Get the most out of your compressed air operated products by keeping up with filter maintenance. Maintaining a filter separator ranges from a simple filter element replacement to repairing or replacing broken parts. Here’s a video showing how to rebuild an EXAIR Automatic Drain Filter Separator if corrective maintenance is needed.
If you need to fill -and empty – a drum with water, or water-like liquid quickly and easily, there’s really no quicker – or easier – way to do it than the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac. They’ve been around for decades, and are successfully used in a wide variety of applications. The Reversible Drum Vac pulls a -96″H2O suction head on a 5, 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum, which makes it ideal for a number of typical Industrial Housekeeping or fluid handling applications.
In cases where the liquid has a higher viscosity, or is below grade, the High Lift Reversible Drum Vac was developed with those exact situations in mind. It generates a -180″H2O suction head, and comes with a 20ft vacuum hose. Since its introduction, the High Lift Reversible Drum Vac has been successfully implemented in numerous uses where the extra suction head has been key:
A maker of bottled condiments (think barbecue sauce- or ketchup-like consistency) uses them to clean up accidents when bottles are overfilled, or a conveyor malfunction results in dispensing a bottle’s worth of condiment when there’s not a bottle under the nozzle. The 20ft hose gives them the reach to service several production lines from one centrally located drum, and the two way pumping action allows them to easily pump the drum into their waste collection system.
A precast concrete company uses one for various cleanup applications. The High Lift RDV‘s suction head is needed, in particular for their hydraulic oil leaks & spills.
A ferry operator uses one to clean out the engine room bilge. They put the High Lift RDV on a deck above the engine room…the 20ft hose extends down to the bilge to pump it out, and when the drum is full, it reaches to the main deck so the drum can be emptied into their waste recycling company’s receptacle.
A construction company uses one to clean up the slurry created during concrete cutting operations. The High Lift RDV is able to keep up with the slurry from even their largest saws, and the 20ft hose allows them to keep the drum conveniently out of the cutting area.
EXAIR Corporation has a variety of Industrial Vacuums to meet most any cleanup need. They’re all compressed air operated, which means they have no electric motors to burn out, or moving parts to wear out. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
Anything that has moving parts is, sooner or later, going to need maintenance. One popular school of thought is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” One major problem with that is, when it DOES break, you HAVE to fix it before you can keep using it. That’s where preventive maintenance comes in: you get to choose WHEN you work on it. This allows you to do that work at planned times that are convenient, and that have the least impact on your operations.
Compressed air systems not only have moving parts, they have parts that air moves through. Periodic preventive maintenance can not only keep your system running; it’ll keep it running efficiently, meaning it costs less to operate. Different types of air compressors in different environments will have different specific requirements, but following is a decent general list of ten items it might make sense to stay on top of:
Intake vents. The air your compressor pulls in is going to go through some pretty tight passages. Particulate can do some damage in there, and some of it will end up in your system where it’ll wreak havoc on your air operated equipment too. Take care to keep your air compressor’s intake vents clean. Many manufacturers and service professionals recommend a weekly inspection, and cleaning as needed.
Lubrication. Don’t be fooled by the term “oil-less” in an air compressor’s description. This often means that there’s no oil in the air end. The drive end is going to have bearings & moving parts that are lubricated. Again, the compressor manufacturer will likely include periodicity and procedure for this in the manual. This should include period oil (and oil filter) changes or grease renewal.
Motor bearings. Many air compressors are either direct coupled or belt driven by an electric motor. Checking the temperature with a contact thermometer, or monitoring for changes in the ultrasonic signature (EXAIR Model 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector is a quick & easy way to do this) can give you indication of pending bearing failure.
Belts. Drive belts have a finite life span. Vibration can also affect their tension and alignment. If you have a belt driven compressor, check these out on a regular basis to make proper adjustments to the motor slide base.
Lubrication, part 2. A friend of mine had a car that leaked oil. He carried a couple of quarts with him…it was so bad that he had to add some every few days. He called this replenishment system “self-changing oil”. It isn’t. Finding and fixing oil leaks is critical from both operational and housekeeping perspectives.
Dryer. Most industrial air compressors have a system that removes moisture from the compressed air before discharging into the system. Different types of dryers require different types of maintenance. Desiccant and deliquescent dryers, for example, will require media changes from time to time. Refrigerated and membrane dryers will have parts like condensers or cartridges that you have to keep clean. Keep up with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
Air leaks. Air is free. It’s literally everywhere, in great abundance. COMPRESSED air is expensive, which makes leaks costly. Good news is, compressed air leaks, like failing motor bearings (see #3, above) generate an ultrasonic signature, so you can get even more use out of an EXAIR Model 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector. Find & fix leaks, and start saving money today.
Filtration. Almost all pneumatically operated products work best with clean, moisture free air. The compressor’s intake vents (see #1 above) and dryer (see #6 above) are there, primarily, to protect the compressor and the distribution system, respectively. Good engineering practice dictates the need for point-of-use filtration. EXAIR Automatic Drain Filter Separators have 5-micron particulate elements, and a centrifugal element to ‘spin’ out moisture. Our Oil Removal Filters have coalescing elements to catch any trace of oil, and provide additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns. As filter elements capture debris, they start to clog, which reduces downstream pressure. You should change these elements when the pressure drop across a filter reaches 5psi.
Condensate drains. Even the best dryers allow trace amounts of moisture into the compressed air system…even more so if the humidity in the area is high. Properly designed compressed air distribution systems will have strategically placed drain traps to collect this moisture and rid the system of it. They can be automatic, timed, or manual. Inspect them periodically for proper operation
Compressed air operated products. Last but not least, make sure you keep up the maintenance on the tools and equipment that your compressed air system is there for in the first place. Worn or damaged parts can increase consumption…and present very real safety risks.
EXAIR Corporation manufactures quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products to help you get the most out of your compressed air system. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
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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.
If you would like to talk about any of the quiet EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® products or our line of Optimization Products, feel free to contact me or any EXAIR Application Engineer.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook