OSHA Violation?

You may have had a visit from OSHA (or other regulating authority) in the past. We have had them here and we also speak to customers daily who have had the pleasure. Typically our customers need to address a pressure or noise violation, and need help finding the right product to get them right with OSHA.

Recently, I spoke with a customer that was visited by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).   If you do not know, OSHA is a federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health.   In order to protect workers, they can enforce fines and penalties for violations.  This customer had a very common violation with their compressed air guns.  They were too loud, and they may not meet the dead-end pressure requirement.  Many companies will modify their compressed air guns to better fit their application.  The problem occurs when they modify them to the point that the products no longer meet the OSHA standards.  You have to make sure that you meet 29CFR Part 10910.95 (a), which addresses the maximum allowable noise exposure your personnel can experience, and 29CFR Part 1910.242(b) which addresses the maximum pressure allowable at the outlet of an air product.

My customer sent me a picture of the compressed air gun that they were currently using (shown below).  The problem was the noise level was too high.  With this “open pipe” design of a nozzle, the noise level was exceeding 100 dBA.  This was a major concern.  The number of hours that an operator used this noisy air gun exceeded the OSHA exposure limit.  The customer called EXAIR because he needed to replace his existing air guns with quiet safety air guns.  The main component of an air gun is the nozzle.  It is like buying a great paint gun, and if the spray nozzle is cheap, you cannot lay a nice spray pattern of paint.

Compressed Air Gun

Compressed Air Gun which produced a noise violation. 

In his application, he needed 6” (152mm) to reach into and around his product.  I suggested a model 1310-6 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with a 6” extension.  With the model 1100 Super Air Nozzle attached, the noise level was decreased to 74 dBA, and if checked by OSHA, it will not exceed the 30 PSIG pressure standard either.  With the unique design of the nozzle, it entrains ambient air to help create a powerful force to remove the chips.  With the 1310-6 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun, the customer was happy and OSHA was happy.

1310 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

1310 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun, does not produce a noise violation. 

We are all individually in charge of safety.  To help meet the OSHA standards, EXAIR has a variety of Safety Air Guns and nozzles to make your operation quiet and safe.   It can become very costly if you are in OSHA violation.  If you need help in determining which product would best fit your application, you can contact us at EXAIR at 800-903-9247 and speak to one of the Application Engineers.

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

Blowing Aluminum Chips From A Machine Spindle


Machine spindle in need of efficient blow off

When a CNC tool change occurs, it is not uncommon for there to be some residual debris still in the workspace.  The machining process creates chips, fines, and material strings which can litter the machine from top to bottom.  Most of these chips are collected or blown away, but sometimes debris can elude these collection methods.

Such was the case for an EXAIR customer earlier this week.  Their existing systems were doing a decent job of keeping the workspace debris contained, but there was a limitation when it came to the machine spindle.   When the collet of the spindle would change, small chips and fines would contaminate the area.  These chips and fines would then disrupt the surface-to-surface contact between the spindle and collet, resulting in improper fit and an inability to use the tooling.


Alternate view of the workspace

What this application needed was an efficient way to blow off the spindle, but there was a catch – the blow off couldn’t be any closer than 12”, to allow any tool changes to take place without crashing.  Fortunately, we have a wide variety of air nozzles with a full range of force values.

So, we only needed to determine the compressed air supply available for the application.  From there, we would be able to determine applicable nozzles and their force values, thereby determining which nozzle/s to use.

Normally when I inquire about compressed air supply the customer has a reciprocating or screw compressor, producing a few hundred SCFM.  In this case, the customer had centrifugal compressors producing over 25,000 SCFM of compressed air!  But, while this creates some excess in terms of compressed air availability, it doesn’t change our approach to the solution.  The blow off solution should still use the least amount of compressed air possible.

We came to select model HP1125SS to provide the needed blow off, using two nozzles aimed at the spindle from a distance of 12”.  Just prior to tool changes and/or collet changes, and during the change process, the HP1125SS nozzles will turn on, removing any chips, strings, fines, or residual coolant from the area.  Each HP1125SS nozzle will produce 2.2 pounds of force at the required distance of 12”, enough to remove any debris found in the machining center.

Through a phone call and a series of emails we were able to help this customer find a solution to their blow off needs.  If you have a similar need or an application you think could benefit from an EXAIR solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.


Lee Evans
Application Engineer

How to Prepare a Turkey the EXAIR Way – Happy Thanksgiving!

Knowing many of you may be out next week, or seemingly distracted by the thought of Mom’s (or Dad’s) home cooking – we would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy any time off, and your families and friends.


The EXAIR team

Safety, Compliance, And Certifications

News broke the other day about an accident at a manufacturing facility not far from us. Two workers’ arms were crushed when a machine malfunctioned. That’s the short story – there is, no doubt, going to be an intensive investigation where the details will be brought to light. For now, the lives of two people who showed up at work to do their jobs have been drastically and permanently changed, and that’s got me thinking (and writing) about safety, compliance, and certifications today.

EXAIR Corporation takes safety very seriously in every sense and every way:

*Design. All of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to meet OSHA standards regarding dead end pressures and sound levels.

*Production, part I. We have exacting standards and procedures that govern the machining, manufacturing, assembly, and testing of every product that we make. Training, cross-training, and continuing training ensure that our products are the highest quality achievable.

*Production, part II. Speaking of training, our Production Manager conducts regular, all-hands safety training on a variety of topics. In every single training session, regardless of topic, he makes it clear that safety requires us all: from management’s responsibility for training, documentation and equipment, to operators’ attention to detail and compliance with procedures, to everyone’s diligence in watching out for, and reporting, anything that may not look right.

*Specification. Some of our products shouldn’t be used in certain applications:
-Our Static Eliminators use high voltage at a low amperage to ionize air. They can’t be used near flammable materials or gases.
Line Vacs create a high velocity, turbulent vacuum flow. Don’t use them with any material that can become an explosive mixture. Same goes for our Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, and Heavy Duty HEPA Vac.
-Speaking of Industrial Vacuums, our Reversible Drum Vacs and Chip Trappers operate by pulling a vacuum on the drum. They cannot be used with any material with a low flash point or with flammable liquids such as mineral spirits, gasoline or kerosene.

*Compliance. There are sanctioned regulatory bodies that define what makes…and keeps…products safe for use. EXAIR goes to all lengths necessary to ensure compliance and reporting with the ones pertinent to particular product lines, whether they’re CE marked, RoHS compliant, UL Listed/Recognized, etc. In fact, our products are also certified as Conflict Mineral-Free and REACH Compliant…for the safety of people involved in providing the materials that our products are made of.

CE cULlisted cULrecognized   ROHS_Vector    conflictfree

We go to every length possible to ensure that our products meet the standards that even the most demanding situations call for.

If you want to talk about safety and compliance, talk to us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun Solves Unique Problem

I worked with a customer who asked us to design a custom “air lance”  as a solution to clean the ash buildup inside their furnace chamber. Their needs included the airflow to be reversed, coverage area of about 6 – 8″ and it had to fit inside a 2-1/2″ diameter pipe with at least 2′ length of pipe to reach the inside of the chamber. They were thinking of using a section of pipe/tube with (2) of our Nano Super Air Nozzles mounted at a 20° angle to be able to blow off the inside wall of the pipe. While we have the capability of making a special built product, in many cases there is stocked option available, capable of meeting the requirements.

Considering their desired airflow requirements and clearance restraints, I recommended our Model # 1219SS-3 Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun with a 3′ extension. This unit features our 1NPT Back Blow Air Nozzle which directs the powerful 360° airflow backwards, away from the nozzle, perfect for blowing out the inside of pipes, hose or in this particular application, the inside wall of the chamber. The design of the Super Blast Safety Air Gun features a spring loaded manual valve, providing automatic shutoff and a comfortable foam grip. The 3′ extension provides the extra reach they need to get to the inside wall and the 1.75″ outside diameter of the air gun would allow the customer to easily fit the unit into their 2-1/2″ pipe.


Model # 1219SS Super Blast Back Blow Safety Air Gun

1219SS Dims

Model # 1219SS Dimensions


From our Precision Safety Air Guns, where you need to deliver a more focused airflow to our Super Blast Safety Air Guns for applications needing a lot of force over a large area or long distance, EXAIR has you covered. All of our Safety Air Guns meet or exceed the OSHA requirements for allowable noise exposure levels and 30 psi dead end pressure – our units cannot be dead ended.

If you need help selecting the best product to fit your needs, please contact an Application Engineer. Of course, if you do require a custom product, we can do that too!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


EXAIR Product Of The Year Candidate: Electronic Temperature Control for Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems

We have just found out that four of our new problem solving products have been nominated for Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year (Please Vote for us HERE).  The first candidate I would like to showcase is in the Automation & Controls category.  The Electronic Temperature Control for Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems effectively turn the compressed air supply to the Cabinet Coolers on and off as needed to maintain a constant temperature inside of a hot enclosure. Using the air intermittently to maintain a specific temperature is the most efficient way to operate.

Please Vote!

Please Vote!

The ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems work in conjunction with EXAIR’s UL listed Cabinet Cooler Systems which provide cooling for your electrical enclosures without the use of refrigerant based coolants or fans.   The Cabinet Cooler Systems utilize a compressed air driven Vortex Tube which uses compressed air. This cold compressed air is exhausted into the enclosure which results in a cool working environment for your electronics. Warm air from inside the enclosure is vented safely back out of the cabinet through built in exhausts and the compressed air is only utilized when the internal air temperature reaches the digitally set temperature on the ETC.

How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

Another added benefit of the ETC on the Cabinet Cooler system is the real time readout of the internal air temperature of your enclosures.  This is on top of the push button set point which will give you a +/-2°F ambient temperature inside of your enclosure.

EXAIR ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler System

EXAIR ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler System

The ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed for larger heat loads ranging from 3,400 BTU/hr. to 5,600 BTU/hr.   The units are available in NEMA 12, NEMA 4, and NEMA 4X ratings.   This means whether you are in a fairly clean environment or a dirty, hot, muggy environment, EXAIR has you covered.

If you would like to discuss either the ETC or the Cabinet Cooler Systems, please contact an Application Engineer.   If you would like to vote for our products, please check out the Plant Engineering Product of the Year page here.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

EXAIR Safety Air Guns: Improving Efficiency Worldwide

Back in September I wrote about how our Model 1410SS-CS Blow Guns were recommended within a Cleaning Application for castings prior to wash. Update: The customer, in India, has since implemented the suggested changes and our distributor has monitored the daily use of compressed air. At the time of the first blog we estimated 75% air savings based on the information we had from the customer. The final result was nearly 70% compressed air savings. Also, the operators report that the air guns were easier to operate and provided sufficient force for their applications.

In our continuing support of the customer, we identified three other areas within their production plant where an improvement could be made with the application of some EXAIR Heavy Duty Safety Air guns.

Blowoff 1Blowoff 2Blowoff 3

The first application is one where the frame of a tractor has been steam washed and is subsequently blown off by hand. In this application, the operator needs to get into some tight areas to get water condensate blown out before the partially assembled frame can be painted. He was using a simple, rubber hose that he would kink over and stop the air flow. No nozzle, no air gun, nothing.

The second application was one where the operator appeared to be using some sort of modified water valve like you would see under your sink or toilet in your home. This operator was charged with blowing debris from primed surfaces before painting for the sheet metal body parts that make up the tractor housing.

The last application I will mention is one where an operator was responsible for blowing off the painted surfaces as they were exiting the drying oven after paint and cure. His job was to ensure the painted surfaces were clean and cool so they could be assembled together more quickly.

When I was deliberating about which of our solutions to recommend, I wanted to try and keep things simple and interchangeable for the end user. So, I made a recommendation for all three applications to use the same Safety Air Gun. That recommendation was model 1310-12. The projected savings for all three applications is well into the 70% range. The other benefit is that using the Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns instead of these other home-made and modified solutions is that the inherent safety of the applications will also improve as will the noise generation be reduced.

We think we have a good shot at replacing the blow offs in these areas since we already had one success with proven results. This will be our second strong case for the customer to follow recommendations. So they are confident in achieving similar efficiency improvements as the first blog explains.

Do you have home-made blow offs that you use in your production areas? Do they use a lot of compressed air?  Are they safe?  Do they make a lot of noise and leak a lot?  Perhaps you would be well served to allow us to help you as well. We can make some preliminary comparisons to give you a good idea about how much air you could save. We have the EXAIR Efficiency Lab which is a service to our customers where they can send in their existing nozzle, gun or home-made item to have it tested by our engineers. We can then prepare a complete report about air flow comparisons, force, noise and what we would recommend from our offering to replace it. There isn’t any obligation to buy anything. Only the peace of mind that you made a good due diligence effort to make sure that what you are considering as a solution is better than what you have there now.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager


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