I had an engineer from a welding company contact me about his application. He was already using three EXAIR Super Air Knives for a cooling application. He had the Super Air Knives mounted in a linear fashion, two model 110018 18″ Super Air Knives and a model 110012 12″ Super Air Knife. His system was designed to operate the different Super Air Knives to cool the corresponding tubes length after a welding operation. (He purchased the EXAIR Super Air Knives because he wanted the best air cooling capacity with the highest efficiency.)
Because it was an automated system, timing was critical. The system was designed to operate one 18″ Super Air Knife for an 18″ welded tube. For a 36″ long tube, they would turn on both the model 110018 Super Air Knives. For their longest tube, they would activate all three Super Air Knives to cool the 48″ welded seam. The engineer was extremely happy with the effectiveness and the consistency of the Super Air Knives that he was able to create a timing sequence in his automated operation for a repeatable and reliable cooldown of the welds.
So, why did he decide to contact EXAIR? I was thinking the same thing when he was giving high praises about the EXAIR Super Air Knives. It was because of their compressed air system. In another section of the plant, they would use large air vibrators to break loose powder from a hopper. These vibrating devices would use a large quantity of compressed air when they were turned on. During this time, the compressed air system would drop in pressure throughout the plant. This would change the amount of compressed air available for his application; affecting his timing sequence to get adequate cooling.
Since that the engineer was happy with the efficiency and quality of our Super Air Knives, it was an easy decision for him to contact EXAIR about the Digital Flowmeters. He wanted to measure the amount of air flow to each Super Air Knife and continuously monitor the system for any low-flow conditions. Since he was supplying the Super Air Knives with ½” NPT piping, he requested the model 9090 ½” Digital Flowmeter for each Super Air Knife. I explained that the EXAIR Digital Flowmeters are very accurate and easy to install. They have different ways to monitor the compressed air flow; 4 – 20 mA analog output, serial connection, or a Datalogger. Since his PLC system had an analog reader, our Digital Flowmeters could supply the analog signal for flow measurements. Currently the PLC was operating the solenoids to turn on and off sections of the Super Air Knives to cool the desired length of welds. Now, he was looking to measure the amount of air flow with the PLC to verify that they did have adequate compressed air flow to the Super Air Knives. If the flow was not sufficient, then he could trigger an alarm to delay the welding operation. So, when the vibrators went offline, then they could restart their operation.
EXAIR routinely maximizes compressed air efficiency in an effective manner and I recommended, as an alternative, that he could use one 1½” Digital Flowmeter, model 9094, to monitor the air flow to all three Super Air Knives. This would save him a lot of cost for his project in purchasing one larger Digital Flowmeter instead of three smaller ones. Also, with the resolution of the flow meter and his ability to utilize the 4 – 20 mA analog signal, he could easily determine the required flow to one Super Air Knife, two Super Air Knives, or all three. In the end, he was quite impressed with my recommendation to keep his system operating, even during times of depletion in his compressed air system.
At EXAIR, our first priority is to help the customer to correct their compressed air issues. For this engineer, he was able to mount one Digital Flowmeter to monitor the compressed air flow to all three Super Air Knives. If you need real solutions to your compressed air applications, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR, and perhaps we can also reduce your project cost in the process.