Condiment Sauce Recovery Using The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac

Last week I worked with a food manufacturer who makes a line of specialty sauces, with consistencies similar to BBQ sauce or ketchup, who was looking to vacuum spills off their production floors. During production, they will sometimes experience an overfill during the bottling process, which results in the product spilling on the floor. Their current clean up method is to have an operator with a wash down hose, “thin” the sauce spills with water then direct it to a drain in the floor so it can be sent to the scrap tank. This was causing a few issues though, first, the drains have filter traps that were clogging regularly from not only the sauces but other particulate that may have been on the floor, causing environmental concerns for the plant. The other concern was the amount of water they were wasting to perform the clean up. My contact was the newly appointed maintenance manager and was tasked with trying to find a more reliable, economical way to remedy the situation. He was familiar with EXAIR as he had used some of our Line Vac Conveyors at his previous employer and knew we also carried a line of Industrial Vacuums but was unsure which product would be best suited for his needs so he reached out for assistance.

After discussing the details of the application, I recommended he use our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac System. The High Lift RDV is a liquid only vacuum that provides 180″ H20 vacuum and is able to handle thicker, more viscous fluids (up to 1400 cP) than our standard Reversible Drum Vac. With the ability to vacuum liquid up to 15′, the unit comes standard with a 20′ flexible vacuum hose and has no motors or moving parts to wear out. The system quickly installs to a standard closed head steel drum with available capacities of 30, 55 or 110 gallons. For spills, we offer our optional Model # 6901 Spill Recovery Kit which includes a 54″ ABS wand and 14″ double-blade squeegee that makes floor cleanup a breeze. After the material has been vacuumed, the unit can then be set to “empty” to pump the liquid back out to their waste tank so it can be carried away by their environmental recovery supplier.

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The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac is able to pump thicker liquids from sumps or tanks up to 15 feet deep.

For help selecting the best suited Industrial Vacuum for your specific need or to discuss a particular application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Light Duty Line Vac For Part Rejection

Today I worked with a long standing customer that was interested in using the Line Vac technology to provide a method for part rejection.  The parts come out of a bin and travel to the next station for final assembly.  There is an accept/reject analysis system along the way, and it was decided that the Line Vac would offer an easy way to remove the part from the conveyor and transport it to a reject bin.

The parts are very small, with 0.093″ to 0.187″ OD and 0.178″ to 0.335″ lengths.  Part weights were 0.27 grams or less, so a very small and light weight item.  Maximum part processing was estimated at less than 6 parts per minute, so low speed and low transfer rates apply.  The final piece of information was the distance for conveyance, and here it was only a few inches up and then 4′ over to the reject bin.

Based on all the information about the parts, the process and the transfer distance, it was determined that the 3/4″ Light Duty Line Vac would be an ideal choice for the application. The unit is available as part of the  model 132075 Light Duty Line Vac Kit, which includes a Automatic Drain Filter Separator and a Pressure Regulator.  The Pressure Regulator is especially important in this application, as it will allow for pressure adjustment to provide the best performance while keeping the compressed air usage to a minimum.

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The EXAIR Family of Line Vacs

 

EXAIR manufactures 3 styles of Line Vac- Light Duty, Standard, and Heavy Duty with either smooth bore hose or NPT threaded ends.  They are offered in 4 types of materials- Aluminum, Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steel, and a hardened alloy construction. An important factor in material selection is the abrasiveness of the material to be conveyed.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

 

The Sweet Taste of Floss Part II

Floss Stick

Floss Stick

In The Sweet Taste of Floss Part 1, I explained the benefits of using our Atomizing Nozzles to apply a liquid flavoring onto floss sticks. With that same customer, we had another opportunity to save them on compressed air and on liquid flavoring.

As described in their setup, they had a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. This operation was manual.  It would take the operators roughly 45 seconds to load the floss sticks.  The conveyor would move the rod through the spraying compartment in about 15 seconds.  The customer was worried about the continuous spraying and wondered if we could help in this operation.

Electronic Flow Control

Electronic Flow Control

They had a good concern because with a constant spraying, they could have an issue with fogging the work area and wasting the liquid cherry flavoring. My suggestion was to use the EXAIR model 9055 Electronic Flow Control (or EFC).  The EFC is a user-friendly controller that combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer.  It has eight different programmable on/off modes to minimize compressed air usage and in this case, liquid spray.  For this type of operation, the EFC worked great.  They did not need to manually turn on and off the system, or purchase a PLC that would require programming.  The EFC is in a compact package that is easy to mount and setup.

In evaluating their application, the Signal “OFF” Delay would be correct setting to run in this operation. (The EFC comes factory set in this mode).  The sensor will detect the part and open the solenoid immediately.  Once the part clears the sensor, then it will keep the solenoid open for the set amount of time.  For this project, they set the timer for 15 seconds.  They mounted the photoelectric sensor at the beginning of the entrance to the spraying compartment.  Once the sensor detected the rod that was filled with floss sticks, it would turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzles.  After the timing sequence hits 15 seconds, the EFC would turn off the solenoid which would stop the spraying.  It would rerun this sequence every time a rod would pass by the sensor.  This optimized their operation; especially when they had any issues with loading the rod with floss sticks.  It reduced their liquid and compressed air usage by 75%, and it kept the work area free of fog.

If you need an easy way to save on compressed air usage or in this case fluid, the EFC could be the device for you. It can save you much money in your operational costs, and during these economic times, we know that every bit counts.  If you are still a little “foggy” on the EFC, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help.

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

 

Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.

You Might be Freezing, but Your Electronics Can Still Overheat

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere it can be easy to be overrun by static elimination problems during these winter months.  But, colder outside temperatures don’t always mean cooler temperatures for the electronics used in production processes.

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This cabinet was facing unaddressed overheating issues before exploring a Cabinet Cooler solution

I received an email from one of our distributors this week describing two applications with failing electronics (shown above and below).  The root cause of failure for both applications was excessive heat inside the enclosures which house electronic devices, even though the ambient air temperatures weren’t abnormally high.  So, we used the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide to determine the heat load of each application and make recommendations for proper Cabinet Cooler model numbers.

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This cabinet was also overheating, causing problems in the processes controlled by the components inside the cabinet.

What we found was that the heat load in both cases was rather low, but in each case it was enough to cause the electronics to overheat.  When the temperature of the electronic devices exceeds their specified temperature range, they cease to operate, causing downtime of every device tied to the processes they control.  By installing a Cabinet Cooler onto each enclosure, the overheating problem will be quickly and easily solved.  And, because of the relatively low heat load in this application, a small NEMA 12 type Cabinet Cooler was the perfect solution.

If you have an overheating electrical enclosure, whether during the Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

What Makes Things Easier Than An EXAIR Static Eliminator? Another EXAIR Static Eliminator!

A contract manufacturer, servicing the medical and biotechnology markets, is a long time user of our Ion Air Guns. They’ve had great success with them in keeping their products free from static & dust for years. These are mainly small, hand-held parts, so, when they need to get them clean and static-free during assembly and packaging, EXAIR’s Ion Air Gun is ideal, because it, too, is small and hand-held.

A new process, though, involves the operator needing both hands for assembly. This would mean picking up the Ion Air Gun, blowing off the part, putting it down, and then using both hands to complete the operation. They thought there had to be a better way. And they were right!

The Model 8910 Instant Static Elimination Station offers hands-free control of ionized air flow – a foot pedal turns an Ion Air Jet (whose performance is identical to the Ion Air Gun) on and off with…well, the press of a foot. The Magnetic Base and Stay Set Hose make it easy to install, and even easier to position.

Hand held convenience of the Ion Air Gun (easy) or no-hands convenience of the Ion Air Jet Station (easier.) Your call.

Hand held convenience of the Ion Air Gun (easy) or no-hands convenience of the Ion Air Jet Station (easier.) Your call.

For an even more automated approach, they are considering an EFC Electronic Flow Control. They’re ready to go, right out of the box…the photoelectric sensor will open and close a solenoid valve (installed in the compressed air supply line) based on the setting of the programmable timer unit. With a simple wave of the part in front of the sensor, the operator could activate a preset blow of a few seconds, which would be easy to determine, even easier to set, and…easiest of all…reliably repeat all day long. They’re going to try out the foot pedal first, and that’s just fine by me.  Perhaps there’s such as thing as “too easy,” but man, I hope not.

Even if you’re already using EXAIR products to make things easy, you can call me to see how much easier it might get.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Speaking of easy...get a FREE AC Sensor with a Static Eliminator order. Promotion ends 1/31/2017!

Speaking of easy…get a FREE AC Sensor with a Static Eliminator order. Promotion ends 1/31/2017!

Explanation of OSHA Standard 1910.242(b)

Open air lines and homemade blow offs violate OSHA standard 1910.242(b) because of harmful dead end pressures. In 1972, OSHA established Standard 29 CFR 1910.242(b) requiring that the outlet pressure of an open pipe, nozzle, air gun, etc., when used for cleaning purposes, must remain below 30 PSI with the intent to protect workers from serious injury. They determined that when dead-ended against the skin, if the outlet pressure reached 30 PSI 0r higher,  it posed a risk of entering the bloodstream through the skin. This is commonly referred to as an air embolism – a serious condition which can be life threatening. Once air has entered the bloodstream, it can restrict the free movement of blood throughout the body, disrupting normal heart function, leading to abnormal heart rhythm, possible lung or brain damage, cardiac arrest, stroke or possible death.

OSHA explains that you can use compressed air for cleaning purposes, as long as the outlet or source is fitted with some type of relief device that drops the outlet pressure to below 30 PSI if dead ended. There are basically two ways to go about gaining compliance. The first is to regulate the operating supply pressure to less than 30 PSI, assuring that the outlet pressure doesn’t exceed the threshold. While this does comply with the Standard, it can negatively affect the performance by reducing the strength of the outlet flow, limiting the usefulness of the blowoff device.

The other method is to use some type of nozzle which includes a pressure reducer or a relief device which will reduce the air pressure to less than 30 PSI if the nozzle is dead ended.

For example, EXAIR engineered air nozzles are designed so the outlet holes cannot be blocked directly. Any potential obstruction of the outlet air holes results in the air having an alternative exit path to avoid injury to operators and personnel.

sag-osha-compliant

With our Super Air Nozzles, the air exits through a series of jets, recessed behind an array fins so the exhausting airflow can never be blocked.

With the design of our Super Air Knife, the cap overlaps the body, leaving a gap on both sides of the knife, allowing the exhausting air to safely vent.

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Picture of the Super Air Knife, showing how the cap overlaps the body and cannot be blocked, providing a safe exit path.

ALL of EXAIR‘s engineered products incorporate these principles, providing some type of relief, allowing for the air to safely vent well below the 30 PSI requirement, meeting and in many cases, exceeding the OSHA Standard.

To discuss how EXAIR can help you gain OSHA compliance to improve operator safety, avoid costly fines and improve overall efficiency, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Super Air Knife Shim Design Reduces Operation Costs

A customer of ours had an application where they needed to cool and dry parts on two conveyors that ran side by side.  A single 36″ Super Air Knife was chosen to provide coverage over the full width and to simplify the air plumbing and installation.  As we learned more about the application, it was discovered that there was 10″ section in the center where the the two conveyors butted up, where no parts would pass through, and hence no air was needed.

Fortunately, the EXAIR Super Air Knives can be supplied with custom shim designs to match the air flow requirements of the application.  These shims can be of various thicknesses to increase/decrease the air flow, of alternate materials such as a stainless steel shim in an aluminum air knife to increase the temperature range, or as in this case, designed to provide specific air flow patterns.

By utilizing the special shim design, it is estimated to save $865 per shift per year in compressed air costs versus the standard configuration.  That is a significant savings, and using less compressed air is high on everyone’s priority list.

Check out the video below to learn more about the EXAIR Air Knives.

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EXAIR manufactures 3 different types of air knives, in 4 different materials, up to 108″ in length.

To discuss your application and see how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

 

 

 

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