A Good Sharpening

I’m going camping this weekend. This could be the start of any Russ Bowman Blog, it’s true, but this one’s different. See, for the past six years, my best friend Andrew and I have gone camping with our sons on Father’s Day weekend. We jokingly call it our Mother’s Day present to our wives, but it’s really all about a bit of wisdom that we found in the writings of one of Israel’s ancient kings, Solomon, who said: “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” He and I practice this principle with each other, and hope that we’re imparting it to the young men in our charge as well.

Now, these outings are notoriously low impact – we’re ardent connoisseurs of State Park Campgrounds. The highest adventure we encounter is ignoring the “No Wading or Swimming” signs at the Lower Falls at Hocking Hills, chasing the raccoons away from our coolers at Paint Creek, or racing down the giant inflatable water slide at Maumee Bay.

Occasionally, we’ve been known to visit local tourist attractions as well, like the Creation Museum, when we camped at nearby Big Bone Lick. This year, we’re going to East Fork State Park, which is just outside of Cincinnati. We thought about a day trip to King’s Island, or taking in a Reds game (Saturday’s promotion is a free Mohawk hat), but in the end, we decided to “just go camping.” Nice and easy: regardless of weather, wildlife, or whatever, it’s a simple, reliable plan to achieve our goal of refreshing and invigorating ourselves and each other. I’ve got enough silly hats anyway.

EXAIR has posted an FAQ in our Knowledge Base regarding the comparison of compressed air products to those that rely on blower systems, and the analogies to this weekend just started writing themselves:

*Lower purchase costs: A Blower Air Knife can cost over ten times the purchase price of a similar-sized Super Air Knife. Why would we pay to go to an amusement park when the lake is within bicycling range of our reasonably priced campsite?
*Very little, if any, maintenance: Blower bearings need lubrication, and sooner or later, they’re still going to fail. Inlet filters clog and need replacement on a regular basis. With precious few exceptions (the Reversible Drum Vac’s Overflow Preventer Float comes to mind), EXAIR products have no moving parts, and, when supplied with clean, dry air, will run indefinitely…no special attention required. I wish I could say the same for my nine-year old…
*Lower noise levels, well below OSHA requirements: There’s no way around it: blowers make noise. Our products are specifically engineered to operate below OSHA thresholds for occupational sound level exposure. I’m actually going to take the high road here and not comment on the noise level associated with taking the boys camping. Never was a fan of shooting fish in a barrel.
*Infinitely variable force and flow rates: With a blower, you’re locked in to operation at/near it’s output capacity. Sure, you can throttle it down, but it still consumes same amount of energy, and let’s not forget about those bearing replacements (constant throttling puts this in the “sooner” rather than the “later” column). Conversely, when you regulate the air pressure supplied to an EXAIR product, you actually ARE consuming less energy, in the form of less compressed air produced by your compressor. By not locking ourselves into any specific plans this weekend, we’re, in essence, planning for the “infinitely variable” to happen. And I can’t wait to see what that is.
*Simple, compact installation: EXAIR products, unlike blower-fed units, don’t require cumbersome ductwork or noise containment cabinets. “Just camping” requires a tent, a sleeping bag, and a cooler for our food. The most elaborate that we get is the use of bite-size peanut butter cups for our S’mores. And yes, they’re spectacular.

Even if we just use plain old chocolate bars – and we may – I’ll be sharpened, come Monday. Count on that. I am.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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