Peanut Butter And The Flat Nozzle

So, the call came in about mid-morning – an operator at a facility that fills plastic jars with peanut butter needed help with an application…

And I almost got stuck thinking about peanut butter. I like food, and peanut butter is near the top of my list. I’ve seen it successfully applied to cheeseburgers, and the peanut butter & bacon sandwich is even a breakfast staple in some of the Boy Scout groups I’ve been involved with. Crunchy or creamy, peanut butter rules.

Never underestimate the power of peanut butter...or bacon...to improve the quality of any sandwich.

Never underestimate the power of peanut butter…or bacon…to improve the quality of any sandwich. And together, they’re unbeatable. Just don’t ask your cardiologist.

Now, I’m a pro, so I didn’t allow this digression to supplant the attention I was giving the caller. The application was simple enough: the nozzle feeding the jars retains a small amount of the product at the tip, which drips off when it’s good & ready, thank you very much. This is oftentimes when the jar is in motion, so this little glob falls right onto the rim of the jar, causing issues with the protective seal, and a continuing mess as this jar with peanut butter on the outside of it travels down the line.

I recommended a Model 1126SSW 316SS 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle, with Swivel Fitting. They can install this to blow precisely where the air flow can direct the last bit of peanut butter from the fill nozzle into the jar, eliminating the mess, and any chance of a faulty lid seal.

1126pr_300wide

The Model 1126/1126SS 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is ideal for high velocity, forceful blow off applications 

If you’d like to know more about how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products might help your processes run a little smoother, feel free to give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

 

Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwich photo courtesy of Arnold Gatilao  Creative Commons License

1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle Is Key In This Application

I was recently working with an automation company who was looking for a way to remove reject blank keys from a 12″ conveyor. The keys are placed on the conveyor in single rows spaced roughly 1″ apart, As the keys travel down the line, occasionally there will be a key that was damaged during the stamping process and needs to be removed from the production run. We initially discussed our Super Air Knife to blow across the width of the conveyor but they wanted to focus on the various rows, providing a single blast of air to remove just single irregular keys, one at a time.

Broken Key

I recommended they use (6) of our Model # 1126 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle and space the units 1″ apart to cover the width of the conveyor. The 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle provides a 1″ wide, high velocity focused airflow. The unit is shipped with a .015″ shim installed, providing 9.8 ounces of force when operated at 80 PSIG. The shim can be changed to different thickness levels either opening or closing the gap, providing more or less force and flow to meet the demand of the application. They were also looking for a way to operate the units independently so the nozzle would only work when their sensor identified a reject key. For this independent control, I recommended they use a solenoid valve on each supply line, allowing them to operate the nozzles from their control system.

1126

1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with shims for adjustability.

To see how we can help with your automated system, please contact an application engineer @ 800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Broken Key image courtesy of Alex Roberts   Creative Commons License

Custom Air Knives, Custom Vortex Tubes, Custom Line Vacs. What About Custom Air Nozzles?

At EXAIR we are far from shy that we offer custom solutions.   As a matter of fact, almost every catalog section has a handful of pictures that are special or custom units that we have made for our customers over the years.   We continue to add special items to our database regularly.   This could be anything from a special length Super Air Knife, a Vortex Tube with a special fitting or temperature setting, sanitary flanges on a Line Vac, or even most recently, a special 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.

Special 2" Flat Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle - Safety Wired Hardware

Special 2″ Flat Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle – Safety Wired Hardware

Special 2" Flat Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle w/ Safety Wired Hardware

A closer look at the Safety Wire that holds the bolts from backing out.

This Special 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle came from the customers requirement to use a mechanical fastener in order to ensure all hardware will not back out or come loose.  The 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is already held together by two button head cap screws that are thread locked into place in order to prevent them from loosening.  This customers requirement was not met by our standard procedures, so we stepped outside of the box yet again and have offered them a special 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with bolts that are held tight by safety wire.

Safety wire is a very popular practice in Aerospace, motorcycle racing, and even some packaging processes.   The Stainless Steel wire is twisted and wrapped around the bolt heads in a manner that will not permit either bolt from loosening and falling out.   However, it can be removed, the nozzle can then be cleaned, and the safety wire can then be replaced for preventative maintenance needs.

If you are in the need for something that you don’t directly see in our product offering, or maybe you simply need something like a bolt style changed.   Contact us and see what we can do for you.   Chances are, we will meet your needs with ease and even be in a timely fashion.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Nozzle Separation

We have customers that call because they feel the pressure of trying to save money by saving compressed air.  One such customer that contacted us for this exact reason, had an operation that was working fine, but management had to reduce cost by saving compressed air.  The operation included a robotic “pick and place” machine to move sheets of corrugate from a stack to a converter machine.  When they first started their operation, they had issues with the corrugate “sticking” together.  The speed of pulling the corrugate from the stack would create a vacuum strong enough to pull the sheet behind it.  This would cause the operation to stop.  To fix this issue, the maintenance manager placed a ¼” (6 mm) poly tube at each corner of the stack to help separation.  This would break the seal between the two sheets, allowing only one to be picked.  The problem was solved.  Or was it?

Sometimes when you place a band aid on a situation, you can cause problems in other areas.  The other area in this case was on the side of money to make the compressed air.  More companies are trying to save money by being more efficient with their compressed air usage.  The quickest and easiest way is by retrofitting open tubes and pipes with EXAIR’s Super Air Nozzles.  With this application, the customer used the model 1122 Flat Super Air Nozzle.  It is specifically designed to create a wide flat air stream.  The tube would create a round pattern hitting a larger area than the target area.  Being that the target area is just between two flat cardboard pieces, the Flat Super Air Nozzle can localized the compressed air to make it more effective.  Because it was more efficient and effective, we were able to reduce the number of compressed air blowing points from four to two.

Model 1122 Super Flat Air Nozzle

Model 1122 Super Flat Air Nozzle

After the suggestion of the model 1122 Flat Super Air Nozzles, the maintenance manager, of course, asked “How much will it cost me”?  This is an interesting question.  Compared to the initial cost against a poly tube, we are higher.  But, over time, the poly tube will cost him much much more.  Here is an estimation:

Model 1122                                                                        Model 1122

Imperial units                                                                    Metric units

Qty: 2 pcs. per machine                                                 Qty: 2 pcs. per machine

Flow: 21.8 SCFM per nozzle @ 80 psig                     Flow: 622 SLPM per nozzle @ 5.5 bar

Total per machine: 2 * 21.8 = 43.6 SCFM                Total per machine: 2* 622 = 1,244 SLPM

¼” Poly tube                                                                      6mm Poly tube

Imperial units                                                                    Metric units

Qty: 4 pcs. per machine                                                 Qty: 4 pcs. per machine

Flow: 33 SCFM per tube @ 80 psig                            Flow: 934 SLPM per tube @ 5.5 bar

Total per machine: 4 * 33 = 132 SCFM                     Total per machine: 4 * 934 = 3,736 SLPM

 

For each machine, the model 1122 Super Flat Air Nozzle will save the company, 132 – 43.6 = 88.4 SCFM (3,736 – 1,244 = 2,492 SLPM) of compressed air.

Perhaps you can see the savings in compressed air.  But, people understand money better than SCFM or SLPM.  So, let’s look at the amount of money that they will save over a year.  The cost to produce compressed air is roughly $0.25/1000 cubic foot of air (This is an estimation on the average price per KWh of electricity in the U.S., $0.10/KWh).  For an 8 hour operation, the yearly amount of time in minutes is 60 minutes * 8 hours * 250 days = 120,000 minutes/year.  With a quick calculation, we get a savings of 88.4 SCFM * 120,000 minutes * $0.25/1000 SCF = $2,652/year per machine.

If we look at the ROI for this, the model 1122 has a price of $62.00 ea.  Each machine would require 2 pcs. * $62.00 = $124.00.  The ROI will be about 12 days.  So, when the maintenance manager asks me “How much will it cost me?”, I believe he meant to say, “How much will it save me?”.  If you ever need to save on compressed air and money, you can contact one of our application engineers to help you.

 

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

Turbulent vs. Laminar Flow

I visited my family in Kentucky, and we went to the spillway at Cave Run Lake in the Daniel Boone National Park.  At the beginning of Licking River, there is a large pipe that drains from Cave Run Lake.  Kentucky had quite a bit of rain and the lake was very full.  The pressure from the lake was pushing lots of water through the drainage pipe.  It emptied into a cement channel and then into the mouth of the river.  As seen in the picture below, the water behaves violently as it exits the pipe and goes into the channel.  This turbulent state is loud and chaotic, and you can see the waves traveling upstream.  After the channel, the water transformed, and the river was quiet, calm and all flowing in the same direction.  This helped me to create a visual on how compressed air must look.

 

From Channel to River

From Channel to River

Turbulent Water from Pipe

Turbulent Water from Pipe

 

Even though we cannot see compressed air, it follows the same rules as a fluid.  Like the water coming out of the drainage pipe, the turbulence represents the flow of compressed air from an open pipe or copper tube.  The noise was extremely loud and the water was traveling side to side and back on itself.   You can see the inefficiency.  But after the channel, you can see the transformation to a laminar state.  EXAIR Super Air Knives and Super Air Nozzles do this with compressed air.  The laminar flow of air is quiet, and it efficiently works together.

Turbulence is useful for mixing, but horrible for reducing noise and effective blowing, very similar to the violent action of water flowing from the drainage pipe. You can replace an open pipe with EXAIR air nozzles to achieve the same laminar flow.  Then you can reduce the noise level, and the amount of compressed air being used.  To get the most out of your compressed air system, the EXAIR Super Air Knives and Super Air Nozzles are the products to use.   contact our Application Engineers now to discuss the amount of noise reduction and cost savings you can achieve by using EXAIR products.

 

 

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

Big TV’s and Big Compressed Air Savings

My great big TV bit the dust recently. It was a 65” rear projection, high definition…quite an upgrade over the 32” tube set that it replaced, a decade ago. One thing I remember from the day I bought it: the seller said to me as we were loading it up, “A warning: you’ll never be able to watch anything smaller.” The other thing I remember from that day was getting it back to the house and set up before my wife got home. She walked in, looked at its huge awesomeness in our modestly sized living room and said, “That’s almost embarrassing!” To which I replied, “I KNOW!!!”  Now, it WAS a little big for the room, but we acclimated quickly.

Until last month, when the display started to malfunction. I looked it up, and it was a fatal flaw: the parts would cost almost as much as a new 65” flat screen. Which we’re saving our money for…for now, though, we’re “getting by” with a 42” plasma TV that we “repurposed” from the back room. And the seller’s warning proved mostly true, although I’ve almost adjusted to the smaller screen. First world problems; I know.

One benefit of the smaller screen and advanced technology (plasma vs. those three big light bulbs in the rear projection) was decreased operating cost. Turns out, the 42” plasma uses less than 1/3 the power of the 65” rear projection (91 Watts vs. 283 Watts, respectively.) When my next electric bill comes, I’m wondering if I’m going to be pleased with the reduction, or if it’s going to put into perspective just how much TV I really watch. Stay tuned for more on that…

I recently had the pleasure of helping a customer realize a similar “a-ha” moment, with the amount of compressed air they were using throughout their plant. They were running (40) production machines, turning out custom plastic parts. Each machine had a ¼” crimped-end copper tube, which blows off the part as it’s being machined.

Each of the crimped copper lines uses approximately 30 SCFM when supplied at 80psig. These are being replaced with our Model 1100 Super Air Nozzles. They were able to quickly and easily adapt these by simply cutting off the crimped end, and installing a compression adapter fitting:

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.

The Super Air Nozzle consumes just 14 SCFM @80psig, so we should be looking at around a 50% reduction in their compressed air usage in the operation, across their (40) machines. While all the data is still not compiled to determine their actual savings, the noise reduction alone has made a noticeable difference in the plant, which they’re getting used to a LOT quicker (and more agreeably) than I am to the smaller TV screen. But enough about that…I’ll be all right; really.

So that’s two of us, waiting for the next electric bill to see just how happy we can be with our energy savings. I don’t know what they’re going to do with their savings, but mine’s going into the 65” (energy efficient) TV fund.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

Taking Professional Advice

I have an old house, turn of the last century, plaster and lath walls, remnants of knob and tube wiring, blocked over fireplaces in every room – old! Wiring in houses this old can be brittle which can make installing new ceiling fans tricky. First the ceiling is ten feet so you may be high on the ladder, and every time you need something from below you have to get a helper, carry a tool belt or climb down the ladder. Now if you are an experienced electrician, you have a tool belt filled with exactly what you need and a little extra. Cooks call this Mise en Place. My old man called it having your stuff together.

I don’t do it very well, so I have to climb down the ladder often. I tried to get a helper, but my nine month old son had trouble differentiating between a flat head screw driver and chew toy and wire nuts are clearly a choking hazard. Speaking of wire nuts. They seem to be such an innocuous widget. A wire nut is a wire nut. I have never thought much about them. Well it turns out that after the brittle wire has broken inside the wall. And then you drop the fifteenth wire nut, because it wouldn’t grab your old brittle wire. You spend some time thinking about the wire nuts as you are writing the check to the electrician. He might recommend an expensive brand of wire nuts that he uses that work great in these old houses. He gave me about twenty extra for my next attempt at electrical work, so I have a start on my electrical Mise en Place, but the next problem will probably involve plumbing…

Ceiling fan

Not my house, but similar.

Wire nuts remind me of air nozzles to some degree. They are such simple products but provide tremendous protection, and utility. There is also an incredible amount of brands, styles, and sizes. It is easy to think that the nozzle that comes installed on the thumb gun works great for home use, why should you spend time or money in investing in an upgrade. For the professional electrician, the expensive wire nuts made his day easier, more productive and his final installation safe. If you need to use compressed air to clean, dry or cool your parts, investing in an intelligent compressed air product will make the application quieter, more efficient and more effective.

Nozzle Lineup

EXAIR Engineered Solutions

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are engineered solutions that meet OSHA requirements for dead end pressure – this makes them safe. The air nozzles utilize the Coanda effect to amplify compressed air flow up to 25 times – this makes them more effective. The small orifices build up pressure inside the supply the line in order to produce higher velocities – this makes the engineered air nozzles more efficient. Stop using cheap inefficient nozzles, think about your tools, and use what the professionals use.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

Ceiling Fan Photo Courtesy of Kevin GalensCreative Commons License

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,376 other followers

%d bloggers like this: