Improper Installation and Associated Problems

I had a customer contact me this week wanting to replace his existing Super Air Wipe with a different product because he was starting to see a drop in the performance. He was considering a switch to one of our Super Air Amplifiers because he was familiar with another company who was using one to blow off moisture from their “all-thread” piping production line, which was somewhat similar to his application.

Rather than just pursue the opportunity for the quick sale, I decided to dig a little deeper and see what issues he was experiencing. He is using (2) of our 1” Aluminum Super Air Wipes, Model # 2401, mounted on each end of a blast chamber to remove the treatment solution on their 0.3” round wire in order to contain the solution inside the chamber. The Super Air Wipe provides a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that adheres to the passing material surface, wiping the entire surface area clean. Easily clamping around the material passing through due to it’s split design.

Super Air Wipe

 

After reviewing the pictures provided by the customer, there were several issues that potentially could have been contributing to the decreased performance:

1)  The Super Air Wipe was mounted in the incorrect direction, causing the customer to actual blow the solution out of the chamber rather than containing it.

2) The wire was not running concentric to the throat of the Super Air Wipe, contacting the edge of the Super Air Wipe unit and removing the edge of the coanda profile for a section of the knife .

3) Since the solution was being pulled through the Super Air Wipe due to the improper direction explained in problem 1, the solution was depositing and building up near the exit of the air flow, negatively affecting the performance.  In some areas it had even bridged over the air gap causing there to be no flow of compressed air.

The decline in performance is due to the gradual solution depositing on the Super Air Wipe. Initially, it had enough performance to remove the solution from the wire but continued to lose air flow and its ability to remove the solution as it built up around and upon the exit air pathways.

I discussed these concerns with the customer and rather than changing to a completely different product, I recommended ordering replacement Stainless Steel Super Air Wipes and mounting the units in the proper direction/orientation. This would provide better wear resistance, eliminate the build-up and contain the treatment solution inside the chamber as desired.

With help maximizing the performance of your existing EXAIR product or to discuss a new application, please contact one of our Application Engineers.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

When You Can Use An Air Amplifier, or A Line Vac, or…Either?

One of the key applications that we use to promote our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors is scrap trim removal. In cases where a continuous feed of material needs to be carried away, a properly sized Line Vac is just the thing. They’ll generate a moderate amount of vacuum and conveyance air flow, which can move the material over significant distance, if needed.

I had the pleasure of talking to a long-time customer recently, who has been using EXAIR products to successfully remove the backing strip from a continuous feed of label roll. Instead of the Line Vacs, though, they’ve been using Model 6044 4” Aluminum Adjustable Air Amplifiers. The low density, lightweight film backing doesn’t require much air flow at all to move it, and they only need to carry it away a few feet.

EXAIR's Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifier: Not always interchangeable with a Line Vac, but…

Recently, though, they introduced a new product with a slightly wider label. The film backing for this has been catching in the 3.02” ID throat of the 4” Air Amplifier, making a BIG mess as it backs up into the machine. They called me for a solution, and I’m glad they did, because (spoiler alert) I had one.

Our Air Amplifiers and Line Vacs both generate a modest vacuum and moderate vacuum flow, but, because they use two different principles of operation to do so, the Air Amplifier makes for a very high vacuum flow, at a lower vacuum level, where the Line Vacs generate a higher vacuum, but a lower vacuum flow.

In some cases, the Air Amplifier is the obvious choice…if you’re moving something that’s already airborne, you don’t need a whole lot of vacuum; you just need the flow to keep it moving. In others, the Line Vac is better suited…like when you’re transferring the bulk contents of a shipping container, where you’ll need a higher vacuum level to pick it up.

In this particular case, either will work…it’s a lightweight material that’s already in motion (no significant amount of vacuum required there), so the throat diameter was the deciding factor: our Model 130400 4” Light Duty Line Vac has a 3.75” throat; which is more than sufficient to prevent jamming. The air consumption on the 130400 (58.5 SCFM @80 psig) is even in the same neighborhood as the 6044 (50 SCFM @80 psig,) so, operationally, it’s almost an even swap as well.

EXAIR's Light Duty Line Vac

EXAIR’s Light Duty Line Vac: Not always interchangeable with an Air Amplifier, but…

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR products can be a viable solution to your problem, give us a call. We’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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Cooling Hot Cameras with EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers

Quality Control Camera

Sometimes, the design of an application is a perfect fit for the application purpose until parameters change.  For instance, if ambient temperatures creep a little higher than normal, or workflow increases and machine cycle times are longer than they were planned to be initially, unwanted downtime can become a problematic reality.

Ambient temperatures are sometimes an uncontrollable variable, and increased workflow is a blessing all businesses hope to have.  But, when these, or other, variables change and a process disturbance starts to affect productivity, a viable solution becomes a necessity.

Solving industry problems is the backbone of EXAIR products.  Whether the need is cooling, cleaning, coating, conveying, or conserving (compressed air), there is a good chance we can offer a viable solution.

For example, a global fabrics manufacturer contacted me to discuss a problem with their quality control system.  As they make their proprietary fabrics, they are inspected through a semi-enclosed camera system to ensure the product form is to spec.  As summer temperatures have increased for their U.S. operations, and as demand for their fabrics has increased, the fabric output and the heat within the facility has noticeably increased.  With increased output comes increased use of the quality control camera system, and with increased heat comes the additional heat load upon the cameras components.

This customer was getting by using some air flow generated by a blower to cool the cameras, but blowers heat the output air flow. Ultimately the blowers added too much heat to the higher ambient temperatures and the cameras were failing.

Given the setup of the quality control system, which used (6) cameras atop a semi-enclosed QC station, Super Air Amplifiers were found to present the best solution.  The Air Amplifiers can use large volumes of ambient air to convectively remove the heat building up upon the cameras.  Super Air Knives could also be used, but Super Air Amplifiers were chosen based on airflow pattern (conical vs. laminar airflow).  The Super Air Amplifiers were able to replace the existing, underperforming and problematic blowers to improve production capacity and workflow in this application.

If you have an application in need of increased uptime and think EXAIR products or engineers may be able to help, give us a call.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR
@EXAIR_LE

Ordering Off-The-Menu, And Other Tales Of Customer Service

In the quaint little beach town where I used to live there was a diner that met – in fact, most would say exceeded – the town’s standard for quaintness. It was one of those places where, if you ordered the same thing twice in a row, it became your “regular order,” and the server would yell it back to the kitchen as soon as you walked through the door. They were also famous, to the locals anyway, for having about as many dishes that weren’t on the menu as they actually had ON the menu.

My favorite among these was their egg salad sandwich; an exquisite helping of comfort food that was once recommended by the kindly wait staff upon recognizing my compromised state in the wee hours of that particular morning. It was a condition I had brought upon myself at a local tavern…a place that, between you and me, was NOT always known for its quaintness. I’ve left the intemperate indiscretions of my youth long behind me (for the most part), but I still enjoy a good egg salad sandwich from time to time.

I got to thinking about that for a couple of reasons today…first and foremost, we were treated to a grill out this week at EXAIR – a wonderful gesture of appreciation from management, and another reminder of why I’m tickled pink to be here. Good food will both trigger, and create, fond memories. And free food tastes best.

I also thought of a call I got this morning, from an Air Amplifier user who wanted more technical data than we publish in our catalog. Now, we’re not trying to be eclectic or quaint, like my old favorite diner, and keep a special secret “stash” of knowledge for an inner cadre…it’s just that we’ve only got so much room in the catalog. Anything else means a call in to us.

Catalog 27

If you don’t have our new Catalog #27, you should get one. Click here.

Of course, in the same vein as my old favorite diner, we do indeed want to make you feel welcome and at ease when you need assistance. That’s why we offer phone support, e-mail assistance, Live Chat – feel free to contact us in any manner that you choose. You’ll get expert support and immediate attention from the most highly trained and experienced Application Engineers in the business. Try us. Depending on where you are, I may even be able to tell you where you can get the best egg salad sandwich ever.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
RussBowman@EXAIR.com
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Adjustable Air Amplifier Removes Heat, Protects Thermocouple

I was working with a customer recently who had a fairly interesting application that I’d like to share with you. The customer operates a steel furnace and they have an automatic, liquid steel temperature probe that does not have sufficient time to cool down before they take another temperature measurement which should be a minimum of 5 minutes.

thermocouple

The probe consists of a 6 foot long, ¾” pipe, attached to the end of a 12 foot long beam. The beam lowers the pipe with the probe attached into the steel bath to take the temperature (see sketch below). The pipe is covered with a consumable, cardboard type of tube (pictured above) which is the thermocouple.  A contact block with wiring inside the pipe connects to the thermocouple. This contact block becomes heat damaged because the pipe does not have enough time to cool between temperature measurements.

steel temperature

The customer was originally thinking about using a Super Air Knife to cool the probe and pipe between temperature measurements. After discussing options, the customer took our advice and went with (2) of our 2” Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers (model 6042) instead. The Air Amplifiers are able to be mounted at the “parked” position of the pipe / probe and actuated to blow down the pipe and thermocouple length-wise during this time.

The high velocity airflow was able to carry enough heat out of the assembly between temperature measurements that the contact block was no longer becoming overheated and damaged as it was before. We decided to suggest this option to the customer because the air usage for this option was less than that of a 60” long Air Knife and the Stainless Adjustable Air Amplifier has temperature rating of 400°F which was easily able to withstand the heat in the application.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

 

 

Everybody Wants Options II

Justin Nicholl, I hear you loud and clear about how Everybody Wants Options. I would go so far as to say a lot of people NEED options. This was evident in an application that I had the pleasure of assisting a caller with recently. They make plastic parts for the automotive industry, and manually remove them from a conveyor line, where the operators experience a nuisance static shock. This static charge also presents a problem when the parts are packaged for shipping, so there are two great reasons for getting rid of it right there.

On to the options: they weren’t sure if they wanted to mount something over the conveyor (like a Super Ion Air Knife or Ion Air Cannon,) or if they wanted to have manual, precise control (as with an Ion Air Gun.) I recommended that they try the Ion Air Gun…for ease of setup, it can’t be beat: you can literally go from opening the box to blowing ionized air in a matter of minutes, provided you’ve got a compressed air line and an electrical outlet within reach. If it is indeed successful in eliminating the static charge (and this is a VERY common & successful application,) then the only question is: Will the operator want to have another hand free? If so, they can return the Ion Air Gun for full credit per our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee, and get either the Super Ion Air Knife or Ion Air Cannon; whichever they choose. In fact, it’s very likely that using the Ion Air Gun for a little while will better inform their decision.

EXAIR Static Eliminators: Mount in place, or hold in your hand.

EXAIR Static Eliminators: Mount in place, or hold in your hand.

EXAIR product lines, across the board, are rife with options. I wrote a while back about a purchasing agent who got a request for “the largest, most powerful air gun they’ve got” and ordered a 6′ Super Blast Safety Air Gun (with a 1-1/4” NPT connection, 6 foot extension, and a whopping 23lbs of force) when they just wanted to blow off some chips from their machine tools. Again, we used the 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee to get them a 6″ Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun (3/8” NPT connection, 6 inch extension, and a very usable 13oz of force.)

1218-6 1310-6 blog

Another user recently tried a Stainless Steel Line Vac – the product they needed to convey was too abrasive for an aluminum Line Vac – but they just weren’t getting the conveyance rate they wanted. No problem…the Model 150200 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac is made of an abrasion resistant hardened alloy, and boosts conveyance performance dramatically. The dimensions were the same, so the new one dropped right in, saving them from exploring the option of re-plumbing their lines.

all lv blog

Regardless of your compressed air product needs, EXAIR is the most likely solution:

*Super Air Knives are available in lengths from 3” to 108”. They come in aluminum, 303 or 316 grade Stainless Steel, and PVDF plastic (with Hastelloy-C fasteners and Teflon shims for the most aggressive installations.) This is, by far, the most options you’ll find in the industry. And they’re all in stock…waiting until next week doesn’t have to be an option.

*Cabinet Cooler Systems come in capacities from 550 BTU/hr to 5,600 BTU/hr. Whether your enclosure needs NEMA 12 (oil tight, dust tight, indoor duty), NEMA 4 (splash resistant) or NEMA 4X (corrosion resistant,) we’ve got it. And yes, they’re in stock.

*If you need to move a lot of air, or draw a vacuum, our Adjustable Air Amplifiers and Adjustable E-Vacs, respectively, offer you infinite options in range of performance with the simple twist of a locking ring.

You want options? We’ve got them. You want help narrowing them down? Call us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
www.exair.com
twitter.com/exair_rb
facebook.com/exair

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The Thing About 100 MPH Fastballs

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an awesome Sunday afternoon at the ballpark. Today, dear reader, I want to write about something completely different: An awesome Tuesday evening at the ballpark. My youngest son and I went with his Knothole Baseball team with tickets purchased through The Kid Glove Way, a charitabler organization that has partnered with the Cincinnati Reds since 1949 to ensure that local youth have equipment to play baseball & softball, regardless of their financial situation.

redlegs

The weather was perfect, and my Reds got off to a great start: Leadoff batter Billy Hamilton hit one into the left field corner for a triple. Now, this would have been a double for most any other player – proven out by Reds’ sluggers Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips, who both hit balls in almost the exact same location as the night progressed, and both ended up on second base. But not Hamilton…he’s FAST – the fastest runner in Major League Baseball by most accounts. If you have the opportunity to see this guy run in person (he IS coming right along as a hitter, so the odds are increasing), I highly recommend it…television doesn’t do his speed justice.

The rest of the game dragged on in a pitcher’s duel…not the most exciting spectacle in the wide world of sports…but the crowd took notice when Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman started warming up in the bullpen. “The Cuban Missile” caught a line drive in the eye during Spring Training, which fractured his skull…thing about a 100 mph fastball; it goes the other way just as hard if the batter turns on it well. It was cool to be there for his second game back after recovering from that serious of an injury.

So there we were, top of the ninth inning, score tied 1-1, and Chapman strikes out the first two batters. The Padres’ Chase Headley came to the plate, took a ball, fouled one off, and drove the next pitch over the left field fence. Thing about 100 mph fastballs…

The Reds’ offense came up short in the bottom of the ninth, and they lost. It was still an awesome night at the ballpark with my son, though.

The thing about 100 mph fastballs reminded me of the thing about open ended compressed air blow offs: there’s no way to generate an air flow with a higher force, but that’s not always a good thing. They’re loud, unsafe, inefficient, and wasteful of your compressed air. Conversely, EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products, such as our Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives and Super Air Amplifiers, are all specifically designed to use MUCH less compressed air, meet OSHA standards for dead end pressure and permissible noise exposure  and still produce a highly effective air flow for blow off, cooling, drying, etc. Sure; the air flow from these products doesn’t have the force of what you get from an open pipe, but the fact that these engineered products entrain so much “free” air from the surrounding environment into a laminar (as opposed to the open pipes’ turbulence), high velocity flow, make them an ideal choice for most any air blowing application. Not to mention, they’re also much quieter, and ensure compliance with OSHA directives concerning the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.

The Reds will be in and out-of-town for the rest of the season, trying to solve the different equations for beating different opponents. We’re here every day, looking to help you solve your unique compressed air applications. Batter up!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

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