Bad News, Good News, Better News

Recently, I had the pleasure of solving an application for a steel pipe manufacturer. To clean the inside diameters of their freshly-washed pipes, they were using open end blow offs: the ever-popular and easy-to-make, but loud and inefficient crushed-end tubing. I got excited, because this was my first chance to discuss our brand-new Back Blow Nozzle, which is aimed (pun intended) at cleaning inside diameter surfaces. That’s where my story develops a “bad news/good news/better news” pattern…

The bad news: The pipes that need cleaning are up to 20” in diameter…a little too large for our Model 1006SS ¼” NPT Back Blow Nozzle to be completely effective.

EXAIR's brand-new Model 1006 Back Blow Nozzle.

EXAIR’s brand-new Model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle.

The good news: The user already had a system set up, using the aforementioned “homemade” blow offs, which looked something like this:

Easy to make, hard on your ears...and your air compressor load.

Easy to make, hard on your ears…and your air compressor load.

The better news: They were able to easily adapt their system to install our Model 1120 High Force Super Air Nozzles, which lowered their compressed air consumption as well as the noise level of the operation.

That's the Model 1120 on the far right.

That’s the Model 1120 on the far right.

The moral to this story is, the solution may not be the first one that comes to mind. At EXAIR, that happens all the time. Line Vac questions turn into Air Amplifier answers, and vice versa. Cold Gun calls turn to discussions of Adjustable Spot Coolers. We’ve got three styles of Air Knives to choose from…they’re all perfectly suitable for a wide range of general industrial applications, but they each have their own particular advantages in certain situations. If you have a compressed air product application that you’d like to discuss, EXAIR is your best bet for the most efficient, quietest, quickest solution. It’s like I always say:

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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The Heat Is On…On The Way

The last few weeks of February here in Cincinnati were pretty rough with temperatures in the 20’s, even single digits, with sub-zero wind chills. Even as recent as last week, mother nature decided to show her angry side as we had one last snow blast to close out the winter season. It looks like we will be having a few days with lows in the 20’s this week then, hopefully, we should be well on our way toward spring. With spring right around the corner and temperatures expected to hover around the 50’s and 60’s later next week, I can say that this would be a welcomed trend!

Sunny sky

Is that the sun?

While the temperature rise may seem good for personal reasons, it can wreak havoc on sensitive electrical components in a control panel. A common, ill-advised “simple-fix” is to open the panel door(s) and use a fan to blow air into the enclosure. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it could actually be causing long term damage. as you are now introducing contaminants to the area which may be contributing to the problem, rather than providing a solution. Luckily, EXAIR has you covered with our Cabinet Cooler Systems.

The compressed air operated Cabinet Cooler System incorporates a Vortex Tube to create two airstreams – one hot and one cold. As the cold, clean air is exhausted into the enclosure at a slight positive pressure, the hot, dirty air rises and exits through the cabinet exhaust. The hot air created by the unit is exhausted through the Vortex Tube. The systems are available in NEMA 12, NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X class rating, thermostat controlled or continuous operation up to 5,600 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity.

CC how it works

How the Cabinet Cooler Works

If you are unsure of you current heat load, we’ve got that covered too with our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide. This provides us all of the pertinent information to perform our calculations and recommend a system. Of course, you can always call an application engineer and we will walk you right through it.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Sunny image courtesy of wanko, Creative Commons License

What Exactly Does “Easy To Do Business With” Mean?

That’s the goal – we want it to be easy for you to do business with EXAIR. I understand this is not exactly a quantitative expression, and everyone here likes to have data to back up our claims.  Well, here are just a few ways that I have found to verify we are easy to deal with.

Whenever you call in, the phone is answered by a live person.  This of course is true for Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM EST – what most of us consider “normal business hours”. The team that answers the phone is also our Order Entry team who can help with pricing, some general product questions, lead times, freight quotes, etc. And, if you need additional technical information or an expert to assist you with implementing a solution for your problem, they are the team who will pass your calls on to my team, the Application Engineers.

We have a full staff of Application Engineers who are here to assist with selecting the right product to fit your needs and troubleshooting existing compressed air setups. Our Application engineers are experts at determining how much compressed air can be saved compared to an existing setup and how that translates into your dollar savings. They understand how important it is to you to keep your processes OSHA compliant and personnel safe. Our Application Engineers also walk you through any returns which may occur with our 30 day trail period, which brings us to the next topic.

We honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products.  This permits you to get the product in to your facility and put it through the paces and if it doesn’t perform to your standards, give us a call.  We will take the item back and issue you a full credit for the purchase price of the product. I should probably state at this point that – Yes, we do deal with applications we have not dealt with before. In these situations we remain confident in our recommended solution (or we would not have made it) but will remain close to you as the installation and implementation occur just so we can help troubleshoot if necessary. If it ends up not working – see the first 3 sentences.

On top of all those, we stand behind our product with a 5 year built to last warranty for compressed air products, and a 1 year warranty on electronic components.   This just goes to show how strongly we believe in our workmanship and our products.

30 Day Guarantee

30 Day Guarantee

In case you have never called or sent in an inquiry from one of the numerous ways we offer to contact us,  please do.  I can assure you that you will receive a timely response from a live person that will give you the best answer possible.   If we don’t have the answer, we’ll tell you and many times we will offer a good place to find a solution.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

One Air Nozzle Saves $960 per Year – How Many Nozzles Could You Use?

A cardboard manufacturing facility was using a 3/8” outside diameter (OD) open tube to blow scrap cardboard off a conveyor. This scrap cardboard would occasionally be blown inside the roller area at the end of a conveyor creating a maintenance nightmare that required hours to disassemble and remove. To prevent this from occurring they installed another 3/8″ OD open compressed air tube to divert any cardboard headed toward the conveyor roller. The 3/8″ open tubing eliminated the scrap problem, but introduced a few new ones. The open hose is extremely noisy over (100 dBA). It does not comply with OSHA standard CFR 1910.242(b), which requires that a compressed air blow off device may not be dead ended at more than 30 PSIG. The most costly problem though is a 3/8″ open tubing uses a tremendous amount of compressed air.

They were using so much air in the facility that they were draining the system pressure in their facility. Obviously, they were going to replace the open tube with EXAIR 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. Replacing this open blow off with an intelligent compressed air product, like the HP1125 High Powered Flat Super Air Nozzle or the 1104 Super Air Nozzle, would lower the noise level below 83 dBA. Also, those nozzles use significantly less air. They decided to use the model HP1125 for its thin profile to fit into the tight location. The only question was how much air and energy cost would they save. They could have easily installed a Digital Flow Meter on the supply pipe of the open tube to measure the change in flow once the EXAIR nozzle had been installed, but they wanted to try and estimate the air usage.

Using EXAIR’s test data, we know a 3/8″ OD open tube that is 18″ long will flow 68.5 SCFM at 80 PSIG. An HP1125 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle utilizes 37 SCFM when fed with 80 PSIG inlet pressure. By removing one 3/8″ OD tube the cardboard manufacturer saved 31.5 SCFM of compressed air. With an electrical cost of $0.08 per kWh, compressed air costs $0.25 per 1000 SCF. Saving 31.5 SCFM reduces the manufacturers electrical bill by $0.48 every hour, $3.48 for every 8 hour shift, and $960 per year (250 working days, eight hours a day). If the manufacturer runs two shifts, the savings will double. The simple return on investment for this nozzle is 130 hours! How many projects can you measure a return on investment in hours?

2 Inch Flat

EXAIR’s 2 Inch High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle, HP1125

 

EXAIR intelligent compressed air products are easy to install, safe, and efficient. By installing these products instead of using unsafe open blow offs, your company can save thousands of dollar every year with minimal investment. While saving electrical expenses, we decrease the noise level which makes your production force a nicer place to work. We also comply with OSHA’s standards. Finally, we may be able to design the blow off better to consistently produce the quality product you expect. Call EXAIR today to discuss your application.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Let’s Cool Things Down With Heat Transfer Equations

When it comes to cooling products, we get many questions on what would be the best method. Generally with larger parts with heavy mass and large surface areas, we would recommend the Super Air Amplifiers, Super Air Knives or Super Air Nozzles. We have to look at many factors to determine the correct method, but if look at the mass of the part, the ambient conditions, the speed of the conveyor, and the change in temperature, we can get a good start in setting up an application.

In determining a good estimate, we use a couple of heat equations to help. As with any customer, you want to make sure you have as much information to get a good platform to start. We use two equations to begin. The first equation is used for the product that needs to be cooled.

Equation 1

q = m * Cp * (T2 – T1)

Where:
q – heat (BTU) or (Kcal)
m – Mass (Lb) or (Kg)
Cp – specific heat (BTU/Lbm oF) or (Kcal/Kg oC)
ΔT – Temperature (oF) or (oC)

Once we have the amount of heat that we need to remove, then we can look at the product to cool it. With Super Air Amplifiers, we use an equation that is used in fan cooling. This is the second equation.

Equation 2

h = 1.08Qs(T2 – T1)       OR                h = 0.33Qs(T2 – T1)

Where:
h – heat rate (BTU/hr)                                   h – heat rate (Watts)
Qs – Flow (SCFM)                  OR                   Qs – Flow (NM^3/hr)
ΔT – Temperature (oF)                                  ΔT – Temperature (oC)

 

As an example, we have an aluminum part that came out of a baking oven at 400 oF (204 oC), and we want to cool the part down to 100 oF (38 oC) for handling.  If we give the part a mass of 20 lbs. (9.1 Kg), we can determine how long we would need to cool the part. The specific heat, Cp, of aluminum is 0.22 BTU/Lbm oF or Kcal/Kg oC. Applying this to Equation 1, we get the following:

q = 20 lbs * (0.22 BTU/lb/oF) *(400 oF – 100 oF)

q = 1,320 BTU

Or

q = 9.1 Kg * (0.22 Kcal/Kg/ oC) * (204 oC – 38 oC)

q = 332 Kcal

This tells us how much heat we would need to remove in order to handle. To keep going along with this example, we will use the 120021 Super Air Amplifier. With the large amplification level, it has a flow of 436 SCFM (740 NM^3/hr) at 6” away. To produce that volume, it only uses 8.1 scfm of compressed air at 80 psig. There are a couple of things that we should consider with our estimation. Ideally, we will want to be at a distance where the velocity will be between 1,700 to 2,500 fpm (8.6 to 12.7 mps). This gives us the best velocity for the maximum cooling rate. Depending on certain situations, you may have to add a little more time for cooling if the velocity is too high or too low. With the 120021 Super Air Amplifier, a distance of 18” from your target will give you a velocity close to 1,850 fpm (9.4 mps). The other consideration is the rate of heat loss. The bigger the temperature difference, the faster it will cool. As you get near the target temperature, the rate change becomes smaller. With that, I usually take the average temperature as an estimate. Using our example above, it would be (400 + 100)/2 = 250 oF, or (204 + 38)/2 = 121 oC. The other estimation will be the temperature of the ambient air. It will be cooler as it first hits the target and then heat up. If we add roughly 7 oF (4 oC) to the ambient air temperature because of the velocity, then the ambient temperature would become 68 + 7 = 75 oF (20 + 4 = 24 oC). With Equation 2, we will get the following:

h = 1.08 * 436 SCFM *(250 oF – 75 oF)

h = 80,404 BTU/hr

Or

h = 0.33 * 740 NM^3/hr * (121 oC – 24 oC)

h = 23,687 Watts or 20,372 Kcal/hr

With Equation 1 and Equation 2, we can estimate the amount of time needed to cool the part. In having to remove 1,320 BTU at a rate of 80,404 BTU/hr, the equation will give us 1,320 BTU/ (80,404 BTU/hr) = 0.016 hr or 1 minute.  In metric units, 332 Kcal/(20,372 Kcal/hr) = 0.016 hr or 1 minute. This means that we will have to keep the target in the air stream for about 1 minute. Depending on the geometry of the part, the angle of the amplifier, and the speed of the conveyor, we may need multiple Super Air Amplifiers. As I mentioned before, these are estimations, but it will help in getting an idea for your project. You can always contact the Application Engineers at EXAIR for any help.

Cooling with Air Amplifiers

Cooling with Air Amplifiers. The Super Air Amplifiers are mounted across the top of this connecting rod/piston assembly. 

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

“Deluxe” and “Premium”

These are two words that have been important parts of my vocabulary for most of my life. As a long time fast-food burger connoisseur, these words mean I’m getting something other than a hastily cooked ground beef patty on an enriched white flour bun that may or may not have been sitting under a heat lamp for a specific period of time. If you’re anywhere near as familiar with drive-thru cuisine as I am, you’ll know that “Deluxe” usually means a variety of toppings has been added to an otherwise relatively plain sandwich…it’s been “run through the garden,” if you will. And “Premium” can mean anything from a special bun, gourmet cheese, up-scale meat, and/or the addition of bacon…they ALWAYS get me at bacon…

I don't know what the knife and fork are doing there, but whatever...

I don’t know what the knife and fork are doing there, but whatever…

EXAIR’s Industrial Vacuums are also available in Deluxe and Premium Kits. Now, if you’ve already got a drum, our standard Kits will quickly and economically turn that drum into a powerful, fast, and efficient vacuum system, without the need for anything fancy. If you’re looking for complete, comprehensive clean up solutions, though, our Deluxe Kits add a drum dolly, a tool holder, and additional tools. The Premium Kits also include a durable steel drum and a set of Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools.

Whatever your needs are, we’ve got an efficient, quiet, durable, long-lasting, maintenance-free vacuum system for you. Our Reversible Drum Vac will empty…or fill…a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds (tested with water.) Our new High Lift Reversible Drum Vac pumps that same 55 gallons in just 85 seconds, with up to 15 feet of suction head. Then, of course, the Chip Trapper uses our Reversible Drum Vac technology to filter and extend the life of your machine tool coolants, lubricating oils, etc.

Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

(Left to Right) Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

For solids vacuuming situations, our Chip Vac picks up wet or dry chips, debris, etc., and deposits them directly into the drum. This is the function of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac as well. It’s more powerful than the Chip Vac, for use with heavier debris, and it’s made of a hardened alloy for superior abrasion resistance. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac delivers the same high performance, with a high efficiency filter for total dust containment.

(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

Whatever your Industrial Vacuum needs are, we’ve got a solution for you. And if you order before the end of March, we’ll throw in a FREE Vac-u-Gun…our lightweight and portable vacuum gun, blow gun, and transfer tool, all in one. Call me to find out more.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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tiktok 5 photo courtesy of Kirrin.  Creative Commons License

Tourney Time!

This week begins my favorite time of year – college basketball madness!

Basketball hoop

It’s Awesome baby, with a capital A!

Like many of us around the country, my fan loyalty resides with a relatively small, local college that has seen a lot of program growth in recent years – Xavier University. For example, during the 2003-2004 season, the team was ranked preseason top 11 in the country but stumbled along the way and found themselves at 10-8 with a pivotal game against their in state, conference rival. They ended up losing the game and the players held a “team only” meeting afterwards so the seniors could, let’s just say, “focus” the team on their goals. Whatever was said in that locker room worked, as the team went on to finish the regular season with a 9-1 record and win 4 conference tourney games in 4 days (first team to ever tackle this feat) to capture the automatic bid to the national field of 64, where they eventually lost by only 3 points in their first ever Elite 8, to a certain team from Durham, NC. (It was the REFS fault and no I’m not bitter LOL).

In 2008 the team was facing a similar challenge as they had lost several close games and were now again faced with needing to win 4 games in 4 days to get the automatic conference title bid. They went on to secure the bid and were able to reach the Elite 8 again for the 2nd time in 4 years but their run ended with a loss to the #1 seed in the region. The school has now joined a larger conference which is great for national notoriety and recruiting but also brings a higher level in competition, either boosting or damaging their tournament resume.

This year has followed suit to previous years as the team didn’t perform up to expectations and spent much of the latter part of the regular season on the proverbial “bubble”. After each win or loss, the prognosticators would move them from a “lock” to the “bubble”, or even more confusing, “still has work to do” category. All that mattered was just win and let the rest take care of itself. The team did just that as they went on to make the finals of the conference tournament but were easily handled by the first place team and eventually lost.

The selection committee has rewarded their conference affiliation along with conference tournament success and ranked them as a 6 seed for this years national championship tournament (a little high in my opinion but I’ll take it!) playing the winner of one of the play-in games.

Who knows what tournament success or failure lies ahead but that is what makes this time of year so awesome. Even when my team loses, there is always a local team, an underdog or the year’s “Cinderella” that grasps the country’s attention and makes it hard to root against them. Since we are in Cincinnati, many of our folks live in Kentucky and the Wildcats prove their wide reach among many of our Ohio based people as well. It makes the office banter and challenges and trash talk more interesting when pitting the hopes of a small “bubble” team up against a behemoth like Kentucky. We would be remiss not to mention the other behemoth with a huge fan base in this neck of the woods, Ohio State. We cannot forget our loyal base of University of Cincinnati Bearcats, who have provided us with some stellar employees, though not much of a basketball team this year (I’m a Xavier fan, remember?). And with the late breaking news from last night’s winning Dayton Flyer team, we have some solid regional representation in the tourney year.

Wow, now that I think about it, we’ll be lucky to survive the next few weeks without a bit of office bloodshed. At the very least, a small skirmish is certain to happen ;-).

Here at EXAIR we have a great team too! From the production team all the way up to management, we understand that we need to remain focused on our main goal – to satisfy YOU, our customer! We are always striving to get better by developing new products, testing existing products or maintaining near perfect (99.9%) on-time shipments.

To put our team to work for you, give us a call!

And to all who may be distracted throughout these next four days – Good luck to your team as well!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Basketball hoop image courtesy of Steve Johnson. Creative Commons License

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