Pet Peeve: Lights On In An Empty Room

As the father of two sons, I spend a lot of time telling them to turn off the lights in their rooms when they leave them. I also spend a lot of time turning the lights off in their rooms after they’ve long left them. To their credit, though, they’re both pretty good about putting away their clean clothes, getting their dirty laundry to the hamper, clearing the dinner table, etc…they do give me a lot to be proud of, responsibility-wise, so flipping a light switch a couple times a day isn’t so bad, all things considered. As I wrote about a while back, the electric company gave me a bunch of CFL light bulbs, which I promptly installed throughout the house, so I’m really getting off light (pun intended.)
turnoff

Compressed air users don’t get so lucky, though…in fact, turning off compressed air flow when it’s not needed is among the most valuable of the “Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems,” as published by the fine folks at the Compressed Air Challenge. And this is where the compressed air users’ luck can change by using EXAIR’s EFC Electronic Flow Control.

The EFC is a system consisting of a programmable timer which opens and closes a solenoid valve, based on input from a photoelectric sensor. A typical installation might be on a conveyor belt, where gaps exist between parts that are being blown off by a compressed air device like an Air Knife, Air Nozzle, Air Amplifier, etc. The sensor would be mounted to “see” the parts when they’re in position for blow off…when one is there, it’ll open the solenoid valve. When the part has passed, it closes the valve.

If your application isn’t quite so “cut and dry,” the timer has eight modes of operation to choose from, and the time scale is adjustable down to a tenth of a second. For more details on this, Lee Evans made a fine video that explains it all.

If you have a blow off that doesn’t need to be continuous, then the EFC is just what you need. For selection assistance, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer – we’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Heavy Duty Line Vac Recycles Spent Abrasive Blast Media

I have run into another very good use of the Heavy Duty Line Vac and wanted to share this with you. A customer had contacted me from overseas. His interest was to apply Heavy Duty Line Vac to his abrasive media blast cabinets. The cabinets have a hopper filled with media that feeds a spray gun which accelerates the media toward a target work piece to remove anything from paint, to oxidation, oil and any other stubborn stains that might persist. That hopper is filled with Aluminum Oxide powder which is very abrasive and thus very good at the task of abrasive blasting.

150125

The problem was in determining how best to replenish the hopper without having to stop and shovel the media back up to the feed hopper. In comes the EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vac model 150125. The Heavy Duty Line Vac was fitted to a pipe which is connected to the tapered bottom of the media blasting cabinet. As the media falls down into the bottom, the Line Vac creates a powerful suction which conveys the Aluminum Oxide powder back up to the hopper for re-use.

The key to success for this application is the construction of the Heavy Duty Line Vac. These models are constructed from a hardened alloy material. This material  makes for our most abrasion resistant model series available. Applications like this one where a stainless steel Line Vac might last 3 months, a Heavy Duty model can last 18 to 24 months or more of constant usage. Results will vary depending on application factors but there is no doubt that the Heavy Duty Line Vac is a highly reliable and effective tool to have for abrasive media conveying.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

Is Smaller or Bigger Better

If anything, the commercials during the Superbowl, have fostered my curiosity for the entertainment value of everyday advertising. I’ve seemed to have gained a more critical eye and come to a conclusion; human consumption is like the tide, it waxes and wanes only to repeat itself.portable TV

There was a time that everyone was clamoring for pint sized TV’s. Today, sports fans would have a commercial movie screen if they could fit it into their home. In the 50’s and 60’s huge high finned cars  were in vogue. Today, sub compacts are in demand. Today’s manufacturer has to be diverse in their product offerings to fulfill the broad range of customer needs.

EXAIR is well known for its ability to modify standard product to fit their customer’s needs. Here is an example of how we modified our standard air amplifier to meet the customer’s needs to install into a flue pipe and assist the movement of flue gasses.

                           Standard DesignStandard Design                          Modified Designspecial air amplifier

If you have a special application, call one of our application engineers 1-800-903-9247

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

Winter Is No Longer Welcome In My Book

For those of you that read my blog posts it may be shocking that I haven’t blogged about a motorcycle since October 12, 2012.  That’s far too long! Over the winter months I have been working here and there on the motorcycle. Doing the normal maintenance like oil change, cleaning, sitting on it and making engine noises because weather isn’t permitting outside fun.

Of course, one of the things I have done is use my E-Vac Brake Bleeder.  After successfully bleeding my brakes I took my front suspension to a local motorcycle race shop to have it refreshed and new seals installed.  This is something I don’t have the correct tools for so I have to hand it over to an expert.  We then got to talking about bleeding brakes and getting all the bikes ready for this race season.  So I explained the E-Vac system to them and they didn’t believe it would work as easily as I stated.

After showing them a brief video of it I was able to see the wheels start spinning in their minds.  Suddenly they realized that they could use one in the shop and that there were applications that I didn’t think of.

The main application would be for bikes with a hydraulic clutch.  The clutch fluid needs to be changed out and the air needs to be bleed out of the system as a regular maintenance item just like the brake fluid.  The reason I hadn’t thought of it is because I have a cable driven clutch.

Hopefully with the weather today nearing 50 degrees I will be able to get an E Vac in their hands and let them see that the way they were bleeding fluids is obsolete and this is best, easiest, and fastest method to do so.

The old methods are shown in the video below.  (Please don’t try to siphon brake fluid by sucking on the brake line.  You don’t know where that line has been.)

If you have any applications you think we could help with please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

A Lathe in Need

Lathe in need of Super Air Knife

One of our customers contacted me this week about a potential application for an Air Knife.  The problem they were facing was the uncontrolled accumulation of chips inside of a lathe.  As the chips freely bounced around, some would land on the cylinder rod used to automatically open and close the lathe door.  These chips would enter the cylinder rod bore, causing poor/slow operation, and eventually failure.

For such a problem, we considered two solutions.  The first, was to use (2) 18” Super Air Knives (aluminum) to create an air curtain.  This could eliminate the need for the door and the robot which loads the lathe could enter as needed, but this presents obvious safety concerns.  The second was to use a 12” Super Air Knife above the spindle head, and aim any chips created towards a designated collection point.

The later seemed to be the much better solution, but the only concern was a potential “crash” with various items that enter the machining center.  Fortunately the force created by a Super Air Knife is more than sufficient to direct the chips even from a distance of 12”.

This application concern was remedied using a Super Air Knife, an integral component to our Super Ion Air Knives, which are used to eliminate static.  If you have an application which may potentially benefit from these products, or any others we manufacture, give us a call.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@exair.com
@EXAIR_LE

An American Success Story

I saw a story in the news recently about the Shale Gas Boom – it seems that developments in drilling & mining technology over the past few years have made access to shale gas a more economically feasible option. By that, I mean, it’s always been there, but until these newer technologies were developed, it’s always cost more to get usable gas out of the ground than it was worth.

I don’t know that a story gets more “American:” Ingenuity and know-how are leading to profitability, profitability will lead to industry growth, industry growth means not only more job opportunities, but also less dependence on imported energy sources, which is something our government leaders have been talking about my whole life. There are tons of political positions impacting this, but, even if that discussion was within the context of this blog, I still wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Which brings me to my point: I’ve always considered myself to be patriotic. I served six years in the United States Navy. I never miss an opportunity to vote, especially when the only items on the ballot are school or municipal levies, county/state representative primaries, etc.  I pay my taxes and abide by the law, even the speed limit (usually.)

Those are the ways that I have, and continue, to live out my patriotism. But it all comes from an engrained belief – and attitude – that I want to succeed personally, within a successful organization, in an environment provided by a successful nation. I believe this applies to my actions and involvement in my home, my community, my sons’ Scout units (it’s been a while since I mentioned Boy Scouts in my blog…I’m feeling much better now…), and, of course, my job. So, naturally, I’m always striving for improvement; looking for that “next level of incompetence” that I wrote about a while back.

That’s one of the reasons why I like working at EXAIR so much. We’re always looking to develop new products that will use compressed air more efficiently, safely, and effectively. This leads to profitability for the owners of our products, and for us. It’s what has made us THE market leader in engineered compressed air products, and inspires us to maintain that reputation by continuing to envision, engineer, and introduce new products with those principles of efficiency, safety, and effectiveness in mind. If it’s good for our company and yours, then it’s good for you and me, and THAT, my friend, is success.  Good luck with your American Success Story – I’m having a blast living out mine!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vac Re-Loads Rainfall Sander

In the world of lost wax casting a wax pattern is created and then fused to a wax runner system along with multiples of other patterns or perhaps the same pattern. Once the “tree” of wax patterns is created, the tree is coated with a fine material to reproduce fine details in the pattern and is then “stuccoed” with a coarse, ceramic material. It is this application of the coarse ceramic material process with which my most recent customer needed help. It was not so much the application of the ceramic material to the wax pattern but the refilling of the rainfall sander which is the tool that actually applies the ceramic to the patterns. Below is a photo of a rainfall sander for your reference.

As you can see a fine, water fall-like flow of sand dropping down from above provides the means for the “stuccoing” process.

rain fall sanderHDLV

The problem is that the hoppers for these machines can be in excess of 7 feet above the floor and require replenishing. The idea is to put just the right amount of material into the hopper without over-filling which has been a problem in the past with the customer dumping by hand over-head.

The solution the customer was looking for was the 1-1/2” Heavy Duty Line Vac to be used in a moveable cart-based hopper filling tool with a gallows-type over arm which can be placed above the hopper of each machine to provide the metered filling.

The reasons for picking the Heavy Duty version of the EXAIR Line Vac was for its robust resistance to abrasion from high speed materials moving through the throat area. Heavy Duty Line Vac is made of a high grade, tool steel with a proprietary surface treatment to harden the material even further to make the unit highly resistant to abrasion. The Heavy Duty Line Vac has been used with such materials as silica sand, ground glass and ground garnet for hopper replenishment in abrasive blasting applications, so it could handle the stucco material quite nicely. The higher conveying capacity of the Heavy Duty Line Vac also made quick work of the material being conveyed to make for unobtrusive service.

Neal Raker, EXAIR
nealraker@exair.com