In the U.S., EXAIR Corporation works factory direct with our customers. Occasionally, we will discuss applications and come up against some questions for which we don’t have a solid answer for the customer. One of the solutions we have for this circumstance is a risk free 30 day guarantee the customer can take advantage of to return the product if things don’t work out for any reason. This applies to any stock item we have and is always there to act as a reasonable back stop so that the customer isn’t stuck with a solution that is not really working for them.
Another solution we offer is our Efficiency Lab. In those cases where the customer is trying to justify the energy savings for their application but don’t have the right tools at their disposal, we can arrange to have them ship their current “air solution” to us and we can measure, force, flow, sound level and even static decay rate if necessary. We then provide a full report of what they have submitted and make a recommendation of a suitable EXAIR product that could take the place and provide a higher efficiency in operation which will translate into operation cost savings, process improvement, increased safety, lower sound operation or all of these combined.
A customer in the plastic injection molding industry contacted me the other day and wanted to know if he could convey his parts (a small, barrel-shaped component used in coax cable connections). He wanted to use a ¾” Line Vac model 6080 to do it. I had some reservations about it because his part had an outside diameter of .435” and a length of .62”. Since it was a barrel shape and was so close to the ½” inside diameter dimension of the Line Vac, I was concerned that they could cock in the tube leading to the Line Vac and get stuck. Another concern was that the customer wanted to mount multiple, ¾” hoses side by side on a fixture and have the fixture come up to within 7” of the parts and have the parts drop off their ejector pins and go right into the throat of the hoses. Again, I had serious doubts.
I mentioned our options above and he asked if I could run a quick test for him if he sent me some of his parts. I agreed and a couple days later I had the parts laying on my desk. We pulled together a model 6080 ¾” Line Vac and some ¾” ID hose, connected the air and began testing. I started with a healthy 80 PSIG and those parts shot out of the output hose like a bullet. Nothing got stuck, no matter how I oriented the parts to the suction hose, the capture velocity at the tip of the suction hose worked to properly orient the part and pull it in.
After I determined that it would work at 80 PSIG, I wanted to see how low I could go with the input pressure and keep good performance. I went down to 30 PSIG and did have some problems with parts getting stuck just before the Line Vac. So, I bumped the pressure up to 40 PSIG. Everything worked smoothly and nothing became stuck.
Next I wanted to actually drop the parts into the suction hose to see if they could manage to go in. It worked beautifully! I held the parts directly above the hose at about 7 inch height and the capture velocity of the vacuum flow oriented the parts properly again and pulled them right on through.
Now, the customer will be buying one himself to run his test. If all goes well on his end, we’re looking at another 15 pieces to be used on a single molding machine and there are multiple machines to outfit.
Neal Raker, Application Engineer