Memorial Day 2017

We’re in the home stretch now…mere hours away from Memorial Day weekend, or, as I call it, the Official Start Of Summer™.  EXAIR Corporation will be closed on Monday for this occasion. To make good use of this time off, I have three cookouts planned: one at the neighbors’, one at the in-laws’, and the third is self-inflicted.

As much as I like my neighbors and my in-laws (really,) I’m expecting that third one to be my favorite, even considering that I’m the one that has to clean up after it. Why, you may ask? Because we’re going to make s’mores. If you don’t know what s’mores are, I have two thoughts: 1) You’re killing me, and 2) Watch this RIGHT NOW (it’ll make you better understand my first thought too):

Whatever our plans, Monday culminates the celebration of this long weekend…Memorial Day. In the midst of our celebration and activities (or lack thereof – I’m all for some relaxation too,) I encourage you, dear reader, to remember the reason that this day was consecrated.

It was thirteen years ago last month that my wife called me at work to tell me the news that our neighbor’s son had been captured by hostile forces in Iraq.  By the time I got home, yellow ribbons were everywhere…trees, mailboxes, front doors, windows…all in support and hope for Matt Maupin.

Four years later was when the next Memorial Day took on an even more united meaning for our small town, when Matt’s family got the word that he had, in fact, been killed in service of his country.  I still see his father around town, and the grief has spurred determination to make something greater come from the remembrance of his son’s sacrifice.   The Yellow Ribbon Support Center:

*Sends care packages to military individuals serving in harm’s way.

*Hosts an annual “Let Us Never Forget” Scholarship dinner to honor local fallen heroes.  Over half a million dollars worth of scholarships have been awarded to date in remembrance & honor.

*Sends & supports speakers at schools, public events, gatherings, etc. to share the stories of our troops’ heroism.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Center is one of many organizations that could use your help, if you’re so inclined to find one, wherever you may be.  I still think, too, that every one of our fallen heroes, and their families, will want you to have an enjoyable holiday weekend.  It’s been paid for dearly.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzle Used In Feed Additive Process

Last week I took a call from an agricultural customer looking to replace the spray nozzle used in their feed additive process. The soy oil/beeswax solution they are applying to the feed, is slightly viscous (close to 100 cP) which seems to be clogging the tight clearances inside the current nozzle, resulting in varying flow rates and an erratic spray pattern. They had tried to contact the current manufacturer several times for a solution but were unhappy with the lack of assistance they were receiving, not to mention the long lead times of 6-8 weeks for a replacement.

After further discussion, they confirmed they weren’t as concerned with the flow rate or spray pattern, as they were with the nozzle potentially getting clogged.  They were able to obtain some internal dimensions of the existing nozzle and after further review, I recommended they use our Model # AF1030SS Internal Mix Flat Pattern Atomizing Nozzle as a replacement. This nozzle has larger inside diameters which would reduce the potential for clogging. Our Internal Mix Atomizing Nozzles mix the liquid and air inside the air cap and produce the finest atomization. The flow rate can be changed by adjusting the control valve on the nozzle and/or by adjusting the liquid pressure. Internal Mix nozzles are capable of handling fluids up to 300 Centipoise. All of our Atomizing Nozzles are In STOCK, so delivery is never an issue.

Model AF1030SS Internal Mix Flat Fan Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

When considering an Atomizing Nozzle for an application, there are some general parameters that can be helpful in making the best selection.

  1. Do you have a pressurized liquid source?
  2. What is the fluid viscosity?
  3. What spray pattern best fits the process?
  4. How much flow (GPH/LPH) do I need?

If you have an application requiring a fine mist of atomized liquid spray, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

EXAIR Super Air Knives Increase Production of Jar Labeling Process

When a customer has a problem with a labeling process within their operation, many times they call EXAIR to provide a solution. The company in this example manufactures honey and dispenses it into jars and squeeze bottles. Due to an increase in demand, they were looking to increase their output. To do this, they simply increased the speed of their conveyor to accommodate approximately 70 jars per minute instead of their typical 50 jars per minute. This began to present a problem and they reached out to EXAIR for a solution.

honey SAKs

Honey jars traveling along conveyor and the recommended position of Super Air Knives.

After dispensing the honey, the jars and bottles travel through a washing station. The containers pass through a heated chamber that dries the excess water from the jar. At the higher speed, they were experiencing some residual water left on the containers. This began to pose an issue when they reached the labeling process. With water remaining on the jars, the labels adhesive would not adhere properly. This led to an increased amount of rejections and additional rework time to remove the rest of the label and re-run the defective containers.

They had a point in the conveyor just prior to labeling that the sides of the jar would be exposed. My recommendation was to install (2) 110009 9” Super Air Knives on each side of the conveyor to remove the water that was left after exiting the drying chamber. This worked like a charm and the customer was able to maintain an increased level of output without experiencing any further complications. Their previous rate of production without the Super Air Knives was approximately 50 jars per minute.  By installing the Super Air Knives, they were able fully realize their 70 jars per minute goal and increase their production by 40%!

The laminar flow that exits the Super Air Knife wraps itself around the outside of the jar, stripping away any leftover moisture. Supplied at 80 PSIG, each knife will consume only 26.1 SCFM of compressed air at a sound level of just 69 dBA. The flow and force from the knife are infinitely adjustable by dialing in the operating pressure with a pressure regulator or swapping out the shims with a Super Air Knife Shim Set. If you’re experiencing an issue with residual water or liquid on your product that is causing a problem during production, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to take a look and recommend the most suitable blowoff solution!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer

E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I think we have all heard the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – a phrase that is thought to have originated back in 70’s when environmental protection became a governmental policy.

We at EXAIR can help your company follow this important principle and help to keep your costs down as well.

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Reduce – Reduce the number of times you change out your coolant, reduce your wastewater. Our Reversible Drum VAcs and Chip Trappers help keep your coolant clean by providing a simple and effective method to remove and/or strain your coolant.

Also, remember this – they are VERY hard to break or ruin. If you have one of our liquid handling Reversible Drum Vacs or Chip Trapper units, and the performance isn’t quite as you remember it to be, give us a call.   We can help to trouble shoot and narrow in on the root cause.  Most of the time, it is a simple fix, such as a air leak or a change to the air supply system that has caused a drop in performance. If we have eliminated all of those possible causes, we can offer the RDVREFURB option. Simply send in your Reversible Drum Vac pump unit, and we will do a free evaluation. Then we’ll let you know what we find, and provide a quote for the repair.  The repair typically involves a thorough cleaning, replacement of a few basic parts, and then setting and testing to original factory specification.  Because the unit has no moving parts, there isn’t much that can break down or go wrong.  Don’t throw away that unit, REDUCE the amount of waste you create.

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Reuse – Maybe you have a Super Air Knife in storage that is not in use, and you come up with a need, but the Knife doesn’t quite match the application.  We can provide new custom shim to change the air flow pattern.  Perhaps you have a 24″ Super Air Knife, but the new application requires only 18″ of airflow.  You can send the knife in and we can clean it up and install a new custom shim to provide the exact airflow pattern that meets your requirements.  Or, we can send the new shim directly to you for your team to install. Don’t let the unused product lie around, REUSE it for another process or application.

Super Air Knife

Recycle – If for what ever reason a product has been deemed to be no-longer viable and cannot be reused, the time comes to dispose of it.  We hope that you would take the time to recycle it properly. With materials of construction including brass, aluminum and type 303 and type 316 stainless steels, most EXAIR products can be RECYCLED as common metals and you may even get a little money back!

To discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can provide a beneficial service, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Photo Credit – “Recycling” by Andy Arthur is licensed under CC BY 2.0

EXAIR 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles – Little Things That Make a Big Difference

EXAIR 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle vs. other nozzles

I recently purchased a dart board to hang on the wall in my basement.  The dart board had a nice wood case with doors.  It also had some beautiful woodwork engraved along the outside edges.  When it arrived, I was so excited I decided to put it on the wall right then.  The wood case had four predefined holes that were 16” apart (to fit onto studs).  I got my tape measure, determined the correct height, and marked the points onto the studs.  As I ran the screw into the wall, I was about halfway into the stud, and the head of the screw broke.  That is correct!!!  It twisted right off the shank.  I was not happy.  I spent good money on a very nice dart board, and the screws were low quality and not tempered correctly.  The screws are only a fraction of the cost of the dart board, but they created a huge headache.  Now, I had to get the screw out and find new better quality screws to continue the process.

As an International Application Engineer for EXAIR, I have been to many facilities throughout the world with large automation systems inside their manufacturing plants.  I always wondered how much money was needed for the capital purchase to get a system created, assembled, and operational.  On many occasions when the customers brought me to their problem areas, I would see the flat plastic “duck-foot” nozzles.  They would be broken, ineffective, and loud.  They were looking for a recommendation to replace these plastic nozzles.  I know that their automation system cost much more than my dart board; but, I can relate to their headaches.

When you have an automated system that costs thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, the last thing you want is for nozzles that cost pennies compared to the full system to cause you headaches and problems.  EXAIR has effectively addressed this issue with the model 1122/1122SS 2” Flat Super Air Nozzles.  They are made either from zinc aluminum or stainless steel, not plastic.  This makes them very strong and durable.  With its unique design, they utilize shims which can be easily changed for different force requirements.  For stronger blowing applications, EXAIR also offers this same design in a high power version, model HP1125/HP1125SS.

This makes the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle very versatile as you can purchase shim sets with different thickness in your kit.  Now you have more flexibility to “dial” in the correct performance for your application.  Another feature is the ability to draw in large amounts of ambient air to make them very quiet and efficient.  So, it will actually save you money by using less compressed air.  The sound level is only 77 dBA for the model 1122/1122SS, so it is not a noise nuisance.  They are OSHA compliant with noise level, 29CFR1910.95a, and  for dead-end pressure, 20CFR1910.242b.

Since the plastic nozzles break easily, they become very loud and unsafe for workers as they will not meet the OSHA standard.  If you need a durable, versatile, efficient, OSHA safe type of nozzle that will last a long time, the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is an easy choice over the plastic types of nozzles.  If you need help with mounting or positioning the nozzles, we have a line of accessories that can help.  We offer the Stay Set Hose, Magnetic Base, and Swivel Fittings to make it easy to mount and direct the nozzle for optimum performance.

2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle

If you have an automated system that is being contracted or if you are a machine builder, you will want to consider the EXAIR brand for your blow-off, cooling, and coating applications. With the overall cost of the system, you would not want to use poor quality plastic nozzles to save a couple of dollars.  In the long run, it will actually cost you more with loss of production, very loud noises, and an unsafe work environment.  I may have only broken one screw in hanging a dart board due to poor quality, but I can also relate to the unhappy feeling you get when your system is not performing because of low quality nozzles.   If you would like to try out the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles against a plastic nozzle, you can request an Application Engineer to help.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Replacing Blowers with Super Air Knives

Chain conveyor application in need of a blow off solution

The image above shows a chain conveyor with coated handles travelling along a production line. At this stage in their production, these handles have just left a washing station and need to be dried.  In order to finalize the drying process, some form of blow off is needed.

The existing blow off solution which could not effectively remove the water.

The existing blow off setup is shown above. This system utilizes two blower driven air knives to remove any excess water from the handles, but it is proving to be ineffective due to the turbulent nature of the airstream from a blower.  To combat this ineffectiveness, this production facility has placed an employee in front of the existing setup, using a compressed air blow off as a pretreatment procedure.

Personnel were added to this stage of production to provide a pre-blow off treatment.

Having a line operator stationed at this point was undesirable for this customer.  What this application needed was an efficient, productive, and repeatable blow off solution that would eliminate the need for redundant personnel at this stage of production and make the process fully automated. That solution was the EXAIR Super Air Knife.

By utilizing Super Air Knives, this customer was able to create an even and laminar sheet of air to dry these handles. The smooth profile of the airflow allows maximum velocity to be maintained at a further distance from the knife than the existing setup.  This translates to higher force at further distances, which in turn translates to proper part blow off and full automation of the process (the line worker was removed from the application), thus saving cost and eliminating an unnecessary safety risk.

With a required blow off width of ~40” in this application, using (2) model 110042 42” Aluminum Super Air Knives was a perfect fit. If you have a similar, redundant blow off operation in place and would like to make it more effective in terms of results and costs, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Non Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler System Keeps Enclosure Dust Free

A mining company has processing machinery operating in a poorly ventilated, dusty environment (actually, it’s a mine…as you might have guessed.) This machine’s control panel was supplied with filtered vents and fans to cool the electronic components inside. The filters clog regularly, and even though they checked them frequently, it’s not always frequently enough to prevent the drive from overheating.

Based on a referral they got from another one of their facilities, they called to get more information on a Cabinet Cooler System. For total dust exclusion, our Non-Hazardous Purge systems are ideal…they’re thermostatically controlled, so compressed air consumption is responsible and efficient, but they also provide a small, continuous flow, even when the thermostat set point temperature is attained, and the solenoid valve is shut. This keeps a low positive purge volume of clean, dry air in the enclosure.

EXAIR Non Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler Systems provide reliable and efficient cooling in the most aggressive environments.

The caller already had the data from our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide, so specification was quick & easy. A Model NHP4340 NEMA 12 Non-Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler System – 2,800 Btu/hr – w/Thermostat Control was ordered and installed the next day. We keep them in stock for situations just like this.

If you have heat issues with electrical & electronic equipment enclosures, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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