If I were to tell you that I can take a supply of ordinary compressed air and drop it’s temperature by 50°F without any type of refrigerant or electrical connection, you might be scratching your… More
Safety, it’s a word that gets tossed around in both the work place and in your daily life. From the beginning of time, people have been injuring themselves at work and at home. Today’s well known phrases “Hey watch this” or “Hold my Beer” became a popular way to say I am about to do something crazy and stupid and I know it. As someone who enjoys the outdoors and the thrills of extreme sports, I can attest from both personal experience and the experiences of those around me that people don’t make smart decisions. At a young age I had a laundry list of injuries longer than most people 10 years older than me. But even in the craziest of my stunts (i.e. running an 18’ waterfall in a kayak) there is a level of safety that is put into place. That safety can come from the practice it takes to develop higher skill (experience) or from the knowledge of experts around you.
Companies have been trying to figure out ways to make offices and manufacturing plants a zero-incident environment for a long time. A lot of safety departments call this journey the Road to Zero and track each incident closely. Aside from policies and equipment modifications there are consulting and certification companies that focus solely on the safety of products used in manufacturing and production plants. One of the more prominent companies in the U.S. is UL or Underwriters Laboratories; this company was founded by an electrical engineer named William Henry Merrill in 1894. In 1893 an insurance company hired Merrill to perform a risk assessment on new potential clients, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. This led him to realize the potential for an agency to test and set standards for product safety.
One example of a sought after and critical accreditation is the UL Classified Mark. The UL Classified certification means that the product has been evaluated, tested and passed the test for being safe when installed within classified areas. This includes a large range of hazardous locations which according to OSHA is defined as an explosive atmosphere due to the presence of flammable fluids (Class 1), combustible dusts (Class 2), or ignitable fibers and flyings (Class 3). These areas include everything from chemical plants to the food industry.
EXAIR has a Cabinet Cooler that can be used in these Hazardous Locations and earned the UL Classified Mark. The Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed to be used with purged and pressurized systems in the following locations:
Class I Div 1, Groups A, B, C, and D
Class II Div 1, Groups E, F, and G
This means that the Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers can be used in areas with explosive gas and vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers.
If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any of EXAIR’s products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.
EXAIR most often sells business to business, but we also sell to individuals who need the right tools for their home projects.
If you frequent our blog it is no secret that I tend to have projects going on outside of work and I generally find a reason to have an EXAIR product when I am doing them. The first EXAIR application I had at home was in fact utilizing an E-Vac to build a motorcycle brake bleeder. I still use that to this day, it is on my bench ready to help me rebuild my rear brake system on my bike once I decide to do it. I’ve blogged about that before. The most recent application I had was working on an early 1970’s Jeep with a close friend. He inherited the Jeep from his dad who no longer wanted to work on it. The Jeep hadn’t run in over a year and the original reason for parking it was ticking in the motor.
Sure enough, once he got it up and running with some fresh gas and cleaning up the carb the tick had not gone away but he was able to narrow down that it was in fact coming from under the valve cover, so off it came. We discovered that one of the bridges that hold down the valve rocker was broken, parts were ordered and we started cleaning everything off. The fix could all be had from right up top under the valve cover and should be easy enough once parts were in. We cleaned up all the oil, removed all the bridges as well as the pushrods.
When we were removing the bolts from the valve cover and bridges there was a good amount of “sludge” and debris around the bolt holes. When cleaning this all up some did go into the holes and we really wanted to try and keep all debris up top rather than going down into the motor. We noticed some crud around the top of the pushrod holes so we waited until we could use an Atto Back Blow Nozzle on a VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun to pass down through the pushrod holes and effectively blow any and all debris back up to the top of the motor. We also were able to use it on the blind holes of the bridge bolts and remove any fines or buildup that had fallen into the hole.
After we were done cleaning up it was time to reinstall with the new part and having a clean top end made the job that much easier. Buttoned everything up, did an oil change, and then the Jeep fired right up with no ticking noise in the motor. Now he just has to clean up some wiring and get tags to put this classic back on the road.
Having the right tool for the job is always the best solution. Whether you are working on a car at home, or if you are career certified mechanic in a shop, the same goes across any industry. When using compressed air in an application EXAIR is the company that can supply you with the right tool to get the job done efficiently, safely, and quickly.
If you would like to discuss any point of use compressed air application, please contact an Application Engineer.
I wrote an earlier blog on how a blue jean manufacturer used EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors to help transport pumice stones into washers for stonewashed jeans. You can find it here, “The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors with stonewashed jeans.” This same company contacted EXAIR again for another application. With great customer service and thousands of products in stock, this customer stated it was an easy decision to come back to us. This time it was for a spraying application. I was happy to help them again.
Beside stone-washing, there are other ways to give that “worn out” look to blue jeans. In this operation, they would scuff areas on the denim material with sandpaper. To brighten that area, they would manually spray Potassium Permanganate over the jeans. This reaction would fade the blue in the scuffed areas during the washing cycle. They wanted to automate this process and move away from the manual operation (reference photo above). So, I recommended our Air Atomizing Nozzles.
To tell you about EXAIR Air Atomizing Nozzles, they use compressed air to shear liquid into very fine particles. The smaller the particles, the more surface area is produced. Thus, less liquid material is required which will save money on the expense of the liquid. EXAIR offers three different body sizes in NPT or BSP conversions; 1/8”, 1/4”, and 1/2”. They are made from stainless steel for corrosion resistance. We have an Internal Mix and an External Mix for use with pressurized liquid, and a Siphon Fed for open containers.
With each body style, we have a variety of liquid caps for different flow amounts, and an assortment of air caps to direct the fine mist. For the Atomizing Nozzles, EXAIR can offer a No-Drip option and brackets. The No-Drip option will stop liquid flow when the compressed air is turned off which will not allow the liquid to drip from the nozzle. The brackets fit snugly around the body to support the Atomizing Nozzles for precise spraying.
For this application, I recommended the model AW9010SS. This is a 1/8” NPT No-Drip Internal mix Atomizing Nozzle with a wide-angle round pattern. The liquid flow rate fit their application with a maximum of 3.5 GPH (13.2 LPH). The wide spray angle was able to cover the patterns on the denim material. The potassium permanganate was delivered to the Atomizing Nozzle with a liquid pump, and with the No-Drip Option, they could start and stop spraying accurately and quickly with a simple compressed air solenoid valve. Also, the model AW9010SS is a durable lightweight nozzle; and with the model 901786 bracket, the Atomizing Nozzles were easily mounted to the end of a robot arm for automation.
The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles were able to replace the manual operation. The amount of liquid material that this denim manufacturer was able to save was near 20%. Depending on the expense of the fluid that you use, this can be quite a savings. Also, they found that the “worn” areas were more consistent with accurate spraying and an even amount of potassium permanganate.
And as an added note with the safety issues in spraying potassium permanganate, the Atomizing Nozzles were a more effective way to reduce the hazard as a substitution control. The operator with personal protective equipment, or PPE, is the least effective way for controlling occupational hazards. The automated system with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles was able to remove the operator from the hazard.
If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you. As with the customer above with the Air Operated Conveyors or Atomizing Nozzles, the quality of the products and the great customer service was what caused this customer to use EXAIR. If you would like to experience the EXAIR way, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you.
I recently had the pleasure of working with a customer who needed a more efficient and effective solution for drying prestressed concrete (PC) steel wire strands after coating with a rust inhibitor. They were using a homemade device in the current process. The homemade block consisted of two separate pieces to permit them to open it up and thread a new strand in without having to feed all the way through the device. Maintaining this ability was critical to them in their process. Fortunately, EXAIR’s Super Air Wipe utilizes a split design that easily unlatches to accommodate their request.
The current solution was using far too much compressed air and causing pressure drops for their other processes. A review of their complete compressed air system identified these devices to be the highest consuming products that they had in the facility. The diameter of the strands ranged anywhere from 7mm-12mm, making our 1” ID Super Air Wipe an ideal fit for each size.
After implementation of the Model 2401 Super Air Wipe, low pressure alarms in their other processes had stopped and they were able to operate without any further issues. In addition to removing the periodic shutdowns, the sound level from the Super Air Wipe was significantly less than the homemade device, likely due to all of that unnecessary air!! While this wasn’t even a factor they’d considered, the operators are now able to operate without the need for hearing protection as the sound level had been reduced to 80 dBA, well within the safe standard for maximum allowable noise exposure as outlined by OSHA 1910.95(a). With the Super Air Wipe in place, they were able to save on compressed air, increase productivity due to the elimination of low-pressure alarms, and were able to improve the safety of the process for their operators. Not bad for a day’s work!
The Super Air Wipe provides a uniform 360° laminar airflow for blowing off, drying, cleaning, and cooling a wide variety of pipe, cable, extruded shapes, hose, and wire. Its split design allows it to be easily clamped around the surface of the material without having to “feed” the material through. If you’re processing any type of hose, wire, or extruded shapes that could benefit from installing a Super Air Wipe give us a call. With all sizes shipping from stock on an order received by 3:00 pm EDT we can have one to you as early as tomorrow!