Strip Steel Blowoff

The number of products we sell into the steel industry is large and the applications are diverse. However we do see some very common applications too. One of those is to use our Super Air Knife for a strip steel blow off.

One advantage of the Super Air Knife is that we can provide an unlimited width of continuous blow off for the widest of steel strips. The Super Air Knife produces an even air flow across the entire width, giving consistent results. A manifold of nozzles struggles to produce even and consistent air flow.

Another advantage is the space required for the Super Air Knife. The profile of a Super Air Knife is 1-3/4″ x 1.5″ . This is greatly smaller than any blower style knife or a manifold with nozzles. The Super Air Knife is also adjustable by using a simple pressure regulator on the inlet air supply. Adjusting the pressure will also affect the force and flow out of the knife.

Super Air Knives are available in aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316 stainless steel from out of STOCK in Cincinnati, OH. The stock lengths are up to 54″ long. This variety gives  the customer more flexibility with the application. Whether we blow off the whole strip or only the edges, we have a length to fit.

I recently had a steel manufacturer with an edge blow off application. They were using 10 yellow plastic nozzles at 90 PSIG on each edge. The air consumption of these yellow nozzles was 290 SCFM at 90 PSIG. EXAIR provided an alternative Super Air Knife with a .003″ shim installed. This shim produces more force and flow than our stock .002″ shim. Even with the larger shim, and higher force and flow values, the EXAIR product saved more than 200 SCFM!

200 SCFM in an operation which is 24/7 and 365 days per year is equal to $26297.00, certainly worth the investment! And even for a 5 day a week, 250 working days per year, the new Super Air Knife solution can save $6000.00 per year! Not bad for a $325.00 investment.

Keep an eye out for these applications around your manufacturing facilities. EXAIR can help conserve compressed air and keep those operating costs down, so you can remain competitive.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Activity Based Accounting

A customer who manufactures automotive aftermarket products was engaged in an activity-based accounting exercise to assign overhead costs to their various departments. In particular, one department uses considerably more compressed air than all the other departments and should bear most of the company’s compressed air costs. They needed to establish how much compressed air each department uses and allocate compressed air costs accordingly.

Using Model 9095 Digital Flow Meters, they were able to measure air consumption for the various departments. From that data they were able to calculate a burden rate for each department according to their use.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Now is the time to think about electrical panels that overheat

The temperature in the US is at a rather mild level right now, but that will soon change. Along with the summer temperatures come failures of electric and electronic equipment due to overheating. So, now would be the perfect time to think about which panels gave you trouble in this way last year. It is also a perfect time to think about sizing up your cabinet for cooling to keep those nuisance failures from being a real headache for you again this year.

Imagine the down-time and lost productivity that you can avoid by doing a bit of reasonable pre-planning. EXAIR can help with that pre-planning by assisting you with your Cabinet Cooler sizing and determining which models would best suit your needs.

We are here to help with these and many other application issues. Please contact us with your Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide. You can locate our on-line form at the following link:

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

Who Wants Smashed Candy?

I know I sure don’t.  Imagine opening up a package of those familiar chewy, fruit-flavored ring-shaped candies and finding most of them smashed, or in partial pieces.  It’s not the most appetizing sight.  If the package itself appears intact, then the packaging system they came from is the most likely culprit. 

A food conveyor manufacturer called me recently, looking to avoid this very problem in their own machines.  They have sheet metal gates that will periodically come down and seal off sections of the conveyor for various reasons, such as when production exceeds the capacity of the packaging process, or when there is an unexpected shutdown of the packaging process. 

If the area directly below the gate is not clear of the chewy candy, the pieces will either be smashed or cut by the gates.  Because of the chewy nature of the candy, they will also tend to stick to the gate.  So, when the conveyor is started up again, the stuck pieces will sometimes end up mixed in with the good pieces, and packaged right along with them, ending up on consumer shelves. 

They needed a quick and effective way to clear off the conveyor area underneath the gates just before they were to come down.  The conveyor was just under 9″ wide.  So, our model 110009SS, 9″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife, could be mounted across the width of the conveyor and create a curtain of air to sweep away any interfering candies and allow the gates to cleanly come down and meet the conveyor surface.  This virtually eliminated any smashed or partial candy pieces ending up in the final product mix. 

Emily Mortimer
Application Engineer

More is Less

Less WORK for you that is. All of our products have some related products available which make the installation easier and the application better. These items are typically found in an accessories section for the product or related products section on our website. These additional items help with efficiency, mounting, plumbing and controlling our products.

All of our products can use a filter separator.  We offer them properly sized and ready to go with whatever you purchase from EXAIR. Many of our products also benefit from a pressure regulator, allowing you to run the product as efficiently as possible. Every product which uses a filter and/or regulator can be bought in a kit, preventing you from having to size and source them separately.

Once you purchase a product, you will need to install and mount it into your application. We have a Universal Air Knife Mounting System which holds and positions any style Air Knife. We have swivel fittings for our Super Air Nozzles up to 1/2 NPT. A magnetic base comes in handy when placing an Air Nozzle on a machine or conveyor frame.

EXAIR carries air line supply hose to feed our products with compressed air. It can be bought in 10′ lengths and in 3/8″ or 1/2″ inside diameter. Our Air Knife Plumbing Kits simplify trying to find all the right fittings for a clean plumbing job. The fittings and hose included are all the right size for the job, preventing any restriction of air supply. They provide an easy way to plumb up our longer knives which require two and three compressed air inlets.

The EXAIR EFC, Electronic Flow Control, can operate any blowoff product efficiently. The EFC will control the air by turning it on and off as needed for the application. The air flow is controlled by a photo eye and solenoid valve. Again this product is complete and ready to go so you do not have to assemble all of the products yourself. And a simple ball valve can come in handy for the manual applications we solve.

So you see, EXAIR offers MORE and we can make it LESS WORK installing the products. You will use LESS AIR when controlling pressure and keeping your air clean. And you will spend LESS TIME looking for the associated products. And as we all know – less work, less air and less time equals more money saved.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Pneumatic Conveyor For Plastic Pellets

As companies are pushed for better productivity, the need for operator intervention has to be minimized. The EXAIR Line Vacs are used extensively in the extrusion industry to convey plastic pellets and regrind to their extruders.

Blank CD disks are a fraction of the cost they were several years ago because of an innovative machine that completes a product from plastic pellets to the finished product out the other end. When they punch the holes in the center disk, they capture the waste piece with an EXAIR Line Vac and return it to the feed hopper to be added to virgin material. This saves on material and labor costs and eliminates disposal costs.

Another example. This extrusion company has several lines that had to have a person load plastic pellets into a hopper. Using an EXAIR Line Vac they were able to automate that function. (see video).

There are countless other applications where a Line Vac can cost effectively transfer material. If you have an application where you think an EXAIR Line Vac could be of value, call one of our Application Engineers at 1-800-903-9247. They will review your application with you and make their recommendation. EXAIR then will back it up with a 30 day evaluation. If for any reason you are not satisfied, you can return it for full credit within that time.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Abrasive Material Conveying

In my daily life here at EXAIR, it would seem that I run into the same types of applications. One good example involves the customer conveying highly abrasive materials with a Line Vac that was not the most suitable unit for the job.

The customer was conveying a fine glass dust with our Model 6064 (2″ Stainless Line Vac). The customer was operating the Line Vac at about 10 psig. Needless to say, the glass wore through the line vac in about 8 weeks time. After some discussion about the application, I recommended the customer go with our Model 150200 (2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac) as a replacement due to the nature of its construction being made from a hardened tool steel.  The customer has had the new unit in place for 3 weeks now. Initial inspections indicate that there is no visible wear.

The Heavy Duty Line Vac was introduced to our Air Operated Conveyor product line to help in this exact scenario. Whether sand, ground glass, Perlite or even garnet, the Heavy Duty models are built to last under very severe applications.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer