I have had a few interactions with customers working in paper mills lately and would like to tell you about the newest situation.
The customer works in a paper recycling plant which is hot, dirty,and most of all, dusty. The dust settles in every nook and cranny within the plant, including the control panels. Paper dust, being an insulator, settles on cabinet walls, circuit boards, heat transfer fins and simply makes a big mess out of the operation of the panel. All the heat that should normally be released through conduction and convection can no longer get out, causing overheating and failure.
This customer had two panels in particular that were quite troublesome. These panels were a bit larger than our normal consideration but we were still able to size them up to a 4000 Btu/hr. and 4800 Btu/hr. Cabinet Cooler system to offset the heat load in the two problem panels. Once the Cabinet Coolers were installed and the dust removed from inside the panels, the customer has had zero downtime due to overheating. The Cabinet Coolers provide a positive pressure inside the panels with clean, dry, cool air. So, they keep the panels cool in two ways by keeping them clean with the positive pressure and with the cold airflow.
Another positive note that this customer and others have experienced is that these Cabinet Coolers can run in very harsh conditions that would plug up ordinary freon based air conditioners and do so with very little maintenance. Washing or replacing a compressed air filter element is all the maintenance that is needed every once in a while.
If you have a similar application/environment in which you think a Cabinet Cooler could benefit you in the same way, please let us know. If you are a skeptic and would like to see for yourself, we do have a 30 day guarantee that allows you to purchase a system and try it out for 30 days to prove out the solution. The guarantee is our tool to get the product in your hands to give it a try.
Even the smallest of enclosures can benefit from cooling provided by an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler.
I spoke to a company who manufactures surgical equipment. They had a small control panel that was overheating, causing failure of the electrical equipment inside and thus shutdown of the accompanying machine. These shutdowns are quite costly, because any products that are damaged due to the failure must be scrapped. There is virtually no room for error in a surgical equipment manufacturing process. So, any small flaw can be grounds for disposal.
Even though the temperatures inside the cabinet are getting quite high, the overall heat load in the enclosure is small enough for our smallest unit to handle. The environment requires a Nema 4X rated cooler. Thus, our model 4608SS was perfect for the job. It installs in a standard electrical knockout hole, and requires a minimal amount of compressed air. So, the unit can be up and running in a matter of minutes, with little extra demand on their compressed air system.
Being a medical manufacturing facility, the compressed air supply was already very well filtered and dried, so a complete Cabinet Cooler Kit was not necessary. Also, the customer opted to forego a thermostat and solenoid valve combination to control the air supply to the cooler. They instead preferred to simply tie it into the operation of the machine, so the unit would be running whenever the machine was operational, and off when it wasn’t. This ensured that cooling would be provided any time there was potential for heat to be generated inside the enclosure, and prevent any of the unwanted shutdowns they had been experiencing.
The installation of the cooler provided a low cost, reliable way to prevent future heat-related issues and essentially eliminated scrapped parts due to failed equipment, creating cost savings for them.
You should take a look at the rest of the product line. Chances are that your search for a solution remained focused upon a specific product or two. Our website explained the benefits and applications for these products and you chose it as a solution. Or you contacted us and received a recommendation from an Application Engineer via the phone, e-mail or live chat.
Now that you know we can provide good solutions, quality product, fast service and delivery – you should continue to take advantage.
We know you have that nagging application you are having trouble solving. We know you have those open air lines just begging for OSHA to visit you. We know you bought an extra compressor to keep up with your air demands.
Our broad product line and unique products can solve one-of-a-kind and difficult applications. Our experience with crazy and successful applications is unmatched. Don’t let the application nag you any longer, let us take a crack at it.
That homemade blow off and open air lines should be outfitted with engineered air nozzles to save you as much air as possible. The pipe with drilled holes should be replaced with an Air Knife to increase efficiency and lower noise levels. You can do without the fine from OSHA, and recoup compressed air costs at the same time.
We have assisted many companies; some of them have shut down a compressor or eliminated the need for another compressor. We have lowered environmental noise levels. We have helped them benchmark their compressed air consumption and provided the products to lower the demand.
So take a look at the rest of the products. If you have any questions on how they may help you, please let us know.
I was changing the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve on my car which reminded me of an application for the EXAIR Line Vacs that is becoming popular with manufacturers and users of large stationary engines that I will share with you this week.
On piston combustion engines, some of the combustibles leak past the piston rings and enter the crankcase. This is referred to as blow-by. It contaminates the oil and builds up pressure in the crankcase that has to be vented somewhere.
Auto companies install a check valve (PCV) and rout the blow-by back into the intake manifold to be reburned. For stationary engines, especially those in the natural gas industry, this is not a prefered method. Oil is lost and it is not a clean burn.
The method they employ is pictured below. They install an oil filter then use an EXAIR Line Vac to pull the crankcase vapors through. The oil is reclaimed and returned to the crankcase and the air is sent to the engine exhaust.
This method has increased the life of the oil, reduced oil consumption, and provided a cleaner burning engine.
Do you have what you would consider a reasonable amount of air compressor capacity in your facility, but no matter what you do, it seems there are times of the day that you simply cannot keep up with demand and don’t know where the demand is coming from?
I was recently fortunate enough to visit a large paper mill who had this exact problem. It never failed, they would have a large draw on the compressor system that would drop the overall system pressure below a critical point for some machines within the plant. Once below, those machines would shut down and then the maintenance staff have to scramble to figure out the problem. Needless to say, they did not get any help from production workers from other departments to assist them in understanding the nature of the compressed air problem so they could head off future incidents.
On the day of our visit, I introduced the Digital Flow Meter from our Optimization product line. At that point, this issue with the system collapsing due to low compressed air pressure came to mind for the engineering staff. They came up with the plan to install a Digital Flow Meter at various strategic locations within the facility to monitor flow going to each department within the whole process.
In this way, they are able to break the whole compressed air system down into more manageable sized sectors that can be monitored for compressed air usage. They are also planning to use data loggers at each location to catch the culprit of the large air demand so that sufficient measures can be put into place to keep the low pressure condition from causing further down time. In this way, the engineering department can check the flow meters to see where the demand is coming from and do not need to enlist the help of uncooperative production workers.
This customer also apparently has an internal accounting system in which they assign energy use costing to each department. By monitoring the compressed air use for each department, the customer now has a reasonable and accurate method by which they can assign their costs associated with compressed air production across each department.
The next step in their process would be to look at individual applications within each sector to determine if further air savings could be had by applying engineered nozzles, etc.
Thought this scenario would be repeated many times over out there in the land of manufacturing. If you find yourself in the same situation, perhaps now you have a tool to help you out. Our stock flow meters are available for 1 NPT and 2 NPT pipe sizes. Sizes 1/2 NPT through 6 NPT are also available by order.
Most often, the material conveyed by our Line Vacs is made up of many small, individual pieces of material, such as granules, capsules, etc. However, it is also possible to convey a continuous single piece of material as well. The primary application of this sort is trim scrap removal.
I spoke to a customer last week looking to do exactly this. His company manufactures various types of plastic fabrics. The particular machine in question was moving a web of non-woven polypropylene fabric. The web is being cut to a specific width, by trimming off both edges, to make a clean cut line on both sides.
Because the web is not always at a consistent width to start, the trimmed pieces can range anywhere from 0.5″ to 3″ wide. But, the material is very lightweight and flexible. So, an oversized Line Vac was not necessary. I recommended to him to use a 2.5″ unit. The suction of the unit will be enough to easily collapse the wider pieces and carry them through without clogging. It will also have plenty of vacuum to keep up with the travel rate of the moving web.
Using the Line Vac will prevent a mess of scrap fabric from collecting on the machine, and will keep the scraps from interfering with the cutting operation and potentially creating a flawed cut line. It will also convey the scrap to a collection box near the machine for easy disposal at a later time.
Our Super Air Knife has been used in applications across various industries, from medical manufacturing to foundries, clean rooms to garbage processing. This example in the recycling industry highlights many of the Super Air Knife’s advantages.
A recycled material customer initially needs to separate the light stuff from the heavy stuff. They have chosen an EXAIR Super Air Knife to do this. The concentrated stream of air can remove the lighter shredded paper and plastics from the heavier materials like cans and bottles.
The Super Air Knife was mounted across the conveyor to blow upward at one of the head pulleys. The small footprint of the air knife is only 1.44″ x 1.75″ in profile, one advantage which does not interfere with the material stream.
The ability to install a pressure regulator and adjust the force of the air flow is another major advantage which allowed the customer to fine tune the force to a level which removes only the material they need at this point in the process.
And for what it is worth, this customer was looking for a solution quickly, we were able to send out two pieces of our 54″ Super Air Knife to a drop ship location the same day we received the Purchase Order.