I had the pleasure of helping a caller out with a cleanup problem not long ago. Normally, calls involving cleanups involve a discussion of how our Industrial Housekeeping Products might replace an electric shop vacuum or sump pump, but this one was about replacing a broom…with a Super Blast Safety Air Gun.
Now, I need to mention that the folks at Compressed Air Challenge have a list of Inappropriate Uses Of Compressed Air. Using compressed air for cleaning is on that list, and I couldn’t agree more…as a blanket statement, that is. Of course, the last paragraph of their document makes it clear that good judgement can, and should, always rule the day: “if safety enhancements, significant productivity gains, or labor reductions will result,” they say, a compressed air solution is certainly worth considering.
That’s exactly what the caller and I did.
See, he works in an equipment service shop. Their technicians make the company money through billable labor – the time they spend fixing their customers’ equipment. Of course, they have to spend time on tasks that aren’t billable to jobs…like tool maintenance, paperwork, and keeping a clean shop. A particular item from a shop audit that caught his attention was the amount of time spent sweeping the floor in the welding area. Not only did slag & dust get all over the floor out in the open, it accumulated under tables and behind the welding machines themselves. This meant that technicians had to get down on their hands & knees, and reach brooms under those tables. Not only was this cumbersome; it wasn’t even 100% effective…when replacing a machine recently, they discovered a surprising amount of debris in a “blind spot” that the broom just couldn’t reach.
After a discussion of the engineered Super Air Nozzles that are available on the Super Blast Safety Air Guns, the caller liked the idea of the Model 1213-7-3. The hard hitting, tight air flow pattern of the Super Air Nozzle Cluster at the end of a 3 foot extension gave the perfect combination of power & reach for his application.
So, at the end of the day, (literally…that’s cleanup time, right?) a task that previously took about 10 minutes for them was reduced to just under two minutes. Of course, that doesn’t figure in the cost of the compressed air. The Department of Energy uses a thumbrule that states it costs $0.25 to generate 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. At 98 SCFM @80psig, the Super Blast Safety Air Gun’s Cluster DOES use a decent amount of compressed air, so we did the math:
98 SCFM X 2 minutes X $0.25/1,000 SCF = $0.049
We didn’t need to get in to payroll records, employee benefit packages, etc., to realize that an 80% reduction in labor, improved cleanup (air reaches where the brooms couldn’t,) and worker satisfaction (no more crawling along the floor beside the tables) was worth a nickel a day.
The Super Blast Safety Air Gun can be fitted with a variety of Super Air Nozzles, from our Model 1112 3/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle (4.5lbf at 12″) , to our Model 1120 1-1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle (23lbf at 12″).
As an Application Engineer, I’m always looking for the best ways to apply our products, and quantify the benefits. If you call me to discuss an application and the math doesn’t prove it out, I’ll let you know. If you have a task you’re considering a compressed air solution for, give me a call.
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