Escape to the Hills

I’m leaving for a short three day vacation this week in Hocking Hills. This is my biannual family reunion of my Great Grandfather’s family the Trouts. This will be our 7th or 8th trip down there, and I still have yet to go hiking at Old Man’s Cave, the local tourist attraction. I have always stuck closer to the pool and the golf course and away from the trail. Russ Bowman puts me to shame. He heads up there every year with his boys to go hiking and camping, and we tend to stay at a cabin which is more like a hotel with some wood paneling. To each their own.

For my parent’s generation the reunion is a chance to catch up with cousins that they spent summers with growing up. For my generation, it is a chance to meet and reconnect with our second cousins that we normally would only see at weddings and funerals. The three day reunion allows a longer more free flowing opportunity to see who people are. It is a different perceptive to get to know people that have a lot of history in common, but you only see once in a while. Most of the weekend is amazingly unscheduled, so you can come and go as you please.

This will be different for me. I’m taking my son who was born last August to meet his third cousins. It is different for a couple reasons. First, now I don’t just have to worry how I behave at the family reunion. I have to make sure my son doesn’t head-butt the other babies like he has been known to do at day care. Second, my family gets to see him grow up and learn stories about me when I was his age through the eyes of the people that were there and knew me best. I hope they stay away from a few stories until he is older, but probably not.

Getting together with the family reminds me of working here at EXAIR. As we witnessed with the Professor’s departure, and Dear Joe’s departure we see that some people might chose to not come into work everyday anymore, but they are always a member of our community. As time passes we are constantly reminded of their impact. With the Professor’s message we constantly drive to safe customers compressed air energy, and Joe always reminded us that we are here for the customer first, and if you can, help them in any way you should.

But, of course, the messages from those two individuals are the result of EXAIR’s company culture, our product’s ability to solve customer problems, and EXAIR’s commitment to customer service.

Contact an Application Engineer today to join our family of customers.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

EXAIR’s Line Vac: An Ideal Solution For Scrap Trim Problems

I’m not a pro in the kitchen, but I know my way around most of the stuff in my kitchen drawers & cabinets. I know the value of sharp knives, cast iron skillets, crock pot liners, etc.

And I HATE plastic cling wrap.

That’s not to say I don’t USE plastic cling wrap…it might be about the quickest and handiest way to deal with open containers going back into the refrigerator, and it’s great for wrapping up leftovers that I can’t find the right container, or properly sized zipper lock bag for. It’s just that the tendency of cling wrap to, well, cling to itself, is very frustrating. Especially when I have a balled up handful of the awful stuff before I’ve even cut the piece I want, using the serrated edge of the box it comes in.

It turns out, I’m not the only one who suffers such aggravation. I had the pleasure of talking with a custom packaging materials producer who uses a bunch of our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors to convey scrap trim away from their cutting lines to be recycled. Most of these were larger units, because the material was stiff and could be uneven, requiring the larger throat diameters of the 3” and 4” Line Vacs. A new material for them, though, was similar to the dreaded plastic cling wrap. It’s only about 1” wide, and the larger Line Vacs were plenty strong enough to convey it, but it turned out, the clinginess did its job all too well, and it would adhere to the inside wall of the hose. This would quickly crumple up (like the unusable handful you end up with when you don’t hold it just right while cutting it), and clog up the hose, making them stop what they were doing until they could fish it out.

They were wondering if there was a better solution. I thought that a smaller diameter Line Vac might keep the vacuum flow’s velocity high enough to prevent the trim from adhering. I offered the services of our Efficiency Lab to test my theory, and, after trying it with several different Line Vac sizes, we were able to consistently convey it at their desired rate of 700 feet per minute, using a Model 6081 1” Aluminum Line Vac. We found it best to install the Line Vac right in the middle of the specified 20 foot run, by using 10 feet of our Clear Reinforced PVC Conveyance Hose on both the suction and the discharge. This setup is a bit different than the typical 3 feet of vacuum hose we recommend for conveying dry bulk materials, but that’s why we test.

The Line Vac conveys scrap trim quickly and easily, and can be sized for most any product.

The Line Vac conveys scrap trim quickly and easily, and can be sized for most any product.

If you’ve got a frustrating application that an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product might be the solution to, give me a call. We can talk about what we can offer for you to try, or what we can test for you in our Efficiency Lab.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Custom Solutions: Special 6″ Flanged Air Amplifier

I recently worked with a customer who was looking to increase the airflow in their scrubber system.  (For reference, a scrubber system is designed to control the air pollution in industrial exhausts by removing dangerous gases or particulate). The customer was currently using a 4″ air amplifier to move hot, acidic gases through the line but the combination of the heat and gases in the air were beginning to break down the aluminum construction. Another concern was dealing with a slight pulsation in the system that would cause the ducting to become loose, resulting in small leaks at the inlet and outlet. Not sure where to turn, they called EXAIR for assistance.

If you are familiar with our catalog or our blog, you will notice that manufacturing “special” or “custom” solutions is one of our many capabilities. In this particular application, the customer was increasing their duct size from 4″ to 6″ and determined that our Adjustable Air Amplifier design would be the best option. The Adjustable Air Amplifier allows you to adjust the output airflow by turning the exhaust end to open or close the air gap. We currently don’t offer a 6″ size in our catalog but keeping their requirements in mind, our engineers hit the drawing board.

One of our main concerns with an adjustable design was clearance available by changing the overall length of the unit when making an adjustment. The customer advised they were going to incorporate an expansion joint which would allow them roughly 2 – 3″ of space. This extra real estate would allow for a unit to be unbolted, have the adjustment made to the desired performance, then re-bolted. For this customer’s specific need, we were able to design a special 6″ flanged, 304ss, Adjustable Air Amplifier.

IMG_5185

Special 6″ 304ss, Flanged Adjustable Air Amplifier

IMG_5192

ANSI 150# RF Flanges

You no longer need to fret over your unique compressed air requirement or difficult application, EXAIR is staffed to help you solve the problem. This is just one instance of how we are able to meet the demands of a unique application. If you have a specific need, give us a call, chances are we will be able to assist as well.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

What is Ultrasonic Sound? How Does the Ultrasonic Leak Detector Work?

ULD

Ultrasonic Leak Detector locates compressed air leak

Many times when working with our customers and educating them about ultrasonic sound and how the Ultrasonic Leak Detector works, we will get questions like, “You sell the Ultrasonic Leak Detector for compressed air, but will it work to detect Helium or Nitrogen?”

The answer is yes, it has the capacity to sense either of these gases. When any gas flows through a small opening at a rate greater than 10-5 mL/second, the gas is generally understood to be in viscous flow. The greater the pressure difference across the opening, the greater the velocity of the gas moving from high pressure to low pressure side. When the velocity increases, the frequency of emitted ultrasonic noise also increases to higher frequency. And to be clear, the Ultrasonic Leak Detector has the capability to detect many different sources of ultrasonic noise. It does not have to be a gas leak, but for our purposes in dealing with the location of compressed air leaks we will stick to gas leaks in this discussion.

Ultrasonic frequencies range from 20 kHz to 100 kHz, a range that is above the perception of normal, human hearing (20 Hz – 20 kHz). The Ultrasonic Leak Detector consists of a microphone and some electronics that “tune” the device’s capability to sense frequencies in this range. And through a process called “heterodyning” the ultrasonic frequency is shifted down into a frequency range that can be heard through a set of headphones by the operator. Ultrasonic noise is highly directional. As the detecting microphone is aimed in the direction of an ultrasonic noise source, the “white noise” heard through the head phones will increase in volume thus indicating that the operator has the detector pointed in the correct direction and can proceed closer to the noise source (meaning compressed gas leak) so it can be identified, tagged and eventually repaired.

Compressed air leaks can result in a waste of up to 30% of a facility’s compressor output. A compressed air leak detection and repair program can save the facility this wasted air. You can even think of such a program as another way in which a facility can “find” additional air compressor capacity for new projects instead of having to purchase additional compressors to make up for the leakage. And the nice thing is that using the EXAIR Ultrasonic Leak Detector to identify only one leak has the great potential to pay for the tool you used to find the leak within the first 3 – 6 months. There aren’t many tools that can pay for themselves in that quick a time frame.

If you have any questions about ultrasonic noise, the EXAIR Ultrasonic Leak Detector or your specific application, kindly contact our Application Engineers to discuss your case today! If you would like to watch my video about how to operate the Ultrasonic Leak Detector, click here.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

How Much Compressed Air Can YOU Save?

I had the pleasure of speaking with a service technician with a pneumatics company recently…he was finishing up a large project for a customer that involved modifying some machinery to reduce compressed air consumption. After the performance of the newly modified machinery was verified, the customer wanted to know how they could be sure they were indeed saving the amount of air that the project engineer estimated that they would save. That’s when he called to ask about EXAIR Digital Flowmeters.

EXAIR Digital Flowmeters are available for iron pipe up to 6", and copper pipe up to 4".

EXAIR Digital Flowmeters are available for iron pipe up to 6″, and copper pipe up to 4″.

If you follow the famous (to EXAIR blog readers, anyway) Six Steps To Optimizing Your Compressed Air System, you know that this is Step #1. So, was it too late to apply a measurement device? Of course not…in this case, the machinery’s original published compressed air consumption rates were used to compare the new actual usage according to the Digital Flowmeter, and it was simple arithmetic from there.  They installed a Model 9095 Digital Flowmeter for 2″ Iron Pipe on the header supplying the machinery, and were not only impressed with the results of the upgrade, but also enjoy the at-a-glance verification of air flow.

Naturally, if you ask for our assistance in the planning stages of a compressed air optimization project, we’ll encourage you to follow the Six Steps in order. Depending on the nature of the problem(s) and the size & complexity of your system, there may be more or less attention paid to certain steps than others.

For instance, a system that was originally equipped with Receiver Tanks at predetermined locations might allow us to skip right over Step #5. If engineered or automated controls, like our EFC Electronic Flow Control & Pressure Regulators are already incorporated, we can check off Steps #4 and #6.

Receiver Tanks are an ideal solution for intermittent demands for high volumes of compressed air.

Receiver Tanks are an ideal solution for intermittent demands for high volumes of compressed air.

The EFC Electronic Flow Control uses a photoelectric sensor to turn air flow on & off, as needed.

The EFC Electronic Flow Control uses a photoelectric sensor to turn air flow on & off, as needed.

Use an EXAIR Pressure Regulator to limit your air supply pressure to the value necessary to accomplish the task.

Use an EXAIR Pressure Regulator to limit your air supply pressure to the value necessary to accomplish the task.

Regardless of “where” you start with your optimization project, “when” you start should be right now. Leaks and inefficiencies won’t fix themselves. Give us a call, and let’s get started.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Feels Good To Be The Best

Over the weekend, here in the United States we celebrated Independence Day where we declared ourselves as an independent nation, no longer under the rule of Great Britain. Amid all of the celebration there was another event taking place that captured the attention of our great nation – the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) was set to compete in the championship game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

The USWNT last captured the cup back in 1999 in dramatic fashion by winning 5-4 on a penalty shootout. They also made the final game in the last Women’s World Cup back in 2011 but this time they were unable to duplicate their earlier success and ended up conceding the championship match on a penalty shootout to the Japanese women’s team.

Fast forward to this year, where the USWNT was the odds-on favorite to win based on a balanced roster featuring several veteran players with previous World Cup experience and what some consider the sport’s greatest goalie. They had a few scares along the way, but ultimately were able to advance to the championship game where they matched against a familiar foe – The Japanese national team.

Already fueled by the bittersweet taste in their mouth from the 2011 defeat to the same team, the USWNT came out on fire and scored their first goal in the first 3 minutes followed by their 2nd and 3rd goal, all by the same player, by the time the game clock reached 16 minutes. Needless to say, the team was well on their way to avenging their previous loss and eventually winning the tournament by a 5-2 final score with bragging rights as the best women’s soccer team in the world – at least for the next 4 years.

US Flag

Congratulations to the United States women’s national team – 2015 FIFA World Cup Champs!

I must admit that I am not an avid soccer fan, but rather a sports fan in general and always cheer for United States teams during international competitions. Congratulations to the USWNT on being the best in their sport.

Being the best when dealing with compressed air products, is what we continually strive for here at EXAIR as well. We are always willing to take the necessary steps to maintain our reputation as the industry leader.

Because we offer the largest selection of sizes and materials within all of our product lines, you can be confident you will find a solution to your problem. For example, we manufacture our Super Air Knives available up to 108″ in single-piece construction (an industry first) and have Super Air Knives available in 4 different materials.

Since we are committed to manufacturing custom solutions, developing new products and do the manufacturing – you can be confident that you have the flexibility and expertise of a company able to improve your unique application.

Don’t be concerned about getting your products on time, we have maintained a 99.9% on-time shipments record for 19 years running. We put our team to work for you everyday.

To experience championship level service, give us a call at 1-800-903-9247!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

United States Flag image courtesy of Robert Claypool via Creative Commons License

 

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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