In any application necessitating the use of compressed air, pressure should be controlled to minimize the air consumption at the point of use. Pressure regulators are available to control the air pressure within the system and throttle… More
The EXAIR Adjustable E-Vacs are available in 4 different sizes to fit whatever your pick and place, vacuum holding, degassing, or vacuum evacuation process may call for. These units have been used in a multitude of applications and the Adjustable factor makes them versatile enough to fit a production line with changing needs.
The Adjustable E-Vacs have a few benefits that may go unnoticed if one is not keen to exactly how they are constructed and function. This sets them apart from many vacuum generators. When dealing with vacuum generator applications such as pick and place, having a part that is always the same is easiest. This is not always the case. Sometimes it is not just the dimensions of the part that changes, sometimes the material changes or even the surface finish of the part. This is where the ability to change from a porous to non-porous vacuum generator is extremely helpful. Generally this means the material of the parts getting picked up will allow air flow through them (paper, cardboard, wood) or not (plastic, glass). A porous vacuum generator will pull more flow through the part material to hold the vacuum, a non-porous vacuum generator will pull less flow and achieve higher vacuum levels.
To better understand the difference between porous and non-porous, we’ve written about that. Check out Tyler Daniel’s blog on the difference between the two here. The beauty of the Adjustable E-Vac is that it can easily convert from porous to non-porous with a simple adjustment. This is a great feature for a job shop that may change materials they are cutting or engraving on their machines and need to adapt in a moments notice for the job at hand. This could also reduce the number of vacuum generator variances a store room may need to keep on hand for a series of production lines and help to reduce the chance an incorrect model is installed on a machine due to fewer variants.
Another benefit which can be helpful in a production environment that has an E-Vac picking up dirty or debris ridden material is that the Adjustable E-Vacs can be disassembled and cleaned. Picking steel sheets off a laser cutter in order to remove the scrap that has a volume of spatter / dust can cause an accumulation of debris on the internals of any vacuum generator. By unscrewing the plug from the body the Adjustable E-Vac can be easily cleaned and all passageways maintained at a level to offer continual performance.
No matter what, the adjustability coupled with minimum components and fastener free disassembly of the unit are two great features that can help minimize machine downtime, lower number of parts kept on hand for machines, and ensure optimal performance no matter what the requirement is for the vacuum generator. If you would like to discuss further, please contact us.
EXAIR manufactures a variety of nozzles that are OSHA safe, high quality, and very efficient. They are engineered to entrain the “free” ambient air into the air stream to create a powerful force while reducing compressed air usage. Thus, saving you money. With a multitude of blow-off applications like clearing small holes to quickly cleaning gantries on CNC tables, EXAIR has the nozzles for you. In this blog, I will discuss the features and benefits of the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles.
The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are manufactured to blow a wide forceful stream of air. Their patented design creates a high velocity, laminar air stream with minimal air consumption and low noise. They come in two widths; 1” (25mm) and 2” (51mm). EXAIR offers a standard Flat Super Air Nozzle and a High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle in two different materials, zinc-aluminum alloy and 316 stainless steel. And with a metal construction, breakage is not a concern and performance are not sacrificed even in the harshest of environments.
The unique patented shims used with the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles will give you three improvements to the design and function. First, they come in different thickness to create a wide range of forces. In conjunction with a regulator, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force from a breeze to a blast without overusing your air compressor. The patented shim also allows an even flow across the entire width of the air nozzle. Unlike the plastic flat nozzles that use holes which generates a fluctuation of forces across the width. Lastly, they help to entrain the free ambient air; so that less compressed air is required. The high efficiency design will save you money. The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are effective in uniform blowing with safety and efficiency in mind.
To expand more on safety, I will direct you to Noise. With “open” holes in nozzles, the compressed air is turbulent and loud. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, states that 70% to 80% of all hearing loss within a manufacturing plant is caused by compressed air. OSHA created a chart to show the maximum allowable noise exposure. This chart shows the time and noise limits before requiring hearing protection. The EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are designed to have laminar flow which is very quiet. As an example, the model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle has a sound level of only 77 dBA at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar); well under the noise exposure limit for 8 hours.
With the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles, you can take advantage of the durability, safety, and efficiency for your blow-off devices. With automated systems, or machine builders, you may want to look at the EXAIR brand for your blow-off, cooling, and coating applications. The overall cost of your system as compared to the cost of the nozzles should not warrant the use of poor-quality plastic nozzles to save a couple of dollars. Because in the long run, it will actually cost you more with loss of production, compressed air waste, very loud noises, and unsafe work environments.
EXAIR stocks these nozzles for quick delivery. If you are within the U.S. or Canada, they come with a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try them out. If you need any help with our Flat Super Air Nozzles or how to build an optimum blow-off system, you can speak to an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to assist you.
EXAIR’s E-Vac Vacuum Generators are a simple solution for creating vacuum for a variety of different applications from: pick and place, clamping, chucking, lifting, surface mounting, and vacuum forming. Our In-Line E-Vacs are available in two different styles: porous or non-porous.
The material that you’ll be picking up will dictate which model is most suitable for your application. For porous materials such as paper or cardboard, we offer the low vacuum level, high vacuum flow vacuum generators. With vacuum levels up to 21” Hg and vacuum flows up to 18.5 SCSFM, this style generates more vacuum flow to overcome porosity and leakage. They can also be used to lift or hold delicate materials and prevent any warping, marring, dimpling, or disfiguring of the surface due to excessive vacuum.
Non-porous materials such as glass, steel sheet, and plastic are much more rigid and do not allow any of the vacuum flow to pass through the material. For these materials, EXAIR offers high vacuum units with vacuum levels of up to 27” Hg with vacuum flows up to 15.8 SCFM. These vacuum generators offer maximum holding capacity for heavy materials. Sizes are available with compressed air requirements as little as 2.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG and up to 30.8 SCFM for the largest and heaviest materials.
In addition to the vacuum generators themselves, EXAIR offers a variety of different accessories to help you build a complete system. To minimize the sound level and ensure you’re adhering to OSHA 1910.95, we have Standard Mufflers as well a Straight Through Mufflers. The Straight Through Mufflers offer the best level of sound reduction, up to 26 dBA!!
With no moving parts to wear out, EXAIR’s E-Vacs are virtually maintenance free when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. To maintain proper operation of your E-Vac, installation of an Automatic Drain Filter will remove any particulate and moisture from the air supply. In addition, oil removal filters are also available if your compressed air supply contains any oil as is common in many compressed air systems.
For pick and place or lifting applications, vacuum cups will be necessary. With a wide variety of different vacuum cups available: Small Round, Large Round, Oval, and Bellows, we can accommodate nearly any size or shape material. For heavier materials, round cups with cleats provide rigidity and ensure that the load remains stable. For applications on textured or uneven surfaces, Bellows style cups have convolutions that allow for the cup to quickly decompress when it touches the surface of an uneven part or material.
With all of the different options making a selection can seem like a daunting task. If you’re struggling to determine the most suitable E-Vac and Accessories for your application, give an Application Engineer a call today!
When discussing ROI, return on investment, for an industrial compressed air system it is necessary to understand what it costs to produce compressed air. Generally we calculate that it costs .25 cents to produce 1,000 SCF (Standard Cubic Feet) of compressed air here in the Midwest of the United States. For our example let’s consider a typical 250 HP industrial compressor running 24 hours per day/5 days per week for 52 weeks. This compressor can generate 374,400,000 SCF per year, using the industry standard utility cost for the Midwest of .25 cents per 1,000 SCF it will cost $93,600 to produce that volume of compressed air.
To avoid wasting money on compressed air generation it is extremely important to eliminate unintended or wasteful compressed air use in your plant. The two main offenders are leaks and open tube blow-offs. While soapy water is a good method for discovering leaks, EXAIR offers the Ultrasonic Leak Detector. This handy device allows leaks to be detected at distances of up to 20′ away! Also consider how safe and convenient it is to find leaks in overhead pipes while standing on the ground instead of on a ladder. Using a tool like this to do an entire system leak audit can easily result in many small leaks being identified and when fixed result in a large savings.
Now let’s look at what an open pipe or tube may consume. A single 1/4″ OD copper tube can use 33 SCFM @ 80 PSIG inlet pressure. Using the manifold pictured above as our example with 13 open tubes, each tube can consume 33 SCFM @ 80 PSI inlet pressure. With 13 open tubes running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year equates to a total consumption of 160,617,600 SCF annually. If we installed the EXAIR model 1100 Super Air Nozzle using a simple compression fitting we would reduce the air consumption dramatically. The EXAIR 1100 Super Air Nozzle consumes 14 SCFM @ 80 PSIG inlet pressure, running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year equates to a total consumption of 68,140,800 SCF annually. That change will save you 92,476,800 SCF annually which is equal to $23,119.20 and 24.7% of air compressor capacity! These calculations are all based on continuous running applications, if intermittent operation is possible consider the EXAIR Electronic Flow Control for even greater savings. The EXAIR Electronic Flow Control combines a photoelectric sensor with timing control that limits compressed air use by turning it off when no part is present
Open pipe blow offs also violate OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.242(b) requirement for using compressed air for cleaning when pressurized above 30 PSIG. Not to mention they generally are louder than 90 dBA, which is the maximum allowable noise exposure without hearing protection under OSHA standard 29 CFR – 1910.95 (a). The EXAIR engineered Super Air Nozzle is a great way to avoid a OSHA fine.
A great product that will help you keep your fingers on the pulse of compressed air consumption and demand is by incorporating the EXAIR Digital Flow Meter. This handy item mounts directly to the pipe. The digital display shows the amount of compressed air being used in any leg of your distribution system. The Digital Flow Meter is offered in sizes for 1/2″ – 4″ Schedule 40 Iron Pipe and 3/4″ – 4″ Copper Pipe. It also is available with the Summing Remote Display that is prewired with a 50′ cable, it is powered by the Digital Flow Meter and with a push of the button will display either the current compressed air consumption, consumption for the previous 24 hours or the total cumulative usage.
The Digital Flowmeters are also available with wireless capability using the ZigBee mesh network protocol, data can be passed from meter to meter to extend the distance over which the wireless system can operate. Each meter has a range of up to 100′ (30 meters). Or you can opt for the USB Data Logger option. The USB Data Logger can store approximately 9 hours of readings if set to sample once every second or up to 2 years if sampled every 12 hours.
Russ Bowman, CCASS