Force And Flow…Which One Is The Right Tool For The Job?

If you’re even a casual, occasional reader of the EXAIR Blog, you know we write an awful lot about efficiency…namely, the ability of engineered products to conserve compressed air, while optimizing its effectiveness. Oftentimes, these blogs are inspired by a conversation we’ve had with a user of simple and inexpensive (but wasteful and unsafe) blow off devices, such as open-end tubing, or drilled pipes. The first thing the caller wants to talk about is the force produced by one of our products…will it be the same as what’s being currently used?

The quick answer is no. In fact, if you’re looking for maximum force, there’s no better way to get it than simply blowing compressed air out the end of an open pipe. This has to do with nothing more complicated that grade school science – converting the potential energy (due to the compression of the air) to kinetic energy (what happens when it’s put into motion.) See, with an open-end blow off, almost all of the potential energy is converted to force. Plain old brute force. And it works GREAT for blowing stuff around…the larger the opening, and the higher the supply pressure; the more air will flow, and faster. Thing is, to produce a good blow off, you don’t need maximum force.

EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to use some of that potential energy of the compressed air to entrain large amounts of “free” air from the surrounding environment. That’s the purpose of the jets recessed between the fins of our Super Air Nozzles, and the Coanda profile of our Air Knives, Air Wipes, & Air Amplifiers.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

These designs reduce the amount of compressed air that is used, which reduces the load on your air compressor, which makes everyone happy (OK, maybe not that happy, but pretty happy still.) They also mean that your blow offs will be quieter, and safer.

Perhaps your application calls for higher force. If that’s the case, EXAIR’s Air Knives, Air Amplifiers, and Air Wipes can be fitted with thicker shims for additional flow and force. So can our Flat Super Air Nozzles. And our largest High Force Super Air Nozzles are capable of generating up to 23lbs (10.4KG) of force.

Perhaps, though, your application calls for the highest force that can only be achieved with an open-end blow off. If that’s the case, you can still meet OSHA compliance through the use of extra protective equipment, pressure relief valves, guarding devices, etc. But the costs of those measures can make the cost of engineered products pale in comparison, so I highly recommend you make sure of what you need.

If we can be of any assistance with that, give us a call.  We can discuss your application, and get you the right tool for the job.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Static Eliminators Assist Truck Headlight Assembly

This week I was contacted by an automation company who was contracted to assemble new truck headlights. The 2 parts in the process are the lens and the body and they are brought into a machine on 2 separate lines running parallel to each other. A robot arm picks up the lens and holds it in place against the body while a thin layer of glue is placed around the edge. The finished product is then sent down line where it travels under an inspection light to check for any captured debris and to ensure a proper seal. It was at this point they noticed residual internal dust on both pieces which caused an inspection fail and created a large amount of rework and/or scrap, so they called EXAIR for help.

The customer set up an online meeting where they were able to show an illustration of the process. Since these parts are plastic, their potential for holding a static charge increases. These lenses are also recently removed from the mold which may also be causing a static charge as they are separated from the mold. At the time of the call the lenses were brought in 2 at a time, face down over an opening in the bottom of the table where they use compressed air to blow them clean. The customer had not considered that static may be holding the dust on the surface of the lenses and that a static elimination process could provide a solution. The opening under the lenses was approximately 12″ (300mm) long x 6″ (150mm) wide so I recommended using our Model # 111012, 12″ Super Ion Air Knife and mounting the unit under the opening, directing the airflow blow out the inside of the lens. The Super Ion Air Knife produces a high velocity, laminar sheet of ionized airflow across the entire length of the knife capable of dissipating 5kV in .018 seconds when 6″ away and operating at 80 PSIG supply pressure.

Super Ion Air Knife

Super Ion Air Knife available up to 108″ in one-piece construction.

For the body application, the parts were again brought in 2 at a time, face down but there were (2) smaller openings, approximately 4″ (150mm) x 4″ (150mm) so I recommended using (2) of our Model # 7194-9362, Stay Set Ion Air Jets and mounting one unit at each opening. blowing back up inside the body.  The Stay Set Ion Air Jet produces a more focused ionized airflow and allows you to bend the hose to deliver the airflow to the critical area.

7294-9362

Stay Set Ion Air Jet easily directs ionized airflow and holds position.

Since both processes are being performed in close proximity, on one machine, they were able to use our Model # 7940 Power Supply (115V, 50/60Hz) with 4 outlets to operate all 3 ionizers, simplifying the setup and installation.

If you are experiencing a static issue in your facility, give us a call, we are here to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

What Video Would You Like To See?

Over the past several years we have posted nearly 75 videos to our YouTube channel.   Our channel has just received a fresh new layout to help you better find the videos you are looking for.   The videos on our YouTube channel vary from Featured Product Videos, Professor Penurious videos, and all of the Application Engineer’s Tips and tricks videos that span across all product lines.

The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel

The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel

The ideas for the A.E. Tips and Tricks videos are all spawned from our daily conversations with customers.   So that brings me to ask you, our reader: “What would you like to see next?

If there is a certain EXAIR product you would like to see more of, or maybe you aren’t sure if you are using your EXAIR product to its full potential, let us know through comments, tweets, calls, emails or even faxes.  We’ll see what we can do to make a video that will help you, as well as see if we can’t help while we are in contact with you.

So shoot us a message and we will do our best to help as fast as we possibly can.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Using Water and Air to Clean or Cool Cylindrical Parts

In the last year EXAIR has released two products that aid in cleaning and cooling cylindrical shapes. The liquid sprayed from our AT1010SS Internal Mix Spray Nozzle creates a 360° Hollow Circular Pattern that is excellent for cleaning the inner diameter of a pipe, a casting, or a bore. The 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle is an air only nozzle that is designed to clean, dry or cool the inside diameter of a hose or tube and also effective cleaning out channel. These products can be used in conjunction to create a more powerful system than either component by itself.

360 degree Internal Mix Hollow Circular Pattern

AT1010SS – 360° Internal Mix Hollow Circular Pattern

The AT1010SS spray nozzle can be used in a variety of applications. As I mentioned above the 360° spray pattern is great for spraying out the inside of a pipe or duct-work. In addition to these applications, the nozzle can be used to cover a wide area with spray patterns up to 53 inches in diameter. This wide spray area can be used for humidification, dust suppression, cooling or sanitizing. The 303 stainless steel construction of the nozzle will hold up to a variety of chemicals and environments.  These nozzles can cover a significant area while using a relatively small amount of air and liquid. The AT2010SS is also available which features EXAIR’s No Drip design (patent pending), which will positively shut off the liquid flow when air pressure is removed. This eliminates unwanted drips which can ruin surfaces and waste expensive liquids. The 360° Circular Hollow spray pattern is a versatile nozzle that covers a variety of applications.

The EXAIR Model 1006SS - Back Blow Nozzle

The EXAIR Model 1006SS – Back Blow Nozzle

The 1006SS back blow nozzle features a number of orifices around the outside of the nozzle which force air back toward the operator and away from the air inlet. In most applications this will be used to pull water, chips, coolant, or debris out of the end of a pipe, channel, or tubing to clean the inner diameter. The Back Nozzles will typically be offered with a chip shield to contain any chips or debris from blowing towards the operator.

These two nozzles used in conjunction would work great to cool, clean, and dry the inside of, say, a welded pipe. The AT1010SS could be used to flush the inside of the pipe with water to cool the weld and blow out and weld slag or grinding dust from preparing the area. The 1006SS could pull out the water or debris from the inside of the pipe. The AT1010SS can be reinserted to spray the inside of the pipe with a rust inhibitor to maintain the quality of the weld until installation.  These nozzles work well together to clean the ID of the channel, tube or hose in your application.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Stack’em Up

Pick and Place Robot Arm

Pick and Place Robot Arm

A customer was having a problem with stacking plastic parts after an injection molding process.  The robotic arm removes the part from the mold, trims the part by a die cutter, and then stacks the part into a tote.  The problem occurred when stacking the plastic part into multiple columns inside a tote for shipping.  Static was generated and became strong enough to “slide” the part out of position.  They needed a solution to reduce the downtime required to realign the stacks.

Knowing that non-conductive materials can generate static from rubbing, sliding, and trimming, we focused on the best area for elimination.  With this application, we went after the trimming process.

When it comes to static elimination, EXAIR has multiple products for multiple applications.  Due to the process, we were dealing with varying distances between the static eliminator and the stacked parts.  Two Super Ion Air Knives (SIAK) were chosen to both cover the area properly and to provide a static eliminating air stream over the necessary distance. Being that the ions will not pass through the product, we had to use one SIAK for the top of the target and another SIAK for the bottom of the target.  The idea was to hit both sides of the target to completely neutralize the parts.

We were able to locate one SIAK about 12” (30 cm) from the bottom surface of the part.  The robot arm was able to carry the part across the ion air stream from the die cutter to the tote.  We located the second SIAK near the tote to neutralize the top of the parts.  The tote was 36” (91.5 cm) deep and we had to accommodate for the variation in distance caused by the stacking height, we used a longer SIAK to “shoot” the entire area inside the tote with ionized air.  As the parts were placed in each column, the top surfaces of the parts were now neutralized.  The parts were able to be stacked onto each other as originally designed.

With a variety of static elimination products, EXAIR is able to accomplish many more solutions for difficult applications.  If you feel that static is an issue, you can always contact one of our application engineers to help you.

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

 

Image courtesy of Nick O’Neill Creative Commons License

There Must Be A Better Way To Save…

 

I’m writing this blog at almost the top-dead-center midpoint of Spring Break week. My teenage sons have been “enjoying” their time off thus far with the housekeeping duties their mother has been assigning them, and the labor they’ve been providing their uncle, as he installs a new garage door for us…the one my mother-in-law paid for. I definitely married out of my league.

The last half of Spring Break, though, we’re taking a little vacation. We looked at the activities and attractions at our destination, came up with a plan on what to do and when (including an analysis of the 10 day weather forecast…which prompted me to find our rain ponchos) and have even purchased some tickets in advance, because advertising “5% SAVINGS!” on stuff really works on me, even when it’s on a $20 ticket. Before you grab your calculator, yeah…that’s a dollar. But since there are four of us, I’ve multiplied our savings by 400%! Yes; I know…four bucks.  Still, I’ll take it.

We talk to folks almost every day who want, like I do, to save money on goods and services they’re going to purchase anyway. Some have performed comprehensive energy audits, and identified opportunities to lower their compressed air generation and/or consumption rates. Others have just been looking at the bent copper tubes that are blowing off their parts and thinking there has to be a better way.

(Full disclosure: I’ve had these two exact conversations so far this week.)

Today, I want to tell you about the latter: It’s an aluminum casting plant with about a dozen lines where a robot grabs a fresh casting from the machine, dips it in a quench tank, and holds it in front of an array of copper tube blow offs for a few seconds before placing it in a bin, bound for the machine shop. Not only were they blowing at it from both sides with the copper tubes, but they were also blowing continuously…including the majority of the cycle time that did NOT include holding the part in the air flow.  Dear reader, if you’re familiar AT ALL with the EXAIR blog, you’ll know that we simply cannot abide that. Continuous flow when flow is only needed a fraction of the time is wasteful and expensive. Not to mention blowing air out of open tubes is dangerous, loud and requires and unneccessary volume of compressed air.

It's like they WANT to upset us.  What's up with that?

It’s like they WANT to upset us. What’s up with that?

They installed (2) Model 110018 18” Aluminum Super Air Knives, in place of the copper tubing, which cut down on their air consumption…and noise levels…considerably. I gave them some further recommendations on reprogramming the robot to turn the part in front of one Air Knife, and using an EFC Electronic Flow Control to turn the air off when a part was not present.

EXAIR's EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.

EXAIR’s EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.

Is there a better way to use the compressed air in your facility? Whether you’ve got comprehensive data from a detailed audit, or if that open pipe is just too darn loud, all the time – give me a call…we’ll find out.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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FREE Vac-U-Gun Offer!

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog titled, Spring Cleaning All Around, outlining just a few of the many  features of our Industrial Housekeeping Products. All of these products are compressed air operated, have no moving parts and require no electricity, making them a safe and virtually maintenance free option for industrial clean up.

We are currently running a promotional offer, where if you purchase one of these products by May 31, 2015, we will include a FREE Vac-U-Gun, a $98 Value!!! (Use the promotional model number within the promo to receive the offer).

Vac-U-Gun Promo

Just click the photo for the promotional Model #

The Vac-u-Gun can be used as a blow gun, vacuum or for product transfer. Using only 13 SCFM @ 80 PSIG of compressed air, the unit produces a high output airflow on one end and creates a vacuum on the other end. In blow off mode, the unit provides 9 ounces of high velocity, forceful airflow. By changing the orientation of the nozzle insert, the unit can be converted into vacuum mode, producing -29.5″ H20 vacuum, use the bag attachment for general clean up. The output end can be connected to an 1-1/4″ smooth bore hose, allowing for the transferring of dry media. Again, there are no moving parts or electricity required to operate, so you get the convenience of 3 separate tools all in one single, safe hand held device!

Vac-u-Gun orientation

Simply change the nozzle insert orientation to quickly change between blowoff mode or vacuum mode.

Of course, if you need any assistance with selecting the right Industrial Housekeeping Product, you can always contact an application engineer.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

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