Intermediate storage is a key component to your compressed air system. Intermediate storage is step five in the Six Steps to Optimizing Your Compressed Air System. Receiver tanks can also be the difference between having to buy a new compressor or outfitting the application with a receiver tank. Today I would like to discuss some of the accessories you might need to outfit your receiver tank with. Below is a picture of a receiver tank that Professor Penurious has outfitted.
This is a unit that we transport around the lab to help with different tests. As you can see there are more ports than needed on the EXAIR 60 Gallon Receiver Tank, so we have installed plugs in the unused ports, while using pipe unions and ball valves to make quick and simple installation into many different areas.
Another key item to have is pressure relief valve, this needs to be paired with the receiver tank to ensure you are operating within the limits of the tank.
Another key component is a drain valve on the bottom of the unit. This is to help drain any moisture that has accumulated in the tank over a period of use.
The final piece that is recommended to install on an intermediate storage tank would be a pressure gauge. This is so you can ensure the tank is holding pressure over time, along with allow you to see your operating pressure.
If you have any questions about how intermediate storage can help your compressed air system, contact us.
Earlier this morning I had the opportunity to guide an end user through the use of our Super Air Knife.
We began the discussion surrounding a blow off need during machining of a 5/8″ blind hole. The end user needed a strong, consistent air flow to remove debris over a variable surface area. We considered using Super Air Nozzles, but the variable location of the blind hole at different times in the process proved to warrant this solution impractical.
We arrived back to the original idea of using a Super Air Knife to blow out the blind holes. To be sure we had the same conceptual view of the application, the engineer with whom I spoke sent a component photo (above). One of the notes we made about the setup above was to increase the distance between the armature and the Super Air Knife, just a bit. We generally advise to provide at least 3-6” of space between the Super Air Knife and the surface/material to be blown off because this allows the Super Air Knife to entrain more surrounding air. Referencing the actuator on the left side of the drawing, it was decided to raise the armature to allow for this spacing.
This setup will be repeated on the opposite side of the machine to ensure satisfactory quality of the parts being made. We also went on to discuss the Electronic Flow Controller and the possibilities of controlling the Super Air Knives through already installed PLCs (we are fond of both, for efficiency purposes).
This application was an excellent example of the versatility of a Super Air Knife. If you have an application question or related need, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.
A sailor from a destroyer said to a submariner, “It must be scary, going to sea on a ship that’s designed to sink!”
The submariner replied, “It must be REALLY scary, going to sea on a ship that operates at test depth ALL THE TIME!”
The implication, of course, is that a destroyer could not survive a dive to any depth. Oh, and submariners don’t call it “sinking;” we call it “diving,” because submarines are also designed to perform an all-important maneuver known as “surfacing.” There are no guarantees, of course, but the odds are absolutely in our favor, due to the highest caliber of engineering, fabrication, inspection, and training that make the Silent Service so successful.
I thought of this today because of an event that happened on this day in 1973: USS Greenling (SSN-614), a US Navy fast attack submarine, accidentally went below her test depth, and actually approached crush depth, due to a sticky needle on the main depth gauge in the Control Room. According to unofficial reports, a junior enlisted man noticed that the seawater pressure reading on another gauge indicated they were far deeper than the depth gauge was showing. Official reports said they surfaced rapidly (I bet), immediately returned to port, and underwent an extensive inspection in drydock before returning to duty.
Now, your plant’s compressed air system instrumentation may not be as life-or-death critical as a submarine’s depth gauge, but there’s still no reason to skimp on, or settle for, second-rate gear that might cause you undue hassle. For instance, I recently had the pleasure of testing a customer’s Model 6061 1” Stainless Steel Line Vac in our Efficiency Lab – they weren’t able to draw our published vacuum rating (-42” water) or flow rate (14.7 SCFM), when supplying compressed air at 80psig. Curiously, they were getting values that corresponded with operation at 70psig. Using their pressure gauge and commercial-grade inline flow meter, I verified it was indeed under-performing, with 80psig compressed air supplied…this was measured UPSTREAM of their flow meter, however. I installed a pressure gauge at the Line Vac’s inlet port (downstream of the flow meter) and found that the flow meter was (quite unexpectedly) responsible for a 10psi pressure drop! Once the supply was regulated to provide 80psig at the inlet to the Line Vac, we found that it performed as specified.
EXAIR’s Digital Flow Meters, on the other hand, won’t restrict your compressed air flow at all. They’re easy to install…you simply drill two small holes in the pipe, using the included Drill Guide Fixture. They’re just as easy to remove, if you need to, and their holes can be covered with blocking plates (sold separately.)
Our Summing Remote Display can be easily wired to any Digital Flow Meter, and mounted up to 50 feet away. With the push of a button, you can also cycle the display to show not only current compressed air flow, but the previous 24 hours’ usage, and total cumulative usage.
For the ultimate in data management, our USB Data Logger connects just as easily to a Digital Flow Meter, and can be removed and inserted into any available USB port on your computer. It comes with software that will automatically graph your compressed air usage, or you can import the data directly into Microsoft Excel®. Since its introduction early last year, it’s won Environmental Protection Magazine’s New Product of the Year Award, Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Gold Award, and Design News deemed it a “Better Mousetrap” Award Finalist.
The first use of compressed air did not come from compressors but the human lung. Healthy lungs can exert a pressure of .3 to 1.2 psi. Primitive people used the power of their lungs to propel darts from a blow gun. We use our lungs to blow off debris, stoke a fire, create sounds by voice and by musical instruments.
Around the third millennium B.C. , people began to melt metals such as gold, copper, tin and lead. Higher temperatures were needed requiring large volumes of air to stoke the furnaces: more than what the human lung could provide. Egyptian and Sumerian metallurgists used the wind directed through pipes for their work. Eventually these were replaced by hand-operated bellows and then around 1500 B.C. the more efficient foot bellows came into use.
Bellows driven by foot or by water wheel proved a reliable compressor for more than 2,000 years. But as blast furnaces developed, so did the need for increased air compression. In 1762, John Smeaton built a water wheel-driven blowing cylinder that began to replace the bellows. Inventor John Wilkinson introduced an efficient blasting machine in England in 1776 and age of pneumatic energy became universally embraced.
Thus far, air compression was used mostly for the mining and the fabrication of metals. Blowing machines supplied a combustion blast to metallurgic furnaces and ventilation to underground mines. The idea of using compressed air to transmit energy became popular about 1800 when the newly invented pneumatic rock drill was used to connect Italy and France with an 8-mile rail tunnel under Mt. Cenis. This was a super feat for its time and garnered international interest spawning a flurry of inventions from air operated motors to clocks to beer dispensers.
Many engineers theorized compressed air as the energy distribution system of the future. However, electricity advocates held strong to their belief that pneumatic plants would eventually be trumped by electricity. Neither side was truly right and the debate still festers today. Much emphasis is being placed on energy conservation and the use of compressed air. The argument holds true today as it did back then, compressed air is a viable sources of transferring energy and will not go away. It’s prudent use of compressed air, as with any energy source, that is paramount.
The use of drilled or open pipe is energy wasteful. For 30 years EXAIR has been helping conserve compressed air with their engineered nozzles. These are designed to provide greater volumes of air than the volume of compressed air used which is a green alternative to drying, cooling, and blow off applications.
If you are interested in conserving your compressed air, one of our application engineers would be happy to assist you. Feel welcomed to give them a call at 1-800-903-9247 or click the chat icon in the upper left hand corner of this page.
So this past weekend began early for me. A little while after I left for work last Friday, my Wife and daughters embarked on a 10 hour journey with my mother and niece to visit some family. It’s a little different because I am normally the one that is leaving to go to track days. (Which can also be considered bachelor weekends).
The first thing I thought of was this scene from the classic Risky Business.
Of course, I immediately tried to think of all the things I want to do with the time. The problem was, I have about 150 hours of projects that I wanted to do and really only had about 48 hours to do so. That being said, I had to prioritize and decide what would be best to do with the time that is given. Sleep, as unfortunate as it may sound, was first on my priority list. Sleep was quickly crossed off the list as a friend arranged to show up by 8:00 am to work on our motorcycles. I ultimately settled on making sure I didn’t miss my favorite meal that my family doesn’t care for – a gyro from Sebastians.
What it boiled down to is the fact that I only had so many hours in the day to get the projects done and when the dead line hit I needed to have the most important ones done. The key point is to prioritize, much like the Six Steps To Optimizing Your Compress Air System does.
My personal priority list looked like this:
1. Measure the consumption of frozen foods and fast foods one can consume in a weekend.
2. Find and Fix the leaking faucets in the bathtub.
3. Upgrade to being aggravated with plumbing and go blow off some steam.
4. Turn off all the lights in the house for the entire weekend.
5. Re-purpose some lumber to create storage in my garage.
6. Control the air temperature in my house to save a little more money.
Yeah it was a great weekend, but they can come home any time now…
EXAIR was recognized by Plant Engineering Magazine as a Product of the Year Award winner in four different categories this past Monday evening at a celebration in Chicago. Readers of the magazine vote to choose the products that they think are the best in each category.
These were the categories and the products that were chosen:
It was a great evening and a wonderful ceremony put together by Jim Langhenry, Bob Vavra, and all of the great folks at CFE Media. As one person at our table said, “it’s a celebration of great people and great companies that still MAKE things!” Everyone here at EXAIR certainly is happy to be a part of a great evening for manufacturing. It was an honor to be chosen for so many prestigious awards and recognized along with so many other industry leaders that still believe that manufacturing and innovation have an important place in our changing world.
Here at EXAIR we are celebrating our 30th year in business, and we are proud that our long history of industry leadership, our continuous development of innovative products, and our great people continue to drive us forward each day.
We don’t do it for the awards or recognition – but they sure are great additions to our large collection!
I had the opportunity this week to help determine the best products to cool a conveyor in dire need of lower temperatures. Not quite as hot and large as the image above, but similar. Originally Kirk Edwards provided guidance to the end user and recommended Super Air Knives to bring the conveyor temperature within range. They worked wonderfully.
Now, there was a second point on the conveyor line which was determined to also need cooling. After discussing the potential to use a series of Super Air Amplifiers, the end user decided to stick with the Super Air Knife setup known to work well – a decision which I fully supported.
I’ve also had the opportunity to entertain and train our Thai distributor this week. Neal Raker and I brought Vichai Srimongkolkul of OilPure Technologies up to speed on our new products and have excellent in depth application discussions.
For our international users we offer the same support and technical guidance as an end user in the United States, as well as local support through our network of competent distributors. If you are one of our many blog readers located outside of the US and need application assistance, never hesitate to send an email or call us directly.