E-Vac Brake Bleeder

     This past weekend I was working on two separate friends’ motorcycles trying to prepare them for a track day. In the past month or so all three of us had undertaken the task of rebuilding our brake calipers, along with installing new stainless steel braided brake lines. Once the calipers were rebuilt and the new lines were installed on the bikes, we all realized the fun was just beginning. We were now to the point of no return, and we were faced with the task of filling the new system with brake fluid. But first, we would have to bleed the entire system of all the air that was trapped inside.

     First, we decided to try the “traditional” method of pump the lever up where you have one person hold the lever while the other works the bleeder valve at the caliper. While this did start to work after about an hour it was not getting us to that peak performance we were looking for in the amount of time we wanted to get there.

     Next, we decided to try a small vacuum pump that you pump by hand. This method had worked well for us in the past on other occasions but, just seemed to be taking a lot longer because of the volume of air in the “new” system. This is when a light bulb flipped to the “on” position in my head and I thought, “ Why not use an E-Vac Generator in place of this little hand pump and get this job done a lot faster and maybe easier?“

     So, that’s when the engineering began, we created a compressed air driven brake bleeding system. Seeing that the hand pump was generating at most 30” of Hg when sealed off and approximately 15” of Hg when bleeding the brakes, we decided to try the model #800003. This E-Vac will provide up to 21” of Hg, so we thought it would be a good starting point. With the E-Vac in place, we all three took our positions and began bleeding our brakes utilizing the new bleeding system we created.

A picture of our E-Vac brake bleeding unit is below. I realize it is not an ideal condition but it proved our theory.

     After implementing the new bleeding system we realized you can bleed an entire dry brake system with one person faster than if you were using the traditional or hand pump system. The nice thing about this system is that it is simple to use, and you can bleed the brakes all by yourself.

     While we used a small E-Vac from the EXAIR catalog, it would be rather easy to size and implement a larger E-Vac to be used on virtually any hydraulic system that needs to be bled.

Brian Farno

Application Engineer

brianfarno@exair.com

 

April Recap

I can happily report that my daughter did not disown me after my blog last week for Earth Day featured her. In fact, she said it was pretty cool. Those aren’t words I hear from my 13-year old daughter all that often.

After seeing my blog entry last week, our Kirk Edwards decided to take family involvement to a whole new level by enlisting his son to perform bicycle stunts just to feed his blog. Poor guy is healing nicely, I am happy to report. The rest of our kids can’t be pleased with where this is heading…

But on to this week’s blog. Some of us at EXAIR were discussing how fast the month of April has gone by the other day. It really has been a busy month. In classic TV fashion, I decided that the easiest way to fill an entry this week was with a recap episode.

April-2010

April 1 – Professor Penurious makes his debut to launch the EXAIR Efficiency Lab (he’s an odd duck…)

April 1 – EXAIR “Premium” kits for Chip Vac, Drum Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac became available (premium kits include the drum)

April 3 – Initial stocking inventory arrives in Russia for our new distributor in St. Petersburg (Здравствуйте!)

April 8 – Visit from our distributor in Israel (shalom!)

April 15 – EXAIR CE-compliant Cabinet Cooler Systems are released (leading the way, as usual)

April 15 – Tax Day #!%#* (’nuff said)

April 22 – Earth Day (EXAIR is a responsible corporate citizen)

April 22-25 – EXAIR products featured at Ecotec 2010 trade show in Athens, Greece (γεια σας!)

April 29 – EXAIR LinkedIn company page goes live

As you can see, it was a very busy April at EXAIR.  We are working hard every day, every week and every month to give customers the information, products and services that they need to save money, save time and improve their operations.

May shapes up to be just as busy as April.  Two international distributors are set to visit EXAIR and another round of new products are due to be released.

Stay tuned for more news.  You can catch the latest on Twitter at twitter.com/exair

Bryan Peters
President
bryanpeters@exair.com

Without Problems, What Would You Do With Yourself?

One of my Dad’s outlooks on life goes like this; life is nothing more than a series of problems. If he did not have something to fix, negotiate, extinguish or solve he wouldn’t have much to do. The interesting part about his perspective is that problems are not a nuisance to him; they are simply part of the plan. He has relayed this message to me over the years in hopes of helping me react well to adversity; but sometimes it is hard to find a solution before the next problem arises. So when do you find the time to be proactive? 

For instance last week upon arriving home – I mean only moments after pulling in the driveway, my 6-year-old son wipes out while ramping his bike. Here is the result…

         

A badly smashed finger. OUCH! That was about a week ago, that fingernail is getting darker by the day and well on its way to falling off.

So what’s the problem? Sooth the boy and then the finger, check the ramp for integrity, check the bike for damage, find the damage and straighten the seat. Problem solved. 

Dad’s theory says if you don’t have an emergency or fire to put out, go work on the next problem (“The List”). So I took some time to check some other springtime equipment. I looked at the other kids’ bikes just in case. Then moved on to make sure swing set bolts are tight,  checked the trampoline springs (which really just means a good excuse for me to jump on it) and other springtime maintenance.

This, I know, is mirrored by our work lives as well. One fire after another must be put out. The normal workload piles up along the way. Many companies working with fewer people due to the economy. The projects on “The List” we get to in between putting out fires – or at least we should. In our work lives those emergencies bring to light other situations which also need attention. It takes focus and perspective not to get overwhelmed with putting out fires, but instead take advantage of time to fix other things on “The List” which also need attention.

We talk to customers on a daily basis who have an item on their list which says – Reduce Compressed Air Consumption. It is an item that falls down the priority list as the emergencies come up, as the product continues to roll out the door and as we get busier. Many times it is a large system approach to reduce compressed air consumption and that can be overwhelming.

Our EXAIR Efficiency Lab can help you in between putting out fires. We can tackle one little blow off area at a time and provide air savings feedback, including ROI for each little compressed air application. We can solve one of the problems on “your list” while you are called away for a different problem. The Lab’s Product Efficiency Survey is a tool used to provide EXAIR the information about your compressed air application, we can take it from there. The information we provide along the way can be tallied each time we optimize a small area of your system.

This tool will help you be proactive between putting out fires. It is after all, just another problem to get taken care of; And if you didn’t have any problems to solve what would you be doing anyway?

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com

Ultrasonic Predictive Maintenance

A while back my daughter was mowing the grass. She drove the mower up to me and said that it started sounding different. I checked it out and sure enough the belt had flipped over and was riding on its flat side rather than its V side.

Back before all the electronic monitors on our autos, savvy owners could predict developing problems just by changes in the usual sounds. Ultra Sonic Predictive maintenance is simply that. It is an inspection method by which sounds emitted from equipment are compared against an established sound benchmark of a healthy system.

The advantages of ultra sonic inspection

  • Does not require expensive complicated equipment
  • Can be used in noisy environments
  • Systems do not have to be shut down to inspect
  • Provides early warning indicators
  • Provides important data for, trend analysis, need to watch lists, and an interface with analysis software

EXAIR has an Ultra Sonic Leak Detector (ULD) which for the most part is promoted for detecting compressed air leaks. Since it is a sound detector though, it lends itself well to ultra sonic predictive maintenance. Here are a few examples.

    Bearing Problems
    Ultrasonic inspection and monitoring of bearings is by far the most reliable method for detecting early bearing failure and conditions such as lack of lubrication. Bearing analysis requires prior knowledge of the sound that a “healthy” bearing makes. A log that notes the date, location of the test area, sensitivity setting, and LED display panel reading should be available for regular inspection of bearings. A bearing will emit ultrasonic sound even when it is “healthy”. When the bearing system begins to deteriorate, the ultrasonic sound will change long before problems are detectable through any heat and vibration monitoring systems.
    Air brakes
    Air leaks in trucks can be a source of many problems. This is particularly true when a leak is small enough that it cannot be heard over the sound of a running engine, but is large enough to empty the air tanks overnight. By tracing the air supply lines and all of its couplings, the ULD can accurately isolate a leak in a fraction of the time normally needed.
    Electrical
    In electrical applications, the prior knowledge of the sound a healthy circuit makes is vital to make useful comparisons. Expensive equipment is not needed to check the conductivity of insulators when the ULD is used. In areas that are close to high voltage insulators (such as switch yards), the tubular extension and adapter is the appropriate tool to use with the ULD. This accessory is particularly useful when checking insulators because the circuit does not need to be interrupted
    Cracked Rubber V-belts
    Any crack in a moving rubber belt will emit ultrasound when the crack passes by the pulley.  Prior knowledge of the sound a healthy belt will give you a benchmark to compare against.
    Dry Fire Sprinkler Systems
    In a dry system air pressure holds back the flow of water. Small leaks in the system requires compressed air to be added. Simple enough but leaks tend to grow. Enough leakage could overwhelm the compressor capacity resulting in all the sprinklers activating resulting in massive water damage.In a plant where loud noise levels often exist, it is very difficult to locate leaks by merely listening for them. Most plant noises are in the normal audio range while air escaping from a small orifice will be in the ultrasonic range. The ULD or will ignore the background noise and detect only the ultrasonic sounds that are generated.For more information feel free to contact me or one of the application engineers here at EXAIR.

Earth Day 2010: Who Cares?

I tease my daughter sometimes about being a “tree hugger”.  When I told her she was featured in my blog this week, she was horrified.

Devon is a 13-going-on-19, part-time vegetarian honor student who would like nothing more than to dye her hair purple over summer break.  She sometimes creates aliases for herself and has Amazon ship packages to these unknown people at our address.  While some classmates compete for the title of whitest shoes, Devon generally rocks a pair of Chuck Taylors.  On a good day, the left shoe might match the right one.  She’s going to the Warped Tour this summer.  She reads Alternative Press immediately upon its release each month. If a particular band has a positive social message, even better (as long as at least one band member is moderately attractive).  My daughter is a shower-singing diva that counts the days until the next episode of Glee and dreams of attending Julliard one day.  Or becoming a veterinarian.  It changes a lot.

Devon recycled her iPhone in favor of a Blackberry because “touch screen keyboards are too slow”.  At age 11, she contacted Dell technical support on her own because her laptop had power charging issues.  And got the replacement part sent overnight.  She once used zero cell phone minutes in a month (but sent over 1000 text messages) because using a phone as an actual phone is “lame”.  Her most often used word is “FAIL”.  Her current tweet count is somewhere north of 3500.  She speaks Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Skype, Stickam and more.  She knows which blog sites are reliable and which often have inaccurate information.  As such an avid communicator, her personal network includes friends from many other states and a few other countries.

Devon actively seeks out brands that are “organic”, “recycled” or “natural”.  She gets excited about shopping at Whole Foods.  She knows which hair care and cosmetic brands don’t test on animals.  And she would rather visit a locally owned restaurant rather than a franchise.

Why should businesses take note on Earth Day?  People like Devon are our new customers.

This is a wake-up call to those businesses that haven’t already figured this out for themselves.  An independent, intelligent, technically savvy and socially conscious consumer is headed your way.  There are more of them every day.  They are located all over the world.  And they network with each other effortlessly and constantly.

For all of the talk about “CSR” (corporate social responsibility) lately, one of the most compelling reasons to take a hard look at your business practices and products may be an economic one.  Your sales are at risk.  Consumers increasingly want to know more than your brand’s tagline – they want to know what kind of citizen you are.  Irresponsible practices are exposed and vilified.  Dishonest claims are investigated, refuted and publicized faster than you can tweet “brand bashing”.  We are entering an era requiring facts, proof and transparency rather than disingenuous corporate propaganda.

EXAIR is a business.  EXAIR is a manufacturer.  We make products in our factory with machinery.  We consume raw materials and energy.  We generate waste.  We pack and ship products around the world.  Our business is not carbon neutral.  But EXAIR is a responsible corporate citizen.  We have reduced our consumption of resources, increased our recycling efforts and incorporated practices and standards that are beneficial to the environment into our product development, manufacturing and fulfillment processes.

Here are some of the steps we have taken to improve our operations, practices, facility and products:

Resources Consumed

  • Electrical Power
    • Our VSD (variable speed drive) air compressor reduced our electrical consumption by over 4,500 kWh in the past year compared to a conventional air compressor.
    • Consumption reduced through increased use of natural light, higher efficiency fluorescent fixtures and LED technology.
  • Compressed Air
    • Consumption reduced through a leak detection and mitigation program that saved one million cubic feet of compressed air per year.
  • Fossil Fuels
    • Electronic delivery of invoices reduced snail-mailed copies by over 50%.
  • Paper/Cardboard
    • Electronic delivery of invoices allowed 67% reduction in printed pages.
    • Most shipments use recycled Kraft paper with a perfect “green score” of 360.
  • Fresh Water
    • Consumption reduced through a coolant management program that extends usable life of water-soluble coolant from six weeks to six months.
  • Natural Gas
    • Consumption reduced by installing programmable thermostats wherever possible to match heating/cooling cycles with facility usage patterns.

Recycling of Waste

  • Solid Waste/Trash – Reduced by 88% through an expanded recycling program
  • Metals – 100% recycled
  • Paper/Cardboard – 100% recycled
  • Wastewater – 100% recycled
  • Wood – 100% recycled
  • Plastics – 100% recycled

Product Impact

  • EXAIR blow off products designed specifically to reduce compressed air consumption energy usage
  • A new tool developed as part of our coolant management system now available to customers
  • Packaging materials used by EXAIR are fully recyclable
  • Most EXAIR products themselves are largely or fully recyclable at the end of their useful lives
  • RoHS compliance on applicable products insures that, should these products end up in a landfill at the end of their useful lives, they will not contaminate the environment with unacceptable levels of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBB, PBDE or cadmium.

As you can see above, we’ve made significant progress.  But we are by no means finished.  New materials, products, processes and technologies mean more opportunities for improvement.

Are you paying attention on Earth Day 2010?  What steps have you taken in your business and how have you made them known to customers?  Are you prepared to satisfy this new type of consumer?  Your company’s future just might depend upon it.

Claims are easy, proof is hard.

Don’t FAIL.

Bryan Peters
President
bryanpeters@exair.com

Calculate the Value of Your Compressed Air Savings

Most everybody wants to know how much compressed air they can save when they use EXAIR products and how much money that air savings will equal. I will explain how to calculate air savings and dollars saved, hopefully with better results than this…

The basic formula for savings per hour is this:
 [ X – Y] x Comp$ x T = Saved Air Value
     With:
      X – Existing Air Consumption
      Y – EXAIR Product Consumption
Comp$ – Cost of Compressed Air per 1000 Standard Cubic Feet (SCF)
T – Time Frame of 60 Minutes
Saved Air – Air Savings in Dollars per Hour

To determine your existing air consumption you should
1. Measure your compressed air flow with a flow meter on the specific supply leg of your system.
2. Provide details about your compressed air system using the EXAIR Efficiency Lab and we will        measure or estimate your current consumption.

To determine the consumption of the EXAIR product(s), use the air consumption information provided in our catalog or website. If you would like assistance determining air consumption at a pressure other than 80 PSIG (standard pressure in the catalog or web), please contact us.

If you don’t know your actual cost of compressed air per 1000 Standard Cubic Feet (SCF), a reasonable average to use is $0.25 per 1000 SCF.

EXAMPLE: Drilled Pipe vs. Super Air Knife @ 80 PSIG
[ X – Y] x Comp$ x T = Saved Air Value

18″ drilled pipe w/ 1/16″ holes every 1/2″ (37 holes) = 140.6 SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute)
18″ Super Air Knife = 52 SCFM

[140.6 – 52.2] x [0.25/1000] x 60
88.4 x .00025 x 60
.022 x 60
= $1.33 saved per hour

Once you have the value of saved air per hour ($1.33 in this example) you can determine dollars saved per week and year depending on your schedule.
40 hour work week = $53.20 saved per week
52 weeks per year = $2766.40 saved per year 

Not bad results for a $300.00 investment! You can see additional details about this example HERE. And for an automatic calculator which shows dollar savings and return on investment calculations CLICK HERE.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com 

   

   

   

   

   

   

   


  

 

 

Sucessful Business as Light Bulb Changer

America is truly the land of opportunity if you are willing to go for it. Recently I talked with a customer who was out of work and doing odd jobs for his church. One job he found particularly challenging was changing the flood lamps in a 30 foot ceiling. The conventional method is to erect scaffolding and climb up to the bulbs. 

Thinking outside the box he found that there were suction cups on the end of poles used for this purpose. What he found though, is that dust and grime collected on the surfaces over time, compromised the vacuum and they would drop the bulb bursting onto the floor.

Tenacious as he is, he did a web search for vacuum and came across EXAIR and that is how we met. I told him the problem with the push to vacuum cups is that they have no way to regenerate any leakage and that is why his bulbs were falling off.

 I suggested using our model 840008 E-Vac with a 6″ suction cup model 900761 . The suction cup was mounted on the end 30′ tube with an air line going down the center of it to an E-Vac at the other end. The E-vac maintained a consistent vacuum despite any leakage and the problem of broken light bulbs went away.

His Pastor suggested that other churches could use the services of his new invention and that was the beginning of new employment for him and another EXAIR success story.

If you have a challenge that you think one of EXAIR’s products could help you, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to go through it with you.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
joepanfalone@exair.com