Super Air Knife Replaces Drilled Pipe

I’d like to share a classic story with you of a customer who replaces a homemade blowoff device with an EXAIR product, and reaps the benefits.  I spoke to a gentleman last week from an automotive engine parts company who works at one of their strip mills.  He shared with me 4 examples of plastic drilled pipes that they were using to blow off welding slag, water, oil, chips, sanding grit, etc, from the sheet.  He was looking for a more efficient means to do this.

I did not even have to blink an eye before recommending our 12″ Aluminum Super Air Knife to replace each drilled pipe.  Based on the size and amount of holes in their drilled pipe, I knew they were using a considerable amount of compressed air. 

1 pipe had 30 holes, 3/32″ in diameter.  At 80psi of inlet pressure, this is a whopping 282scfm of air consumption!  Compared to our 12″ Super Air Knife, which uses only 34.8scfm at 80psi.  This comes out to nearly a 700% savings in compressed air usage and cost!

Using a standard cost of $0.25/1000 standard cubic feet of compressed air, it would cost $33.80 to operate that 1 drilled pipe for 1 8-hour shift.  It would only cost $4.17 to operate our 12″ Super Air Knife for that same shift.  So, you can see how quickly his savings will begin to add up.

Letting him know of the low air consumption rates, high air amplification ratio, and low operating cost of our Super Air Knives, he seemed quickly impressed and hopeful. 

I also let him know that a Super Air Knife will provide a much more even blowoff across the width of the strip, as it is a continuous curtain of air, rather than high and low spots because of the drilled holes.  This only added to his optimism about the possible switch. 

After conferring with the powers that be on his end, they have since purchased a few units for the specific locations we initially discussed.  However, he did mention that there are other locations that could benefit from the same switch.  And I am confident that once these few initial units prove the benefits, the other locations will follow as well.  The savings will quickly add up with each drilled pipe that is replaced by one of our Super Air Knives.

Saving money has never been more important than it is now.  So, if you have some similar potential savings opportunities in your plant by replacing homemade blowoffs, please let us know.  We would love to help you start saving compressed air and money too.

Emily Mortimer
Application Engineer

Line Vac Improves Pharmaceutical Application

This application is for a pressed powder tablet operation. The tablet press mold has a small hole in it which pulls a vacuum on the formed tablet to keep it in place and remove any leftover powder from the mold.

A vacuum generator that is used to hold the tablet in place had low vacuum flow and did not always remove the residual powder from the tablet press. This resulted in poor quality tablets with pitting on the tablets.

An EXAIR Line Vac model #6058, our smallest Line Vac product, used with 3/8″ inside diameter hose provided a boost to the vacuum flow and recovered any residual powder from the tablet press. The powder moved easily through the Line Vac hose and dumped into the central vacuum recovery system. The quality issues were eliminated.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Manifold Blowout

A customer vibration welds two halves of a glass filled plastic manifold housing together. The welding process leaves a lint like debris on the inside that is attracted to the surfaces by a static charge. Before these can be sent to their customer to install on engines, all debris has to be removed.

Using the Model 7494 Ion Air Jet Kit mounted on a retractable cylinder, they were able to remove the internal static charges and blow out all the debris.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Cleaning a Shaft in Cutting Process

Automated processes can be very nice from the standpoint that they do not require a lot of  human intervention. But when they do require constant attention they can be a real headache.

Case in point, I spoke with a customer who works for a manufacturer of shocks and struts. As many of you may know, much of this process is automated. This includes the beginning of the process where the solid rod is cut to length. The rods are cut to length and then ejected out to a transport to move the rod to the next station in assembly. The problem is that the rod still has cutting fluid on it.

This actually causes a few problems. First, it makes that part of the process particularly dirty due to all the carry-out of the cutting fluid. Second, the carry-out depletes the cutting fluid at a faster rate so it has to be replenished on a more frequent basis.

The customer decided to use our Model 2402 (2″ Super Air Wipe) to pass the cut rods through when they are ejected from the cutting area. The Super Air Wipe blows the chips and any cutting fluid back into the cutting machine. Now, when you walk by, you see a nice clean floor and the cutting fluid only has to be checked once per shift instead of every hour as was the case before.

We have had similar applications in the past that range from extrusions that need to be cooled to steel rods that have been ground on their outside diameter by centerless grinding which then need to be blown off.

So, if you have an application in which a round profile or something similar needs to have some coolant, oil or other contaminant blown off prior to movement to next process, consider the Super Air Wipes. We have them in sizes from 1/2 inch to 11 inches inside diameter.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

Reducing False Rejects in Vision System

In the midst of these tough economic times, companies are looking for all sorts of ways to cut costs.  One way to do this is to reduce wasted material. 

A large automotive manufacturer was wasting a lot of perfectly good rubber valve stem seals, due to false rejects from the vision inspection system, caused by dust on the seals.  Static electricity was likely contributing to the dust particles sticking on the parts.  So, an Ion Air Jet was the perfect solution.  It will provide a stream of ionized air to both eliminate the static charge causing the particles to stick, as well as actually blowing the dust off the seals, so it would not be detected by the vision system. 

Because the parts are rather small and lightweight, a pressure regulator was also recommended, so the pressure could be dialed down to a level that would sufficiently remove the dust, without disturbing the seals themselves.  Not to mention that decreasing the inlet air pressure is another way to create cost savings, as it decreases the compressed air consumption of the unit. 

So, we were able to create savings in two ways, with the installation of one compressed air product and an accessory. 

Emily Mortimer
Application Engineer

Air Nozzle Prepares Surface for Date Code

An ink jet date code was delivered with poor quality onto a water bottle due to the residual water left from the bottle washing operation. Our customer also needed to keep air consumption to a minimum, and have some adjustability for different sized bottles.

Since the target area was only a small portion of the bottle, an air nozzle provided a good solution.

The EXAIR 2″ Super Air Nozzle and a shim set for the nozzle allowed us to fulfill the minimal air requirement request. The shim set for the nozzle allows customers to install thinner shims to minimize air flow while maintaining pressure through the nozzle. Maintaining full pressure also maximizes force applied to the target surface. This nozzle and shim combo, at 80 PSIG, can flow from 9-30SCFM without losing force, which can occur when simply lowering pressure.

Our Stay Set Hose completed the requirements by providing adjustment to the position of the nozzle. This product allowed the customer to move the air nozzle as needed for different sized bottles.

And as always, the OSHA requirements for noise levels and dead end pressure of compressed air products were maintained.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Powder Removal

A company that assembles parts with powdered Loc Tite®  is having problems with residual powder on the assembly surfaces that is causing problems in a later painting operation.

It was suggested that they use a Vac U Gun with a brush attachment to vacuum the dust away. This solved their problem.

To expand further on a good idea, they then wanted to automate the operation so they contacted me for more ideas. They had a pick-and-place robotic arm that inserted the Loc Tite®-ed bolts into their respective holes. So it was a simple matter of replacing the Vac U Gun with a Line Vac  and a section of hose, with the brush attachment connected to the end of the hose. 

This assembly was then attached to the side of the robotic arm and programmed to move over the installed bolt, turn on the compressed air, and vacuum the residual powder all in one operation.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer