A customer came to me last week with what she thought was a fairly good application question. And it was to a point. Allow me to explain.
My customer is a reseller who understands the basics of compressed air. When you are talking about closed systems, valves, Cv and all that sort of stuff, she’s good at what she does. But there is another side to compressed air. That of precision blowing, about which other air professionals may not have a good handle in order to make good estimations about what is going on in an application.
The situation she had was with her customer who had an open hose with 0.439” ID blowing onto some acrylic sheets for cooling and separation purposes. My contact’s estimate for air usage was 210 SCFM @ 30 PSIG and that this hose was producing 13.7 lbs. of force. I could tell right away that her estimate for force was going to be way high. Not sure how that was estimated but that is part of what we have to sift through. Force wasn’t even really part of her stated problem of a cooling need within the application. And she needed a nozzle that could perform the cooling while using less air and being quieter in operation than an open pipe.
The first thing I did was to determine what the actual air consumption most likely was at 30 PSIG. The first thing I did was to determine what pipe size an internal ID of .439” corresponded to. Turns out a 3/8 Schedule 40 steel pipe nipple would be equivalent. And so, I made my estimation of flow using some available test data and determined that 125 SCFM would be the air consumed if the hose was truly at 30 PSIG, which I doubted. Anytime you have an open-ended hose or pipe like this, you have a tremendous pressure drop across the hose or pipe. You can read more about this subject at my previous blog, “Sometimes Back Pressure is Good, Sometimes It Is Bad”.
In a nutshell, our 3/8 NPT size Super Air Nozzle Model 1104 was put into use in the application and dropped the customer’s air consumption from an estimated 125 SCFM @ 30 PSIG, down to 17.6 SCFM @ 30 PSIG. This represents and 86% air savings. And what do you think happened to the force value that the customer was so concerned about? It actually went up. We asked them to measure the force anyway and it came in at 0.5 lbs. (a whole lot less than was estimated earlier). When they installed the Super Air Nozzle, it went up to 1.2 lbs. more than double the original value.
The upshot to all of this was that the customer not only reached her goals of air reduction with maintained force, but she was able to reduce the overall sound level in the application and the application is now OSHA compliant because she is using the EXAIR Super Air Nozzle model 1104.
Finally, this was only one of 10 production areas where this same kind of improvement could be made. In this case the customer was able to find a lot of extra compressed air capacity by simply installing EXAIR Super Air Nozzles. Not bad for a bolt on improvement!
Neal Raker, International Sales Manager