Compressed Air Usage in Food & Beverage Industry: Bottle Blowoff with Super Air Knives

When it comes to the usage of compressed air in the food & beverage industry, applications for EXAIR products are abundant. The range of sizes (3″ through 108″) and materials (aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and PVDF) allow us to handle corrosive, high temperature and chemical environments.

One common process that we’re able to help improve is on bottling or canning lines for a wide variety of different companies in the beverage industry. These processes generally run at a very high speed and need a way to complete the process with as little manual intervention as possible.

I recently helped a customer that was looking for a better solution for their bottle processing line. The company produces bottled water in South America and was dealing with a series of quality issues. After the bottles are filled and sealed, they go through a washing operation to remove any contaminants from the outside of the bottle. Afterwards, they make their way along a conveyor where a label is applied around the outside of the bottle. The bottles aren’t always completely dry by the time they get to the labeling step. Any residual moisture on the outside of the bottle can present a problem where the label doesn’t fully adhere to the bottle.

After complaints from their customer about product being received with labels that were peeling off, they implemented a quality check to ensure that the bottles that weren’t properly labeled were fixed before they were shipped out. While this resolved the problem for their customer, it required an extra step. Not only does this add an entire step to the process, but it requires several additional operators to perform the manual task of removing and replacing faulty labels.

After searching and discovering EXAIR’s Super Air Knife they reached out for assistance. Due to the variability of the bottle sizes, they needed a solution that was easily adjusted based on what product was being run that day. Fortunately, EXAIR offers a Universal Mounting System for our Super Air Knives that’ll allow them to easily position their blowoff as they need.

The solution was to install (2) 110036 36” Super Air Knives with (2) Universal Mounting Systems for each. Any knife 24”-54” will necessitate (2) Universal Mounting Systems, 55”-71” will require (3), 72”-95”, and 96” and over will require (5) to sufficiently support the weight of the knife.

The knives provided a strong blast of air that was able to remove any residual moisture from the exterior of the bottles. This eliminated the need to have a post labeling inspection and the bottles were labeled properly on the first go! Adjustments in between different bottle sizes were made simple with the help of the Universal Mounting System.

SAK pre label blowoff
(2) 110036 Super Air Knives positioned with Universal Mounting System

At EXAIR, we’re all about providing safe, efficient, and reliable solutions to a host of industry related problems. With same day shipment for stock items with an order received by 2:00 ET and a team of highly trained Application Engineers, we’re ready to take your call and get a solution out to you today. Don’t just take my word for it, find out for yourself!

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

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

EXAIR Case Studies Share Succe$$

EXAIR provides many informative tools to help you decide which of our products will work best for you. We have a qualified staff of Application Engineers, a comprehensive catalog, Installation Sheets, Blogs, and a library of Case Studies, to name a few. Following is more about our Case Studies and how they can be helpful.

EXAIR keeps a library of Case Studies for your reference. The Library s is also organized by product so you can easily find the information and product you have interest. These case studies summarize how our customers have purchased, used, and benefited from our products and their purchase. These studies focus on our products and your project, we do not use our customer names and only use photos and verbiage that you approve and share with us.

The process to develop a Case Study is as easy as talking to one of our Application Engineers. We will discuss your project and work with you to decide the wording and photos that you approve for the study. Once the study has been completed and approved we can discuss a credit on your purchase or percentage discount on your next purchase. This becomes a “win, win” for both you and EXAIR.

EXAIR appreciates a good success story, and we want to encourage you to share your success from using one or more of our products. This is why EXAIR incentivizes Case Studies. We will offer a discount to any company who will provide enough information to produce a case study. If you have interest to create a Case Study (and save money) on your next project please contact one of our Application Engineers so we can discuss your application and goals.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Laminar and Turbulent Air Flow

I have a manufacturing background primarily with automotive and plastic injection molding. I used compressed air but I will admit that I did not know the difference between Laminar and Turbulent air flow. You’ll often hear EXAIR refer to laminar vs turbulent flow when discussing our blow off of products. I will briefly describe the difference between the two and hopefully we all learn something new. In any blow off process or application, laminar airflow is going to be much more effective at eliminating pressure drops, blowing product and reducing noise levels than the turbulent air flow. To read more about the math behind it, check out my colleague John Ball’s previous post here.

A good example of an EXAIR product that delivers a laminar air flow are our Super Air Knives. The super air knife offers a more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. They deliver a uniform sheet of “Laminar” airflow across the entire hard-hitting force. The Super Air Knives deliver a uniform sheet of air that has the same force across the entire length.

The efficiency of EXAIR’s Super Air Knife delivering the laminar air flow becomes more valuable when comparing the effectiveness to a blower operated knife or fans. A fan “slaps” the air, resulting in a turbulent airflow where the airflow particles are irregular and will interfere with each other. A laminar airflow, by contrast, will maintain smooth paths that will never interfere with one another, which allows for maximum velocity and can produce higher force levels.

EXAIR had a customer needing help applying icing on snack cakes. As baked sponge cakes moved down a conveyor, a continuous ribbon of icing was applied to the individual cakes. Trying to make a clean break in the icing was next to impossible. Mechanical blades needed constant cleaning. Compressed air through a series of holes in drilled pipe used too much air, was noisy and did not make a clean break.

The solution was using an EXAIR Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. A photo eye detected space between cakes turning the compressed air on at the precise moment to apply a uniform airflow and velocity against the ribbon of icing, creating a nice clean break. The stainless steel Air Knife was the best choice for this application. Since there was no contact with the icing, no additional cleaning was required. The Laminar flow of the Super Air Knife had uniform velocity across the entire length and broke the ribbon of icing evenly. This successful result would never have been possible with turbulent air from drilled pipe, nozzles or a blower.

The Super Air knives are just one of many of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air products. When planning your next project that requires compressed air please contact one of our many Application Engineers for assistance. EXAIR takes pride in our products and customer service.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Decibel Levels in Manufacturing

The Decibel (dB) is a unit used to measure the intensity of sound. Decibel levels are a little tricky as human ears are incredibly sensitive. Our ears can hear everything from a gnat flying by your ear to to very loud jet engines. The range of sound level is very vast. Manufacturing environments can be loud and expose employees to harmful noise levels. You can see some interesting manufacturing noise exposure data from the CDC, here.

On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB. Here are some common sounds and their decibel ratings:

Experience tells us that many things distance affects the intensity of sound. Noise levels can be due to product design, proximity to the noise, frequency of processes, quantity of noise producing machines or processes. Exposure to high noise levels can be harmful. Extended length of exposure to sound levels above above 80 dB can begin hearing loss. If you feel you have to raise the level of your voice to be heard then you can assume that you are in an environment of 85 or greater dB. OSHA Standard 29 CFR-1910.95 (a) shows the Maximum Allowable Noise Exposure.

EXAIR engineers our products with safety and exposure in mind and we manufacture most every product to be under any threshold where hearing protection is required. If any product (like our largest Super Air Nozzles) is above the threshold, EXAIR is clear that hearing protection is needed. Please visit www.EXAIR.com and view how our Intelligent Compressed Air Products can help your quality of work atmosphere. If you have any questions regarding our products or for advice as to what products can improve the safety of your work environment, please contact any one of our Application Engineers.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK