Building an E-Vac Vacuum Generator System

EXAIR’s In-Line and Adjustable E-Vacs are a powerful compressed air powered vacuum generator. They’re a low-cost way to create a vacuum for a variety of different applications: pick and place, clamping, chucking, lifting, surface mounting, and vacuum forming are just some of the possibilities. Both the In-Line and Adjustable E-Vacs are available in a variety of different sizes and flows and can accommodate a wide range of applications.

With no moving parts to wear out, EXAIR’s E-Vacs are virtually maintenance free when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. In-Line E-Vacs are available in two different styles: High Volume, Low Vacuum for use with porous materials and Low Volume, High Vacuum for use with non-porous materials.

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. To determine the most suitable cup, we must consider the weight of the material and the orientation it will be lifted.

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If it is being lifted with the vacuum cups positioned horizontally, use a safety factor of 2. For applications where the part or material will be lifted vertically, use a safety factor of 4. This safety factor is then multiplied by the weight of the material. You’ll then need to determine how many vacuum cups are needed. No more than 4 vacuum cups should be used with any one E-Vac. Consider the size/shape of the material to be lifted and place vacuum cups accordingly to evenly distribute the weight. Heavier and larger materials may necessitate the use of more than one E-Vac.

The weight a particular cup can hold at a given pressure is shown in the chart below. Once you’ve determined a suitable cup based on the weight and orientation of the lift, a variety of other accessories are also available.

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The vacuum port of the E-Vac has an NPT thread, vacuum cups can be installed directly in this inlet. For applications where the vacuum cup(s) are remotely located, we offer polyurethane vacuum tubing as well as a variety of different fittings to connect them. Both 1/4” and 3/8” O.D. sizes are available in 10’ lengths up to 50’. Simply indicate the model number of the tubing and add the length with a “-“ at the suffix. In addition to fittings and tubing, vacuum check valves are also available. These can be beneficial if there is potential for fluctuations in the compressed air pressure or supply. In the event that there is a significant drop in pressure or loss of compressed air supply, the check valve will ensure that the load remains stable.

To minimize the sound level and ensure you’re adhering to OSHA 1910.95, we have Standard Mufflers as well as Straight Through Mufflers. The Straight Through Mufflers offer the best level of sound reduction, up to 26 dBA!!

E-Vac Mufflers

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!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@Exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR’s Chip Trapper Improves Material Recovery for Recycling

I recently worked with our Peruvian Distributor to help one of their customers solve an issue they were having with material recovery after a polishing operation. The company manufactures security locks for doors. During the manufacturing, one of the processes involves polishing the parts to a nice finish to ensure proper fit and provide a nice appearance for the finished product. Coolant is used to keep the temperature down during the polishing process. This coolant is then contaminated with leftover bronze debris that the company recycles.

The problem was that the process to filter the leftover bronze from the coolant was done by hand. This process, taking almost one hour to complete, was too time consuming and they were not able to recover 100% of the material. In looking for a better way to perform this process, they came across the EXAIR Chip Trapper.

The Chip Trapper was able to allow them to empty the entire coolant sump in less than 90 seconds. The bronze material contained within the coolant was trapped by the 5 micron filter bag inside of the drum, while the coolant passed through. They could then pump the clean coolant back into the drum and recycle the bronze trapped in the filter bag. Not only were they able to dramatically reduce the time it took to complete the process, but it also resulted in a much more effective method of reclaiming the material. No longer were they stuck with an inferior process and more time could be freed up to be spent on production.

Using either a standard or High Lift Reversible Drum Vac to provide the vacuum source, the Chip Trapper is capable of filling or emptying a 55 gallon drum in less than two minutes. It is able to pick up both the liquid coolant as well as any chips or shavings that are suspended in the coolant. The liquid is forced through a filter bag inside of the drum which contains any solid materials while allowing the coolant to filter out into the drum. Switching the knob on the Reversible Drum Vac and the directional flow valve to empty will allow the clean coolant to be pumped back out of the drum and reused.

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After implementing the Chip Trapper in our own shop, we were able to increase the life of the coolant by 6x. In addition to the increased coolant life, a process that used to take up to 2 hours per machine now takes less than 10 minutes. The Chip Trapper quickly and easily pays for itself.

The Chip Trapper is available in either 30, 55, and 110 gallon systems. It’ll also come with (2) 5 micron filter bags, other filter bags are also available ranging from 1 micron up to 200 micron filtration. Using a simple detergent, the filter bags can be washed out, cleaned, and reused multiple times. With no motors or impellers to clog or wear out, as well as no electricity requirement or shock hazard, the Chip Trapper comes with our standard 5-year Built to Last Warranty. Do yourself (and your machine operators) a favor and get a Chip Trapper on order today. They’re in stock, ready to ship and start saving you time and money!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR’s Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

March brings with it the first day of spring. I don’t know about you, but boy am I ready for some warmer temperatures!! Naturally, spring is the time of year that we roll up our sleeves and do some of the deep-cleaning we’ve been putting off all winter. Lucky for you, EXAIR has an entire line of Industrial Housekeeping Products that’ll get your shop cleaned up for spring. With no moving parts to wear out and no electrical requirement, these products are Built to Last. For applications requiring you to vacuum very fine or dusty materials, look no further than EXAIR’s Heavy Duty HEPA Vac.

HEPA Vacuum

Electrically powered vacuums or shop vacs are not designed to be operated in a rugged industrial environment. Filters clog, motors wear out, and you find yourself frequently replacing them. EXAIR’s Heavy Duty HEPA Vac has NO moving parts to wear out, doesn’t require maintenance, and needs nothing but a source of compressed air to operate. A static resistant hose also prevents painful shocks when working with dry, dusty materials.

The vacuum generator is constructed of a hardened steel alloy designed to be resistant to abrasion and delivers a powerful vacuum level of -60” H2O at 80 PSIG. The lever lock drum lid fits any open top 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum. Moving the system from one drum to another can be done quickly, allowing you to keep different materials separate for recycling. Recycling companies will pay a premium for pre-sorted materials, allowing you to get more out of your otherwise scrap material. It can be used with any open head steel, fiber, or plastic drum in good condition (ANSI Standard #MH2-2004).

If you don’t have a spare drum available, not to worry! EXAIR also sells a Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac System that will include either a 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum and dolly.

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The HEPA Vac works by injecting compressed air at 80-100 PSIG through the air inlet (1) and into an annular plenum chamber (2). It is then injected into the throat through precisely directed nozzles (3). These jets of air create a vacuum at the intake (4) which draws in material through the generator itself (5), directing it into the bottom of the drum. The airflow is passed first through a pre-filter to trap larger particles, and then through the 0.3 micron HEPA filter, trapping any airborne particles. It is then exhausted through the vent in the top of the drum lid (6).

You wouldn’t use a hammer to try and drive in a screw, so don’t try and force a shop vac or electric vacuum to deal with these harsh materials. Get yourself the right tool for the job and give an EXAIR Vac a try. With a 5 Year Built to Last Warranty, there really is no comparison. Act fast, between now and May 31, 2020 we’ll include a FREE Model 6492 Vac-u-Gun System to any US and Canadian order.

Tyler Daniel
EXAIR Corporation
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Stop the Overheating Alarms from Your Electrical Cabinets this Summer

I’ve already documented my penchant for insanely hot foods in a previous blog post about my participation in a hot wing competition. Over the years, I’ve grown a few different varieties of super-hot peppers in my garden that’s led to my love for all things fire. In years past I’ve been limited to the varieties of peppers that I can find at the local nurseries.

This year I decided to take things a step further. I purchased a variety of both pepper and tomato seeds online and decided to grow them from seed, allowing me to pick and choose each type that I wanted in the garden for this summer. While it’s been a bit of a learning process and we’ve had a few fallen soldiers thus far, things are beginning to come together. It’s been a fun way to look forward to this year’s growing season.

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It seems strange writing this while there is snow on the ground here in Cincinnati, but spring is right around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I quickly see past spring and can start to feel the warm summer weather.

Once again, as summer’s hot temperatures approach,  so do those seasonal temperature alarms from your electrical enclosures. Increased temperatures lead to heat related problems in your electrical panels. With summer coming along before you know it, the time is now to get a solution in place before it becomes an issue.

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EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Systems were designed specifically to rectify these issues within your facility. Utilizing Vortex Tube technology, the Cabinet Cooler produces cold air from an ordinary supply of compressed air. This cold air keeps the enclosure free of debris and moisture and is easily installed in minutes through a standard electrical knockout. Here is a short video that shows just how simple it really is.

The Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with Nema 12 (IP54) ratings and are also available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel construction for Nema 4/4X (IP66) rated enclosures. For systems that are not able to be mounted on top of the cabinet, we also have Side Mount Kits available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless, and 316 Stainless. This year, EXAIR also introduced a new line of Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers for use in classified areas.

These systems are available with cooling capacities from 275-5,600 Btu/hr. To make things much easier for you, we offer a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide that will allow us to recommend the most suitable model for your cabinet. With a few quick measurements, we’ll be able to determine the exact heat load that we’ll need to dissipate and offer you a quick and easy solution.

If you experienced heat related issues on electrical panels last year, or just want to talk about spicy food and gardening, contact an Application Engineer today and we’ll be happy to help.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

What Are Compressed Air Dryers and Why are They Necessary?

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When we talk with customers about their EXAIR Products, we also discuss the quality of their compressed air. Many of our products have no moving parts and are considered maintenance-free when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. One of the most critical aspects of a compressed air distribution system is the dryer.

No matter where you are in the world, the atmospheric air will contain water vapor. Even in the driest place in the world, McMurdo Dry Valley in Antartica, there is some moisture in the air. As this air cools to the saturation point, also known as dew point, the vapor will condense into liquid water. The amount of this moisture will vary depending on both the ambient temperature and the relative humidity. According to the Compressed Air Challenge, a general rule of thumb is that the amount of moisture air can hold at a saturated condition will double for every increase of 20°F. In regions or periods of warmer temperatures, this poses an even greater problem. Some problems that can be associated with moisture-laden compressed air include:

  • Increased wear of moving parts due to removal of lubrication
  • Formation of rust in piping and equipment
  • Can affect the color, adherence, and finish of paint that is applied using compressed air
  • Jeopardizes processes that are dependent upon pneumatic controls. A malfunction due to rust, scale, or clogged orifices can damage product or cause costly shutdowns
  • In colder temperatures, the moisture can freeze in the control lines

In order to remove moisture from the air after compression, a dryer must be installed at the outlet of the compressor. There are three primary types of dryers used in the compressor industry: refrigerant, desiccant, and membrane. Each style has it’s own inherent applications and benefits.

Refrigerant type dryers cool the air, removing the condensed moisture before allowing it to continue through the distribution system. These will generally lower the dew point of the air to 35-40°F which is sufficient for most applications. So long as the temperature in the facility never dips below the dew point, condensation will not occur. Typical advantages of a refrigerant dryer include: low initial capital cost, relatively low operating cost, and low maintenance costs. This makes them a common solution used in an industrial compressed air system.

Another type of dryer is the desiccant dryer. I’m sure you’ve seen the small “Do Not Eat” packages that are included in a variety of food products, shoes, medications, etc. These are filled with a small amount of desiccant (typically silica gel) that is there to absorb any moisture that could contaminate the product. In a desiccant dryer, the same principle applies. The compressed air is forced through a “tower” that is filled with desiccant. The moisture is removed from the air supply and then passed into the distribution system. One minor drawback with a desiccant type dryer is that the desiccant material does have to periodically be replaced. Desiccant dryers can also be used in addition to a refrigerant dryer for critical applications that require all water vapor to be removed.

The third type of dryer is the membrane dryer. In this style, extremely low dew points are able to be achieved. This makes them the optimal choice for outdoor applications where the air could be susceptible to frost in colder climates. They are also ideal for medical and dental applications where consistent reliability and air quality is an absolute must. A membrane dryer does not require a source of electricity to operate and its compact size allows it to be easily installed with minimal downtime and floor space. Maintenance is minimal and consists of periodic replacement of the membrane. While they are good for some applications, they do come with limitations. They do limit the capacity of the system with variations ranging from as little as 1 SCFM to 200 SCFM. Because of this, they’re often used as a point-of-use dryer for specific applications rather than an entire compressed air system. Some of the compressed air must be purged with along with the moisture which consumes excess compressed air.

Regardless of what products you’re using at the point-of-use, a dryer is undoubtedly a critical component of that system. Delivering clean, dry air to your EXAIR Products or other pneumatic devices will help to ensure a long life out of your equipment.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Line Vac Video: Air Operated Conveyor Conveying Raw Coffee Beans

At EXAIR we’re committed to providing customers with as much information as possible to ensure an application will work the way it’s intended. If it happens to be something we’ve dealt with before, it’s easy enough to make a recommendation. If it’s not, with EXAIR’s 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee getting something in-house to test comes with no risk at all. If it doesn’t work, just send it back, simple as that!

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If it is something that we can test ourselves, we’re more than happy to. We recently have taken several requests from customers in the coffee industry, all looking for a similar solution: conveying raw coffee beans. While we were confident in the ability of the Line Vac to transfer those beans, it wasn’t a material that we had ever actually tested here in our shop. A quick trip down the road to a local coffee roaster, and we had some raw coffee beans that we could use for a quick conveyance test. Check out the video below of my colleague John Ball and I conducting a test with our Model 6084 2” Line Vac:

If you’re looking to convey bulk materials using the Line Vac, but have reservations regarding the performance, you can also send a sample of your material in for testing here at EXAIR. We’ll be happy to put the conditions of your application to the test and share the results with you. If you’ve been manually transferring bulk material and are looking for a safer, reliable, and efficient solution the Line Vac is the right tool for the job. With a variety of sizes and materials all available from stock, we’re able to address countless applications and achieve a wide variety of conveyance rates.

The conveyance rate of the Line Vac is easily adjusted. By regulating the input pressure supplied to the Line Vac, not only can you reduce the necessary compressed air demand but you can also control the amount of material flow. Higher pressures will move material, while lower pressures will reduce compressed air consumption. If you need help determining which size and material is most suitable for your application don’t hesitate to get in touch with an EXAIR Application Engineer today. Stop having your operators climbing up and down that ladder to dump material!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Two Types of Air Amplifier: Pressure vs Volume Amplifiers

In the compressed air world, when we talk about an “air amplifier” it can mean one of two things: either a pressure air amplifier, or a volume air amplifier. How do we differentiate the two and what types of applications does each serve?

A pressure air amplifier works as an air pump to increase the pressure of the supplied air, generating pressures ranging from 30 psi up to as much as 1500 psi in some specialized types of pressure amplifiers. Pressure air amplifiers operate only off of the supplied compressed air and do not require a source of electricity to drive the piston amplifying the pressure. They are available in both single-acting and double-acting varieties with the double-acting being the most efficient.

Pressure-type air amplifiers are used in applications where a specific product or process must have a higher pressure than the compressor system can deliver. This includes applications such as: air clamps, presses, pressure testing, air brakes, and also blow molding. The drawback to these products is that the increase in pressure does result in a reduction in volume of air. A point of use receiver tank and over-sizing of the overall system is generally a good practice to ensure sufficient operation.

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On the other side of the amplifier spectrum lies EXAIR with our volume amplifying amplifiers. EXAIR manufactures two different styles of volume air amplifier: The Super Air Amplifier and Adjustable Air Amplifier. These products utilize Bernoulli’s Principle and the coanda effect to draw in large amounts of ambient air that mixes with the supplied compressed to project a hard hitting force of laminar airflow, much greater than what is supplied.

EXAIR’s Adjustable Air Amplifiers are available in both Stainless Steel and Aluminum from sizes ranging from ¾”-4” on the air outlet. The outlet can be ducted or it can be used as-is. The air gap of the Adjustable Air Amplifier is infinitely adjustable, allowing you to regulate both the air consumption and outlet flow from a “breeze” to a “blast”. In addition to the standard Adjustable Air Amplifiers, we also have a High Temperature Air Amplifier available that is capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 700°F.

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EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifiers utilize a patented shim design to maintain critical positioning of component parts. This allows a precise amount of compressed air to be released at exact intervals toward the center of the Super Air Amplifier. This creates a constant, high velocity outlet flow across the entire cross-sectional area. Free, ambient air is entrained through the unit, resulting in high amplification ratios. The balanced outlet airflow minimizes wind shear to produce sound levels far lower than other similar air movers.

Volume air amplifiers can be used in a variety of blowoff, conveying, drying, cooling, and venting applications. With a range of different sized Super Air Amplifiers and Adjustable Air Amplifiers, EXAIR has a solution for you if you need to move A LOT of air for a variety of reasons. Reach out to an Application Engineer today if you have an application that you believe could be served with a low-cost, simple solution!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter:@EXAIR_TD