Super Air Knife Removes Dust In Furniture Application

One of the biggest disruptions to the home furniture business in the latter half of the 20th century was the introduction of self-assembled units.  Consumers found more attractive prices for items they put together themselves, and manufacturers found a way to expand their markets.

This change, coupled with the advances in CNC machining, has led to a booming industry.  And, EXAIR Super Air Knives provide a solution within this industry that allows the manufacturer of component based furniture to package their items with better quality and at higher production rates.

SAK at IKEA 2

Cutting and routing machine

The application involved cutting and routing components in the machine above.  The machining is precise, but the manufacturer found that the bottom of the pieces held an undesirable dust, and they needed a way to remove the dust before packaging.

SAK at IKEA 1

Super Air Knife installed to blow off dust from the bottom of finished pieces

The solution was to install a Super Air Knife onto the machine, below the track rollers used to guide the ejected parts.  When the wood pieces travel over the Super Air Knife, the dust is blown away and they are completely ready for packaging.

Installing the Super Air Knife improved product quality and increased production throughput by removing a wasteful and needless process of hand treating each piece.

If you have a similar application or problem, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Trust EXAIR…We Provide Solutions

So, Brian Farno wrote a great piece on trust the other day: Why Trust EXAIR? I couldn’t agree more with his narrative of the ways in which trust permeates the culture here, is implied in every transaction (internal and external,) and is CRITICAL to our success…as individuals, and as a company.

I’ve had the pleasure of helping several people just recently by NOT recommending EXAIR products for their application. Now, that may seem counterintuitive, but they were fairly straightforward situations where we know our products just won’t work. For example:

*A conveyance application, unloading bulk material from tractor trailers. The caller needed to move hundreds of pounds per minute. Our Line Vacs have been known to move about 50 pounds per minute in certain circumstances.
*A static problem in an area with volatile vapors. Since our Static Eliminators use high voltage electricity, they can’t be used where ignition of such vapors could occur. Now, they’re shockless to touch, so they’re perfectly safe for use just about anywhere else, just so you know.
*An Air Knife application where their company management is insisting on the use of a blower. Our products are designed for use specifically, and solely, with compressed air. I actually gave them some STELLAR data on the actual costs of operating an engineered Super Air Knife versus a similarly rated blower/fan type device, so I have high hopes of moving this one to the “Win” column. And soon.

These are a few examples where we were able to apply, up front, our knowledge of our products’ capabilities…and limitations. For times when we might not know (yet,) we can find out, right here in the Efficiency Lab. Oftentimes, these are comprehensive tests of existing product, performed in direct comparison to EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products. This is a service we’ll provide you for free, if you want to send in your current product(s) for testing. No cost; no obligation; no wait…we strive to test within a day of receiving your shipment.

Other times, someone wants to know if they can use a particular product in conjunction with another. One such caller was a current user of our Vac-u-Guns, but had a need for a fixed device. They asked about using a Model 6082 1-1/4” Aluminum Line Vac, mounted right where they wanted to suction up debris, depositing it directly into a Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag. I was able to set this up quite easily, and did a little informal test with some coffee grounds, paper clips, and a few coins…it performed superbly with all of these, so they placed the order. I then found out that they were blowing the debris off their part with an EXAIR Model 1100-9318 ¼” NPT Super Air Nozzle w/Stay Set Hose & Mag Base – so this made the application a total EXAIR solution!

A small Line Vac & Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag make for a quick, compact & convenient debris collection system.

A small Line Vac & Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag make for a quick, compact & convenient debris collection system.

We perform testing of this nature all the time, because we don’t want to tell you something if we don’t know it to be true. If you have an idea for, or questions about, an EXAIR product, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Painting a clear picture

While we are waiting for the new addition to our family, we started making plans to move our first son into the second bedroom, his current playroom. We asked him what colors he wanted and without hesitation he rattled off….. “I want blue on the bottom, gray on the top and black in the middle” (chair rail). My wife and I cringed at the black chair rail and offered maybe a charcoal gray? or maybe just white? but these were NOT going to be options. The boy knows what he wants, “Dad, I am going to be a big brother now so I need a big boy room”.

We headed out to the local home improvement store to get some paint samples. Our son stood in amazement (confusion) as he gazed at the hundreds of different shades of blues and grays. He took one card after another until his hands were full and that’s about the time a store employee noticed his struggle and offered some assistance. The paint company provides the store with a touchscreen where you can design a room , complete with a chair rail and compare the different paint codes to see the various combinations together. This saved us a huge amount of time as our son was able to match up the colors he wanted, avoiding the potential for multiple trips back and forth to the store and eliminated wasting several gallons of paint.

This got me thinking…. Here at EXAIR, we receive calls from customers who are looking to replace their wasteful, loud and unsafe open pipe blowoffs with one our engineered air nozzles. All of EXAIR’s Air Nozzles and Jets meet the OSHA Standard 1910.42(b) for 30 psi dead end pressure (cannot be dead ended) and OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a) for allowable noise exposure levels. Since we offer so many different nozzles, it can sometimes be confusing, but EXAIR has you taken care of with our Air Nozzles and Jets and High Force Air Nozzles Comparison Chart(s). The charts are sorted by compressed air consumption (when operating at 80 PSIG) and provides the nozzle Model #, material of construction, inlet size, air consumption, force and sound level, making it easy to match to your existing setup.

Air Nozzles and Jets Comparison Chart

Air Nozzles and Jets Comparison Chart

 

High Force Air Nozzles

High Force Air Nozzles Comparison Chart

Of course, if you are still unsure, you can always contact an Application Engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Why EXAIR Static Eliminators Are Better Than Passive Eliminators

The question comes up quite a bit around this time of year as to why an EXAIR Static Eliminator is better than using a passive static eliminator to eliminate the static.   To further the explanation of a passive static eliminator, it is typically called static tinsel and is found in a variety of forms. Passive eliminators are grounded wire or strap and must come in contact with the surface of a part in order to dissipate the static charge on only that surface.  This is generally found in the form of a bare wire or some type of conductive material (copper) that is strung across the path of your parts and must come into contact with the surface of your part.   A conductive material bar is shown below.

Passive Static Eliminating Bar

Passive Static Eliminating Bar

In order for this to eliminate the static on the part you must have the fabric actually contact the surface of your part.   There are several points that this can cause an issue, the first being this item drags across the surface of your product which can wear the conductive fibers down leading to the eliminators needing to be replaced.   Second, if you have a delicate, printed, or high gloss surface, you may not want anything to touch the surface and risk a blemish.   Third, these can collect dirt and debris which may become transferred to the product.   Last, complicated shapes cannot easily be met with the passive static eliminators, these are only going to work well with flat surfaces.

Active static eliminators, such as the Static Eliminators Product Line from EXAIR offers a variety of ways to actively eliminate the static on a surface without ever touching the product.   These are ideal for delicate surfaces, painted surfaces, complicated shapes, or even flat sheets.  The EXAIR line is available with or without compressed air assist which will not only utilize your compressed air efficiently while eliminating a static charge but also blow the debris or particulate off the part.   Units without compressed air operation can eliminate static charges up to 2″ away from a surface while a unit with compressed air will eliminate static up to 20′ away.

A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators

A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators

 

Because the units do not contact the parts there is no need for being concerned about contamination being transferred to the part, the eliminators will not wear down from dragging across a part or surface. EXAIR static eliminators are also low maintenance products.

To top it all off EXAIR will honor a 30 day guarantee to test the products in your facility.  As well as honor a 5 year built to last warranty on compressed air products and a 1 year warranty on any electrical component.

If you would like to eliminate your static problems, contact us. 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Shocking Credit Cards Costs … In Manufacturing

Winter’s weather comes with a variety of problems. I hope that folks in the Northeast get a break from all this snow soon. In Cincinnati we have not had to deal with much precipitation this year, but it has been cold and gloomy for too long. Personally, I am ready for spring to come and to the see the flowers pop up. I’m also tired of the getting shocked every time I pet my dog. Also, his hair that generally falls everywhere is now stuck to the side of couch.

On a more serious note, the dry air of winter can have a significant impact on manufacturing processes. The same static that attracts dog hair to a couch will also attract dust on to a non-conductive substrate like plastic or glass. I was working with a customer this week who manufactures credit cards and gift cards with custom logos. They fell prey to the dry, statically charged air of winter which caused a quality issue during these winter months. To create the promotional cards, the company would first digitally print the logo on a PVC substrate. This substrate is then stacked to await lamination. As they pulled each sheet from the stack, a charge would build up on the surface which would attract any dust in the area. The dust needed to be removed before the last clear layer was applied or it showed up as ugly bumps on the card surface. This dust was nearly impossible to clean off and still maintain a good finish on the PVC substrate. They tried to wipe the material off with soft fabric, but the rubbing only increased the static while moving the dust around, not off the laminate.

1559 before

Laminating station two stacks of PVC substrate in the plastic bins

1559-photo

Laminating Station with the 110036″ Super Ion Air Knife installed

Using an EXAIR Static Meter, part number 7905, the customer measured 19.5 kV/inch on the PVC sheets before lamination. Because of this charge the customer installed a 36″ Super Ion Air Knife, part number 111036, above the lamination station. The operator would pull a sheet from the stack and pass it under the Super Ion Air Knife. After passing under the Super Ion Air Knife the charge on the sheet read 1.3 kV/Inch, and the dust was removed by the air blowing from the Super Air Knife. This dust removal drastically reduced their scrap levels. In the 3 months of winter, it was accepted that they would loss approximately 15% of all the cards they created do to blemishes on the cards. After installing the Air Knives, they only scrapped 3% of the cards they created. This scrap rate was even better than there summer production. The air knives will now be used year round.  The Super Ion Air Knife reduced scrap by 80%! Also, operators no longer tried to clean the dust with cloth, which allowed them to increase their production.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

EXAIR Distributor Solves Problem For End User

Our Thai distributor, OilPure Management Systems, recently worked through an application with an end user in need of both debris and heat removal at a gas cylinder recycling facility.

Dirty cylinder

Dirty cylinder which needs to be cleaned and cooled

In this application, the end user needed to remove heat and debris from the gas cylinders shown above.  These cylinders are recycled and as part of the recycling process, the previous exterior coating and labeling must be removed.  To remove the coating and labels, the cylinders are subjected to a rigorous cleaning and heating process that leaves them with debris around the O.D. of the cylinder at a temperature around 300°C.

Cylinders travelling through chamber

Cylinders exiting the last stage of cleaning and heating

Given the need to simultaneously remove debris and cool the cylinders, our distributor recommended a series of Super Air Knives mounted around the exterior in a hex pattern.

Cylinders with SAKs

Proposed solution to removed debris (and heat) from the exterior of the cylinders

After travelling through the air curtain made by the series of Super Air Knives, the cylinders will have been treated for both debris and heat, preparing them for a final coating to look like the finished product shown below.

Final coated cylinders

Final product, re-coated

If you have a need for EXAIR products, contact an Application Engineer or consult one of our worldwide distributors.  (For an interactive map of EXAIR distributors around the world, click here.)

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

The HEPA Filter Protector

With our Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, it is very capable of capturing particles that are very small. You do not have to worry about re-entraining the dirt that you vacuumed back into the air. The filtration efficiency of the HEPA filter is 99.97% at 0.3 micron. Because it is so efficient, we place a prefilter on the outside of the element. This helps to capture the larger particles so that they do not prematurely plug the HEPA media. In extreme conditions with large amounts of debris, we do have another option. It is the model 901373 filter protector. It is a bag that will go on the outside of the prefilter and the HEPA filter. With a large influx of contamination, the filter protector will create a matrix from the contamination to create a cake. This cake, as it builds, will start to capture smaller particles and become more efficient. It is similar to a natural dam after a big rain. The large boulders and logs collect into a section, and then the smaller rocks and branches will collect behind it.

HEPA filter after 1 week

HEPA filter after 1 week

Under normal conditions, the standard HEPA filter with prefilter will last you for a while before replacing. It is dependent on the amount of dirt that is being collected. But, in those extreme conditions, you do not want to change the HEPA filter every week. This would be too expensive. That is why EXAIR found a cost-effective option to help, the filter protector. The model 901373 filter protector can be changed in a matter of minutes and the cost is less than 2% of the HEPA filter. Just like disposable shoe covers, they are inexpensive and they protect your expensive shoes. If you require any more information on our Heavy Duty HEPA Vac or the accessories, you can contact one of our helpful Application Engineers at EXAIR.

 

 

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

 

 

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