The Super Air Knife: It’s Super Easy To Install

One of the more commonly asked questions about one of our more commonly asked-about products is:

“How do you install a Super Air Knife?”

Well, I’m glad you (or, in this case, “they,”) asked! There are several options, and they’re all pretty simple:

The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – right out of the box, the 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting System is ready to go. It gives you a complete range of motion, so changes to the angle, direction, and distance of the air flow to the target are quick and easy. Multiple systems provide secure support for longer Air Knife lengths.

The 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are perfect for simple, fast installation and positioning.

The 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are perfect for simple, fast installation and positioning.

The Air Knife Plumbing Kit – Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be supplied at multiple inlets.  A Plumbing Kit comes with everything you need to get that down to just one (lengths to 54″) or two (lengths to 108″) 1/2 NPT connections, saving you from hunting down the fittings and hose or tube, while ensuring you get sufficient air flow for optimum performance.

Plumbing Kits

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 1) – because the Air Knife cap & body are held together with a series of Stainless Steel cap screws, there’s a 1/4″-20 tapped hole, about 3/8″ deep, every 2″ along the bottom of the body. These are commonly used to install the Air Knife to an acceptable mount.

If you've got something to hold it to, mounting a Super Air Knife with 1/4"-20 fasteners is a snap!

If your equipment already has rails or a frame, mounting a Super Air Knife with 1/4″-20 fasteners is a snap!

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 2) – like I said above, when they get longer than 24″, an Air Knife needs to be supplied at both ends to ensure proper air flow across the entire length. There are MANY Super Air Knives installed over conveyor belts (a “textbook” application) that are simply supported by hard piping to both ends. The Air Knife is, essentially, as well supported as the piping.

Use the supply piping to adequately support longer lengths of Super Air Knives

Use the supply piping to adequately support longer lengths of Super Air Knives.

The Super Air Knife Itself (part 3) – I saved “part 3″ to talk about the 3” Super Air Knife specifically…see what I did there? These short, compact units can actually be supported and plumbed properly, using a Magnetic Base and a Stay Set Hose.

Install and reposition a 3" Super Air Knife using any steel surface with a Mag Base & Stay Set Hose.

Install and reposition a 3″ Super Air Knife using any steel surface with a Mag Base & Stay Set Hose.

If you’ve got an application for a Super Air Knife, we can help you get in installed, in a snap. Call me; let’s talk!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

A Great Application For…Something Else

Some applications just sound like textbook situations – a caller wants to remove static charge from, and blow off a large, flat surface. That’s PERFECT for the laminar, high velocity ionized air curtain produced by a Super Ion Air Knife. All you have to do is pick the length, and we have them from 3 inches to 9 feet long.

Large, flat surfaces - perfect for a Super Ion Air Knife, right?

Large, flat surfaces – perfect for a Super Ion Air Knife, right?

Twice in the past week, I’ve been interrupted in my zeal to present the Super Ion Air Knife in these ideal situations by:

“…but I can’t move the product – I need to have something portable.”

And that’s OK. This is where it’s good to have a variety of offerings, including the portable, versatile, high performance Ion Air Gun. It’s durable and lightweight, so, if you can’t move the part, you can easily move the Ion Air Gun AROUND the part.

While it might be a "perfect" application for a Super Ion Air Knife, the Ion Air Gun works better if the product is stationary.

While it might be a “perfect” application for a Super Ion Air Knife, the Ion Air Gun works better if the product is stationary.

EXAIR Application Engineers are trained, and focused on, providing solutions. Even when something sounds “textbook,” there’s usually another way (or several) to look at it. And we’re really good at that. If you’d like to find out how to fit an EXAIR product into your compressed air needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Used in Mango Processing

SS SAK mango

303 Stainless Super Air Knife in Mango de-watering process

Recently, I was working with a customer who specializes in post-harvest fruit processing. In this case, they were processing mangos from complete fruit down into cubes which are subsequently cleaned and packaged into plastic bags and then cardboard boxes for use in other food products.

When the customer contacted me, they were using a stainless steel pipe with holes drilled into it to de-water the fruit chunks after being sprayed to clean the individual pieces. They were using stainless steel pipe as they had a requirement for stainless steel construction due to being food grade facility. The problem with the pipe was that the airflow didn’t provide an even blowing force across the full, 30 inch width of the vibratory conveyor. The pipe solution also used quite a lot of compressed air. Unfortunately the customer could not measure what it was, but they gave me the number and size of the holes drilled into it. From that information, we could determine that they were using about 150 SCFM of compressed air at this one location.

And so, with the ineffectiveness of the pipe as well as the high air consumption, the customer went looking for something better. That’s when they found EXAIR Stainless Steel Super Air Knives on our web site. After some quick discussion to sort out the width of the conveyor and to establish what the need was, we settled on model 110030SS (30” 303 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife) to be mounted across the width of the conveyor (see photo above).

With the Super Air Knife installed, the customer was able to achieve the effectiveness he needed for the de-watering and at an airflow rate that was 42% less compressed air use than what he had before. Some of the other benefits that they were able to achieve without even being conscious of it were the enhanced safety of the OSHA compliant Super Air Knife and the sound level was cut dramatically as well.

EXAIR’s Super Air Knives are used many times in processing and packaging applications to provide a non-contact method for de-watering, blowing off dust, moving product off to one side, drying, ejecting and many more applications like these.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

 

Stainless Steel Super Air Knife Solves Problem In Molding Application

3

These stainless steel molds have residual material after forming which needs to be blown off

 

2

The table of this machine spins, with identical mold setups in the front and rear

The images above show a molding machine process with a spinning table.  The “front” side of the setup is used to remove finished product, while the “back” side forms new product over the stainless steel mold.  Each side of the table uses an identical setup with application temperatures as high as 140°F.

The end user of this machine contacted EXAIR in search of a blowoff solution to be permanently installed and operated automatically.  Any solution offered needed to use minimal compressed air, meet OSHA safety standards for dead end pressure (OSHA CFR 1910.242(b)), and be suitable for installation in a 140°F workspace.

The purpose of the blowoff would be to remove any debris/residual material left on the stainless steel mold after the finished product is removed.  So, as the mold spins back into the machine, they wanted a way to remove any burrs or residual debris.  The current process is to stop the machine and have a machine operator blow off the molds by hand (shown below).  This reduces the efficiency of the machine and reduces the throughput of the process.

1

The current process is to stop the machine and blow off the molds by hand

With the full scope of the application uncovered and discussed, we found the perfect solution for this application in a stainless steel Super Air Knife.  The stainless steel Super Air Knife can provide an efficient and repeatable blowoff solution, all while meeting OSHA safety standards and the temperature needs of the application.  Plus, the Super Air Knife can be configured alongside a PLC or Electronic Flow Controller to allow for a “trigger-on” installation in which blowoff is only provided when needed.  This setup saves compressed air, reducing operational cost and further increasing efficiency in the application.

The exact product used in this application was the model 110012SS, which provides a laminar blowoff 12” wide using a 303 grade stainless steel Super Air Knife.  But, we also have knives ranging from 3” to 108” with the ability to machine custom lengths upon request.  So, if you have an application in need of an efficient and laminar blowoff solution, reach out to us.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Super Air Knives Save The Day, a Saw Blade, and Production Schedule

A large manufacturing shop recently purchased a high speed band saw to cut aluminum. It was equipped with a mechanical rotating brush system to clean the blade as it ran, but this was unable to keep up with the volume of coolant-soaked chips that were produced at higher speeds. They had two options:

*Run the saw at a slower speed (and actually, their production schedule would not allow this, so technically there was only one option…)
*Come up with a reliable method of cleaning the saw blade (this is where EXAIR comes in.)

The Maintenance Supervisor was familiar with the capabilities of the Super Air Knife from past career experience, so he got two Model 110003 3″ Aluminum Super Air Knives installed:

Super Air Knives remove chips and coolant from high speed band saw blade.

Super Air Knives remove chips and coolant from high speed band saw blade.

This has made a “night-and-day” difference for this sawing operation:
*In the first week they had the saw, they went through four saw blades…when the teeth get clogged with chips, they don’t cut right; they get hot; and they fail.
*The inability of the brush system to remove the chips caused them to accumulate in the belt pulley housings…operators were spending 2-3 hours A DAY just to shut down the saw and clean them out.
*The excess of chips also caused the blade’s guide bearings to fail, which caused almost a day’s worth of down time to replace.
*The Maintenance Supervisor was called to the saw repeatedly during the work day to address these, and many other minor, malfunctions due to the inability to remove the chips.

This saw is now operating at the capacity they intended when they purchased it.  All for about $400, and that includes the door hinge they used to install it and allow for precise positioning (how cool is that?)

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products have a long reputation for saving the day…thirty-three years and counting.  How can we help you?  Give me a call and let’s find out.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

A Super Air Knife Improves Bagel Operations

Plain Bagel

Plain Bagel

Did you ever wonder how that deep brown crust is created on pretzels and bagels? There’s just a little more to it than toasting them under a burner.

A process engineer from a well-known bagel company contacted me about a problem in their operation. They were having issues containing the lye solution in a dip tank that the bagels are run through. Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a very corrosive, alkali substance.  When handling this liquid solution,  personnel protection equipment (PPE) is required to protect skin and eyes.  The engineer found evidence of the lye solution dripping from the conveyor onto other components in the process.  For safety, maintenance and cleanliness, he needed to find a way to contain the lye in the dip tank area.

The conveying system used a gear-driven sprocket to move the conveyor. The conveyor was a 30” wide open-mesh belt with chain links attached to the outside for the sprocket.  It was used to move the bagel dough into a dipping station which contained the lye solution.  As you can imagine, there are plenty of areas for the solution to collect into these voids of the belt and drip downstream.  The dough would soak up the solution and then travel into the oven for baking.  As the dough is heated, the lye will start to react with the steam and bagel proteins, turning it into something safe to eat. This Maillard reaction creates the browning of the dough and that yummy crust on the outside.

SS Super Air Knife

SS Super Air Knife

To keep the process safe and clean, they had to keep the lye solution in the dipping area. Because the concentration of the lye was very low, we recommended a stainless steel Super Air Knife.  (EXAIR offers a variety of materials for different types of chemicals)  The engineer ordered model 110030SS Super Air Knife, mounted it above the conveyor, and aimed it in a counter-flow direction to the conveyor travel.  As the belt exited the solution, the Super Air Knife would blow the excess from the mesh and the links back into the dip tank.  This kept the area clean and safe from the caustic solution.

If you have similar processes with caustic or corrosive chemicals that need to be contained, we would be glad to discuss your application and determine which of our products would be helpful to keep your processes, personnel and facility safe.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

“Plain bagel” image courtesy of dreamcatt115Creative Commons License

Practice Makes Perfect

2016 Eagles

NEW Eagles Football Jersey for 2016

Last year, I wrote a few blogs about how I was an assistant coach for my oldest son’s youth football team. We had an amazing season that ended with a 2nd round playoff loss and a 3rd place finish overall. Not too shabby for a new group of players and coaches. Now, the new season is upon us with practice beginning next Monday. Our new roster is pretty much the opposite of last season, as we now have 11 returning players from last year’s team and 4 newcomers. The coaching staff has stayed intact as well, so we are hoping to improve on last year’s successes and bring home the championship this year! But hey, we are talking about 7 and 8 year old boys here, so ANY type of success is a win in itself.

After a brief coaches meeting over the weekend, we have decided to hold practice 3 days a week this year, compared to 2 days last. We are hoping the extra practice will help us implement some more pass plays in the offense and work on extending our defensive sets, which cost us at the end of last year. For me personally, I am excited to see how my own son has grown from his first season of learning how to block and tackle the right way, to being more involved in the offense. He is one of the fastest kids on the team but got a little nervous whenever we tried to get him the ball on a rush or pass play. He and I have spent A LOT of time this spring and early summer, throwing the ball and working on his ball carrying skills. From what I’ve seen in our yard, I am pretty excited to see what unfolds on the football field. I keep telling him that he’s going to have some dropped passes and fumbled balls, but the important thing is to not get discouraged and keep trying. After all, practice makes perfect.

Here at EXAIR, we adopt the same philosophy. We are dedicated to putting in the time and effort to develop new and useful compressed air operated products. The following is a list of some new products now available:

  • New 2.5″ and 3″ Line Vac and Threaded Line Vac in 316SS and High Temperature construction

    Standard Line Vac: aluminum or SS

    Standard Line Vac in aluminum or stainless steel

  • New 2.5″ and 3″ Heavy Duty Line Vac with smooth or threaded ends. Hardened Alloy Construction for better abrasion resistance.

    Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

    Heavy Duty Line Vac: Hardened Alloy Construction and High Performance

To discuss these new products or any EXAIR product, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 23,408 other followers

%d bloggers like this: