The pneumatic industry is huge. Almost every manufacturing plant around the world uses compressed air in one way or another. EXAIR has manufactured Intelligent Compressed Air Products since 1983, and in that time we have… More
EXAIR’s line of Air amplifiers can be found in thousands of applications across the world from everything as simple as blowing parts off to exhausting fumes. The Air Amplifier comes in two different styles either the Super Air Amplifier or the Adjustable Air Amplifier. Super Air Amplifiers come in a stock Aluminum Body with a diameter that ranges from ¾” to 8”. This differs from the Adjustable Air Amplifier which comes in either type 303 Stainless Steel or Aluminum and are Sized from ¾” to 4”.
Super Air Amplifiers are supplied with a .003″ (0.08mm) slotted air gap which is ideal for most applications. Flow and force can be increased by replacing the shim with a thicker .006″ (0.15mm) or .009″ (0.23mm) shim. Model 120028 is supplied with a .009″ (0.23mm) air gap. A .015″ (0.39mm) shim is available for Model 120028.
Even though there is a wide variety of sizes and materials for the Stock Air Amplifiers they don’t always match a customer’s specific need or application. Over the years EXAIR has produced a slew of different custom Air Amplifiers for a customer’s specific need and the following are just a few of what we have done.
- Depending on the environment certain specific materials may be required like the food industry which requires specific Stainless Steel for various applications. One customer had a special PTFE plug made for the Adjustable Air Amplifier to help pull a sticky material through the process. The PTFE helped prevent the material from depositing on the inside diameter of the Amplifier.
- For applications where mounting may be an issue, special attachments have been made to assist. For instances where an Amplifier may need to be mounted to a pipe, we manufactured a custom Stainless-Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier with class a 150 raised face flange.
- Applications that are in a hot environment may require a special high temperature version which has be developed to operate in areas up to 700°F. The High Temperature Air Amplifier was so widely sought after that we turned it into a stock item.
No matter what your application is EXAIR is capable to work with you to create custom solutions for your application. Whether you need a different material, size or shim thickness, EXAIR is able to meet your requirements. These Air Amplifiers represent only one of our many product lines that can be custom made to your specifications.
For more information on EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers or help with customizing any of EXAIR‘s Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
We’ve blogged about sound and what exactly it is before, see the link. Understanding that sound is vibration traveling through the air which it is utilizing as an elastic medium. Well, rather than me continue to write this out, I found a great video to share that is written in song to better recap how sound is created.
Now that we have that recap and understand better what sound is let’s dig a little deeper to better understand why some sounds may appear louder to a person when they may not appear different on a sound scale that is shown by something like a Digital Sound Level Meter.
Loudness is how a person perceives sound and this is correlated to the sound pressure of the frequency of the sound in question. The loudness is broken into three different weighing scales that are internationally standardized. Each of these scales, A, C, and Z apply a weight to different frequency levels.
- The most commonly observed scale here in the USA is the A scale. A is the OSHA selected scale for industrial environments and discriminates against low frequencies greatly.
- Z is the zero weighting scale to keep all frequencies equal, this scale was introduced in 2003 as the international standard.
- C scale does not attenuate these lower frequencies as they are carrying the ability to cause vibrations within structures or buildings and carry their own set of risks.
To further the explanation on the A-weighted scale, the range of frequencies correlates to the common human hearing spectrum which is 20 Hz to 20kHz. This is the range of frequencies that are most harmful to a person’s hearing and thus were adopted by OSHA. The OSHA standard, 29 CFR 191.95(a), that corresponds to noise level exposure permissible can be read about here on our blog as well.
When using a handy tool such as the Digital Sound Level Meter to measure sound levels you will select whether to use the dBA or dBC scale. This is the decibel reading according to the scale selected. Again, for here in the USA you would want to focus your measurements on the dBA scale. It is suggested to use this tool at a 3′ distance or at the known distance an operator’s ears would be from the noise generation point.
Many of EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products have the ability to decrease sound levels in your plant. If you would like to discuss how to best reduce sound levels being produced within your facility, please contact us.
1 – Fun Science: Sound – @charlieissocoollike – https://youtu.be/xH8mT2IQz7Y
Since air compressors use a lot of electricity to make compressed air, it is important to use the compressed air as efficiently as possible. EXAIR has six simple steps to optimize your compressed air system. Following these steps will help you to cut electrical costs, reduce overhead, and improve your bottom line. In this blog, I will cover the first step – Measure the air consumption to find sources that use a lot of compressed air.
Information is important to diagnose wasteful and problematic areas within your compressed air system. To measure air consumption, flow meters are used to find the volume or mass of compressed air per unit of time. Flow rates are very useful data points to find problems like leaks, over-use in blow-offs, waste calculations, and comparison analysis.
There are many different types of flow meters. Many of them entail a breakdown of your current compressed air lines by cutting, welding, or dismantling for installation. This will add cost in downtime and maintenance staff. But, not with the EXAIR Digital Flowmeters. In this blog, I will share the features and benefits of the Digital Flowmeters including options for you to start measuring and optimizing your compressed air system in Step 1.
Overall, it only takes a few minutes to install and start measuring. The installation kit comes with a drill bit and a drill guide to properly locate the two holes on the pipe. The Digital Flowmeter uses a clamp to mount to the pipe and to seal the area around the probes. Once it is powered, the unit is ready to measure the air flow inside the pipe with a large LED display. The display can be customized to show flow readings in three different units; SCFM, M3/hr or M3/min; and, it can display the Daily Usage and Cumulative Usage.
To get started, the EXAIR Digital Flowmeter is a thermal dispersion device that can accurately measure compressed air flows. They use two sensing probes for comparative analysis. One probe is a temperature sensing probe, and the other is a flow-sensing probe. By comparing these, the Digital Flowmeter can measure precisely the mass air flow without needing to be recalibrated. They are a cost-effective, accurate, and simple way to measure compressed air flows.
EXAIR stocks a large volume of Digital Flowmeters to ship same day for U.S. and Canadian customers. We also offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try them out. We stock meters for pipe diameters from ½” NPT to 4″ NPT Schedule 40 black pipe. EXAIR can also offers flow meters up to 8″ NPT black pipe; copper pipes with diameters from 3/4″ to 4″, and aluminum pipes with diameters ranging from 40mm to 101mm. If you have another type of piping for your compressed air system, you can give us the material, O.D. or I.D., and wall thickness. We may still be able to get a Digital Flowmeter for you.
For measuring, all the units come standard with a 4 – 20mA analog output. Per your request, we can change this signal to a serial output for RS-485 or Ethernet connections. What more can we offer with the EXAIR Digital Flowmeter? Options. Options upgrade the flow meters to better suit your application. Here is a list below:
USB Data Logger: This option allows for a recording of the flow information. With a software download, you can setup the USB Data Logger to record the flows from once a second (roughly 9 hours of storage) to every 12 hours. After the data points are recorded, you can then download the information into the software to review. Then the information can be uploaded into an Excel program to do further analysis.
Summing Remote: With compressed air pipes running along the ceiling and walls, reading the Digital Flowmeter may be difficult. The Summing Remote has a 50-foot (15 meter) cable to bring the LED display into viewing. The Summing Remote is powered by the Digital Flowmeter, and it can be positioned at eye level, inside managers’ rooms, or around large equipment for monitoring.
Wireless Capability: Our latest Digital Flowmeter now has wireless capabilities. They use a Zigbee® communications to pick up flow readings from other flow meters and the Gateway. The Gateway can detect over 100 Digital Flowmeters in your facility. From the Gateway, the information is transferred through a LAN. You can record and analyze the flow information from each meter on the network with our EXAIR® Logger Software. You can set limits to send warnings when your compressed air system is using too much or too little of compressed air. This technology makes it very easy for measuring your compressed air system in the entire facility without having to be there.
Hot Tap Digital Flowmeter: This option is a great way to install a Digital Flowmeter to the pipe without shutting down the compressed air line. We offer this option for 2″ and larger flow meters for steel and copper pipes. It gives a quick and easy way to attach if you have a 24-hour operation or a critical process that needs to continue to run.
Pressure Sensing Digital Flowmeter: If you would like to know the compressed air flow and the air pressure, this option will be able to do this. They are available with the Digital Flowmeters for steel and copper pipes that are 2″ and larger, and for the aluminum piping that is 50mm and larger. This option can display pressure units in either PSI or Bar right on the same LED display that shows the flow readings.
Block-Off Rings: If you want to move your Digital Flowmeter, the Block-Off Rings will be able to cover the openings in your compressed air pipe. They seal around the drilled opening when the Digital Flowmeter is removed from the pipe. They are reusable; so, they can be removed if you want to remount the Digital Flowmeter in the same spot. If you want to use one flow meter in different locations, the Block-Off Rings allow you do this.
When you need to analyze your pneumatic components, flow is an important point in diagnosing the overall “health” of your compressed air system. The EXAIR Digital Flowmeter can give you that important data point. With optimization, you can cut your energy consumption, improve pneumatic efficiencies, and save yourself money. This blog is an overview of Step 1 of six steps. You may have more questions; and, that is great! You can find them in other EXAIR blogs, or you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.
A manufacturer of both residential and commercial steel doors used in the construction industry recently contacted me for help with an application in their manufacturing process. They make a wide variety of exterior and interior doors as well as some custom doors that are sold to builders across the country.
The raw material for the doors is formed, assembled, and welded together before it is then taken to a finishing step that involves grinding down the welds and sanding any rough spots on the door down to a smooth finish. This smooth finish creates a clean look and also helps with the application of paint at the end of the process.
After finishing, the doors are hung on an overhead conveyor where they pass through a machine that cleans off all of the surfaces and remain hanging until they dry. This air drying prevented them from continuously operating as they’d have to wait at least 10 minutes until the doors dried before they could apply any paint. In the summer, humid conditions in their plant further increased the time the doors took to air dry.
Rather than waiting to dry, they wanted to blow off any remaining water from both sides of the door just after the washing operation. The solution was to install (2) Model 110048PKI Super Air Knives on either side of the door to blow off residual water as it moved along the conveyor. Since the spacing in between doors was 12’, they didn’t want to have to operate the knives continuously and waste unnecessary compressed air.
With the doors traveling slowly at about 30 ft/min and a significant space in between them, they also went with a Model 9064 Electronic Flow Controller to keep the air on only when necessary. A standard door height is just under 7′. At the speed they were traveling, it would take roughly 14 seconds for each door to pass through the flow of the knives while 24 seconds pass with no door.
With a minimum 10 minute dry time without the Super Air Knives, the overall drying time was reduced to 38 seconds. That’s a 93.6% improvement in the overall time of their drying process! By improving the drying process, they were able to increase their production to 100 doors per 8-hr shift.
(2) 48″ Super Air Knives operating continuously at 80 PSIG would require 278.4 SCFM of compressed air. The average cost of compressed air is $0.25/1000 SCF. So what did this cost when operating continuously with a 38 second blowoff time?
0.633 min x 278.4 SCFM = 176 SCF/door
176 SCF x 100 doors per shift = 17,600 SCF
17600 SCF x ($0.25/ 1000 SCF) = $4.40/ 8 hr shift
Over the course of a year that equates to $1,144 in operating costs. With the EFC implemented, the blowoff time was reduced to just 14 seconds per door.
0.233 min x 278.4 SCFM = 65 SCF/door
65 SCF x 100 doors per shift = 6500 SCF
6500 SCF x ($0.25/1000 SCF) = $1.63/ 8 hr shift
Not only were they able to increase their production rate by implementing the Super Air Knife, but by taking it one step further with the EFC they reduced the overall operating costs for a full year to just $423.80. The EFC is a
If you have a similar application in the construction industry and would like to speak to an Application Engineer please give us a call!
While writing my blog last week on all of the features & benefits of the Gen4 Ion Air Jet, I couldn’t help but think of some of the very interesting and successful uses I’ve seen in my nine years (as of this past Monday) as an Application Engineer at EXAIR Corporation. In honor of my workaversary, this week’s edition is Russ’ Top 9 Ion Air Jet applications:
- A medical device manufacturer uses Ion Air Jets to remove dust from plastic extrusion as it goes through a puller belt. The small diameter (0.05″ to 0.10″) made the Ion Air Jet a more efficient fit than the Super Ion Air Wipe, which is commonly used for extrusions like this, but is most effective for larger diameters.
- A maker of large scale automated machinery has provided Ion Air Jets (as well as other EXAIR quiet, efficient, and safe compressed air products) on machines they’ve been selling their customers for years. When they started machining their own plastic parts, the Ion Air Jet was their first thought for a solution when plastic chips started sticking to their drill bits.
- A commercial printer makes displays, signs, etc. from a variety of static-prone materials such as acrylic, polycarbonate, and styrene. They use CNC routers to cut them to size & shape, form the edges, and add dimensional detail. Ion Air Jets blow the dust & shavings away, and keep them away, greatly reducing the prep time between routing and assembly.
- A weather sealing/stripping manufacturer uses Ion Air Jets to remove statically charged dust from their rubber & foam product extrusions, allowing for increased line speeds and better cuts for the products they cut for specific seal packages for the residential & commercial door and automotive industries, among others.
- A major provider of electrical and electronic contactors uses Ion Air Jets to blow off contact strip as it rolls off large reels to remove protective film and static.
- A manufacturer of wire marking machinery installs Ion Air Jets on their machines that are used to print on products with especially static-prone jackets, to ensure clean and crisp markings
- A cable manufacturer that caters to the computer & electronic industries uses Ion Air Jets to remove static & dust as foil is applied to PVC coated wire. This eliminates the static charge that was causing inconsistencies when the adhesive was heated to activate.
- A wholesale food equipment distributor uses Ion Air Jets to blow out bottles during the sterilization process, prior to filling.
- A maker of specialty polymers uses Ion Air Jets to keep fine powders from accumulating in the entries into their hoppers.
Over the years, my EXAIR colleagues and I have blogged about different types of air compressor types including single and double acting reciprocating, rotary screw and sliding vane air compressors. You can click on the links above to check those out. Today, I will review the basics of the rotary scroll-type compressor.
The rotary scroll type 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 rotary scroll uses two inter-meshing scrolls, that are spiral in shape. One of the scrolls is fixed, and does not move (red). The other scroll (black) has an “orbit” type of motion, relative to the fixed scroll. Air would be drawn in from the left, and as it flows clockwise through the scroll, the area is reduced until the air is discharged at a high pressure at the center.
There is no metal to metal sliding contact, so lubrication is not needed. A drawback to an oil free operation is that oil lubrication tends to reduce the heat of compression and without it, the efficiency of scroll compressors is less than that of lubricated types.
The advantages of the rotary scroll type compressor include:
- Comes as a complete package
- Comparatively efficient operation
- Can be lubricant-free
- Quiet operation
- Air cooled
The main disadvantage:
- A limited range of capacities is available, with low output flows
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.
Georges J. Ranque is known as the inventor and father of the Ranque-Hilsch Vortex tube. The vortex tube is device that takes a compressed gas and generates hot and cold streams from a source of compressed gas. George accidentally discovered the phenomenon on accident while studying physics at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris France. Ranque was looking was performing an experiment on a vortex-based pump to vacuum up iron fittings; during the experiment he noticed that warm air was being expelled out of one side and cold air out of the other when he inserted a cone into one end of the vortex. In 1931 Ranque filed for a patent for the vortex tube and two years later presented a paper on it.
Georges vortex tube was all but lost and forgot about until 1945 when the German physicist Rudolph Hilsch published a paper on the device. This paper became widely read and exposed the vortex tube to the industrial manufacturing environment. This paper revived what was thought to be lost and led the vortex tube into what we see today.
During World War 2 Georges Ranque started to develop different steels that would be used in military aviation efforts. He later went on to work at Aubert et Duval Steelworks as the Director of Metallurgical Laboratory. While at Duval he would continue to developing alloys for the aviation industry.
Interestingly, in 1972 he went on to publish a book on the search for the Philosophers Stone, a mythological chemical substance that Alchemist’s thought could be used to turn base metals into Gold. The following year in 1973 he passed away in his home just outside of Paris.
Here at EXAIR we have expanded the uses of Ranque’s original vortex tubes for various different cooling uses. The vortex tube can be found in our Cold Guns, Spot Coolers, and Cabinet Coolers. In many cases EXAIR’s spot coolers and cold guns have been used to replace coolant in simple milling and grinding applications. Also, EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers have been keeping control cabinets from overheating for many decades.
If you have any questions or want more information on how we use our vortex tubes to improve processes all over industry. Give us a call, we have a team of application engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.