When Efficiency And Practicality Collide

Even if you’re a casual reader of our blogs, you already know that EXAIR Application Engineers LOVE to preach efficiency in the use of compressed air…it’s our “bread and butter;” the very nature of our business. This year, we’re celebrating thirty-five years of leading the way in the development of efficient, safe, and quiet compressed air products. Our track record of success as a solutions provider across a diverse range of industrial and commercial applications is well documented in our blogs, as well as Knowledge Base and Case Study Libraries.  We devote considerable resources (engineering, research & development, product testing, etc.) to making certain that EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products cost less to operate, and perform better, than whatever you’re using right now.

Strange as it may seem, though, sometimes our products are EXTREMELY popular in cases where they INCREASE a facility’s consumption of compressed air…by replacing something that DOESN’T use compressed air at all:

*I’ve written before about how our Large Maximum Cold Temperature Vortex Tubes have replaced liquid nitrogen rigs in freeze sealing operations.  Now, a Vortex Tube directs a portion of its air supply to (usually) unusable hot exhaust, in order to generate the usable flow of cold air.  When compared to the costs of liquid nitrogen and the resources involved to get it where it needs to be, though, the cost of the compressed air needed to operate the Vortex Tube is indeed the practical solution.

A 1/4 ton of refrigeration from a product that fits in the palm of your hand, and all you need is a supply or compressed air!

*Line Vacs are probably THE prime example of the value of using compressed air where it wasn’t used before…replacing a “bucket and ladder” operation:

Straight from our Catalog, a perfect example of using valuable compressed air to save even more valuable resources.

*Then there are the situations that just come down to time.  In large spaces, our Super Blast Safety Air Guns can be used to “sweep” the floor in a fraction of the time it takes an operator with a push broom.

Super Blast Safety Air Gun makes short work of large area cleanup.

To make a long story just a little bit longer…if you’re using compressed air, you can use it better with EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products.  And there are plenty of practical applications where you’re not using compressed air right now too.  If you’d like to find out more about either one, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Cabinet Coolers – Built to Last!!!

I recently had the pleasure of working with a customer in UAE that manufactures tobacco products. They were duplicating an existing line due to an increase in demand and needed another Cabinet Cooler. The previous unit, HT4325-24VDC, had been installed approximately 20 years ago and was still functioning without any issues. This was long before he had started working with the company and they were unable to locate any order history with EXAIR to determine the appropriate model size to order.

cabinet cooler
HT4325 Cabinet Cooler – 20 years old!!!

They installed the cooler and auto-drain filter that comes with the kit. The only maintenance they’ve had to complete for the system is periodically changing the filter element. The Cabinet Cooler has no moving parts to wear out and requires little to no maintenance so long as it is supplied with clean, dry compressed air.

EXAIR’s UL Listed, CE Compliant Cabinet Coolers are available with Nema 12 (IP54) or Nema 4/4X (IP66) ratings. They’re capable of delivering 275 Btu/hr – 5,600 Btu/hr of cooling capacity and can be thermostatically controlled to reduce compressed air consumption. The rugged nature of EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers makes them an ideal solution for dirty industrial environments. No longer will you experience shutdowns or downtime due to an overheated cabinet, maintenance required for A/C units, or contamination inside of your enclosure. By purging the cabinet with cool, clean air the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler keeps your cabinet cool while also preventing any dirt, dust, or debris from the ambient environment from wreaking havoc on your sensitive electronics.

The thermostatically controlled systems are pre-set to 95°F, but can easily be adjusted. Check out the video below for a brief instruction of how to adjust the thermostat if you require a different temperature inside the cabinet.

 

 

If you have control panels that are shutting down to excess heat, give us a call. With our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide, we’ll just need a few quick measurements and we can easily size the appropriate system for your needs.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Super Air Knife And Plumbing Kits = Best Performance And Easy Installation

 Of the 3 styles of Air Knife offered by EXAIR, the Super, Standard and Full-Flow, the Super Air Knife is our most efficient, in regards to compressed air usage. Using a 40:1 amplification rate of entrained ambient air to compressed air consumed, it uses only 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 PSIG, while producing a low sound level of only 69 decibels (the quietest on the market today). The Super Air Knife provides  an even laminar flow of air across the length of the knife and is available in single piece lengths from 3″ up to 108″ in aluminum, 303 stainless and 316 stainless as well as up  to 54″ in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) construction for applications where aggressive chemicals may be present. 1/4″ FNPT air inlets are available on each end as well as on the bottom of the knife.

Aluminum, Stainless Steel and PVDF Super Air Knives

For Super Air Knives 24″ and longer, you need to plumb air to multiple inlets to maintain an even airflow. Our available Plumbing Kits includes the properly sized hose or pipe and fittings, to not only save valuable time looking for these parts yourself but also eliminates the potential of using undersized lines which will reduce the performance of the Super Air Knives.

For Super Air Knives in aluminum construction, the Plumbing Kits include cut to length PVC compressed air hose and the required brass fittings.

Plumbing Kit for aluminum Super Air Knives

The Plumbing Kits for our stainless steel and PVDF Super Air Knives, include 316ss cut to length pipe as well as 316ss fittings.

Plumbing Kit for 303ss, 316ss and PVDF Super Air Knives

The Super Air Knife is the ideal choice when looking to treat wide-area applications, like cleaning a conveyor or drying parts after a wash process. For help selecting the best product to fit your process, contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

About Sliding Vane Air Compressors

Over the last few months, my EXAIR colleagues have blogged about several different types of air compressor types including single and double acting reciprocating and rotary screw. (You can select the links above to check those out.) Today I will review the basics of the sliding vane type, specifically the oil/lubricant injected sliding vane compressor.

The lubricant injected sliding vane compressor falls under the positive displacement-type, the same as the other types previously discussed.  A positive displacement type operates under the premise that a given quantity of air is taken in, trapped in a compression chamber and the physical space of the chamber is mechanically reduced.  When a given amount of air occupies a smaller volume, the pressure of the air increases.

Each of the previous positive displacement type compressors use a different mechanism for the reduction in size of the compression chamber.  The single and double acting reciprocating use a piston that cycles up and down to reduce the compression chamber size. The rotary screw uses two inter-meshing rotors, where the compression chamber volume reduces as the air approaches the discharge end.  For the lubricant sliding vane type, the basic design is shown below.

Sliding Vane2
Air enters from the right, and as the compression chamber volume reduces due to counterclockwise rotation, the pressure increases until the air discharges to the left

The compressor consist of an external housing or stator, and the internal circular rotor, which is eccentrically offset.  The rotor has radially positioned (and occasionally offset) slots in which vanes reside.  As the rotor rotates, the centrifugal forces on the vanes cause them to move outwards and contact the inner surface of the stator bore.  This creates the compression areas, formed by the vanes, rotor surface and the stator bore.  Because the rotor is eccentrically offset, the volume of the compression area reduces as the distance between the rotor surface and the stator reduces.  As the rotor turns counterclockwise, the vanes are pushed back into the rotor slots, all the while in contact with the stator surface.  The shrinking of the compression area leads to the increase in air pressure.

Oil is injected into compression chamber to act as a lubricant, to assist is sealing, and to help to remove some of the heat of compression.

The advantages of the lubricant sliding vane compressor type is very similar to the lubricant injected rotary screw.  A few key advantages include:

  • Compact size
  • Relatively low initial cost
  • Vibration free operation- no special foundation needed
  • Routine maintenance includes basic lubricant and filter changes

A few of the disadvantages include:

  • Lubricant gets into the compressed air stream, requires an air/lubricant separation system
  • Requires periodic lubricant change and disposal
  • Less efficient than rotary screw type
  • Not as flexible as rotary screw in terms of capacity control in meeting changing demands

EXAIR recommends consulting with a reputable air compressor dealer in your area, to fully review all of the parameters associated with the selection and installation of a compressed air system.

If you would like to talk about compressed air or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Diagram:  used from Compressed Air Challenge Handbook

EXAIR Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs™: Overview

Threaded Heavy Duty Family

Do you have operators climbing steps to dump bags of material in hoppers?  Or do you need a faster way to remove scrap from your process?  Or do you have budgetary constraints in trying to move material from pont A to point B?  If you answered yes to any of these, EXAIR can help you.  We manufacture an air operated conveyor that does not have any moving parts, very compact in design, and has a high throughput capacity.  They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges.   These inexpensive conveyors are designed to make conveyance safer and ergonomically better for your operators.  EXAIR calls this product line, Line Vacs™.

The Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design of the generators creates a high velocity to create a powerful vacuum on one side.  Once the product reaches the throat area of the Line Vac, the compressed air will carry the product the rest of the way.  We can reach horizontal distances up to 100 feet (30 meters) away and vertical heights up to 20 feet (6 meters).  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials.  In this blog, I will cover the Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs.

Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vac

The Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs are designed to convert regular piping into a powerful conveying system.  They range from ¾” NPT to 3” NPT and can connect easily to PVC and pipe fittings.  The construction is made from a hardened alloy steel to resist abrasion which can occur prematurely with aluminum or stainless steel.  The Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vac can create a higher vacuum level to pick up heavier objects as well as conveying larger volume of material.  As a kit, the Line Vac will come with a filter, regulator, and a mounting bracket.  This adds overall value in mounting, controlling, and protecting the Line Vac for years to come.  This simple device is a great product to use in rugged industrial applications.

If you need to convey heavy materials like steel shot or abrasive products like ceramic or shot-blasting media, the Heavy Duty Line Vac could be a blessing for you.  Not only can they transfer material safely and quickly, but they also will help in saving the backs and knees of your operators.  If you would like to discuss your application further, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Super Air Knife Reduces Defects and Lowers Freight Costs

The EXAIR Super Air Knife – high force with precision flow

An Argentine food manufacturer recently reached out to our distributor in Buenos Aires (AYRFUL) to discuss a potential application for EXAIR products.  The need became clear when a packaging line for soon-to-be-frozen food began experiencing problems with excessive water on the surface of the packages.  In this process, the packages are rinsed to remove any unwanted debris, and then sent into a large freezer before distribution to local groceries.

The excessive water on the packages would become ice, which would fuse the packages together when stacked in boxes for transporting to retail centers.  This fusing caused rips in the packaging when they were separated, thereby creating unsellable goods, ultimately leading to returns for this manufacturer.  And, the residual water also increased the total weight of the packed packages, enough to increase the actual weight when bulk packed.  This increase in actual weight led to an increase in freight costs from their courier.  So, this manufacturer needed a way to remove the residual water, reduce defects and returns, and simultaneously lessen the freight cost.

Model 110048 Super Air Knife (inside red box) blowing off residual water after rinsing and before freezing. See note on plumbing below.

The solution they found was a 48” EXAIR Super Air Knife, model 110048, mounted using (2) Universal Air Knife Mounting Kits.  The Super Air Knife in this application provided a precision airflow to blow off the water from the top of the packages, after rinsing and before freezing.  Removing the water at this stage, as shown above, eliminated the problem of fused packages, rejected products, returns, and increased freight.  And, the Super Air Knife was able to do this at a low operating pressure, fed from a single compressed air inlet.

(Note – EXAIR recommends plumbing multiple compressed air inlets for Air Knives longer than 18”.  For this model, 110048, we recommend compressed air be supplied to (3) compressed air inlets.  Plumbing less inlets will reduce the compressed air flow into the knife, which reduces possible operating pressure.  In this case, the lower operating pressure was acceptable, however, we still recommend to plumb (3) compressed air inlets on a 48” Super Air Knife.)

Plumbing specifics aside, this solution still brought tremendous value for the customer.  They were able to solve the root cause of a multi-faceted problem with an engineered solution.  If you have an application in need of an engineered solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com

Ion Air Jets Make Beekeeper’s Operation As Sweet As Honey

A honey producer sells their product in specialty glass jars. They pay a premium for these jars, as they enhance the appearance of their product, so the “visual” is obviously very important to them. So much so, that they’re willing to go to great lengths to make sure that the jars are sparkly clean and pristine before filling them with honey.

It’s a given that the inside needs to be clean…it’s a food product, so, of course, there’s a thorough cleaning process for that. The outsides of the jars, though, would sometimes have a little dust or debris left over in the ‘nooks and crannies’ which took away from the crystal clear appearance of the rest of the jar.

They got a Model 8494 GEN4 Ion Air Jet Kit, which they use to remove all of this dust & debris from the outside of the bottle, and then they got another Model 8194 GEN4 Ion Air Jet (which uses the same Power Supply, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator from the 8494 Kit) to blow an “insurance” blast of ionized air inside the bottle…just in case. “You can’t be too careful” is a popular mantra for folks who make food products, it seems!

Compact, convenient, easy to use: EXAIR Model 8194 GEN4 Ion Air Jet creates a focused blast of ionized air for static dissipation and cleaning.

Ionized air is extremely effective for ensuring the cleanliness of glass surfaces. Window makers love our Super Ion Air Knives. Some big name sunglasses manufacturers use our Ion Air Jets to ensure the highest quality and consistency of their products. Ion Air Jets and Ion Air Cannons are commonly used to keep optics clean & clear in critical vision inspection systems. If you’d like to find out more about improving “visuals” with ionized air, give me a call.