If It’s Not Broke…Or Even If It Is…How Bad Is It?

I currently drive a 12-year-old minivan. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with the preventive maintenance on it, and aside from a little rust on the fenders and stains in the carpet, it’s not too much worse for the wear. In fact, it’s going to have to get a whole lot worse to make me consider a monthly car payment again.

The only real repair issue I’m facing with it right now is a seal leak on the power steering rack & pinion. Although it’s a very slow leak, I’m well aware that it’s probably not going to fix itself. In fact, I know for sure that it’s going to get worse, and the day is coming when I’ll have to do something about it. The last time I changed the oil, I surveyed the situation, and it looks to be a fairly involved repair. For me, anyway…on a scale of 1-10, changing the oil is about an 8 for me. I estimate the seal job as a 13.

Again, though, it’s still a small leak: I’m going through a $3 bottle of power steering fluid every month or so, pouring a few ounces in the reservoir every time I stop to fill the gas tank. It’s another example of something that’s going to have to get a whole lot worse to make me consider the alternative.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with an engineer at a large power tool manufacturing company over the course of the last two years…he’s been replacing open-end blow offs (mostly made by crushing the ends of copper tubing) with 3” Aluminum Super Air Knives throughout their plant…and realizing significant savings in compressed air consumption. In a couple of situations, he’s saving even more air by using an EFC Electronic Flow Control, when they can get away with intermittent blow offs.

There are a couple of production lines, though, where he hasn’t been able to justify the use of the Super Air Knives…these are locations where only one crimped tube is run, and the parts are so small & lightweight that they can only use very low compressed air supply pressure. In those cases, we’ve both done the math, not only on the Super Air Knives, but Air Amplifiers and Super Air Nozzles, and the numbers just don’t bear out much benefit from replacement. And that’s OK: it’s just as important to know where our products aren’t going to work out as it is to know where they will.

I guess the bottom line is this: we don’t need to finagle our products into situations where they’re not needed.  We, and EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product users everywhere, are doing just fine (better than that, even) by putting them in applications where they’re making a HUGE difference. Give me a call if you want to find out how much we can improve your compressed air applications. I’d love to find out myself!

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: http://blog.exair.com/
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