Gettin’ Nothin’ But Static

It seems winter is upon us in Cincinnati, and right on time: our Application Engineer Joe Panfalone confirmed that last night’s snowfall was right in line with the Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction for this year.

So, winter coats are moving from the closet to the coat rack. The Christmas tree is going up. Letters to Santa are being written. Hot chocolate is being stocked up on. And I’m breaking out the humidifiers.

Years ago, I lived in an apartment with electric baseboard heaters. The dry air produced by those awful contraptions made my nose bleed, my skin itch, my throat sore, and my wrist hurt. That’s right…it made my wrist hurt: every time I shuffled across the carpet and put my hand on my bedroom doorknob, I got zapped with a bolt of static electricity that I’m sure would have killed a small animal. During a routine visit, my doctor told me that a humidifier would take care of the nosebleeds, so I got one. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it also relieved the dry skin, sore throat, and wrist pain!

In industrial settings, the effects of static electricity can be even more troublesome than the occasional zap, as if that wasn’t bad enough. Static electricity can disrupt electronic signals, damage sensitive electronic components, cause dust & debris to cling to surfaces, and even cause the surfaces of rolled or stacked materials to cling to each other, which can lead to tearing, jamming, or curling. Oh, and that occasional zap? If that happens close enough to a flammable or explosive material, you’ve got worse problems than a sore wrist.

There are a number of ways to eliminate a static charge: anti-static tinsel, carbon fiber brushes, spring-wired induction bars, and, yes, humidifiers, are all examples of passive static elimination. These are simple and effective in a wide array of applications, but they’re limited in scope…they may work fine when feeding sheets of paper into a printer, but we’ve seen the friction produced by plastic bottles moving down a conveyor generate a static charge high enough to divert the filling flow of liquid from the bottle’s mouth.

High speed, high volume applications need a more aggressive solution, and that’s where EXAIR Static Eliminators come in. By combining our Air Knives, Air Amplifiers, Air Jets, and Air Guns with our Ionizing Bars/Points, we’re able to produce a large volume of ionized air flow that will not only dissipate static charges quickly and at great distances, but will also remove that unwanted dust & debris at the same time.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of assisting a customer in just such a situation: the polycarbonate lenses they make are removed, by hand, from a conveyor belt. The static charge was irritating to the operator, and the dust (being held in place by the static charge) was unacceptable to the customer. They installed two Super Ion Air Knives (top and bottom; ionization won’t penetrate a solid material), and the operator is now able to package nice clean lenses, without the fear of that impending zap. It worked so well, they’re outfitting other packaging lines in their plant with identical systems.

EXAIR has a large selection of Static Elimination products that provide a wide array of ionized air flows and flow patterns. If you’ve got a problem with static, we can help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer

In the Beginning There Was Silence

In the beginning there was silence, and all was good. From silence came sound, not all of which was good nor welcomed. It was named noise.

Today more than ever we are bombarded with noise overload. Noise pollution has been known to cause aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful health effects.  Stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks. Is it no wonder that we have become what some consider as a violent and ailing world.

Below is a table of various noise levels. The dB scale is logarithmic so every 6 dB increase is double the sound level. So a street corner in a city at 80 dB  compared to a quiet night in the country at 30 dB, is 128 time more noisy.

Typical source of   the noise  Typical noise level (dB)
Jet airplane taking off 130
Threshold of pain 120
Rock concert at stage 110
Subway platform 100
Side of a busy highway 90
Street corner in city 80
Side of a road with cars 70
Typical office 60
Suburban area background 50
Suburban area at night 40
Rural area at night 30
TV recording studio 20
Audiometric test booth 10

Since for many of us, our day is spent in the workplace around noisy machines, blaring PA systems etc.,  the noise we are exposed to play an important role in our well-being. Compressed air is a vital energy source in an industrial facility. If left untamed it can be loud and debilitating.

EXAIR has a line of compressed air products that are designed to lower operating sound levels, save air, and maintain performance .  If you want to explore what EXAIR products can do for you, call and ask for one of our application engineers at 1-800-903-9247

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363

Super Air Knife Deflects Debris Away From Laser Lens

Our Super Air Knife is used for a lot of different kinds of applications. One application which does come up every once in a while that you may not hear much about is for protecting lenses of cameras and lasers. Many processes are monitored visually by a camera inspection system or perhaps by a laser measuring system to ensure compliance and accuracy in an application.

One such application was for keeping clean (read deflecting) debris away from a laser cleaning head lens. Our customer provides a variety of “cleaning services” which include sand blasting, dry ice blasting and laser cleaning of various materials. In this case, the cleaning process produced debris which flew up and stuck to the laser lens area. The customer wanted to eliminate this problem and found EXAIR Corporation. Specifically, they found our 6″ Aluminum Super Air Knife. They mounted the Super Air Knife onto the laser head assembly as shown in the diagram below.

The Super Air Knife provided a continuous curtain of air blowing down across the lens area to deflect away any small particles or debris. With the Super Air Knife in position, the customer was able to keep using the laser without having to stop to clean the lens area and experienced a significant increase in productivity with the tooling.

Again, this is just one small example of how the compact nature of the Super Air Knife allows for easy installation onto a moving head like this one. Also, with compressed air as the utility, piping the needed airflow to the Super Air Knife was quick and easy through simple hose and fittings.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

Tis the Season For Static

We are approaching the dry winter season and with it the problems of static electricity. At our house, we have a sofa with a synthetic fabric covering that is absolutely horrendous for generating static electricity. After a couple of jolts, the dog no longer comes around us when we are sitting on that couch.

Seeing the dog’s hair stand on end is humorous but in manufacturing it can be devastating. Here is a very well produced video  put out by the Chemical Safety Board. It demonstrates how a chemical distributor did everything right but something as innocuous as a hinge caused a devastating fire.

The harmful effects of static electricity are not confined to flammable liquids, in the production process they can affect vision systems, impair packaging, transfer systems, and electronics assembly just to mention a few.

EXAIR has a complete line of static eliminators that can help you control static electricity in your operation. Give one of our application engineers a call at 1-800-903-9247 and they will help you choose the most appropriate product. Then EXAIR provides a 30 day evaluation period. Should within that time you are not satisfied you can return it for full credit.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363

Is there a nozzle for that? You bet there is!

As an Application Engineer here at EXAIR we receive inquiries via e mail, live chat, phone, even Twitter.  No matter the method the result is always the same, an honest recommendation for a solution to your compressed air application. This means we have to know the abilities of all EXAIR products.  This is a list that spans 16 product lines and the one I would like to focus on today is the Air Nozzle and Jet category.

In the Air Nozzle and Jet section of our catalog we stock 59 different Air Nozzles and Jets.  This includes four different materials and threads ranging from 4mm x 0.75 to 1-1/4″ NPT.  The force range is anywhere from 2 ozs. of force at 80 PSIG all the way up to 23 pounds of force at 80 PSIG.  This means we have a nozzle that will blow anything from a grain of rice to a  pipe wrench across the floor.

The best thing about our Engineered Super Air Nozzles is they are so versatile, they can be used on an open pipe to reduce air consumption, noise while increasing safety; clamped on with a compression fitting to a copper pipe, used with our stay set hoses, our swivel fittings, or even attached to an existing or brand new safety air gun.

When an 1102 Mini Super Air Nozzle was used to replace a 1/8th” NPT open pipe a savings of $1,872.00 USD was achieved in one year.  This is from just a single nozzle that is about the size of a small thimble.  That is less than a one week return on investment for this nozzle.

So if you have an open pipe blow off or use commercial air guns in your facility, give us a call and let us see how much compressed air and money you can save.   (Plus it will give the Professor something to get all giddy about!)

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

Expect Victory

A few months ago I wrote a blog about a friendly competition with a coworker.  We are both trying to become healthier, and have set a goal to reach a certain weight by the end of the year.  As the end of the year approaches the weigh-ins are becoming more frequent and at the moment I’m pleased to have a slight lead.  Over the past few months I’ve made changes to my diet and workout regimen, but I’ve reached plateau for the last few weeks.

In all honesty, the leveling out of my progress is without a doubt due to my dwindling enthusiasm, but with the competition end close in sight I’ve been revived!  I’ve jumped back into the project with full enthusiasm, but still, my gains have been slow.  As I began to feel this pending stagnation creeping up on me, I thought of ways in which I could increase my performance.  Some of the ideas have been productive, some haven’t.  Ultimately, I reached a point where a more expert opinion was needed, so I reached out to a nutritionist and personal trainer I know.

As we discussed my situation, the insight and knowledge that was shared with me was incredible.  The education of both parties and the experiences they shared with me have given me new confidence and a new approach to my aspirations.

As I continue on my personal fitness path I relate my experience to the applications we deal with at EXAIR.  When a manufacturing facility is trying to strengthen their production line efficiency or needs to slim down the number of rejected parts, we offer the educated and experienced advice and guidance.  The application engineering department at EXAIR – personal trainers for manufacturers.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

The Return (or Lack Thereof) of The Better Mousetrap

You may know that EXAIR offers a 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee on all of our catalog products. It’s pretty simple: we let you test-drive one of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products for a month…if it works for you, keep it. In fact, buy more; tell your friends; and most importantly (and seriously) call us if we can help further. If it doesn’t work like you wanted, call us, and we’ll take it back. It really is just that easy.

I was researching some information on our Chip Trapper yesterday, and found more than I was looking for. If you’re not familiar with it, the EXAIR Chip Trapper filters chips (and swarf, shavings, etc.) from a machine’s coolant or oil sump. This video shows how it works:

The Chip Trapper won Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Award when it was introduced in 2009. In 2010, it was a finalist in the Golden Mousetrap “Best New Products” Awards.  And the hits keep on coming: the recently introduced 110-Gallon version got Environmental Protection Magazine’s “2011 New Product of the Year” Award, just last month.  Perhaps the best-kept secret is that it’s available in a 30-Gallon size as well.  That one hasn’t been singled out for an award…yet.  The results are in; the Chip Trapper has proven itself to be a popular addition to our Industrial Housekeeping Products line.

What got my attention during my research, though, was how seldom Chip Trappers get returned. Based on that evidence and feedback from our customers, the Chip Trapper is doing what we say it will do and clearly creating happy customers. To me, that was just as impressive as the accolades it’s received from The Authorities. Maybe even more so.

If you’re one of the multitude that’s using a Chip Trapper successfully, we’d like to hear from you. What (if anything) were you using before? How has the Chip Trapper improved your operation? Are you saving money on coolant? Are you spending less time on maintenance, and more on machine operation? Or are you just shirking your responsibilities and waiting for someone else to ship it back? I hope that’s not the case…as great as the Chip Trapper is for coolant filtration, it’s a lousy paperweight.  Whatever the case, though, if you have a Chip Trapper success story, we’re all ears.  Thanks in advance!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax