A transport company was in the business of moving food product like powdered milk, sugar, salt, gluten, etc. to different Food and Beverage industries. The tanks ranged from 1,700 to 2,200 cubic feet (47 to 61 cubic meters) in volume. Because of condensation that can occur, some of the powdered materials would solidify on the sides of the tanks. They found it occurring more often with the powdered milk. So, they created a cleaning mechanism to use compressed air and an open pipe to clean the residue after each stop (reference above). They realized quickly that with this type of cleaning nozzle was not safe and not efficient. They could only scrape roughly 1” (25mm) at a time. The noise level was too loud, the compressed air usage was too high, and the time to clean the tank was too long. They contacted EXAIR to see if we could improve on their process.
The answer to the problem was the EXAIR Super Air Scraper. This product uses a nozzle that combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. It uses the mechanical force of a blade with the force of compressed air to remove stubborn sticky materials. The 3” (76mm) wide corrosion-resistant steel scraper is robust and durable, and they can be easily sharpened or replaced when worn. To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set can be used to increase the blowing force. This combination of the nozzle and the scraper is an effective and powerful way to remove material with compressed air.
To get pressurized air to this patent-pending nozzle, EXAIR attached the Super Air Scraper to our Soft Grip Air Gun. The Soft Grip Air Gun has an ergonomic soft handle and a full-grip trigger for hours of use without fatigue. We include different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length. With extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installs an additional foam grip sleeve. This gives more leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level. Chip Shields can also be added to prevent blow-back on the users.
For the company above, this was the perfect tool to improve their process. I recommended the model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper which had a great length to reach the tank areas and a foam grip to comfortably force the blade under the powder residue. With the compressed air, it helped to keep the area clean during scraping and aided with the areas that were really stuck. With the 1” (25mm) pipe as compared to the 3” (76mm) blade, the cleaning for each tank was cut in half the time. Also, with the open pipe, they were using roughly 150 SCFM of compressed air. The model 1244-48 was able to cut this amount down to 22 SCFM at 80 PSIG. This was a huge cost savings. And as a bonus, the noise level was lessened from 100 dBA to 77 dBA; a much safer way to protect any hearing damage.
To give some other areas for the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper, they can be used for removing gasket material, tape, caulk, adhesives, paint, labels, and much more. If you have a sticky situation at your facility, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to discuss it with you.