Memorial Day

It all started the year after I bought my house. My next door neighbor – a Vietnam-era veteran, Honor Flight Guardian, and the best neighbor ever – bought a bunch of American flags & poles, and asked if it would be OK to put them out along the sidewalk in front of our houses to observe the upcoming Independence Day holiday…he had enough to go all the way to the corner of our street. We all thought it was a fantastic idea. And it was just the start.

The following year, just before Memorial Day, as Monty raised the flags down our street, another row popped up around the corner. And, come Fourth of July, there were more. Now, every sidewalk in our neighborhood is decorated every Memorial Day and Independence Day, at 10- to 12-foot intervals (to be fair, nobody published a standard, so it is what it is) with the Stars and Stripes.

I DO love this neighborhood.

I DO love this neighborhood.

Memorial Day, is, of course, the day that we honor the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the great country that my awesome little neighborhood is part & parcel of. And honor it we will. There will be parades with marching bands and floats. Veteran’s groups will perform ceremonies and vigils. Military aircraft will perform fly-overs at ballgames & special events. Monty will set the flags down our sidewalk. And most of us will enjoy a long weekend.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media, reminding us of the meaning of Memorial Day, “in case you thought it was national grill-out day, just another 3-day weekend, etc.” It’s a good reminder; that much is true. But we can honor their sacrifice in celebration too. This weekend, dear reader, I encourage you to light up the grill. Go see some fireworks. Bicycle around the neighborhood (or further) with your kids.  Go camping. Sleep in. Stay up late. Spend time with friends and family. These things are the way of life that our heroes fought and died for, right?

But in the midst of whatever you do, remember them: From the Minutemen who fell at Lexington & Concord, to those who didn’t make it home from the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.  May God bless them all, and those they left behind.

In closing, as a former submariner, I am also reminded of the ninety-nine members of the crew of USS Scorpion (SSN-589,) which was lost 47 years ago today (presumed, based on last communications.)

Sailors, rest your oars.

Sailors, rest your oars.

Please enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.  It’s been paid for dearly.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day 2013 image courtesy of Tony AlterCreative Commons License

Video Blog: Meet EXAIR’s Application Engineer, Justin Nicholl

Please let me know how I can provide assistance with your compressed air application or technical questions.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

EXAIR & Tough Mudder Ohio 2015

Several months ago, maybe even last year, a group of EXAIR employees started joking and talking about trying to get a team together to do the Tough Mudder in 2015.  After several months of joking, things got serious and 4 of us signed up to do the event at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.   You may have seen a few of my blogs that involve Mid Ohio but they normally also involve a motorcycle.    The event was held on Saturday, May 9th, and was my first official “race” at Mid Ohio.   Prior to a few months ago, if you asked if I would ever “run” (I use the term run very loosely here.) a 10 mile race, I would have laughed in your face and said no way.   Let alone a 10 mile race with a whole slew of obstacles. Never underestimate the power of co-worker’s friendly chastising aimed at one’s toughness…

This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.

This was after the first wall during the pre race pump up speech / comedy show.

For the team, an Application Engineer (me), our CFO, and two from Shipping & Receiving.  As soon as we hit the first obstacle, which was a 6′ wall you had to clear in order to get to the starting line, our EXAIR mind-set kicked in.   There was no discussions on who would go first, who is going to take what position, or who is going to be the weak link.   It was simply teamwork.   We each helped where we knew our strengths were, anytime we needed a solid ballast, or good step off point, I was the man.   If we needed upper body strength, it was obvious that the handling of heavy freight found in shipping and receiving provided the necessary muscle – most definitely not me.

Needless to say, we made it through the entire course in less than three and a half hours which was absolutely shocking.   Not as shocking as the last obstacle, where we got shocked with 10kV before the finish line (see below).

Electroshock Therapy 2.0 - 10kV wires that will make any man scream.

Electroshock Therapy 2.0 – 10kV wires that will make anyone scream.

The fact of the matter is, we went there as a team, we conquered each obstacle and didn’t only worry about ourselves, but helped many others clear the same obstacles, and each one of us faced and conquered a personal fear.   For me, it was being able to complete a 10 mile run, and a slight fear of heights.  (You can see here that we had to jump out and grab onto a pendulum then swing and hit a bell, after which you would fall 12-15 feet into a pool of 15′ deep water. )

Didn't even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.

Didn’t even come close to that bell, but I did remember to let go of the swing at least.

The fact that people from three different departments in EXAIR worked so well together on something only one person on the team had ever done before speaks volumes to the environment and the way we conduct our day-to-day business here.

From the front offices, to the shipping dock, EXAIR is here to help you tackle any obstacle and face any fear you might have (involving your compressed air system that is).

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
TOUGH MUDDER FINISHER
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

3 Keys for Eliminating Static

Everyone is familiar with static electricity. It is the cause of the shocks we feel during the winter time as we shuffle our socks across a carpet. It is also the driving force behind lightning in the sky. Static electricity can be a nuisance at home, but in an industrial setting it can lead to quality issue, material faults, and hazardous sparks. Though most engineers and maintenance technicians know about static electricity not many of the them understand its intricacies, even fewer understand the best ways to mitigate static and still less understand static eliminators, known as ionizers, that can eliminate static without contacting the surface. Here are 3 keys to know about static.

First, static resides on a surface. Though a part may be charged on one surface. The opposite face of the part may be completely unaffected. Here is an example.

IMG_5038

Toner Cartridge – Static inside the plastic container attracts toner.

Even though the outside of this container is free of static the inside of the container still attracts toner to the inside surface. In order to blow out the toner from the inside of the cartridge, we needed to use a static eliminator inside the plastic container.

The second key to eliminating static is that either polarity can cause a problem. Static will cause problems if it is different between materials. Whether the charge on a surface is positive or negative doesn’t matter. It is the difference between charges that causes the attractive forces and static shock. EXAIR static eliminators utilize alternating current to create both positive and negative ions to eliminate both positive and negative ions.

The third key to properly eliminating static is that ionized air works best the closer you can be to a product. Because we eliminate both positive and negative ions, EXAIR static eliminators work best when they are blown directly on a surface that needs treated. The further the ionizer is moved from a surface the less effective it will be. EXAIR products without air assistance typically need to remain within two inches of the surface they are treating. Products with air assistance can be much farther away. It is the inlet pressure, the value of the static charge and the speed of the surface (if it is moving) which will dictate how far away an EXAIR static eliminator can be positioned.

Eliminating static is a very specialized application, it revels its self in dry conditions. It can lead to problems with webs, rollers, and idlers. If you need help with your static problem, please contact an application engineer.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Video Blog: Meet Lee Evans, One of our International Application Engineers

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

A Better Way To Extend Tool Life

Spring is here in the Midwest, and it’s a darn fine time to be outside doing stuff. I took the opportunity the other day to set out a few tomato plants in the pitifully small area we have in our yard that actually gets enough sunlight to be effective at promoting photosynthesis – a term my 7th Grade son picked up on in science class, and I’m hoping will prove to be more interesting…at times…than his video games.

Anyway, in order to do this Real Gardening Work, I had to get some tools out of their winter hibernation. I was pleased to recall that, last fall, I had taken extraordinary measures to clean, lubricate, repair, and properly store my small arsenal of dirt-working implements. So, I didn’t have to:

*push the hand spade’s handle back in, every time I pulled it from the dirt.
*pull the pruner blades back open every time I squeezed them closed.
*reassemble my “garden weasel” tilling tool with bailing wire.

I was able to do all of that, last fall, with glue, oil, and fasteners that I already had in my garage, so it cost me nothing but the time to do it. Which paid off the other day.

There are plenty of ways to extend the life of your tooling – but it all boils down to how you operate and maintain it.  I was able to apply the latter successfully, and I recently had the pleasure of discussing an application with a machine shop’s maintenance supervisor, about applying the former. He was interested in making operational improvements by replacing their messy mist coolant systems, and extending the life of their tooling. It was almost like he’d been reading our Cold Gun literature (full disclosure: he had.)

With four systems to choose from, we can help you get the right one for your application.

With four systems to choose from, we can help you get the right one for your application.

The Cold Gun Aircoolant System has proved to be a highly successful solution to both of these problems. In fact, the improvements in tool life has been documented in this detailed, long-term study by a major university’s Forestry Products Department.

If you’d like to find out more about how an EXAIR Cold Gun Aircoolant System can improve your machining, cutting or grinding operations, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Air Amplifier Provides Needed Ventilation

Behold: The Power of the Microwave!!!

Behold: The Power of the Microwave!!!

Over the weekend, my wife and I were doing some “re-organizing” upstairs (actually throwing away some old toys and clothes), when our son decided to make a snack. I heard the pantry door close so I asked, “hey bud, what are you doing down there?”  He promptly replied, “I’m just making a snack dad. How long do you normally microwave my soup?” While we questioned making soup at 9:00 AM for a snack, I reluctantly replied 2 minutes and heard the microwave begin. Slowly, a strange (awful) odor started to fill the house so I went downstairs to investigate. To my horror, I opened the microwave door to discover that he wasn’t making a snack for him, he was actually heating up a can of dog food, so his partner in crime (our dog), “could have a warm meal like us”.  I immediately took the snack to the garbage outside and attempted to remove the stench from the house. I opened a couple windows and turned on the stove exhaust but this was still not working. That’s when I started thinking it sure would be nice to have a Super Air Amplifier handy, to help evacuate some of the odor and make the house livable again.

Using a small amount of compressed air, the Super Air Amplifier entrains a large volume of surrounding air and pulls this air through the unit, resulting in a high velocity, high volume of air on the exhaust side. The intake, or vacuum, side of the Super Air Amplifier pulls in 25 parts of surrounding air for every one part of compressed air. This high volume of ambient air being moved makes the Super Air Amplifier ideal for venting and exhaust applications.

Additionally, the vacuum and exhaust ends can be ducted, which makes this a good product for moving air from one place to another or from inside to outside. They are used in many applications for assisting air circulation and available in styles which are placed in ovens (and other high temp areas), corrosive environments, and remote locations. With the large volumes of air being moved, they are also an ideal choice where cooling and drying is required.

Our Air Amplifiers entrain enormous amounts of "free" air, at ratios of up to 25:1!

The Super Air Amplifier entrains large amounts of surrounding air, at ratios of up to 25:1.

Air Amplifiers are some of the most efficient products in the extensive EXAIR line of compressed air products. They use a patented internal shim to minimize air consumption and increase air volume on the output side. The operate exceptionally quiet, are OSHA safe and CE compliant.

If you have a ventilation or fume exhausting application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Day 619 /365 – Radiation Burns, Jason Rogers  Link

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