Pushing Hot Parts with Compressed Air More Efficiently

A manufacturer of forged, steel parts contacted EXAIR today and spoke to me about an application that was really giving them some trouble.

The application involved placing a molten piece of steel into a die.  The press would come down and mold the piece into a ring shape.  As it opened, a solenoid valve connected to a compressed air supply was actuated to push the falling part with the compressed air to a bin behind the press.  The manufacturer made a home-made nozzle by flattening a piece of ¾” pipe and directing it at the part.  (Reference picture below).  The operator had a cycle time of roughly 8 seconds.  During that time, the compressed air was actuated for 1 second to push the part away from the die.  An issue occurred if the part rotated 90 degrees as the die opened, and the compressed air would shoot through the open center of the part without pushing it into the bin.  The part would rest on the bottom die, causing a slowdown in production because the part had to be removed manually.

Forging press

Forging press

The part weighed 2.2 lbs. (1 Kg) and had an outer diameter of 3.5” (89mm).  The customer was operating the ¾” pipe “nozzle” at 90 psig (6.2 bar), and it was located 12” (305mm) away from the die.  This gave me some good information to find an appropriate nozzle.  While reviewing the force and air pattern needed, model 1112SS (3/4 NPT Stainless Super Air Nozzle) would be the best product.  This Super Air Nozzle would be able to withstand the radiant heat within the application and can produce a force of 4.5 lbs. (2 Kg) at 80 psig (5.5 bar).  At 12” (305mm), it produced an airflow diameter of 7.5” (191mm).  Even if the part rotated, the air pattern and force was large enough to push the part from the die even if it rotated, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Not only did the production rate get back on target, but as an added bonus, Model 1112SS was able to save the customer compressed air. The advantage of using the Super Air Nozzles, is that they entrain ambient air to work with the compressed air, increasing the overall mass flow toward the target, making it much more efficient than a flattened pipe.  Even with the compressed air being turned on for 1 second during the 8 second cycle time, the Super Air Nozzle  is projected to save the customer over $1,500.00/year when comparing its air consumption to that of an open 3/4″ pipe.

Whenever you have an urge to flatten an end of a pipe to create a home-made nozzle, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we can help. Like the customer above, we were able to solve their production problem, and able to save them money.

John Ball, Application Engineer
johnball@exair.com
@EXAIR_JB

The Only Constant Around Here Is Growth

But if there’s a second constant around here, it’s excellence. And if there was a third, it was this guy…right up until the day he retired:

Joe Panfalone, Application Engineer extraordinaire, holding our bounty of product awards from 2013. He's retired since, but he's not...EVER...forgotten.

Joe Panfalone, Application Engineer extraordinaire, holding our bounty of product awards from 2013. He’s retired since, but he’s not…EVER…forgotten.

Another thing we don’t want to forget – in fact, I’m writing this as a reminder to YOU, dear reader, is that EXAIR products are up for ANOTHER four Plant Engineering Product of the Year Awards this year.  If you haven’t familiarized yourself with this year’s entries yet, there are some VERY cool products to choose from, and I highly encourage you to check them out(Disclaimer: I was an engineer BEFORE I came to EXAIR, and as such, I fully recognize the value that our esteemed colleagues bring to the table with THEIR entries, but I remain convinced that OURS are the clear winners here, as I’m sure you will too.)

Voting ends this Friday, January 8th 2016, so please hurry.  We’re honored to have gotten the nod in four categories this year:

ETC Dual CC SystemsAutomation and Controls: The competition is pretty stiff in this category…I’m sure you’ll recognize the names of some major players.  But, considering the wide range of applications, the potential cost savings by regulating the use of compressed air, and the convenience afforded by the ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems, it’s a real contender.

HLRDVEnvironmental Health: With the ability to vacuum heavier tramp oils, thicker sludge, more viscous fluids, and “in the floor” cisterns, the High Lift Reversible Drum Vac makes fluid transfer and spill cleanup quick & easy.  They’re in stock for 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums. If you want a drum dolly, additional vacuum tools, or even the drum itself, check out our Deluxe and Premium Kits.  With all due respect to the other entries, it’s the clear winner in this category.

Compressed Air1006ss: This has been a long-awaited addition to our already broad selection of engineered air nozzles: the Back Blow Air Nozzles, available in two sizes, can handle blowing out pipe, tube, etc. with inside diameters from 7/8″ to 16″.  You can get one installed on one of our Safety Air Guns, and they’re available with Chip Shields, and extension pipes up to 6 feet in length.  This is the most innovative product being introduced in this category this year, for sure.

Fluid HandlingNo Drip Atomizing Nozzle: The patented design of the EXAIR No-Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzle offers a stand-alone nozzle capable of controlling liquid flow without requiring a liquid control solenoid.  When the air supply pressure is shut off, so is the liquid flow…just like that.

This feature is available on any of our Atomizing Spray Nozzles.  For safety, efficiency, cleanliness, it can’t be beat.

Remember, voting ends this Friday.  I know there are some great products to choose from, but all of us at EXAIR would genuinely appreciate your vote for our products.  Of course, if you ever have any questions about how these – or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products – can make life easier, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Remove Irritants in the Work Place

Saving Money and Compressed Air

Save Money, Reduce Noise, and Minimize Compressed Air Use

We are having a mild winter in Cincinnati, Ohio, and even though the poison ivy seems dead, you can still catch it. My sweetheart was collecting brush, and in two days, she broke out.  She had a rash on her arms, legs, face, and stomach.  And if you ever had poison ivy, you know how itchy it is.  The problem is that if you itch it, you can spread it.

It started me to think of things that are a nuisance in manufacturing, like noise exposure to personnel and wasted costs within processes. The Intelligent Compressed Air Products by EXAIR can reduce noise levels and electrical costs.  One very simple exercise would be to locate all your open pipes that use compressed air.  They can be located on machines to blow off debris and even on the end of air guns.  For every open type pipe, place an EXAIR Super Air Nozzle on the end of it.  You will notice very quickly that the noise level is reduced.  It can drop the noise by as much as 40 decibels.  The other thing that you will notice is your monthly electric bill.  By adding our Super Air Nozzles to the end of your inefficient blow off pipes, you can be saving over $1,000/year for every open type pipe.

If you have poison ivy, I would suggest calamine lotion or here are some additional tips. If you have high noise levels and high energy costs, then I would suggest EXAIR products.  You can discuss how EXAIR can save you money and reduce your noise level by contacting one of the Application Engineers at EXAIR.

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

Use The Force…Or Not…It’s Up To You, Really

The month of May, in 1977, was a great time to be ten years old. I was finishing up my fifth grade year, a pivotal one, thanks to Miss Walker, who ended up being my favorite teacher ever. She had a pet rat named A.J. that we took turns taking home for the weekend. She rewarded us for class performance by taking us outside to play softball on warm & sunny spring afternoons. I trace my love for math (and hence, my inspiration for a career in engineering) to the excitement she instilled in me for the subject…I was among the first to master the multiplication tables.

And then there was Star Wars. There were commercials for the movie and the toys and the merchandise on TV; I swear they ran every five minutes. A fast food chain released a series of posters (free with purchase) and every time a new one came out, Miss Walker promptly hung it on the classroom wall. None of us, her included, could hardly wait until the premiere. I could go on (and on and on and on,) but suffice it to say (for the purposes of this blog,) I’ve been a BIG fan ever since.

Which brings us to today…opening day for “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” The first time, by the way, a Star Wars movie hasn’t premiered in the month of May, but I digress. The 10 year old inside me wants to go see it RIGHT NOW, but the grownup I have to be has a company Christmas party, two Boy Scout events, and a pre-holiday “honey-do” list to attend to first.

Of course, the “other” epic space movie series couldn’t resist launching THEIR new trailer this week…

All this talk about The Force (capital “F”) and the fact that I write this blog on company time has me thinking about compressed air applications that involve force (lower case “f”) and how using force (unlike “The Force”) is not always prudent.

This is the case in just about any blow off application that uses air under pressure. Open ended copper tubing, drilled pipes, etc., are common and easy ways to discharge compressed air for debris removal, drying, or cooling a part. But the fact is, they waste a LOT of the energy devoted to compressing the air by simply turning it into brute force and noise.

This is where EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products(r) come in: by using the energy of the compressed air to entrain air from the surrounding environment, the total air flow is amplified, resulting in a high velocity blast, at minimal consumption. No; it doesn’t have the same amount of force as an open ended discharge device, but most blow off applications don’t need all that much force anyway.

Of course, there ARE situations where you need to use the force, and we’ve got efficient and OSHA compliant ways to do that too: additional shims in Air Knives, Air Wipes & Air Amplifiers, or larger Super Air Nozzles.

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” the continuing theme of the Star Wars saga is to use The Force properly. For the past 32 years, the continuing theme at EXAIR is to help you use the force (of your compressed air) properly. Let me know how we can help.

May The Force be with us all…this weekend, and always.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Adding an Engineered Air Nozzle Prevents Buying a Larger Compressor

Atto Super Air Nozzle

Atto Super Air Nozzle

EXAIR products not only help large facilities in saving compressed air, but they also can help individuals.  I received a call from a happy customer that worked out of his garage.  He used a 5 horsepower compressor to blow off chips as his machine was cutting teeth into gears.  With his setup, he had an open copper pipe blowing continuously during the operation.  His air compressor would frequently cycle on and off, causing it to overheat and shut down.  Before purchasing a larger air compressor, he wanted to contact EXAIR to speak with the experts in saving compressed air.

I suggested the Atto Super Air Nozzle to be placed at the end of the pipe.  The first thing that he noticed was the power of the air stream.  The chips were being removed quickly, keeping the tool clean.  He also noticed that his small air compressor was only cycling on about 50% of the time instead of 90%.  This stopped the overheating issue.  He was so impressed that he contacted me to let me know how well this small mighty Super Air Nozzle worked.  He was able keep the gear teeth clean, and he did not have to purchase a larger air compressor.

It is nice when a customer is so impressed by the product that he has to contact you directly.  Whether your operation is big or small, you can save yourself money by adding EXAIR products to your operation.  If you would like to discuss further the benefits in using EXAIR products, you can contact one of our application engineers to help you.

 

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

Back Blow Nozzles: When Blowing Forward Is Not An Option

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to blow debris or chips out of a pipe or a blind hole?   Maybe it is a pipe you are saw cutting and don’t want to push chips and debris further down the pipe line  You could be trying to clean out a pipe that has debris inside and and can’t push it further down the line because it could damage other system components.  Other customers cleaning out inside diameters of pipe cannot blow all the way out the other side of the pipe due to people being present on that end of the pipe and need to avoid harming them.

The Model 1006SS cleans metal shavings from inside a pipe.

The Model 1006SS cleans metal shavings from inside a pipe.

This is where EXAIR has seen an opening in our product offering and we have filled the void yet again.  We currently offer two sizes of the EXAIR Back Blow Nozzle.   The 1/4″ NPT version, model 1006SS is made to clean out pipes from 7/8″ I.D. to 4″ I.D.   The 1″ NPT version, model 1008SS, is best suited for pipes from 2″ I.D. to 16″ I.D.

Various Views of the Model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle

Various Views of the Model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle

 

Airflow Patterns for EXAIR Back Blow Nozzles

Airflow Patterns for EXAIR Back Blow Nozzles

 

So if you have a critical operation or even just a saw cut and don’t want to blow debris further down the pipe, tube or extrusion, contact us about the EXAIR Back Blow Nozzle.

Brian Farno
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

The Time When The Only Thing Better Than An EXAIR Product…

…was another EXAIR product. And actually, it happened twice, just today:

  • An insulation manufacturer was using an open pipe blow off to push air into a five foot wide “blanket” of their product to uniformly flatten it, and blow stray fibers out and into a vacuum system for recycling. They tried a Super Air Knife, which blew the stray fibers out just fine, but didn’t produce the flatness they desired, even with additional shims installed. They then experimented with a manifold system, using a series of Model 1104 High Force 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzles, which provided the force required to blow the loose fibers out, and to produce the uniform material thickness. With a sound level of only 82dBA (which you won’t find ANYWHERE ELSE from a device that delivers 1.9 lbs of force,) they’ve also made the area much quieter.
Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

Definitely try a Super Air Knife first, but if the job calls for high force, Super Air Nozzles can be easily fitted into a pipe manifold like this.

  • A major producer of adhesive labels and specialty packaging had been using our Line Vacs extensively for scrap trim removal. They tried them on a new application where the trim was very lightweight. I’ve written before about When You Can Use An Air Amplifier, or A Line Vac, or…Either? – and this was again the case. They tried a couple of Adjustable Air Amplifiers: a Model 6044 4″ unit for the larger pieces, and a series of Model 6043 3″ units to gather in the rest, as the product traversed the production line.

Normally, we like to reserve our bragging on EXAIR products to how much better they’ll perform than the competition’s.  Which we do regularly, and we’ve got the data & experience to back it up.  But, with such a diverse product line, there are going to be situations – like these – where more than one product might fit the bill.  If this is the case, give us a call; we’re here to help you get the most out of your compressed air usage – whichever EXAIR product that may be!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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