A Bottling Company Using EXAIR Super Air Knives Finds Big Benefit in a Small Adjustment

Sometimes you just need a little adjustment.  I received a call from a customer that had 2 pieces of our model 110018SS stainless steel Super Air Knives.  They were blowing water off the bottles before labeling.  They increased their production rate to 300 bottles/minute, and they started seeing issues with the labeling process.  They determined that the bottles needed to be drier and wondered if we could help.  This customer has been using these air knives for over 5 years without any issues.  With the increase in production rate, they wondered if they needed to add a shim to increase the performance of the Super Air Knives.  I wanted to verify that he was maximizing the efficiency of the Super Air Knives before we started to make any changes.

Water blow off in a Bottling Operation
Super Air Knife in a Bottling Operation

The customer sent  me pictures of his operation for diagnosis (reference above), and I noticed that the Super Air Knives were blowing air right at each other. The position of each Super Air Knife from top to bottom was correct.  This is recommended for removing water in a counter-flow direction (when the bottles are traveling from the right side of the picture to the left side).  But the blowing direction was incorrect for optimal efficiency. For an application similar to this, we want to increase the contact time on the bottles.  The longer the bottles are in the path of the Super Air Knives, the more time we have in removing the water.  I sent him a picture of an application that was very similar to his (reference below).  It shows the Super Air Knives at the correct blowing angle.  As you can see, the Super Air Knives are aimed more toward the center of the conveyor, and not at each other.

Proper position on Super Air Knives
Proper position on Super Air Knives

In the first picture, I noticed that this customer also purchase the model 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting System to go with his Super Air Knives. This mounting system is designed with stainless steel hardware for secure, precise positions, and it allows the air knife to quickly and easily be mounted and adjusted.  With a quick turn of the knobs, he was able to set the correct angle very simply, and improve his operation.  Sometimes you can step back for a moment and return to the basics to improve your system.  In this case, he did not have to add a shim to blow more air, but just reposition the Super Air Knives for a more efficient process.

Swivels, an accessory for our air nozzle product line, provide a similar function and allow customers to adjust air nozzles to their most effective position. If you believe that you are not getting the most out of your compressed air system, you can contact an Application Engineer at 800-903-9247.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

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