A Better Way To Extend Tool Life

Spring is here in the Midwest, and it’s a darn fine time to be outside doing stuff. I took the opportunity the other day to set out a few tomato plants in the pitifully small area we have in our yard that actually gets enough sunlight to be effective at promoting photosynthesis – a term my 7th Grade son picked up on in science class, and I’m hoping will prove to be more interesting…at times…than his video games.

Anyway, in order to do this Real Gardening Work, I had to get some tools out of their winter hibernation. I was pleased to recall that, last fall, I had taken extraordinary measures to clean, lubricate, repair, and properly store my small arsenal of dirt-working implements. So, I didn’t have to:

*push the hand spade’s handle back in, every time I pulled it from the dirt.
*pull the pruner blades back open every time I squeezed them closed.
*reassemble my “garden weasel” tilling tool with bailing wire.

I was able to do all of that, last fall, with glue, oil, and fasteners that I already had in my garage, so it cost me nothing but the time to do it. Which paid off the other day.

There are plenty of ways to extend the life of your tooling – but it all boils down to how you operate and maintain it.  I was able to apply the latter successfully, and I recently had the pleasure of discussing an application with a machine shop’s maintenance supervisor, about applying the former. He was interested in making operational improvements by replacing their messy mist coolant systems, and extending the life of their tooling. It was almost like he’d been reading our Cold Gun literature (full disclosure: he had.)

With four systems to choose from, we can help you get the right one for your application.

With four systems to choose from, we can help you get the right one for your application.

The Cold Gun Aircoolant System has proved to be a highly successful solution to both of these problems. In fact, the improvements in tool life has been documented in this detailed, long-term study by a major university’s Forestry Products Department.

If you’d like to find out more about how an EXAIR Cold Gun Aircoolant System can improve your machining, cutting or grinding operations, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Air Amplifier Provides Needed Ventilation

Behold: The Power of the Microwave!!!

Behold: The Power of the Microwave!!!

Over the weekend, my wife and I were doing some “re-organizing” upstairs (actually throwing away some old toys and clothes), when our son decided to make a snack. I heard the pantry door close so I asked, “hey bud, what are you doing down there?”  He promptly replied, “I’m just making a snack dad. How long do you normally microwave my soup?” While we questioned making soup at 9:00 AM for a snack, I reluctantly replied 2 minutes and heard the microwave begin. Slowly, a strange (awful) odor started to fill the house so I went downstairs to investigate. To my horror, I opened the microwave door to discover that he wasn’t making a snack for him, he was actually heating up a can of dog food, so his partner in crime (our dog), “could have a warm meal like us”.  I immediately took the snack to the garbage outside and attempted to remove the stench from the house. I opened a couple windows and turned on the stove exhaust but this was still not working. That’s when I started thinking it sure would be nice to have a Super Air Amplifier handy, to help evacuate some of the odor and make the house livable again.

Using a small amount of compressed air, the Super Air Amplifier entrains a large volume of surrounding air and pulls this air through the unit, resulting in a high velocity, high volume of air on the exhaust side. The intake, or vacuum, side of the Super Air Amplifier pulls in 25 parts of surrounding air for every one part of compressed air. This high volume of ambient air being moved makes the Super Air Amplifier ideal for venting and exhaust applications.

Additionally, the vacuum and exhaust ends can be ducted, which makes this a good product for moving air from one place to another or from inside to outside. They are used in many applications for assisting air circulation and available in styles which are placed in ovens (and other high temp areas), corrosive environments, and remote locations. With the large volumes of air being moved, they are also an ideal choice where cooling and drying is required.

Our Air Amplifiers entrain enormous amounts of "free" air, at ratios of up to 25:1!

The Super Air Amplifier entrains large amounts of surrounding air, at ratios of up to 25:1.

Air Amplifiers are some of the most efficient products in the extensive EXAIR line of compressed air products. They use a patented internal shim to minimize air consumption and increase air volume on the output side. The operate exceptionally quiet, are OSHA safe and CE compliant.

If you have a ventilation or fume exhausting application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


Day 619 /365 – Radiation Burns, Jason Rogers  Link

The Importance of Filtering Compressed Air at the Point of Use

One of our overseas distributors came to us with some pretty good questions regarding compressed air filtration. I thought I would run through that discussion here to demonstrate how important filtering compressed air can be.

To start, the end customer has a fairly straight forward application to blow dust off of large building blocks. The customer has about 5 BARG pressure available at the point of use. Our distributor made a visit to the end customer where they tested a 12” Super Air Knife in the application. The Super Air Knife worked very well to remove the dusty material. So far, so good.

Next, the customer decided to order a 72” version of our Super Air Knife to install permanently into their application. When they installed the Super Air Knife, they did so without inserting a suitable compressed air filter/separator on the line feeding the Super Air Knife. They operated the air knife for some short period of time while checking the operating pressure and feeling the output force generated. It should be noted that the customer did take every other precaution to plumb the Super Air Knife correctly and had a large enough air supply to operate at sufficient pressure level to accommodate the application need.

However, they were not satisfied with the performance of the 72” Super Air Knife once installed and tested. They complained that the force was not high enough and the air flow was inconsistent in velocity. They had even attempted to insert a feeler gauge into the compressed air output slot and mentioned that it would get stuck in some spots.

What happened? The 72” Super Air Knife called for compressed air when energized. And when it did, every bit of debris that had accumulated in the customer’s piping system over the years, broke free and because there was no point of use filter, the debris ended up inside the plenum chamber of the Super Air Knife and in the compressed air slot, thus blocking off a significant portion of the airflow and causing low force condition.

Here is a  photo of the inside of the plenum after initial operation.


Debris inside plenum

You can see clearly the influx of rusty debris that passed right into the air knife plenum chamber and clogged the Super Air Knife. Given that compressed air moves so quickly through piping, the debris accumulated in the first few moments of operation.

The moral of the story is that no matter how clean you think your compressed air supply is, you should always install a point of use filter up-stream of pneumatic equipment. If this were an air motor or perhaps a solenoid valve, that same debris would have contaminated the moving parts in those systems which would have caused premature and excessive wear that could have been prevented.

What happened with the Super Air Knife? Thankfully, the Super Air Knife does not have any moving parts, so the customer was able to take the Super Air Knife out of service, disassemble it and clean the debris out of the plenum area. Once re-installed and operational with a suitable filter/separator, the customer was very happy with their results gained in the blowing application.

Certainly, this is not how we like to see a new installation go. Unfortunately, this customer had to learn the hard way, how critical a compressed air filter can be. It is easy to overlook such accessory items that are recommended to be installed with a core product. This quick example demonstrates how the small effort of adding compressed air filter/separators can really pay off for good, strong performance right out of the gate and for continued, flawless operation over time.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager

Video Blog: Meet Application Engineer Dave Woerner

This video will allow you to put a face to a name. Below I introduce myself, and add a few details about my background.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer

An Air Nozzle Application from Thailand

Years ago, I used to work at a transmission shop, pulling, rebuilding, and reinstalling transmissions and transaxles.  Along with the transmission work came other drivetrain related needs like rebuilding differentials.

Axle blow off 3 - banjo axle

Banjo axle

I recently visited with our Thai distributor, and while in Thailand we investigated a blow off need for a customer at an axle factory.  The specific need was to improve blow off of a banjo axle (A banjo axle is (typically) a rear axle used commonly in trucks or heavier-duty vehicles.  The significance of a banjo axle is that the differential unit can be completely unbolted and serviced, apart from the actual axle housing.  Other styles house the differential unit within the pumpkin in a little bit of a different manner.  Banjo axles allow for easy service and quick replacement if needed (a big plus for trucks putting heavy strain on the differentials) after welding and intermediary finishing operations.

Axle blow off 2 - axle going into cleaning machine

Banjo axle entering cleaning machine

The blow off needs were two-fold in this application.  First, the axle assembly is sent through a washing process to remove any fines present from deburring, after which the exterior needs to be blown dry.  Next, the internal sections of the tube, especially the baffles for oil flow, need to be blown off for the same reasons.

The first step of the process is experiencing efficiency problems, most notably a drop in line pressure for the surrounding applications when the blow off turns on.  We counted over 120 nozzles in use when the first stage of the blow off engages, placing a huge demand on the compressed air supply.  (This machine was fed with a 2” line from a 6” header.)

Axle blow off 1

Inefficient nozzle blowoff to be replaced with efficient EXAIR nozzles

Immediately, we wanted to know the demand of air using the existing nozzles, but we also noticed that they were dangerous in their design.  If the existing nozzles were to come into contact with a person for any reason, they could be dead-ended, which poses a safety concern.  Next, we thought about a way to limit the air demand after efficient and safe nozzles are installed.

We recommended a series of model 1101 EXAIR Super Air Nozzles, with a cascaded blow off from left to right, then right to left, and finally from the center outwards.  The process would require installation of some additional air controls and logic, but the compressed air demand from the logic controls alone could reduce demand significantly.  Couple this with the efficiency improvements of the EXAIR nozzles, and the the efficiency improvements are compounded.

The second step of the process fed a lance into the axle assembly, blowing debris toward the center.  To improve this stage of the blow off, we advised to install a 1006SS Back Blow nozzle, “pulling” the fines away from the center area of the axle.  The center area of the axle contains baffles used to divert and direct oil flow, and the fines were accumulating in the folds of these baffles.  So, rather than blowing the debris into this problematic area, we opted for the Back Blow nozzle to remove the debris and keep it away from the critical folds of the baffles.

It was good to see the solutions an EXAIR product can offer for this application in person, even if it was halfway around the world.  If you have something similar or would like to discuss your particular application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

PVDF Super Air Knives Resist Chemical Exposure

When my sons were little boys, I would find myself looking forward to their teenage years, so they’d be more mature and I’d be able to relate to them better. Those of you with older kids may begin laughing now. My thinking was, I distinctly remember being thirteen. What I failed to recall was just exactly how peculiar I appeared to my parents (and they to me), and now, I’ve got the view from the other side.

In the interest of time and good taste, I’ll limit this discussion to the subject of food. I always liked (and still do like) ketchup almost as much as the french fries. Same for the “fixin’s” on a sandwich. In fact, as an adult, I’ve discovered a universal truth, that bacon or peanut butter can be used to improve the quality of ANY sandwich.

My sons, however, don’t feel this way at all. My fifteen year old won’t put anything but cheese (American cheese, at that) on a hamburger, and his thirteen year old brother won’t even do that. Curiously, the older one prefers cheese pizza, and the younger one will eat anything that used to be an animal on his. And neither one will put any sort of condiment or sauce on ANYTHING they eat. If it’s on their plate, it better not “have stuff on it.”

I was reminded of that phrase this morning during a conversation with a caller about an Air Knife application. It will be operated in the fairly aggressive chemical environment of a plating line. We discussed the chemical compatibilities of our different material offerings, and found that the Model 110006-PVDF 6” Super Air Knife was the one he was looking for. The body & cap are PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride,) the shim is PTFE, and the fasteners are Hastelloy© C-276 alloy. It’s impervious to a long list of acids, caustics, and other harsh chemicals that even the higher grade stainless steels don’t stand a chance with.

PVDF Super Air Knives provide superior corrosion resistance.

PVDF Super Air Knives provide superior corrosion resistance.

Our PVDF Super Air Knives provide the same highly efficient and quiet performance as their aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS counterparts – plus you can get a lot more “stuff” on them without damaging them.

Regardless of where you need to install it, or what kind of stuff you might get on it, EXAIR has a Super Air Knife that will hold up in your application. Give us a call, and we’ll find the right one for you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Video Blog: Caster Assembly Procedure For 55 Gallon Drum Dolly

In the short video below, you will find the unboxing and assembly procedure for the Model # 9041, 55 Gallon Drum Dolly included in our Deluxe and Premium Industrial Housekeeping Vacuum Systems.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer



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