Tools Of The Trade: The Rotameter

EXAIR’s Free Efficiency Lab

One of the free services we offer to customers here at EXAIR is our Efficiency Lab. In case you are not familiar here is a brief synopsis. Speak with an Application Engineer about your existing compressed air blowoff/point of use product and that you would like to know how much air it consumes. Fill out the brief survey and send the product you use in to our facility. Let us perform tests on calibrated test equipment to determine the force, flow, and noise level. We will then issue you a report that states what the EXAIR model would best be suited (if applicable) as well as how much compressed air you will be able to save. Order the recommendation and start saving money.

To do these evaluations, we have to have calibrated equipment that is reliable and capable of handling vast range of products we may receive in. For this, we could use a Digital Flowmeter, in some cases that is what has to be done due to large flow rates. For the majority of these though we go old school. We utilize a piece of equipment called a rotameter.

A rotameter pairs nicely with a calibrated pressure gauge as well.
The float can be seen with graduated marks for readings. The taper of the chamber is not easily seen with the naked eye.

This is a device that is designed to measure the flow rate of a fluid within a closed tube. The inside diameter of the tube is varied which causes the float within the meter to raise or lower.  They are calibrated for a specific gas at a given pressure and temperature, most are calibrated for atmospheric conditions, 14.7 psi (1.014 Bar). The meter must be mounted vertically and this is not always best suited for industrial environments.

When testing products the compressed air within the meter is pressurized which means we have to correct the reading for the given pressure, if the temperature is outside of the calibration temp then we must also perform that correction. We do this using a table provided by the manufacturer of the meter or by using the calculations shown to get exact values that may be in between the pressures in the table.

Pressure Correction Table

 

This will allow us to then multiply the Correction Factor by the meter reading and calculate our corrected flow for the point of use device at a given operating pressure and temperature.

Temperature correction table

Knowing where the values that are measured and calculated come from add validity to the reports and understanding all of the variables that go into reading like this helps to better validate the cost savings that can be seen.

In a pinch, for a field estimation, we can also use these Correction Factors and determine an approximate consumption rate of a device that has been measured at a pressure such as our cataloged 80 psig (5.5 Bar). This can often be done on the fly to help determine the flowrates currently on a system. This can be helpful when troubleshooting, giving estimated simple ROIs, and help justify results and reasons for future purchases of engineered solutions.

If you want to discuss the Efficiency Lab or any of the math behind our calculations, contact any Application Engineer, we can all help out.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Ease Installation Woes With The Super Air Knife Plumbing Kits

When I am working on a project around my home, my wife often starts with a guess as to how many trips to the home improvement or plumbing supply store this project is going to take. (The Gif above is me trying to determine how many choice words will be used.) I try to foil her plans by either already having the first trip done before I start the project, or by buying a surplus of anything and everything I could possibly need on that first trip then returning what I don’t use.

In all actuality, the problem normally comes from working on a house that was built in 1951 and building codes were not the same back then. Whenever it is a new project, say installing a garden fence or building a trampoline platform, I can plan everything out and know all of the variables ahead of time. This results in a single trip to the store per project and more often than not a project that is on budget. That’s why we strive to help our customers here at EXAIR to be prepared for their upcoming projects.

When you are trying to implement a new Super Air Knife into your process, whether it be to cool, clean, or dry a process or product off, we don’t want you to have to go to another vendor, or even have to run back and forth to the tool crib 15 times just to get the knife hooked up to compressed air. To help simplify this, we offer Super Air Knives w/ Plumbing Kit Installed.  Whenever a Super Air Knife is 24″ or longer is installed, the compressed air should be supplied to both ends of the knife.  When lengths reach 48″ and higher even more ports will need to be plumbed along the length of the knife. This ensures even distribution of compressed air for the full length of the knife.  While EXAIR does offer all the information on supplying air to the proper inlets for every given length of Super Air Knife, we also offer to simplify it even further by offering an installed plumbing kit to further simplify installation in the field.

This feature leaves the installation team with minimal points to plumb compressed air  once the knife is in your facility. The  Aluminum Super Air Knife uses general duty air hose with brass fittings and the 303 and 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives use 316SS tube and fittings. An additional pressure gauge is included with longer lengths to install at halfway points in the plumbing kit to verify the operating pressure of the knife.

Model 9078 PKI Kit

Even when purchasing the Plumbing Kit Installed option we still offer detailed CAD models as well as PDF and 2D drawings of the knives to make it possible for an installation to be planned out and facilitate an easy, quick, and efficient installation.

If you would like to discuss what Super Air Knife w/ Plumbing Kit Installed would best suit your application, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

1 – Calculate Figure It Out GIF – https://giphy.com/gifs/math-3tEFVAbfzzcwo

Wet-Dry Vacuum Converts Without Tools in 15 Seconds or Less!

In a recent video, I showcased our newest Industrial Housekeeping product, the EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac. Throughout my years in metalworking as well as homeownership, I have honestly never used a wet-dry vacuum that is this easy to change operating modes from wet to dry or vice versa. So just how easy is it?

EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac Mode Change Instructions

When writing out instructions on how to do this it takes a total of five steps for either direction. These five steps can easily be completed in less than 15 seconds and best of all, it is tool-free.

When changing over other wet/dry vacuums, whether it is a traditional electric vacuum like you may have at home or another pneumatic industrial vacuum on the market, the switchover process is cumbersome. There are typically fasteners or retainers that are necessary to hold the filters in place, filters can be poor quality and get damaged easily.  Small parts needed to hold filters in place like springs or retainer nuts can easily be lost, hard to manipulate and take additional time changing from liquid to dry modes or vice-versa. With the EasySwitch, the only fastener is a rubber latch that is attached to the filter hatch cover. This means operators can’t lose parts because they are all attached to the EasySwitch Lid. To convert from a dry vacuum to a wet vacuum the steps are simple.

  1. Turn off the compressed air and unlatch the rubber handle. This makes it possible to complete step two.
  2. Lift the filter hatch lid and let it rest on the hinge stop. This is all designed to be robust enough to easily support the weight of the EasySwitch unit as well as the air hose attached to it.
  3. Lift the filter, whether it is the HEPA rated filter or the standard filter, up and out of the lid.
  4. Close the filter hatch lid onto the edge gasket that stays firmly in place.
  5.  Latch the rubber handle/latch back into place and start processing liquid as needed.

That’s it, it takes less than 15 seconds in the video below (see it at 1:15) and I am pretty sure a speedcuber or cup stacker could do it even faster. Don’t believe me, want to test it out for yourself, we honor a 30-day guarantee on stock products. Get the EasySwitch Wet-Dry Vac in your facility and put it through your own rigorous testing. If it doesn’t perform to your liking, let us know and we will arrange for sending it back. Converting the vacuum from dry to wet isn’t the only thing that is fast, we also ship same day on orders for stock products (hint: all EasySwitch vacuums are stock product) received by 3 PM ET that are shipping within the US. (2 PM ET for orders billing and shipping to Canada.)

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Doughnuts vs Donuts – Better Quality Thanks To A Super Air Knife

The two words, doughnut, and donut are synonymous with each other.  In research, the spelling donut is another Americanized word that didn’t catch on until the late 20th century. Either way, there are still multiple types of doughnuts. One of my favorites is shown below by one of the best donut manufacturers, NASCAR.

Maybe you are a little riskier and like some donuts that have a little less horsepower and a little more spice to them. Something like a ghost pepper doughnut that has a combination of spicy and sweet flavoring to satisfy your morning cravings for food. If so, you may be interested to know that an EXAIR Super Air Knife could have helped in the manufacturing process.

Animation Dreaming GIF by Matthew Butler - Find & Share on GIPHY

A regional bakery has opened up production and after months of determining their recipe and icing selection, they still needed some help on getting the glazing level correct on the finished doughnuts. The baked goodness would travel under a waterfall of glazing and several variables would lead to the amount of glazing that would build up/ remain on the doughnut. After testing these variables out the customer still wanted a better coating so they called EXAIR.

30″ 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife removing surplus glaze from doughnuts

The solution, a 30″ 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife to mount over the conveyor and blow down the surplus glazing into the catch pan for recirculation.  The variability in force from a gentle breeze up to a forceful, glaze stripping blast, was exactly what the baker ordered.  This setup has been in practice for months now and nothing but positive results have been tasted, I mean seen.

If you would like to discuss any point of use compressed air application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

1 – One Minute of Donuts with Joey Logano, Pennzoil, Jul 30, 2015 – Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFqjbmsUdIM&feature=emb_logo

2 – Donuts TV -Matthew Butler – retrieved from – https://giphy.com/gifs/animation-sweet-3oKIPCBcZs82sv9nsQ