the storage lot only to find a tree branch had fallen through the roof! Needless to say, I was not a “happy camper” (pun intended). Not only that but it appeared it happened some time ago as the ceiling and certain parts of the floor were getting soft from rain. I immediately called my insurance company to file a claim and dropped the unit off at my local RV shop.

Roof 1

View of branch through the roof

Ceiling 1

Uuummmm – I need to speak to the “Branch Manager”

After about a week, I received the call from the RV shop advising of the repair costs which were about $3,000 higher than the actual value of the trailer. The insurance reviewed this information and determined the unit as a total loss and would be issuing us a check for the market value of the unit. We were somewhat bummed because we really liked our little camper and the memories we shared. Our oldest son learned to ride his bike w/o training wheels and he caught his first fish while camping in that trailer. Now that my wife is on board with camping and with the extra $ in our pocket, it’s time to shop for a bigger, new camper – I am thinking 5th wheel! This also means a truck upgrade to something bigger, at least a 3/4 ton, something I am sure will make my wife happy.

Keeping with the bigger theme, here at EXAIR we recently released our NEW 1/2″ Atomizing Nozzles. The larger size allows for higher flow rates and larger coverage areas.

Model EF5010SS

NEW Model # EF5010SS – 1/2″ NPT External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

We offer the following options:

Internal Mix Narrow Angle Round Pattern – Flows up to 231 GPH, require pressurized liquid and air.

Internal Mix Wide Angle Round Pattern – Ideal for covering a large area, adjustable to a fine mist or heavy spray.

Internal Mix Flat Fan Pattern – Perfect for efficient output of costly liquids.

Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern – Provides 360° even flow in all directions.

External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern – Able to handle thicker fluids than internal mix and providing independent air and liquid control.

Siphon Fed Round Pattern – For non-pressured liquid applications, up to 24″ of suction lift.

All of the above are also available with our No Drip feature to stop the liquid flow after the air supply has been turned off.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Another Piece To The Puzzle

With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house.   Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up.  (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.

Cabinet Cooler

Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle.   Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit.  This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel.  More often than not, it’s not that easy.  We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.

This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us.  If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving.  It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.

The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options.   We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.

30 Day Guarantee

30 Day Guarantee

If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Trusty Reversible Drum Vac, 16 Years Later

This week a customer sent us a Reversible Drum Vac to refurbish. From time to time a Reversible Drum Vac may need (depending on cleanliness of the supply air) cleaning due to particulate from the compressed air line landing inside the air chamber of the Reversible Drum Vac. EXAIR regularly rebuilds, cleans and tests Reversible Drum Vacs that customers send in to have us return them to new condition. You can also easily refurbish the Drum Vac at your facility: Here is a link to our How-To video for cleaning your Reversible Drum Vac. This particular Reversible Drum Vac though was clearly special.

IMG_5195

16 Year Old Laser Marked Reversible Drum Vac

IMG_5194

16 Year Old Laser Marked Reversible Drum Vac

At first glance, the Reversible Drum Vac had been laser marked by the customer to permanently label their unit. The customer just so happened to be a laser marking shop, so I’m sure it was convenient for them. But digging deeper, the company originally purchased the unit in 1999, this Reversible Drum Vac could get its Learner’s Permit in most states. During the 16 years our customer was using the Reversible Drum Vac, we never heard from them. After 16 years they contacted us but not for a problem. They just wanted us to clean and inspect the unit to ensure maximum efficiency. This unit, though a bit dirty, was still operating very well. EXAIR put it through our refurbish process and brought it back to performance specifications that matched a new product.

The Reversible Drum Vac is a compressed air operated vacuum that attaches to a 55 gallon drum to create a vacuum that can also empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds. The Reversible Drum Vac pulls a vacuum on the drum creating a siphon the pulls the liquid into the drum. With this technology the liquid never pass through the Reversible Drum Vac, which leads to its tremendous longevity. It is the perfect vacuum to empty coolant sumps, isolate contaminated liquids, or clean floor spills. The Reversible Drum Vac have no motors to wear out or impellers to clog so they last longer than their electrically operated counterparts.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

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