Over the past week I visited a local company here in Cincinnati that utilized a decent number of flat plastic air nozzles on their production lines. This style nozzle had been used for many years but were the reason their engineering department contacted EXAIR. The nozzles they had in place were used in many different applications from ejecting bad parts, holding up box flaps, and even positioning product correctly on the production line. Every nozzle was tied to a regulator somewhere on the machine and all of the regulators were tuned to different pressures.
The customer was experiencing, at certain points during the day, a pressure drop throughout the entire system that would cause packaging lines to shut down due to low air pressure faults. The customer called EXAIR because they determined the plastic nozzles were using too much compressed air and were also a constant maintenance problem. Primarily, they wanted to see if we had a solution to lower compressed air while still achieving the desired production results.
Being local we were able to visit the customer and after discussing the applications we set out through the manufacturing area to discover if we could offer solutions for the problematic areas. We got about 10′ away from a casing machine and I heard a loud hiss of compressed air. This was even with my foam ear plugs in. Once we reached the edge of the machine I was quickly able to trace the sound down to a plastic flat nozzle that had been mounted to the machine, broken and held back in place by a large C clamp like seen below.
As we went through the rest of this production line and the rest of the packaging facility, it was clear the customer had settled on using flat plastic nozzles throughout the plant. Generally we see this because the nozzles are cheap – when you forget to consider operating and maintenance costs. This was not the only broken nozzle being held in place by a clamp and it is also the not the only one that was using more compressed air than necessary.
After finishing the tour and performing some tests here in our lab I recommended that they utilize our 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a .005″ thick shim installed. By installing the 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle they are going to be able to mount the metal nozzles with minimal modification to their existing setup as well as lower air consumption and noise level. The metal construction makes them more durable and long lasting in an industrial environment. These nozzles will not break when an operator bumps it and the maintenance department will be able to reclaim all the C clamps that are distributed throughout the facility.
Once we have final numbers on how many nozzles have been replaced and what pressures each nozzle is operated at we will provide the customer the air consumption savings as well as the noise level reduction that they are seeing throughout the plant.