Vortex Tube Cools Gel and Seals Vial

Gel is dispensed into a 5 mL vial at 40C, a temperature which keeps the gel in a liquid state. The temperature at which this gel will thicken and set up is 38C.

A large agricultural company who manufactures weed control chemicals was dispensing this gel into the vials. They needed a solution to cool at least the top of the gel to form a seal in the vial and keep the gel from spilling out after the vials are tossed into a bulk hopper.

A Vortex Tube provided a quick blast of cold air at -1C to remove the heat necessary to set the gel and create the plug to hold the gel within the vial.

This application was a new one for me, typically we are setting hot melt glue, cooling ultrasonic weld horns, heat seals, or gas sample through analyzers. It is always good to speak with someone about an application I have not experienced before and be able to provide a solution.

This application was successful because we had a couple of seconds exposed to the vials while the fill machine indexed and we could blow directly in to the vial and on the gel to quickly set it up.

Kirk Edwards, Application Engineer

Separating Cookie Cutouts

Last week I shared with you an application involving bread. This week I have another food application, making and baking of cookies.

My customer makes cookies. They run a flat sheet of cookie dough under a roll cookie cutter. The roll has a vacuum on it to hold the cookie cutout to the roll while the dough sheet continues on. The problem they were having is that sometimes the cookie wants to stay with the dough. Installing model 1100 super air nozzles over the cookie cut outs to pin them against the roll they were able to achieve a clean separation. This reduced  lost product by 10%.

Joe Panfalone, Application Engineer

Clean Up Application and Increase Productivity With a Cold Gun

I had an application today where the solution made so much sense, I felt it was a perfect candidate to discuss here today.
The customer works in an aluminum foundry. Specifically, he worked in the area where all the secondary work is performed to remove the molds, cores and any extraneous parts of the casting such as risers. This application involved sawing off 6 risers of 3″ diameter from the casting.

Previously, the customer was using an abrasive cut-off blade and a lot of coolant to cut the risers. The process was messy and consumed a lot of saw blades.
Customer then moved to a carbide tipped circular saw blade of 16″ diameter. They also added Cold Gun Model 5330 to the guard on the saw blade to replace the previous liquid coolant system. The dual point hose kit of the Cold Gun was aimed at each side of the blade right at the point where the blade enters the kerf or cut in the material. In this way, the Cold Gun was able to cool the blade and the work piece.
With the cold air from the Cold Gun, the customer was able to completely eliminate use of liquid coolant and was thus able to save 1 hour of processing time per casting between saw cutting speed as well as no longer having to put the casting through subsequent cleaning process. A simple blow-down with compressed air is all that was needed to “clean” the casting.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer

Separate Sheet Stock with Super Ion Air Knife

A customer of ours who built an assembly line for 48″ x 96″ corrugated plastic sheet was having a problem with the stack of plastic sheet on the lift table. The sheets were set in a stack on the lift table, removed from the stack with suction cups and moved to a die cutting machine to manufacture boxes.

When the sheets were lifted by the suction cups, more than one sheet was lifted from the stack due to a static charge in between the sheets. You may not know that static can only be neutralized by exposing the static charge directly to some kind of static eliminating product or air flow. In this case the static elimination air needed to reach in between the sheets.

Another problem with the application was the strength of the static charge. This charge was very high and holding the sheets together tightly. For this reason we recommended three model 1122 2″ Super Air Nozzles across the 48″ edge of the sheet. These nozzles had enough force to create a gap in between the sheets.

After the gap was created an EXAIR Super Ion Air Knife could reach the static charge and begin to peel the bottom sheet from the top as the suction cups lifted the sheets.

Sometimes a combination of product can provide the best solution.

Kirk Edwards, EXAIR Application Engineer

Industrial Grade Food Saver

When it comes to bread I like mine soft and moist. I learned from a bread vendor that the twist ties are color coded for the day that it was baked. 

Blue = Monday
Green = Tuesday
Red = Thursday
Yellow = Friday
White = Saturday

Guess they do not bake on Sunday and Wednesday.

So it was particularly interesting to me when a customer who bakes bread called and asked for a solution to extending the shelf life and freshness of their breads.

What  he wanted to do is to evacuate all the air out of the bread bag before they sealed it up. They needed to vacuum in a hurry but not with so much vacuum that it crushed the bread. This was a perfect application for the model 120020 air amplifier. It provided high air flow with low vacuum. Tweaking the air pressure put to the air amplifier, they were able to achieve just the right amount of vacuum.

On an industrial grade, the air amplifier performed on the same principle as your food saver at home.

Joe Panfalone, EXAIR Application Engineer

Line Vac Removes Punched Metal Slugs

EXAIR’s Line Vac is capable of moving many different materials. We have moved plastic pellets, crumb rubber, activated carbon, sand, ground glass, grains and worms, just to name a few. Each different material and necessary volume dictates the type and size of Line Vac.

One of our customers is a custom machine builder with a focus on automated assembly machines. They designed an assembly system which included an assembly cell to punch holes in a 23 gage steel strip. The 15mm wide strip had a hole every one inch.

The punch process clearly created many slugs. They included a 1″ Stainless Steel Line Vac Kit into the design. The stainless steel Line Vac will resist abrasion from the metal slugs. It also presents a small footprint and minimal air consumption for a product capable of moving the slugs 10′ into a bulk hopper for later disposal.

And we know it is always important for an OEM to keep costs down. The Line Vac kit option was less expensive than other mechanical options. This OEM customer has utilized many of the sizes of Line Vac with other custom systems they have built. This has allowed them to move many different types of material.

EXAIR Line Vacs are manufactured up to 5″ in diameter. They are available in 4 materials (Aluminum, 303 SS, 316 SS, Hard Coated) and can also be made special order from PVDF or similar plastics.

If you need a simple, low cost solution for a material transfer application, consider an EXAIR Line Vac.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Flue Stack Booster

I was approached by a customer in the waste management business. He was having a problem with downdraft when they first start up the incinerators. The stacks are cold so they do not updraft properly. He had previously tried inline boosters and fans, but they tend to corrode and fail. He wanted something reliable and maintenance free.

I suggested he rig an EXAIR High Temperature Air Amplifier onto a pipe elbow, insert the other end of the of the elbow through the flue stack and point it upwards. The high velocity air from the amplifier provided ample updraft until the stacks warmed up and natural draft was established. When the stacks would draft on their own, the compressed air was turned off.

Since the High Temperature Air Amplifier is good for temperatures up to 700F, it is not affected by the heat from the stack. Also, being mounted on the outside of the stack, it is not subjected to crud build up from the dirty flue gasses.

In the end my customer got what he was looking for, something reliable and maintenance free.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer