Force And Flow…Which One Is The Right Tool For The Job?

If you’re even a casual, occasional reader of the EXAIR Blog, you know we write an awful lot about efficiency…namely, the ability of engineered products to conserve compressed air, while optimizing its effectiveness. Oftentimes, these blogs are inspired by a conversation we’ve had with a user of simple and inexpensive (but wasteful and unsafe) blow off devices, such as open-end tubing, or drilled pipes. The first thing the caller wants to talk about is the force produced by one of our products…will it be the same as what’s being currently used?

The quick answer is no. In fact, if you’re looking for maximum force, there’s no better way to get it than simply blowing compressed air out the end of an open pipe. This has to do with nothing more complicated that grade school science – converting the potential energy (due to the compression of the air) to kinetic energy (what happens when it’s put into motion.) See, with an open-end blow off, almost all of the potential energy is converted to force. Plain old brute force. And it works GREAT for blowing stuff around…the larger the opening, and the higher the supply pressure; the more air will flow, and faster. Thing is, to produce a good blow off, you don’t need maximum force.

EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to use some of that potential energy of the compressed air to entrain large amounts of “free” air from the surrounding environment. That’s the purpose of the jets recessed between the fins of our Super Air Nozzles, and the Coanda profile of our Air Knives, Air Wipes, & Air Amplifiers.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier are engineered to entrain enormous amounts of air from the surrounding environment.

These designs reduce the amount of compressed air that is used, which reduces the load on your air compressor, which makes everyone happy (OK, maybe not that happy, but pretty happy still.) They also mean that your blow offs will be quieter, and safer.

Perhaps your application calls for higher force. If that’s the case, EXAIR’s Air Knives, Air Amplifiers, and Air Wipes can be fitted with thicker shims for additional flow and force. So can our Flat Super Air Nozzles. And our largest High Force Super Air Nozzles are capable of generating up to 23lbs (10.4KG) of force.

Perhaps, though, your application calls for the highest force that can only be achieved with an open-end blow off. If that’s the case, you can still meet OSHA compliance through the use of extra protective equipment, pressure relief valves, guarding devices, etc. But the costs of those measures can make the cost of engineered products pale in comparison, so I highly recommend you make sure of what you need.

If we can be of any assistance with that, give us a call.  We can discuss your application, and get you the right tool for the job.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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There Must Be A Better Way To Save…

 

I’m writing this blog at almost the top-dead-center midpoint of Spring Break week. My teenage sons have been “enjoying” their time off thus far with the housekeeping duties their mother has been assigning them, and the labor they’ve been providing their uncle, as he installs a new garage door for us…the one my mother-in-law paid for. I definitely married out of my league.

The last half of Spring Break, though, we’re taking a little vacation. We looked at the activities and attractions at our destination, came up with a plan on what to do and when (including an analysis of the 10 day weather forecast…which prompted me to find our rain ponchos) and have even purchased some tickets in advance, because advertising “5% SAVINGS!” on stuff really works on me, even when it’s on a $20 ticket. Before you grab your calculator, yeah…that’s a dollar. But since there are four of us, I’ve multiplied our savings by 400%! Yes; I know…four bucks.  Still, I’ll take it.

We talk to folks almost every day who want, like I do, to save money on goods and services they’re going to purchase anyway. Some have performed comprehensive energy audits, and identified opportunities to lower their compressed air generation and/or consumption rates. Others have just been looking at the bent copper tubes that are blowing off their parts and thinking there has to be a better way.

(Full disclosure: I’ve had these two exact conversations so far this week.)

Today, I want to tell you about the latter: It’s an aluminum casting plant with about a dozen lines where a robot grabs a fresh casting from the machine, dips it in a quench tank, and holds it in front of an array of copper tube blow offs for a few seconds before placing it in a bin, bound for the machine shop. Not only were they blowing at it from both sides with the copper tubes, but they were also blowing continuously…including the majority of the cycle time that did NOT include holding the part in the air flow.  Dear reader, if you’re familiar AT ALL with the EXAIR blog, you’ll know that we simply cannot abide that. Continuous flow when flow is only needed a fraction of the time is wasteful and expensive. Not to mention blowing air out of open tubes is dangerous, loud and requires and unneccessary volume of compressed air.

It's like they WANT to upset us.  What's up with that?

It’s like they WANT to upset us. What’s up with that?

They installed (2) Model 110018 18” Aluminum Super Air Knives, in place of the copper tubing, which cut down on their air consumption…and noise levels…considerably. I gave them some further recommendations on reprogramming the robot to turn the part in front of one Air Knife, and using an EFC Electronic Flow Control to turn the air off when a part was not present.

EXAIR's EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.

EXAIR’s EFC automatically turns the air off when a part is not present.

Is there a better way to use the compressed air in your facility? Whether you’ve got comprehensive data from a detailed audit, or if that open pipe is just too darn loud, all the time – give me a call…we’ll find out.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Cold Gun Removes Heat From A Peening Operation

Last week I worked with a customer who is peening the edge of an aluminum sheet. Toward the end of the run, and approximately every six inches, they were starting to see irregularities due to warping of the sheet and other heat-related damage. They were allocating a lot of valuable machining time to try and rework the sheet but in many cases the product had to be scrapped anyway. They even installed a misting system and while it worked to provide the cooling, there was now an additional step of wiping the sheet dry, so they called EXAIR for a solution.

I recommended using our Model # 5215 Cold Gun System for the application. Incorporating a Vortex Tube, the Cold Gun produces a cold air stream at 50°F below compressed air supply temperature and provides 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. Fitted with a magnetic base and flexible hose the unit can be mounted virtually anywhere on the machine and the cold airflow can be easily directed to provide cooling to the critical area. The system also includes a filter separator for the supply line to remove any water or contaminants, ensuring virtually maintenance free operation.

The #5215 produces 1000 Btu/Hour of cooling and was enough capacity to prevent the heat related problems and warping using only cold air. By removing the heat and any liquid from the process the customer eliminated the extra steps they had to put in place without any cooling and the extra steps they had in place with liquid cooling. Success!

5215

Model # 5215 Cold Gun System with one outlet. Includes: Cold Gun Single Point Hose Kit 3/8″ Cone Nozzle 1-1/4″ Fan Nozzle Filter Separator

If you have a similar cooling application, please contact an Application Engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Happy To Be Here

Well, I have officially passed another milestone on my journey to becoming an old-timer (or “curmudgeon,” as my wife would say) – our youngest child is now a teenager. Like I needed two teenagers in my house, but I digress. It’s been a wild trip so far; starting with his arrival, some seven weeks early. They had him hooked up to a LOT of instrumentation and monitoring devices for those first two week, because the rule is, “you never trust a preemie.” He’s still proving that to be good advice, to this day. But he gets it honest. And no, I’m not blaming his mother. Not completely.

I also celebrated another “trip around the sun” recently: I’ve been an Application Engineer at EXAIR Corporation for four years now. While not exactly a “milestone” – it’s not one of the anniversaries that comes with more vacation time or a nice watch or anything – I’m still very happy to be here. Let me tell you a few reasons why:

*EXAIR means performance. We make the most efficient and quietest engineered compressed air products on the market. We can…and have…proved it against any competitors’ products, in side-by-side testing in our Efficiency Lab.

*EXAIR means quality. Our Intelligent Compressed Air Products are the result of 31 years of determination to provide solutions for a variety of compressed air applications. We know of more than a few users who have had our products in place for 20+ years, and they’re still operating the same as when they were new.

*EXAIR means growth. To be an aggressive solutions provider, you have to look for more problems to solve…and we do. We’re constantly developing new products, adding wider selections of size, performance, and materials of construction to current products, and discovering new types of applications where our products can be successfully employed.

All of this comes together to make for an exciting place to work, and an easy company to do business with. Yeah…I’m still very happy to be here.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Spring Cleaning All Around

Now that Spring is officially here, my “honey-do” list has grown quite substantially as of late. Besides all the work we’ve done inside the house, moving our first son to his new room and putting the nursery back together for our second’s arrival, we now need to focus on the outside of the house (of course this is what my wife thinks is the #1 priority and hey, she is 9 months pregnant so I am going to agree!).

Spring Cleaning

They way I felt over the weekend!

First on the list is pressure washing the siding and since we were expecting temperatures near 65° this past Saturday, I wasn’t going to mind being outside. One problem though, the pressure washer was buried in the garage behind plastic tubs of old baby clothes (thank goodness we held on to these), bicycles, bags of old toys/clothes for donation and every other thing we’ve “needed to hang on to”, which meant that I was going to need to clean the garage before I could clean the house. Adding another item to the already lengthy, spring-cleaning list.

Are you looking to do some clean up around your facility? If so, EXAIR has you covered with our Industrial Housekeeping Products. ALL of these units are compressed air operated and require no electricity to operate so there are no motors to wear out or moving parts, making them virtually maintenance free!

For liquid only clean up, we offer 3 different products:

Reversible Drum Vac – attaches to any standard 30, 55 or 110 gallon closed head drum. Capable of empty or filling a 55 gallon drum in less than 2 minutes.

High Lift Reversible Drum Vac – Up to 15’ of vacuum lift and able to empty or fill the same 55 gallon drum in 85 seconds

Chip Trapper – incorporates the Reversible Drum Vac to filter solids from liquid and traps them in a reusable filter bag. The unit can they be turned into a pump to empty the filtered, clean liquid back to a tank or reservoir.

For dry materials, we offer 3 different products as well:

Chip Vac – Used for vacuuming wet or dry chips and deposits them into a steel drum.

Heavy Duty Dry Vac – Similar to the Chip Vac but made of hardened alloy construction for abrasion resistance and a higher vacuum rate.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac – Used in dusty environments to filter contaminants to HEPA standards while providing the same high vacuum rate.

For help selecting the right product for your application, give us a call at 1-800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Comet Cleaner image courtesy of garlandcannon. Creative Commons License 

Bad News, Good News, Better News

Recently, I had the pleasure of solving an application for a steel pipe manufacturer. To clean the inside diameters of their freshly-washed pipes, they were using open end blow offs: the ever-popular and easy-to-make, but loud and inefficient crushed-end tubing. I got excited, because this was my first chance to discuss our brand-new Back Blow Nozzle, which is aimed (pun intended) at cleaning inside diameter surfaces. That’s where my story develops a “bad news/good news/better news” pattern…

The bad news: The pipes that need cleaning are up to 20” in diameter…a little too large for our Model 1006SS ¼” NPT Back Blow Nozzle to be completely effective.

EXAIR's brand-new Model 1006 Back Blow Nozzle.

EXAIR’s brand-new Model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle.

The good news: The user already had a system set up, using the aforementioned “homemade” blow offs, which looked something like this:

Easy to make, hard on your ears...and your air compressor load.

Easy to make, hard on your ears…and your air compressor load.

The better news: They were able to easily adapt their system to install our Model 1120 High Force Super Air Nozzles, which lowered their compressed air consumption as well as the noise level of the operation.

That's the Model 1120 on the far right.

That’s the Model 1120 on the far right.

The moral to this story is, the solution may not be the first one that comes to mind. At EXAIR, that happens all the time. Line Vac questions turn into Air Amplifier answers, and vice versa. Cold Gun calls turn to discussions of Adjustable Spot Coolers. We’ve got three styles of Air Knives to choose from…they’re all perfectly suitable for a wide range of general industrial applications, but they each have their own particular advantages in certain situations. If you have a compressed air product application that you’d like to discuss, EXAIR is your best bet for the most efficient, quietest, quickest solution. It’s like I always say:

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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“Deluxe” and “Premium”

These are two words that have been important parts of my vocabulary for most of my life. As a long time fast-food burger connoisseur, these words mean I’m getting something other than a hastily cooked ground beef patty on an enriched white flour bun that may or may not have been sitting under a heat lamp for a specific period of time. If you’re anywhere near as familiar with drive-thru cuisine as I am, you’ll know that “Deluxe” usually means a variety of toppings has been added to an otherwise relatively plain sandwich…it’s been “run through the garden,” if you will. And “Premium” can mean anything from a special bun, gourmet cheese, up-scale meat, and/or the addition of bacon…they ALWAYS get me at bacon…

I don't know what the knife and fork are doing there, but whatever...

I don’t know what the knife and fork are doing there, but whatever…

EXAIR’s Industrial Vacuums are also available in Deluxe and Premium Kits. Now, if you’ve already got a drum, our standard Kits will quickly and economically turn that drum into a powerful, fast, and efficient vacuum system, without the need for anything fancy. If you’re looking for complete, comprehensive clean up solutions, though, our Deluxe Kits add a drum dolly, a tool holder, and additional tools. The Premium Kits also include a durable steel drum and a set of Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools.

Whatever your needs are, we’ve got an efficient, quiet, durable, long-lasting, maintenance-free vacuum system for you. Our Reversible Drum Vac will empty…or fill…a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds (tested with water.) Our new High Lift Reversible Drum Vac pumps that same 55 gallons in just 85 seconds, with up to 15 feet of suction head. Then, of course, the Chip Trapper uses our Reversible Drum Vac technology to filter and extend the life of your machine tool coolants, lubricating oils, etc.

Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

(Left to Right) Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

For solids vacuuming situations, our Chip Vac picks up wet or dry chips, debris, etc., and deposits them directly into the drum. This is the function of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac as well. It’s more powerful than the Chip Vac, for use with heavier debris, and it’s made of a hardened alloy for superior abrasion resistance. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac delivers the same high performance, with a high efficiency filter for total dust containment.

(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

Whatever your Industrial Vacuum needs are, we’ve got a solution for you. And if you order before the end of March, we’ll throw in a FREE Vac-u-Gun…our lightweight and portable vacuum gun, blow gun, and transfer tool, all in one. Call me to find out more.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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tiktok 5 photo courtesy of Kirrin.  Creative Commons License

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