Part 3 of 6 in Our Journey to Optimizing your Compressed Air System

After the last poll it appears that quite a few of our readers could benefit from a leak test on their compressed air system.  In case you missed the previous part for this blog series it’s located here.  Now it’s time for the next step in optimizing your compressed air system.  This is the part within the process where our Application Engineers experience can help you.
The third step in the process is to implement our engineered solutions.  Whether your application calls for Air Knives, Super Air Nozzles, or any of our multitude of products we can help you to select the appropriate one.  We can then help you calculate the savings you will see if you know the consumption rates of your existing compressed air operation.  Now it’s time for the poll.

 

This is the step where most customers truly begin to see the savings. When you can install an engineered solution on your open pipe or non-engineered blow off the amount of compressed air used for your operation will in most cases decrease considerably.  This is really noticeable when you hear your compressor stop running throughout the day because it doesn’t need to.  In some cases customers are even able to turn off secondary compressors because they are now using a more efficient compressed air operation.
In the next segment of our blog series to compressed air optimization we’ll discuss yet another way to further your compressed air savings through simply turning it off.  So until next week keep those compressed air systems optimized.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
Twitter: EXAIR_BF

Working With Metal and a “Whole Lot of Love”

Just imagine having to remember in minute detail what you did over forty years ago and repeat it in front of five hundred people. That’s what happened to me earlier this summer.

Many years ago I lived in the heart land of England, just a stone’s throw  from Birmingham, known as Brum by the locals. Like many would be musicians I began my singing career in a band at the ripe old age of twelve. I soon found out that everyone wanted to be the lead guitarist but me I loved the bass guitar. I took lessons with this old guy (he was probably thirty) called Horace Jonson and soon I was playing bass at Youth clubs, Pubs (bars), Social clubs, Weddings, in fact anywhere “our manager, the lead guitarists father” could get us a gig and get paid. Three or four nights a week we learned our trade sometimes playing four hours a night.

By this time the influence of Elvis, the Mersey sound of the Beatles and the London groups like the a Rolling Stones had seen better times. New bands called power trio’s like Cream and Jimmy Hendrix’s Experience were the rage so our band reformed and became a trio. Amps and speaker cabs suddenly became larger than life, towering over band members at college gigs like South Bank Polytechnic. Where we played with bands like Hendrix, Cream, Super Tramp, Roy Woods Wizard (later to become ELO) and many others. Glen Hughes soon to be of Deep Purple even used my gear. We had several different names over a three or four-year period in the seventies but a musical change was on its way.

Back in Brum Heavy Metal was on the rise, bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath with Ozzy (John Osborne) were on the rise. It was a crazy time rubbing shoulders with Robert Plant at JB’s but the music was something else. Just listen to the musical progression of the albums from Led Zeppelin.

Many people ask where the name heavy metal came from? Well if you’d have been in Brum forty years ago you would hear it, see it, smell it and work in it, it was “metal bashing”. The whole area was one massive manufacturing hub and the sound day and night was like a deep rumble. The only way you can experience the sound is if a bass player is playing bottom E through four 15 inch and eight 12 inch speakers at around 200 watts of sheer power.

This summer with two friends Nathan (guitar) and George( on skins), we played live after many hours of rehearsal  for five hundred friends for two hours.  I did remember most  of the music I played and loved over the years. But I do wish I had taken an EXAIR Digital Sound Level Meter with me……WOW!

Ivan Banks
Business Development
ivan.banks@exair.com

Autum Leaves, Winter Blues, and Leaping Arcs of Energy

I spent the weekend enjoying the crisp autumn air raking leaves. Rover and I had a great time together. I did all the work and he playfully spread them out again. During one of my breaks, which in each passing year has become more frequent, the thought of winter came to mind. Not just the snow shoveling but the static electricity.

Around the office I am referred to as Mr. Static. I don’t know why it is, but I generate an inordinate amount of static electricity during the winter months. The sound of snap and crackle can be heard as I rush about the office. It may be humorous but it stops being funny when I blow out equipment; 3 cordless phones, 1 cell phone, and my desk phone. Rover won’t even come near me during the winter months. Some man’s best friend he is.

Co-workers are always there for you. It’s been suggested that I wrap my shoes in aluminum foil, wear a drag line, shower myself with Bounce ®, someone even went through the trouble of making me a tin foil hat! What I found to really do the trick is to carry with me a LED key chain discharger. The LED’s slowly allow the stored charges to go to ground eliminating my pain and ensuring the integrity of whatever I touch.

Static electricity is not only a personal issue. It rears its ugly head in manufacturing too. I’ve seen a bottle filling application   where the static charge was enough to divert the flow of liquid so it missed the bottle. EXAIR has a cool video on static electricity. Need help controlling your static. Fill out your application form and an application engineer will evaluate your needs and make the appropriate recommendations.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Holey Leaky Air System Batman! I mean Prof. Penurious!

Well weekly blog readers, it is now time for poll two of six in our effort to see how many of our readers can benefit from our 6 Steps to Optimizing Your Compressed Air System.   If you noticed the results from last week’s blog, quite a few of our readers could benefit from our Digital Flowmeter and Summing Remote Display to get them on the path to an optimized compressed air system.  Now it’s time to see how many of our blog readers can say they run a tight air system.    So now for the poll.

Step 2 in our process is to find and fix the leaks in your compressed air system.   If you do a quick search on the all mighty Interwebs for “compressed air leaks”, you will find numerous articles on the matter.  This link will take you to an article from the Department of Energy that will help you get an idea of the average cost savings that you would see if you were to fix the leaks in your system.  From simply fixing 10 leaks in one compressed air system a company could save $57,069.  That is a lot of dough, not to mention this was from only 10 leaks in a system.  Every time you have a joint or connection in a system there is a possibility for a leak.   The size of the leak will determine how much money you are losing to it.  The best way to handle the leaks is to find them and permanently eliminate them.
The leak detection can be done in many ways; the method we offer is with the use of our Ultrasonic Leak Detector.  The ULD can detect leaks up to 20’ away and is also accurate even in a noisy industrial environment.   If you fix just one 1/16” diameter or equivalent leak, you will pay for the ULD in a year.  Not to mention the number of other leaks it will allow you to find and repair.  The amount of air you save by fixing the leaks will also be measured easily if, you are using our Digital Flowmeter from the previous blog

Once again, it is time for the blog to end.  Don’t forget to chime in on the poll and check back next week for step three in our blog series.
If you would like to discuss any of the information in today’s blog please do not hesitate to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
Twitter: EXAIR_BF

Time Flies

Fall is in full swing here in Cincinnati.  The leaves that are left on the trees have turned, and those that have fallen have seemingly all blown from my neighbor’s yard into mine.  I have a feeling that the wind may change directions this weekend.

Time sure flies by these days.

It seems like not all that long ago we were going through one of the snowiest winters that I can remember in quite a long time (Michigan natives are laughing as they read this).  Summer came and went.  It was oppressively hot.  And now autumn has arrived.

It isn’t just the weeks and months that seem to be shorter, the years seem that way more and more.  I glared in mock contempt earlier today when our CFO suggested that I (and a growing group of coworkers) should consider getting a flu shot because we are now over 40 years old.  If I were more adept at scoffing, I would have done a better job of it.

This week does have me feeling older, though.  Tomorrow night is “Senior Night” for my son at his football game.  His mother and I will walk across the field and be introduced with him before he takes the field for his last home game.  He’ll go to his last Homecoming dance the following night.  It seems only a little while ago that he was an awkward little kid with glasses that was waiting eagerly for me every day when I came home from work.  Now he’s an awkward big kid with contact lenses that has other, more important things to do, like picking out a college.

His “little” sister is now a freshman in high school, and she’s awkward in her own “yes-I-am-really-wearing-Vans-with-my-school-uniform” kind of way.  I shudder when I think that she will be old enough for a driver’s license in less than two years.

Tomorrow night promises to both a happy and sad occasion.  It’ll be sad to see him play on that field for the last time.  It will hopefully be happy in the end because winning this game will go a long way towards securing a playoff spot for the first time in nearly ten years.  That’s one great way to remember your senior year.  Go Blue!

Take some time to enjoy today.  Because tomorrow will be here before you know it.

Bryan Peters
President
bryanpeters@exair.com

Simplify Compressed Air Cost, Get Started Saving

While you run around “putting out fires” in the plant or engineering department, handle employee demands and/or work through your everyday list of tasks – do me another favor  and gather the information necessary to determine the cost of your compressed air. After all you can’t begin to save it until you know how much it is costing you. All you need to know is this…
                         
                     (bhp) x (0.746) x (#of operating hours) x ($/kWh) x (% time) x ( % full load bhp)
Cost =          ———————————————————————————————————————————
                                                                                   Motor Efficiency

                         Where bhp — Compressor shaft horsepower (generally higher than motor nameplate Hp)
                                       Percent Time — percentage of time running at this operating level
                                       Percent full-load bhp — bhp as percentage of full load bhp at this operating level
                                       Motor Efficiency — motor efficiency at this operating level

Go ahead, I’ll wait for you (as I look at my watch).

Now, for certain, there are folks in the company who know some, or maybe all of this information. All you have to do is find them,  convince them you need the info, wait for them to get it to you, learn about bhp (brake horsepower), plug the information into the formula, remember how to work long formulas and come up with a number you may or may not be confident with. No problem.

Or, if you are a math whiz like me, looking at that kind of formula can be a bit overwhelming. And I like to keep things simple. So here is reasonable number to calculate the cost of your compressed air – You can use $0.25/1000 standard Cubic Feet of compressed air use. Again, 25 cents per One-Thousand standard Cubic Feet of compressed air.

This is a good benchmark number to use throughout the US. We are aware that all of us are paying a different value for our electricity, which is the largest cost associated with generating compressed air. And using $0.25/1000 SCF could be a little lower or a bit higher than the value you get once you have time to use the above formula but it is a solid benchmark and worthy of using so you may get started placing a value on an important resource. The simplified value also takes into account equipment and installation and maintenance.

Having a value of your compressed air is the place to start. Next you should begin to measure the consumption of your air throughout the plant. A digital flow meter is a product to place at each leg of your system or machines in your plant to find air consumption. It has an optional summing remote display which can show current usage, the previous 24 hour usage or  the total cumulative consumption. It  also helpful to determine how much air existing leaks are wasting. Then you will be on your way to optimizing your system and implementing a reasonable compressed air savings program.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com

EXAIR Products Carry the CE Mark

CE Marking on a product is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation, called Product Directives.

Product Directives contain the “essential requirements” and/or “performance levels” and “Harmonized Standards” to which the products must conform. Harmonized Standards are the technical specifications which are established by several European standards agencies (CEN, CENELEC, etc).

The issue of CE marking on EXAIR products has become such an important issue that our design staff has retained the services of an independent lab that specializes in CE certification. The project began late last year and we have been steadily adding new product groups to the list of CE approved items that EXAIR sells.

Following is a list of the products that now display the CE mark:

-Air Knives
-Air Amplifiers
-Air Nozzles & Jets
-Safety Air Guns
-Air Wipes
-Electronic Temperature Control (ETC)
-Electronic Flow Control (EFC)
-Vortex Tubes
-Spot Coolers
-Cabinet Coolers
-Cold Gun
-Static Meter

Three remaining categories for CE approval are:
-Line Vac
-E-vac
-Industrial Housekeeping products

CE should be achieved on the above products by end of October 2010.

What is the significance of having CE and why is it important to you as a customer?
EXAIR is the first and only company within our industry to pursue CE for our types of products. We have done this through an independent laboratory to make sure our claims are unquestionably legitimate. As the market leader for our types of products, the obvious benefit of conforming to CE standards and directives is CE does carry weight with designers and purchasing agents looking to source CE compliant products. We realize that many of our domestic and overseas customers are designing product for export to the EU region and so we want to make every effort to make our product more desirable not only in terms of price, quality and performance but also in terms of conforming to the directives, rules and norms of the international market.

Neal Raker
International Sales
nealraker@exair.com