Drying A Heat Exchanger In Thailand

heat exchanger 1

Heat exchanger

heat exchanger 2

Heat exchanger

I was contacted by an end user of EXAIR products in Thailand looking for a way to remove water within their process.  The exact need was to blow off heat sink fins of a heat exchanger after leak testing.  To leak test, they would pressurize the heat exchanger and submerge in water, checking for air leaks.  After passing this test, the heat exchanger is transported to a conveyor line to be heated and dried.

Heat Exchanger schematic

Schematic of the heat exchanger drying process

The heat exchanger is rather large and heavy – 1200mm wide x 3000mm long x 500mm tall (approximately 47.25” wide x 118” long x 20” tall) and 300 kg (660 pounds) – and it slowly moves down a conveyor at 5m/min (16.5 ft/min).  When travelling down the conveyor, a need was identified for an efficient blow off to remove the residual water from the heat exchanger fins.

To remedy this need, we (EXAIR and our Thai distributor, OilPure) recommended (3) 48” Super Air Knives, installed along the width of the heat exchanger.  Two of these units are to be mounted on the top to blow the water through the fins of the heat exchanger, and a third is to be mounted on the bottom to remove any residual water left clinging to the fins.  Here’s a schematic of the proposed setup. We ultimately recommended to blow the top Super Air Knives straight down for maximum force air to assist the water through the fins.

heat exchanger solution

To support the knives, (3) 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are recommended (per knife)

We added an Electronic Flow Controller to turn off the compressed air  during down time between heat exchangers.  By turning off the compressed air when no blow off is needed, we save compressed air and save cost in the process.

By understanding the need and specifics of the application, we were able to make a confident recommendation for this customer.  If you have a problem in your application and think an EXAIR solution could help, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help sort out all the details.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Thinking “Inside” the (Election) Box

With Election Day coming up in November and everyone gearing up for next year’s presidential race, a thought popped into my head about the infamous Florida hanging chads during the Bush-Gore Race years ago. What if the Florida Election Board had installed an EXAIR product to blow the chads away as they were punched through the ballet? True, I do not think it would have resolved all the chads still hanging, but it might have blown enough away that there would have been less questionable votes. Although not really practical – air compressors at each booth?! – and likely not feasible or economical, it still is an interesting idea. Running with it a bit, what could they have used? EXAIR offers many different ways to accomplish blowoff. In this case, two options come to mind: air knife and safety air gun.

A standard air knife (dictated by budget, after all), the length of the ballet, could be installed on one the side of the election booth. As the chads are pushed through, the air would blow underneath to push them into a trough on the other side of the booth. Unobtrusive, easy, no mess.

The second option is the safety air gun. This is a bit more manual and would probably need to have the voters trained in use to insure privacy. The soft grip version is a definite; Florida has more senior citizens than any other state and comfort is a must. In this scenario, the voter would vote, then pick up the ballet and use the air gun to spray the chads off to one of the booth’s back corners were the chads would drop down into a collection chute to the rear underneath. I feel this method would not be quite as successful as the first, for a multitude of reasons – dexterity, blowing the ballet away, potentially messy, voter misconduct, etc.

In the years since, states have gotten away from using chad-type ballets. But if you are reading this and your state is still hanging and stuck with chads, you may want to suggest an EXAIR method of helping out in the next election. Just imagine the headline: “Compressed Air Decides Election!”

John Pinchek
Application Engineer

The Time When The Only Thing Better Than An EXAIR Product…

…was another EXAIR product. And actually, it happened twice, just today:

  • An insulation manufacturer was using an open pipe blow off to push air into a five foot wide “blanket” of their product to uniformly flatten it, and blow stray fibers out and into a vacuum system for recycling. They tried a Super Air Knife, which blew the stray fibers out just fine, but didn’t produce the flatness they desired, even with additional shims installed. They then experimented with a manifold system, using a series of Model 1104 High Force 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzles, which provided the force required to blow the loose fibers out, and to produce the uniform material thickness. With a sound level of only 82dBA (which you won’t find ANYWHERE ELSE from a device that delivers 1.9 lbs of force,) they’ve also made the area much quieter.
Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

  • A major producer of adhesive labels and specialty packaging had been using our Line Vacs extensively for scrap trim removal. They tried them on a new application where the trim was very lightweight. I’ve written before about When You Can Use An Air Amplifier, or A Line Vac, or…Either? – and this was again the case. They tried a couple of Adjustable Air Amplifiers: a Model 6044 4″ unit for the larger pieces, and a series of Model 6043 3″ units to gather in the rest, as the product traversed the production line.

Normally, we like to reserve our bragging on EXAIR products to how much better they’ll perform than the competition’s.  Which we do regularly, and we’ve got the data & experience to back it up.  But, with such a diverse product line, there are going to be situations – like these – where more than one product might fit the bill.  If this is the case, give us a call; we’re here to help you get the most out of your compressed air usage – whichever EXAIR product that may be!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Spending Some Extra Time Can Save Money (and Stress)

If you are familiar with our blog, you will see where I have recently written about coaching my oldest son’s pee wee football team this year. Things slowed down this past week as the team had a bye so that meant a “free” weekend or as my wife called it – “a chance to do some of the things you have put off over the last few months”. On the top of the list was painting our bedroom.


Not my idea of a fun weekend!

My oldest son loves to help with projects and I never want to discourage him so when he asked if he could help, of course the answer was “yes”. Not only did this mean I had to spend some extra $ to get some supplies “for kids”, as he put it, I also needed to spend some time explaining what he needed to do. As we started to prep the walls, I went ahead and cut in around the ceiling, doors, baseboard and trim. My plan was that I would paint the top portion of the wall while he worked on the lower. I set up his little roller and watched him paint about a 4 foot wide section and much to my surprise he did a pretty good job. My wife needed a hand with our infant son, so I felt somewhat confident leaving our oldest unsupervised for a few minutes. BIG mistake!

When I got back upstairs, he had painted over the baseboard, trim and managed to drip paint all over the hardwood floors. When I asked him what happened, he responded with “well dad, I wanted to hurry because it’s really nice outside and I NEED to go out and play! Besides you said you were going to have to clean up anyway”. Go outside son, PLEASE, go outside and play. Now not only did I have to clean up the paint, but I also had to spend more money on new baseboard and trim because there is no way I was going to be able to salvage his masterpiece. Maybe I should have spent a little while longer explaining the process? Regardless, my next few moments of “free” time have all been filled.

Taking the time to review your compressed air system can be very important to your company’s efficiency. In many industrial settings/facilities, the compressed air system is an opportunity for savings and efficiency. In fact, the largest motor in a plant is often on the compressor itself. Leaving a small compressed air leak unattended or using an inefficient blowoff for a long period of time can result in very expensive electrical waste. This excessive expense and waste can negatively affect a company’s profit margin as well as reduce performance and increase production costs.

Luckily, EXAIR can help optimize your compressed air system by using our 6 Simple Steps:

6 steps

Measure the compressed air usage using a flow meter. Once you have identified your usage, you can work on finding a more efficient alternative.

Use a leak detector to locate expensive, wasteful leaks.

Replace the inefficient sources with a more efficient engineered solution

Operate the compressed air only when it’s needed. Our Electronic Flow Control (EFC) is an ideal choice to use for on/off service or to set up on a timed basis.

Install a Receiver Tank to provide additional compressed air supply for applications requiring large amounts of compressed air.

Control the supply pressure to the device using a regulator. Sometimes operating at lower pressure can still be effective and can reduce the overall energy cost of the operation. 

While I can’t recommend my son to lend (2) little helping hands, I might be able to provide some assistance with optimizing your compressed air system. Give us a call at 800-903-9247 to see how we can help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


Painting Supplies image courtesy of TedsBlog via Creative Commons License


A Matter of Choice

They say having multiple choices in life is a good thing.  This is also true when it comes to spray nozzles, specifically EXAIR’s atomizing nozzles.

Spray nozzles in action.

Spray nozzles in action.

Atomizing nozzles are used to coat, cool, treat, and paint products.  They are also useful for dust mitigation.  EXAIR offers a variety of nozzles, all stainless steel construction for durability and corrosion resistance, that allow for many different spray patterns.   The nozzles only come with two inlet sizes – 1/4NPT and 1/2NPT,  but this is not really the choice-limiting factor it sounds to be.  There are a variety of spray patterns and liquid volume outputs available per size.  The way the air and liquid mix together creates the style of nozzle, they are Internal, External, Siphon Fed, No Drip Internal, No Drip External, and No Drip Siphon Fed.   On top of that, with each mix style and size, there are a large number of spray patterns available.  More choices!

Internal mix nozzles mix a liquid (viscosities up to 300cP) and air, both pressure fed, inside the air cap and produce the finest atomization.  External mix nozzles mix a liquid (viscosities above 300cP) and air, both pressure fed, outside the air cap and allow the liquid and air flows to be adjusted independently.  These nozzles have the highest flow rate and are best used where precise liquid flow is needed.  Siphon Fed nozzles require no liquid pressure.  They can be used with gravity fed liquids (viscosity up to 200cP) or liquids from a siphoned height up to 36in.

The spray patterns available are:  Flat Fan, Deflected Flat Fan, Wide Angle Flat Fan, Narrow Angle Flat Fan, 360° Hollow Circular, Round, Wide Angle Round, and Narrow Angle Round.   Each pattern is different and is tailored for certain usages.  Think of how you use your garden hose.  Many of the patterns and their uses are the same.

Mix and match to meet your needs.  With all the combinations available, you should have no problem finding the perfect pattern for your application.  If you find this plethora of choices to be a bit overwhelming and need assistance, please contact an EXAIR Application Engineer at 1-800-903-9247; we would be happy to assist.

John Pinchek
Application Engineer

Compressed Air Technology Solves Problems In Multiple Applications


The Heavy Duty Dry Vac family

I received a phone call from an engineer at a coffee manufacturer about a better method to transfer their coffee beans before and after roasting, and after grinding.  The application was similar to processes I saw a few years ago during a customer visit with our Costa Rican distributor, so I was thankfully able to visualize the process fairly well and knew that our air operated conveyors (Line Vacs) could provide a solution.

The conveyance problem was what initially interested this customer in EXAIR products, though after further discussions, we also uncovered a need to vacuum spilled coffee grounds from the floor, sometimes in rather large quantities.

Customer: “It’s a shame you don’t sell these (Line Vacs) as complete vacuum systems.”

EXAIR: “Actually, we do.”

Customer: “Where is that on your site??  We have electric vacs and are BURNING them up!”

I directed the engineer to our Industrial Housekeeping Products, ultimately settling on the Heavy Duty Dry Vac for this application.  Initially, we explored using a Chip Vac, which would have worked well.  But, the customer wanted to vacuum any spilled material as quickly as possible, so the higher vacuum flow of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac proved to be an important feature.  The Heavy Duty Dry Vac also offers a static resistant hose, something else that the customer highly valued.

By solving one problem we were able to uncover another and offer a solution for it as well.  If you have a problem for which a fast, efficient, maintenance free vacuum system could offer a solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Air Operated Conveyor Provides Solution for Glue Pellet Transfer

As companies move to other facilities or are expanding inside their own, sometimes you have to get creative with your system. In this situation, a paper facility had to move their glue line to make room for another project. The system included a transfer module for moving hot melt pellets from a storage bin into a hopper where it was heated and applied.   In the move, they could not locate the transfer module close enough to the glue line for safety reasons. They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help.

In discussing their layout, the best location would be to place the transfer module on the other side of an office pod but the transfer module could not move the hot melt pellets that distance. They needed to move the hot melt pellets about 20 feet horizontally and about 6 feet vertically to reach their glue line hopper, something an EXAIR Line Vac can accomplish. We decided to use a model 6083 1 ½” Aluminum Line Vac to help out. The conveyance rate would keep up with the transfer module, and it had enough power. The pellets would be transferred to a nearby bin by the module. Then the Line Vac would move it from the bin, over the office pod, and into the hopper on the other side.   With the transfer module out of the way and the hot melt pellets still feeding the glue line, they were able to continue operating the system.


Line Vac

Line Vac – EXAIR’s air operated conveyor.

If you ever need to get creative to solve a process, production or safety problem, you can always contact one of the Application Engineers at EXAIR for help. We have years of experience with our compressed air products to coat, conserve, cool, convey and clean.


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


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