Blowing Water from Hard-To-Reach Places

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Cables boxes stacked after leak testing

One of the areas of expertise for our Application Engineers is in compressed air blow off applications.  Finding the proper Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, or Safety Air Gun to suit an application can be as simple as considering a few variables (such as the required force to blow off the item in question), or as complicated as examining tolerance specs within the application to determine whether our products are the right fit (hint: we have CAD drawings available on our site to help with this, too).

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These boxes needed a better way to remove water after submerged leak testing

Earlier this week I was contacted by an industrial service provider which performs leak testing on cable boxes.  The boxes (shown above) are submerged in water as part of an inspection process, and after this process is complete, the water needs to be removed.  The current method of drying the boxes is to allow the boxes to drip-dry, but this presents several problems.  Firstly, drip-drying does not remove all the water from the crevices of the heat sinks, and it leaves unsightly water stains on the outside of the boxes (a small problem, but something to be avoided, if possible).  But, most importantly, allowing the boxes to drip-dry creates a bottleneck in the testing process, reducing throughput due to increased time needed for drying.  So, the service provider reached out to EXAIR in search of a solution to easily, effectively, and quickly remove the water from the heat sinks of these cable boxes.

In order to determine the best solution, we discussed application parameters surrounding the process.  The most important aspect, after determining how much force is needed, was the degree to which the process is automated vs. manual.  Due to the manual nature of the process, a manual blow off would be most suitable, and we determined that the model HP1230 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun would be the best fit for this application.

Coupled with a model 9008 pressure regulator to allow for reduction in line pressure (if needed) this solution provides an efficient, safe, and repeatable means to blow off the water from these cable boxes.  If you have a similar blow off application, or would like to discuss another application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

This Is A Hold Up

To clarify, right off the bat:

  1. Nobody is getting robbed here.
  2. Nothing is being delayed, especially a shipment from EXAIR. If it’s in the catalog, it ships on time, 99.97% of the time, for 17 years & running. This has nothing to do with this blog; I just never get tired of bragging about that.

Today I wanted to write about installing EXAIR products, but hey, it’s Friday, so I thought I’d start with something that would get your attention. If you’re still reading, I guess it worked.

We talk to users…and potential users…all the time about how to install an Air Knife, Air Nozzle, Vortex Tube, etc. And the answer is…it depends. But, it’s almost always quick and easy.

Consider the EXAIR Super Air Knife. There are a few ways to hold one in place:
*There are 1/4″-20 tapped holes, every 2″ along the bottom. These can be used to bolt it to just about anything you want to bolt it to.
*The 1/4″-20 cap screws can also be replaced with fasteners of sufficient length to allow use of a bracket. In fact, this is what we use for…
*The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – it’s a quick and convenient way to support an Air Knife. It’s especially beneficial to precisely position the Super Air Knife for optimum performance.
*Last but not least, Super Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be plumbed to both ends for proper performance. If you hard pipe it in, it’ll be as well supported as the piping.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.
EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

Then there’s our Super Air Nozzles:
*With standard, common NPT threads, these are easy to install anywhere you have an existing air line. You can get NPT adapters for darn near any threaded connection, off the shelf, from a friendly local air compressor or hydraulic/pneumatics shop.
*We’ve got Stay Set Hoses in lengths from 6″ to 36″ – these let you reposition the Air Nozzle at will. It’ll “stay set” until you bend it again.
*Our Swivel Fittings can be used with any of our Super Air Nozzles, as well as our Air Amplifiers, for sturdy, yet easily repositionable, installation.

EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses - no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!
EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses – no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!

We’re even committed to making our air preparation accessories easy to install…our Automatic Drain Filter Separators, Oil Removal Filters, and Pressure Regulators (up to 1/2 NPT) can be coupled via a modular block assembly that eliminates a threaded connection between them, and is ideal for close quarters.

EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits
EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits

That’s not even mentioning the products that are ready to install, right out of the box with a convenient Magnetic Base:

From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.
From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.

If you’d like to find out more about how easy it is to install an EXAIR Compressed Air Product, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Need an Upgrade? EXAIR has options.

Occasionally we field calls from customers who are currently using an EXAIR product but are looking to “upgrade” to something that might provide just a little bit “extra”. Such was the case recently when I was working with a customer who was currently using our Reversible Drum Vac to clean out their coolant tanks on their milling machines. The RDV was working great in the application but in an effort to gain more floor space, they were now going to store their coolant drums on their mezzanine, located around 10′ above the machining area so they needed something with more power to lift the heavy liquid coolant up to the mezzanine. I promptly suggested our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac. The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac provides up to 15′ of vacuum lift and mounts through the same, 3/4″ NPT threaded hole in the drum lid as their current unit. By purchasing a new High Lift pump unit only, and a 20′ vacuum hose, this customer avoided purchasing a completely new system (they  or other unfamiliar product. They simply replaced the pump unit into the 3/4 NPT bung of the existing drum, and swapped out the hose to meet their existing needs of higher lift.

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The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac is designed to fit 30, 55 and 110 gallon, closed head steel drums.

This is just one example how EXAIR continues to offer new products to meet increasing customer demands. In fact, several other products have also been recently expanded or developed to demonstrate this commitment. Here is a short list showcasing some of our newer offerings.

The Chip Trapper System which filters suspended solids in liquid and traps them in a reusable filter bag inside the drum, is also offered in a High Lift version as well, providing the extra vacuum (180″ water column) discussed above, for elevated tanks or below grade sumps.

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High Lift Chip Trapper System

We now offer our Heavy Duty Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors in 2.5″ and 3″ sizes with either smooth or NPT threaded ends. The HD Line Vac is constructed of a proprietary hardened alloy construction for superior abrasion resistance and is capable of moving dry material, higher and farther distances.

Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance
Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

Our 1/2″ NPT Atomizing Nozzles provide higher flow rates, up to 303 GPH,  with varying spray patterns. Also available with our N0-Drip feature to positively stop the liquid flow when the compressed air supply is shut off.

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EF5010SS 1/2″ NPT External Mix Narrow Angle Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Nozzle with flows up to 303 GPH.
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No-Drip Atomizing Nozzle eliminate liquid waste.

The High Velocity Air Jet and Adjustable Air Jet are now available in 303 Stainless Steel for application requiring superior construction where brass may not be suitable.

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Model # 6013SS Stainless Steel High Velocity Air Jet

 

Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Jet
Model # 6019SS Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Jet

Lastly, we now offer our HD HEPA Vac in a 30 gallon capacity for smaller area, lower scale cleanup for dusty environments.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family
Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

All of these products are shipped from stock and can ship same day with orders received by 3:00 PM EST. If you are looking to upgrade your current EXAIR product or with help selecting the best solution, please give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Static Electricity – What is it?

Now that the air is cooling and the humidity is dropping, you may often experience the phenomena of static electricity, and the resultant shock when touching something metal. As a child, you may have learned about static electricity by rubbing a balloon on your head and then seeing it stick to the wall. What is the science behind static electricity?

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All materials are made up of atoms, which have a positively charged core called the nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons.  Each material is different, and in some types of materials the positive nucleus has a very strong pull on the electrons while in other materials the pull is very weak.  If we were to put a strong  pull material in contact with a weaker pull material, atoms from the weak pull material will migrate, and when the materials are separated, additional electrons will remain with the strong pull material.  Due to the overall increase in electron quantity, the material becomes negatively charged and the other material becomes positively charged. If the materials are rubbed together, the opportunities for the electron migration increases, and thus more electrons are exchanged.

Electrons build up more easily in dry conditions. When the air has humidity, static build up is less common because a very thin layer of water molecules coat most surfaces, which allows the electrons to move more freely and make most materials conductive and static free.

In some cases, static electricity can be a good thing – laser printers and photocopiers use static electricity to transfer ink from the drum to the paper.  Also, some power plants and chemical factories use static electricity  to remove pollutants in a process that takes place within the smokestack.

But generally when EXAIR gets involved, it is because the static electricity is causing an unwanted build up of static charge that affects a manufacturing process. The results of a static charge imbalance can result in a shock to an operator, materials sticking together, poor print quality, sensor or counter malfunctions, bad surface finish, or any number of other problems.

EXAIR offers systems for total static control, such as the Super Ion Air Knife and Ionizing Bars for wide applications such as paper, film and plastic webs, the Super Ion Air Wipe for narrow, continuously moving materials such as wire, tube, or extrusions.  Also offered are the handheld Ion Air Gun for use on three dimensional parts prior to assembly, packaging painting or finishing. Other options include the Ion Air Cannon for limited space or remote mounting applications, Ion Air Jet for tight spaces and concentrated airflow, and the Ionizing Point to provide close distance and accurate static removal.

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Super Ion Air Wipe

To discuss your static elimination concerns , feel free to contact EXAIR and one our  Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Spark Photo Credit – Eric Skiff – via Creative Commons License

Additional Application Information Eases Your Mind – Find it Here

At EXAIR, we make a variety of products to coat, conserve, cool, convey, and clean. (What we like to call the 5 C’s.)  Within that realm, there are thousands of applications.  Companies are always looking to either fix, modify, create, or improve their processes by increasing speed, productivity, safety, or all of these.  And EXAIR products are designed to do this safely and efficiently.  In some cases, additional information can be very helpful for the transition to a different type of process.  This is where the EXAIR application data base comes into play.

A food processing company was using pecans to make a nutty coating. As part of their procedure, they would manually dump a 40 pound bag of pecans into a grinder.  The grinder would crush the nuts, and then a screw conveyor would move them to a mixing hopper.  The hopper for the grinder was about 4 feet off the ground, and it was designed with one step for the operator to get above the opening.  They would carry a bag to the hopper, place it on the step, step up next to the hopper, open the bag, and then dump it into the hopper.  They would do this about every half hour.  One day, the operator had a misstep during loading and fell. After injuring himself, the company decided to change their procedure to be safer.  They researched different types of conveyors for the food industry, and they came across EXAIR.

In speaking to them about their operation, they mentioned that they were not familiar with Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs. They asked if EXAIR had sold any Line Vacs in the food industry and wondered if they could speak to any of our customers for referrals.   At EXAIR, we do not share contact information to past or present customers for privacy reasons.  But, I did explain that we do have many application details for every product group in our Application Database.  It describes the problems or situations, and how the EXAIR product was used to correct it.  I commended this company for doing their research.  The more information that you have, the easier a decision can be made.  The Application Database is available from our homepage, on the right hand side. Click the word “Applications”, register, and you can search the database.

home-page

 

If you need additional information to help support your ideas or to present to your manager, EXAIR has a wealth of knowledge that you can use in our Application Database. This customer was able to find much information in our Application guide to support our product’s use in their application.  It gave them confidence, and in the grander scheme, it made the work environment safe.  They purchased a model 6064 Air Operated Conveyor for his application.  This is a 2″ stainless steel Line Vac to move the pecans from the 40LB. bags to the hopper.  If you want to improve your processes, you can log into our Application Database to search our wealth of applications to get an idea of what has been done before.  If you do not find what you need, please contact us, and we can always help you with the information that you are looking for.

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

Solving Special Application Needs with Special Solutions

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A 6″ Full Flow Air Knife installed on a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

Every application has its own unique needs and solution characteristics.  Most of the time, thankfully, we can meet those needs and solution requirements with our stock products and through discussions with our Application Engineers.  There are, however, a number of applications which need something more than what we have readily available on the shelf.  Sometimes those needs relate to a special Air Knife (no problem there), a special cold fraction preset on a Vortex Tube (no problem there, either), or even specially machined flanges designed to bolt into the application (again, no problem for EXAIR).

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This specialized solution provides exactly what the application requires

And then there are solutions like that which is shown above, comprised of stock products and off-the-shelf components, but assembled to meet a specific requirement of the application.  In this case, the customer needed the performance of an Air Knife, with the mobility of a Safety Air Gun.  The purpose of combining these two devices was to allow for wide area blowoff in a single pass, as opposed to multiple passes needed with a traditional setup.  And, with a little legwork on the backend in our engineering department, we created a specialized part number to meet this application need.

So, when this customer needed another solution to replicate this setup, they knew who to contact, and were certain that they would be able to find exactly what they need.

If you have an application in need of an application-specific solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Super Air Knife Helps Make More Candy Bars

It’s known in various places as Beggar’s Night, Trick-or-Treat, or just good old Halloween.  Whatever you call it, many of us have fond memories of donning a costume and a mask and roaming the neighborhood in search of candy.  Most of the grownups we encountered were only too happy to oblige our requests, in exchange for the opportunity to spend some time on the porch, enjoying a brisk autumn evening.  We won’t talk about the times when it may have rained, snowed, or been unseasonably hot…like, in the 80F range (yes, I grew up in Ohio.)

As fond as those childhood memories are, I’ve built a solid arsenal of grownup memories too, both passing out candy to neighborhood kids, and escorting my own kids around the neighborhood…of course, I always “suited up” for the occasion…

My neighbors breathed a collective sigh of relief when my sons became old enough to go Trick-or-Treating without Dad.
My neighbors breathed a collective sigh of relief when my sons became old enough to go Trick-or-Treating without Dad.

It’s probably no great secret that candy manufacturers ramp up their production in preparation for the occasion.  I had the pleasure of discussing an application with one of them recently – in fact, it was for some of the bite-size candy bars that they were about to be “Job One.”  This particular treat is produced as a continuous “strand” of nougat that is extruded onto a conveyor.  It’s then covered in peanut pieces and cut to size before being coated in chocolate.  Now, because these are bite-size bars, they’re making 3-4 times as many cuts as their regular candy bars (you know…the ones you got at the “cool houses?”) there’s 3-4 times as many peanut pieces on the belt.

To recover these pieces, they got a Model 110254 54″ Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit, and installed it to blow a light “curtain” of air across the belt in the area where the cutting takes place.  The excess pieces are blown into a trough on the side of the conveyor, where they’re cleanly and neatly recovered & recycled.  They only need about 5psig of compressed air supply pressure to do this, and it’s timed to the indexing of the belt, so not only is it reliable & effective, it’s just about as efficient as they can get.

The EXAIR Super Air Knife – quiet, efficient, and infinitely adjustable to meet the needs of most any blow off situation.

If you’d like to talk about Super Air Knives, Trick or Treating, or Halloween candy, give me a call.  I know a LOT about all of those things.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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