Dealing With The Unexpected

Last year about this time, I used the bully pulpit of my weekly blog to update you on the success of our ninth annual Father’s Day Weekend Campout. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m about to fill you in on how awesome the tenth was, but first:

A fellow Boy Scout leader is fond of saying that, when you camp, the weather is always perfect. It may be perfectly sunny or perfectly rainy. Perfectly warm or perfectly cold. Perfectly wet or perfectly frozen. Regardless, it’s always perfect. Yeah; we don’t always like him.

If we’ve learned one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected. This year, it rained. Well, not the whole time. Friday evening was beautiful…we got the campsite set up and dinner cooked well in advance of sundown. My friend & his son had recently waterproofed their tent, and me & my boys had recently purchased a new tent. Both were successfully, and extensively, leak tested Friday night. And all day Saturday. ALL DAY.

This, of course, put a damper on our plans to zipline, which didn’t exactly bother me. I’m sure it’s a temporary reprieve; I mean, I know darn well what I’m doing next year for Father’s Day Weekend, and it CAN’T rain forever. It also, however, put an unexpected damper on our plans to kayak on Sunday. The weather was gorgeous…and fitting for the first day of summer. It was hot enough to make some horseplay in the river sound downright inviting…but the constant rain over the past week had swelled the river banks, and none of the docks were accessible. So we broke camp and returned home to dry our gear. And to look forward to next year.

As Application Engineers, it’s a big part of our jobs to not just expect, but eliminate the unexpected. At EXAIR, we have an impressive arsenal of tools at hand to do just that. Our Efficiency Lab is fully stocked and outfitted to test any of our products…or yours…for performance and effectiveness. We’ve got a wealth of data in our constantly growing Case Study Library. Our Application Database has over 1,000 instances of what will work in certain situations, and our notes on product returns from our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee give us information on what WON’T work.

If you’d like to find out how our products…and their capabilities…can work for you, give us a call. I look forward to seeing how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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How To Determine Which EXAIR Product Is Right For You

Expert Testing, Professional Results

Expert Testing, Professional Results

Those of you who are frequent readers of the EXAIR blog (we appreciate your loyalty and fine taste, by the way) probably know a little something about our Efficiency Lab. This is where, upon request, we will perform a controlled test of a compressed air product that you’re currently using, and provide a comprehensive report, comparing it to a suitable EXAIR Engineered Compressed Air Product.

It’s a service that we provide at no charge, and to “sweeten the pot,” our goal is a 24-hour turnaround on the testing, from the time we receive your product.

For some folks, however, seeing is believing…and sometimes, critical elements of a particular application just can’t be duplicated in our facility, so a “real world” trial becomes the only way to find out for sure. That’s where our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee comes in. If you’ll commit the time to give us a try, we’ll commit to allowing you to do, risk free.

Give any EXAIR catalog product a 30 day trial, risk free.

Give any EXAIR catalog product a 30 day trial, risk free.

This was exactly the case with a manufacturer of cable cleaning equipment, who sought an efficient, quiet compressed air solution to dry the cable upon exiting their machinery. Some of the cables that these machines service are very small in diameter, so they wanted to evaluated both an Air Wipe, and an Air Amplifier.  Both had theoretical advantages:

Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2" to 11".Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2″ to 11″. The Air Wipe’s 360° converging flow provides for positive contact with the material, which uniformly wipes the entire surface with high velocity air. Its split clamshell design also eliminates the need to thread the material through it.

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

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

The Air Amplifier’s compressed air consumption is lower, its operation is quieter, and it’s less expensive.

After trialing both a Model 2430 ½” Aluminum Standard Air Wipe and a Model 120020 ¾” Super Air Amplifier, the Air Amplifier proved itself out, and became their standard offering on this machine.

For 31 years now, EXAIR Corporation has established and maintained a formidable reputation for being easy to do business with. In Application Engineering, we support this by committing to making sure you get the most out of our products. If you have an application, or an idea, you’d like to discuss, give us a call. We can’t wait to find out how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Keep Frightening Compressed Air Costs at Bay

Last week my wife, 6-1/2 year old son, 9-week old son, mother-in-law and I all took a trip to what some call the “most magical place on earth” in Orlando, Florida. You may be thinking the same thing I was when my wife dreamed up this lovely idea….. “14 hours in a car with a 9 week old? Seriously???”. Much to our surprise the trip down was great, no crying – not even once, but the ride home was drastically different.

Anyway, we have been there several times in the past so we know what we like to ride and anticipate waiting in long lines. My mother-in-law, who really isn’t in to the whole park/ride theme, decided to stay back with the baby. This was a HUGE  benefit to the rest of us as we wouldn’t feel guilty having them wait while we rode the “big kid” rides (per my oldest). We rode the completely dark, indoor coaster, the runaway train and the log flume mountain with no ill effects, then came the haunted house ride. My son, who has waited in line with us before then bailed right at the moment of “no-return”, decided he was big and old enough this year to not be scared. We went through the first part of the ride where you stand in a dark room that appears to stretch from ceiling to floor, revealing some ghostly images before the lights black out and the narrator’s voice beckons “now try and find a way out! Or you can use MY way”. At this point, a door opens in the back of the room where you board the “Doom Buggy” for the ride portion. This is also the exact point that a once brave little boy breaks down with panic and hysteria. After some reassurance that he would survive and it was all fake, we boarded the buggy.

Haunted mansion

Entrance to the haunted ride

Things were going great until the ride broke down for about 15 minutes at the worst possible area….. There were ghosts hitchhiking for a ride and a screaming ghoul that kept jumping up from behind a tombstone. Just what we didn’t need! The ride finally started back up and relief set in that it was almost over, except for the fact that the ride broke down again for a couple minutes where one of the hitchhiking ghosts has now caught a ride with your buggy, visible by the large mirrors in front of you! This was just way too much for my son who literally ran off the ride warning others to stay away, “it’s real, the ghosts shut the ride down, stay away, it’s too scary!”.

Leak Detector

Model # 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector

At EXAIR, we have a completely different idea of what is scary. We are not scared of ghosts or ghoulish sounds, nor high speed coasters or crying babies on a 14 hour car ride. We have a tendency to think that high energy costs due to compressed air waste are scary. Cost od compressed air is significant and if you are not optimizing its use, those costs can get more out of control than a 6 year old in a haunted house.

Our Ultrasonic Leak Detector  is one of the products we use to keep frightening compressed air cost at bay. It is a simple, hand held way to locate costly leaks in your compressed air system. When the source of a leak is located, the LED display will light up and when using the supplied headphones, a tone will alert the presence of a leak.

Another way keep from warning others about how scary it may be is to monitor compressed air usage with our Digital Flowmeter. The digital displays easily identifies the amount of compressed air being used (SCFM or m³/hr) in the line. Add in the Summing Remote Display and with the simple push of a button you can monitor the current usage, 24-hour period and total usage from up to 50′ away from the installation point of the Digital Flowmeter. Not to mention the benefit of our USB Data Logger that connects directly to the Digital Flowmeter and can record the flow rate from once every 12 hours down to every second. This information can then be imported to Excel or viewable with the supplied software.

dfmpp_datalogger300x300

Digital Flowmeter and USB Data Logger

Summing Remote

Summing Remote Display powered by the Digital Flowmeter

Now as a dad, I have the tedious task of reassuring my son that everything will be fine, a scary task in it’s own right. To avoid being haunted by your compressed air usage, give us a call so we can have you “resting” as well.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 
Haunted Mansion Holiday FastPass image courtesy of Loren Javier via Creative Commons License

Summer Returns & So Does Heat Related Damage to Electrical Cabinets

Summer has not officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the calendar, but temperatures have started to push 90 degrees Fahrenheit here in Cincinnati. As the temperatures increase, your electronics may start to feel the heat. High temperatures can cause circuits breakers to trip, controllers to shutdown, and connectors to be very sensitive.  We have seen electronics lose machine control, report bad readings, or if the heat is not managed promptly, damage circuitry. EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Systems are a simple, quickly installed and effective solution to heat related problems. Beside being installed in minutes and shipping from stock, they have additional benefits over fans, air conditioners and heat exchangers.

During the heat of the summer, fans, air conditioners, and heat exchangers may fail when you need them most.  For instance,  a fan and a heat exchanger work because the temperature differential between the ambient temperature and the inside of a cabinet is large. As the temperature rises, the ambient temperature goes up and a fan or heat exchanger lose their ability to remove heat from the cabinet. In a climate controlled environment this works great, in a hot plant floor without air conditioning, it is a recipe for failure.

So if fans aren’t a good solution you may turn to air conditioners in the summer because they can still produce very cold air at much higher ambient temperatures. You will need hours to install them, cross your fingers that they arrive undamaged, hope the condenser and other moving parts don’t fail and provide a drain for the condensate. If you are in a dusty environment, the filters will clog more often in the summer and require more maintenance. As the temperature rises the air conditioning systems run more often which means they pull in more air and particulate that will clog the filters and lead to reliability problems in the compressor. This compressor is subjected to more of a work load in the summer and more airflow restriction, if the filters are not changed often. This may lead to more air condition filters during the summer months.

EXAIR compressed air operated Cabinet Coolers System are a great solution for cooling enclosures. They operated via vortex cooling which requires no moving parts or filters from the outside air.  They drop your compressed air temperature 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mounting requires a compressed air supply, a standard electrical knockout, and the locknut that comes with the Cabinet Cooler System. The cooling is produced immediately with no lag time. A Electronic temperature controller is a available to maintain a temperature of your choosing.

ETC Dual CC Systems

Cabinet Cooler with ETC

Cabinet Cooler Systems are maintenance free with a clean dry supply of compressed air. Recently, we tested a cabinet cooler that was over twenty years old that still tested to our production standard.  The customer was delighted to hear that is was working so well they wanted it returned.  Cabinet Cooler Systems are available for NEMA 12, NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X enclosures. Kits include compressed air filtration to keep water, dirt and oil out of your enclosure. If you see an open panel door this summer, look into a Cabinet Cooler Systems. We can help you beat the heat.

fan enclosure

Cabinet Coolers will help you avoid this situation.

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers are in stock and ready to ship to you same day if ordered by 3:00 pm EDT. You can have it tomorrow if you like.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

 

Video Blog: How To Increase Line Vac Conveyance Rate By Drilling Out Generator Holes

Here is our latest Application Engineering Video which explains and shows the step-by-step process of increasing performance of a Line Vac in-house. Though EXAIR does have a line of Heavy Duty Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors available from stock, not everyone needs the toughness and superior abrasion resistance they offer. This video shows how to get similar performance from an aluminum or stainless steel Line Vac.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Great Team Make-up

Last June I wrote a blog titled Teamwork, where my oldest son was just finishing up his first season of tee ball. While he picked up the game pretty quick, much to our surprise, he decided not to play baseball this summer and instead wanted us to sign him up to play pee wee football later in the year.

Football

Are you ready for some football? I certainly am!

A couple weeks ago he was fitted for his football uniform and we got to meet some of the other kids that would be on his team. Turns out one of his teammate’s dad is actually a close friend of mine who was approached about being the head coach for the upcoming season and asked if I would be willing to be an assistant. Now, my brother and I have coached my son’s basketball teams over the last 2 winters so I am somewhat familiar in dealing with 5 – 7 year olds  (our largest roster had 9 kids) and getting them to focus on anything, much less learn the basic fundamentals of a sport.

When our team roster was emailed to us the first thing that stood out to me was that we have 24 kids on the team! What we were thinking? There is ZERO chance that just the 2 of us could handle this group so we started recruiting other assistant coaches. We wanted people we knew had either played the game or at least knew the game and had some previous coaching experience. I personally reached out to my brother who happened to be an all-league defensive lineman and his friend who was the star receiver on their high school teams. In my day, I played running back and linebacker and the head coach played offense and special teams so we were pretty well covered from a coaching standpoint. The real test comes in July when practice starts!

This got me thinking about the Application Engineering team we have assembled here at EXAIR. We can pull information from our diverse backgrounds in industrial pumps, automation, machine tool, gas regulators, power transmission and other industrial products. It is very much a team effort here – if one of us doesn’t know, we ask. If we need to do more research, we will do that too and get back to you. Whatever it takes to provide the best possible solution for your compressed air applications.

To put our team to work for you, give us a call.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

10 20 30 / Whatever image courtesy of Giovanni Arteaga, Creative Commons License

A Sound Reckoning Of The Super Air Knife

In May of 1976, The Who performed a concert in London that Guiness’ Book of World Records used to certify them as the World’s Loudest Band. A sound level of 126 decibels was recorded and documented at a distance of 32 feet from the stage. That’s right at the boundary of the threshold of pain.  Which I’m sure is what they were going for.

There are a variety of charts available that relate common noises to the decibel levels they could be expected to produce. For instance, a DC-9’s engines produce a sound level of about 120 decibels at takeoff or landing. Now, imagine if such a plane were to land at the aforementioned concert: would the sound level, at a given distance, be equal to those two decibel levels added together?

The answer, of course, is no, because we’re talking about sound pressure level. It’s not EXACTLY the same as fluid pressure, but a decent analogy is that, if you have an air compressor supplying your system with 100psig compressed air, turning on your other, identical air compressor won’t result in 200psig in your system.

I mention this for a couple of reasons. One; I’m a BIG fan of The Who, and I heard one of my favorite songs of theirs on the radio this morning: “You Better You Bet,” from their Face Dances album, which came out in 1981 and hence would not have been played at the 1976 Loudest Band concert, but I digress.

The other reason is because of a conversation I had with a caller about the sound levels produced by our Super Air Knives. The published sound pressure level is 69 dBA. “dB” is short for decibels; “A” means the unit is weighted to express the relative loudness of sounds as perceived by the human ear. Anyway, the caller was interested in knowing how much louder our longer Super Air Knives were than their shorter counterparts. The answer is, of course, they’re not louder…for the same reason that your second air compressor doesn’t double the air pressure in your system, which is the same reason that the fictional jet landing at the rock concert wouldn’t double the sound level.

Now, a couple of things to consider: the sound pressure levels that we publish were measured at a distance of 3 feet to the side of the Super Air Knife. Sound levels at a closer distance, and/or in front of or behind the Air Knife, will be different. Also, the Super Air Knife was blowing into free air. If the air flow is impinging on a surface, there will be a sound level associated with that as well. If it’s in excess of the 69 dBA that the Super Air Knife is producing, then that’s what your ears are going to be subject to.

All things considered, though, the Super Air Knife is INCREDIBLY quiet, considering the amount of air flow it’s producing. The science behind this has to do with what makes them so efficient with their use of compressed air: their entrainment ability. The Super Air Knife’s design allows it to use the primary compressed air flow to entrain enormous amount of air from the surrounding environment. This entrained air not only multiplies the resultant flow rate produced, but forms an attenuating boundary layer, which effectively reduces the sound level produced by the high velocity compressed air.

The Super Air Knife entrains air at a rate of 40:1, relative to its compressed air consumption.

The Super Air Knife entrains air at a rate of 40:1, relative to its compressed air consumption.

If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as the Super Air Knife can reduce your air consumption AND your sound levels, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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