More Power? I DO Think So…

We occasionally get calls from folks who are looking for “more power” – and it always brings that classic 1990’s sitcom “Home Improvement’s” Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor to mind. Well, not so much Tim’s “more power” mantra, but the ubiquitous response from his long-suffering sidekick, Al Borland:

Al knows it.  George Foreman knows it. Lisa knows it.  Even Tim knows it, this time.

Sometimes, they’re looking for a product to replace what they’re currently using…something they’re not getting desirable results from. Other times, they have an EXAIR product in place, and it’s just not getting the job done.

Our first response is, of course, to make sure they’re getting a sufficient supply of air to their product, no matter whether it’s ours or not. If you’re familiar at all with our blogs, you know we write about this frequently:

The Importance of Proper Compressed Air Supply Lines

Video Blog: Proper Supply Plumbing for Compressed Air Products

Improper Installation and Associated Problems

3 Common Mistakes in Your Compressed Air System

Once we’ve made sure that the product is indeed receiving appropriate air supply, we can look at adding to the flow rate and force of the air stream. We’ve made it easy to do that with a variety of blow off products by designing them with a replaceable shim.

All of our Air Knife products (Super, Standard, and Full Flow) will ship with a 0.002” thick shim installed. These will perform superbly in a wide variety of general industrial blow off applications. If this doesn’t provide the force needed for your application, we carry Shim Sets for any Air Knife that will allow you to double, triple, or even quadruple the air flow for amplified thrust. Some common examples are stubborn debris in tight spaces (like the fins of a fin-and-tube heat exchanger) or removing oil from a corrugated surface.

From left to right: Super, Standard, and Full Flow Air Knives.

 

Like the Air Knives, our Air Wipes (Super and Standard) are built with 0.002” thick shims, which can be easily replaced for additional flow and force. Like when the Air Wipe is getting all the coolant off an extruded & machined part, but some stubborn, hair-like fibers need a little more “oomph” to remove.

 

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2" to 11".

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2″ to 11″.

Yes, those were real calls I took. Yes, they had sufficient air flow. Yes, the extra shims worked like a champ.

Similar to our Air Knife products, our Flat Super Air Nozzles also incorporate a replaceable shim. In fact, you have your choice of standard Models with a 0.015” thick shim installed, or High Power Models with a 0.025” thick shim. Shim Sets with a variety of thicknesses from 0.005” to 0.030” are available for either of these.

Our Super Air Amplifiers and High Velocity Air Jets incorporate patented shims that make for the highest amplification flows available, anywhere. These are available, from stock, in Shim Sets or individually.

High Velocity Air Jets and Super Air Amplifiers use patented shims for optimum performance and efficiency.

High Velocity Air Jets and Super Air Amplifiers use patented shims for optimum performance and efficiency.

If you have an air blowing application that you’d like to get a little (or a lot) more out of, give us a call. Prepare for a discussion on proper air supply first (of course,) but we’ll be more than happy to help in any way that we can.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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Special Air Amplifier? Not A Problem!

This week I worked with two customers that wanted to boost their air flow with an Air Amplifier. One customer ended up going with a Special Air Amplifier. The second customer I ended up pointing to a different product line entirely. Keep reading to find out why.

The first customer needed to boost the exhaust flow through six inch duct.  The six inch duct was an open vent that allowed fumes to slowly escape from a vessel. During normal operation the vessel, was unmanned, so the fumes only need a path to escape, but could linger. The company wanted to do some maintenance work in the area while the machine was in operation. The vent met the necessary requirements for the air flow of the machinery, but left maintenance workers exposed to a variety of fumes while working in the vessel, if the unit was in operation.

The customer was interested in the model 6034 Stainless Steel Air Amplifier. With 0.002″ air gap and 80 PSIG of inlet pressure, the unit will flow 1,200 SCFM of compressed air at the outlet of the Air Amplifier, but the 6034 can be adjusted to much higher flows from there.  The Air Amplifier would easily be able to exhaust the fumes from the area to maintain a safe and comfortable working environment. The problem was mounting the 6034 Adjustable Air Amplifier. The 6034 is designed to be used in free air with the discharge side of the air amplifier connecting to a duct. The suction side of the Air Amplifier is as open as possible to entrain air, but my customer needed to connect the Air Amplifier to the outlet of the vent. We worked with the customer on designing an Air Amplifier to fit the 6″ Flange that they used to connect sections of their duct similar to the Air Amplifier pictured below.

special air amplifier

This special stainless steel flange-mount Air Amplifier was designed for exhausting hot flue gases from a furnace.

My other customer called to move the air inside a heated drying tunnel. The customer uses a process air heater to heat a large drying tunnel. Unfortunately, the air heater created hot air at the entrance of the drying tunnel. By the time the air reached the end of the drying tunnel the temperature was significantly higher at the top of the tunnel as opposed to the bottom from natural convection. To counter this effect the customer wanted to move air from the process heater half way down the tunnel and release the air. In this application, the customer wanted to duct both the inlet and the outlet of an Air Amplifier. The Air Amplifier is not well suited for ducting and you limit the amount of air that the Air Amplifier can entrain by connecting it to a duct.

For this customer, I recommended he use a Line Vac. The Line Vac typically conveys materials, but it will also move a good amount of air.  The customer was going to use heated compressed air and wanted to convey the air from the process heater to the other side of the drying tunnel. Another key benefit to the Line Vac is the discharge and suction side of the units are both the same size.  This makes it extremely easy to install for the customer and is off the shelf, ready to ship.

Two similar applications on the surface that result in different product recommendation. Not every application for an air mover is this complicated, but if you want to talk through your application EXAIR’s application engineer’s will be happy to help.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

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
Visit us on the Web
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Cooling Hot Cameras with EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers

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.

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

 

 

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