Heat is the enemy of cutting tools. It is common to use coolant but in some applications this is not a workable solution. In the medical and food industry any residual liquids need to be thoroughly cleaned off. This not only adds another process but creates a disposal problem of the spent cutting fluid.
Air is an environmentally friendly alternative to coolant. EXAIR air knives are engineered to deliver 30-40 times the volume of air than the volume of compressed air used and deliver it with controlled accuracy to the point of the cut where the heat is being generated. Cooling it at the point of the cut prevents the heat from spreading to the rest of the part causing distortion and problems with handling.
A case in point is a sheet metal fabricator who was having problems with heat build up on his shearing blade. Water coolant was not an option because it could not be contained. Running without coolant caused premature blade wear and constant tear down to sharpen the blades.
By installing a model 2612 Full Flow EXAIR air knife, the large volume of air produced along the entire length of the shear blade provided for even cooling and a consistent cut. They were able to double their tool life and increase production by eliminating frequent tear downs.
A large Japanese radiator manufacturer in Indonesia used a Freon based air conditioner unit to cool an electronic motor drive module. The air conditioner dripped condensation inside the cabinet causing a short in the electronic motor drive. The motor drive had to be replaced at a cost of $20,000 US due to the water issue. The failed motor drive caused 1 of 2 production lines to go down for 1 month while they waited for the replacement. They lost 50% production while this happened.
Once the new drive came in, it was decided to use a large fan to blow in at the electronic module instead of the leaky air conditioner unit. They still had to stop the production line many times due to the controller being overheated, even with the fan running. Also, the atmosphere was somewhat corrosive. This condition caused the case of the new controller to rust with the door open and fan running.
The customer ended up applying a Model 4330 NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler system to their panel. The Cabinet Cooler system allowed the customer to run their line continuously without a condensation problem and allowed them to run the equipment with the cabinet door closed. This kept dirt and the corrosive atmosphere from affecting the electronic motor drive module. The customer has been able to run their line, trouble-free 24/7 for the last 6 years without any maintenance issues or down time.
I had reason for a family gathering over the past week. I had the chance to see folks from Texas, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. I was speaking with an auto body guy from Michigan, a tech for an electronics company in Texas, a construction guy from Ohio and a farmer from Indiana. As conversations go, we began to speak of the economy. My impression, being in Ohio, is that many jobs which remain domestic are moving to Texas and the southern states, that Michigan has it the worst and Indiana is similar to what we see here. What I learned was we are all in very similar positions. The technician in Texas has seen her hours cut by 30%. The auto body guy works for a dealership in Michigan and is very busy with repair work, but the underlying tone is not good considering the state of the “Big 3”. The construction worker has commercial jobs through 2009 but nothing coming in to sustain beyond that. The farmer has seen prices for corn fall dramatically. Everyone chimed in to say how each of them is alerted to ways of keeping costs down, ways to spend money wisely, and ways to run more efficiently. If these things cannot be done we may all face tougher consequences.
Though I did not take the opportunity to sell compressed air products on the spot, I did begin to think about our products and their ability to fit within any of these industries. I recognized the way we maintain our competitiveness is through productivity improvements. Whether it is electronics manufacturing, automotive, agriculture or construction; EXAIR can be useful to them all. Anywhere there is a compressed air system, we believe there is room for improved efficiency. EXAIR products are money well spent as the return on investment is quantifiable and quick. We offer the tools for you to begin your own intelligent compressed air efficiency program. And we are available to help you along the way.
EXAIR, Application Engineer
Ever get tired of walking up and down a set of stairs or a ladder, carrying buckets full of heavy material to dump into a hopper? You aren’t the only one. I get this call a few times a month. Most recently, I spoke to a wire and cable manufacturer who needs to load plastic pellets into a tote bin from a gaylord box for their extrusion process. In order to maximize material throughput, they needed to move close to 25 pounds of pellets per minute, over a distance of 10-15ft. There is no way one person would be able to carry that much material in that time frame. So, they came to us for help. I recommended a model 6085, 2.5″ Line Vac, for the job. It produces good vacuum and will move the required amount of material. Either way, installing a Line Vac will be a much more efficient means of moving the pellets than the traditional “bucket and ladder” method. Time will be saved, and the ergonomics issues associated would be eliminated, saving the backs of the bucket carriers.
I wanted to share a unique application with you all that I came across last week in one of my discussions with a customer. This particular application will likely hit closer to home for all you make-up wearing ladies out there : ) But, anyone dealing in hot-melt gluing processes can appreciate this as well.
A customer who supplies cosmetics companies with brushes for nail polish, lip gloss, and the like, uses a hot-melt glue to adhere the caps onto the plastic tubes into which the brush bristles are inserted. In order for the adhesive to set properly, the hot-melt needs to be cooled quickly.
Our model 3925 Adjustable Spot Cooler was the perfect thing to recommend. This is a spot-cooling product, and this customer had a spot-cooling requirement. It also has the benefit of adjustability with regard to temperature and flow volume of cold air, so they can fine-tune the cooling to be just right for the job; not cooling to fast and not cooling to slow.
After installing and setting the Adjustable Spot Cooler, the number of rejected parts due to improper adhesion and pieces falling apart, significantly decreased and thus productivity improved.
I received a call from a company that produces colored construction paper for the art and school industries.
Tablets of colored construction paper consist of about 10 – 15 sheets of paper per tablet. This customer has to insert a piece of “chip board” or heavier cardboard for each 10 – 15 sheet stack as a backer. This is similar to the cardboard used on the back of a legal paper pad. They have a problem inserting the chip board into the stack due to friction. They end up about 3 inches short of complete insertion every time. This causes obvious problems with productivity and line speed.
I recommended our model 110036 (36″ Aluminum Super Air Knife) to the customer due to the fact that the tablets are 36″ wide at the time of this step.
The Super Air Knife was able to provide a horizontal airflow to float the small stack of construction paper to allow full insertion of the chip board every time. The customer has experienced a 15 – 25% increase in productivity.
Much of my day is spent assisting customers by providing solutions to a blow off or drying application. It is also fairly common to hear from a customer who is manufacturing automobile parts and needs to cut back on the rejected parts from the car company they are making parts for. This customer fit both profiles. He is a fuel tank manufacturer who places the tanks underwater during a leak test. Part of the tank is the female portion of a pin connector, similar to one you would find on your printer connection. This pin connector provides data to an on-board computer about fuel levels and economy. The female pin connector holds the water from the tank and needs to be blown out before it gets bulk packed.
They have been simply turning the tank and letting the water drip out of the connector which has not been accepted by the car maker. The pin connector is 2″ wide and a perfect fit for our model 1122, 2″ Super Air Nozzle. An instant blast of air will quickly remove any residual water left in the connector and can eliminate the rejected parts. As we all experience a slower economy, a more efficient process is a necessity. We are happy to contribute even one nozzle to help the cause.