The Sweet Taste of Floss Part II

Floss Stick

Floss Stick

In The Sweet Taste of Floss Part 1, I explained the benefits of using our Atomizing Nozzles to apply a liquid flavoring onto floss sticks. With that same customer, we had another opportunity to save them on compressed air and on liquid flavoring.

As described in their setup, they had a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. This operation was manual.  It would take the operators roughly 45 seconds to load the floss sticks.  The conveyor would move the rod through the spraying compartment in about 15 seconds.  The customer was worried about the continuous spraying and wondered if we could help in this operation.

Electronic Flow Control

Electronic Flow Control

They had a good concern because with a constant spraying, they could have an issue with fogging the work area and wasting the liquid cherry flavoring. My suggestion was to use the EXAIR model 9055 Electronic Flow Control (or EFC).  The EFC is a user-friendly controller that combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer.  It has eight different programmable on/off modes to minimize compressed air usage and in this case, liquid spray.  For this type of operation, the EFC worked great.  They did not need to manually turn on and off the system, or purchase a PLC that would require programming.  The EFC is in a compact package that is easy to mount and setup.

In evaluating their application, the Signal “OFF” Delay would be correct setting to run in this operation. (The EFC comes factory set in this mode).  The sensor will detect the part and open the solenoid immediately.  Once the part clears the sensor, then it will keep the solenoid open for the set amount of time.  For this project, they set the timer for 15 seconds.  They mounted the photoelectric sensor at the beginning of the entrance to the spraying compartment.  Once the sensor detected the rod that was filled with floss sticks, it would turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzles.  After the timing sequence hits 15 seconds, the EFC would turn off the solenoid which would stop the spraying.  It would rerun this sequence every time a rod would pass by the sensor.  This optimized their operation; especially when they had any issues with loading the rod with floss sticks.  It reduced their liquid and compressed air usage by 75%, and it kept the work area free of fog.

If you need an easy way to save on compressed air usage or in this case fluid, the EFC could be the device for you. It can save you much money in your operational costs, and during these economic times, we know that every bit counts.  If you are still a little “foggy” on the EFC, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help.

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

 

Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.

The Sweet Taste of Floss – Part 1

Floss Stick

Floss Stick

A popular way to floss or clean between your teeth is with floss sticks. The floss sticks have a string of dental floss that is stretched between two posts and is attached to a handle.  This helps to get into those hard-to-reach areas.  A manufacturer of these floss sticks was wanting to put cherry flavoring onto the floss string.  They were not able to dip them, as the concentration of the flavor was too strong.  They needed a better way to apply a light coating of flavor.  In their research, they came across the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles.

As we discussed their setup, they explained that a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. The floss sticks would dangle on the rod, as they traveled through two separate compartments.  One compartment would spray the flavoring onto the floss sticks, and the other would dry the solution in an oven.  They gave me some details of the solution that they were using.  It was mainly water, some cherry flavoring, and an alcohol base to aid in drying.  So, the viscosity was very near water.  They did not have a liquid pump to move the solution to their spraying compartment.  This would not be a problem, as EXAIR has Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles.  It uses compressed air to create a vacuum to lift fluid up to 36” high and to shear the fluid into a very fine mist.  This was key to the customer as they did not want to create any droplets on the handle of the floss sticks.

No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle

No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle

To determine the correct model, we had to dive a bit more into their application. They mentioned that they did some preliminary testing to find the correct amount of flavoring.  If it was too much, it would be overbearing, and if it was not enough then you would not taste it.  With the conveyor speed and the amount of flavor required, they determined that they needed a liquid flow rate between 1.2 to 1.4 GPH (gallons per hour).   From all the information that they gave me, I recommended 3 pieces of the model SF2020SS.  This is our No-Drip Flat Fan Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle.  The flat fan pattern was able to reach across the entire rod and hit all the floss sticks evenly.  With it being gravity fed at about 6” above the nozzles, the liquid flow rate of the model SF2020SS has a maximum of 0.5 GPH.  Thus the reason for 3 pieces in parallel. With a slight pressure adjustment, they could dial in the correct amount of liquid flow rate to get the perfect cherry flavoring.

The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice accessory.  It will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When the air pressure is shut off, a positive seal is created to not allow any liquid to bypass.  This was important in this application as the container holding the flavor solution was above the Atomizing Nozzles.  They set up one unit for demonstration, and they were amazed at how easy it was to use and how fine the particle spray was.  They did not have to worry about drips, lost solution, or inconsistent flavoring.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you. As for the customer above, the Atomizing Nozzles were cherry in applying the cherry flavoring.

 

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

 

Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.

Maintenance Free And Proud Of It

Caller: Do you sell rebuild kits?
Me: Yes, but…why?

This is a WAY oversimplified summary of the start of a popular conversation that an EXAIR Application Engineer might have with a caller looking to restore a particular product to proper operation. Truth is, most of our products have no moving parts, and if you supply them with clean, dry air, they’ll run maintenance free, darn near indefinitely. We’ve documented this in specific cases regarding a Reversible Drum Vac from 1999, a Vortex Tube from 1987, and a Cold Gun from 1985.

Product & year of manufacture, from top left: Reversible Drum Vac (1999,) Cold Gun (1985,) Vortex Tube (1987.) All still performing within factory specifications.

Product & year of manufacture, from top left: Reversible Drum Vac (1999,) Cold Gun (1985,) Vortex Tube (1987.) All still performing within factory specifications.

Caller: So…DO you sell rebuild kits?
Me: Yes, but…only when necessary.

It’s important to note that none of the products mentioned above needed any parts replaced to return to service. Sometimes, a good cleaning is all that’s required. We can help you with a video tutorial if you want to know how to restore a Reversible Drum Vac, an Air Knife, or an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, for instance.  And we’re making new videos all the time for product maintenance, operation, tips & tricks, etc.

Caller (again): So…you DO sell rebuild kits?
Me: Yes, of course!  I mean, who wouldn’t sell rebuild kits for their products?

Take our Safety Air Guns, for example. We offer Service Kits, if the trigger and/or internal valve of a Soft Grip or Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun starts to wear or leak, it’s super easy to replace. We’ve also got replacement springs for the “fail shut” feature of the ball valve of a Super Blast Safety Air Gun. Just about anything else that could be wrong with a Safety Air Gun’s performance can be addressed by cleaning the nozzle.

We also recently added Rebuild Kits for our Atomizing Spray Nozzles to inventory. These contain all of the seals (and moving parts, for the No-Drip models) to restore an EXAIR Spray Nozzle to rated performance.

Keep your EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzle (left) in perfect working order with a simple & inexpensive Rebuilt Kit (right of the nozzle.) Contact an Application Engineer to select the one for your product.

For other products, we can also provide replacement gaskets & seals for the Reversible Drum Vac & Chip Trapper products, O-rings for the Line Vacs, Chip Vacs, and Heavy Duty Dry Vacs, new elements for Filter Separators & Oil Removal Filters…just to name a few.

Bottom line: if your EXAIR product isn’t performing the way it used to, give me a call.  It will be my pleasure to help you get it working like new, so that you can continue to get the most out of it.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Engineering Makes The Difference In Spraying Application

The Paint Line Engineering Manager for a major agricultural & industrial equipment manufacturer wanted to improve the efficiency of their paint lines. They had “halo” systems through which large parts passed for primer & paint coatings, which were equipped with inexpensive liquid-only spray nozzles:

Liquid-only spray nozzles lack the control and efficiency of engineered solutions like EXAIR's Atomizing Spray Nozzles

Liquid-only nozzles lack the control and efficiency of engineered solutions like EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles

You can get a whole handful of these and it’ll still cost you less than one of our Atomizing Spray Nozzles will.  If you don’t have any particular concerns about efficiency, spray pattern adjustment, droplet size or flow control (and a lot of applications don’t require this, and that’s fine,) then these will work GREAT for you.  And again, they’re abundant and cheap.

That wasn’t the case here – turns out, good quality paint is expensive, and every drop wasted adds up.  Getting a fine, even coating on parts of different sizes & shapes, every time, requires precision control of the flow pattern.  And design of an automated system benefits from a wide selection of options to choose from.

Enter the EXAIR line of Atomizing Spray Nozzles.  With (90) models to choose from, we can cover (literally) darn near any spraying application you can come up with.  If you know what flow rate and/or spray pattern you’re looking for (like a Paint Line Engineering Manager would,) then selection is quick & easy.  Paint consumption is down, quality is up…and the reliability of the new system means they’re spending less time and resources on cleaning & maintenance. For the record, the halo system ended up looking like this:

EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles provide efficient, reliable coating.

EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles provide efficient, reliable coating.

If you’d like to find out more about how engineered products, like EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles, can make a difference to your operations…and your bottom line…give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles in a Forging Plant

A steel forging plant was using a releasing agent in their process. This particular operation was to make a blank gear.  It started with a heated ingot that was placed in a two-part dual stamp die.  The front section of the die creates the hub of the gear, and the back section would finish the outer diameter of the gear.  The operator would use tongs to grab the hot part and place it in the front and back portion of the die.  Each time the press would cycle, a release agent would be sprayed onto the die so that the parts would not stick.  As you can see in the picture below, they had six liquid spray nozzles modified to spray the entire surface.  Two of the spray nozzles were blowing the release agent to the top portion of the die, and four spray nozzles would spray the entire bottom portion of the die.  Every time the press would cycle, the release agent would be sprayed.

Forging press with liquid spraying nozzles

Forging press with liquid spraying nozzles

At a rate of making a part every six seconds, much release agent was being sprayed. This lubrication for forging was not inexpensive, and it was adding cost to their operation.  They called EXAIR to see if we could help in this matter.

 

The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles use compressed air to help “shear” the liquid into a very fine mist. The smaller the liquid particle size, the more surface area is created.  This is very beneficial in saving liquid material without reducing the required performance.  This customer purchased two Internal Mix Narrow Angle Round Pattern Atomizing Nozzles, model AN1040SS to replace the six liquid nozzles that he was using.  With a stainless steel construction as standard, it makes the Atomizing Nozzle very corrosion resistant and able to handle 400 deg. F (204 deg. C) temperatures.  With the narrow angle round spray pattern, they could position the Atomizing Nozzles to cover the entire top and bottom of the die (reference the photo below).  With the liquid adjustment valve, they could dial in just the right amount of release agent to keep the process running smoothly.  After the first week in modifying their operation with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles, they noticed that they were using only half the amount of releasing agent.  This helped to cut cost in their operation, increasing their profit margin.

Forging press with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles

Forging press with EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles

We can spray liquids very economically and efficiently. We have different types of spray patterns for three different styles.  We have the Internal Mix style for low viscosity fluids as purchased by the above customer; the External Mix for high viscosity fluids, and the Siphon Fed for unpressurized liquid systems requiring gravity or siphoning.  We can atomize liquids up to a rate of 5 gallons per minute (19 liters per minute).  If you believe that you are going through too much liquid in your process, you can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the correct Atomizing Nozzle for you.

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

360° Hollow Circular Atomizing Nozzle Ideal For Treating Ductwork

There are many times we field calls from customers that fall directly in line with the intended use of one of our products. Such would be the case last week when a customer called looking for  a more reliable way to spray a light coating of rust inhibitor on the inside of a small section of ductwork roughly 9″ in diameter.  They were currently using a liquid only spray nozzle but were having trouble controlling the output flow, as well as the actual spray pattern. They were wasting a lot of the inhibitor as it was starting to “pool” in the bottom of the ductwork which would ultimately leak out onto the production floor and operator’s work area when the parts were prepared for shipment, also creating an unsafe work environment.

Model # AT1010SS Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Atomizing Nozzle

 

After discussing the application with the customer, I recommended our Model # AT1010SS Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Atomizing Nozzle. The circular spray pattern is the ideal solution when trying to coat the inside of a duct with rust preventative. The nozzle produces an even spray pattern up to 53″ in diameter with flows as much as 14.7 gallons per hour of liquid, depending on air and liquid supply pressures. Our Atomizing Nozzles also feature an adjustment valve to provide control of the flow rate as well. The 303ss construction is able to withstand corrosive environments and temperatures up to 400°F (204°C).

EXAIR offers a wide variety of Atomizing Nozzles that can be used to coat, rinse or cool a surface. They are also commonly used for dust suppression due to the wide coverage area they produce. For help selecting the correct Model # for your application, give us a call.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Atomizing Nozzle Used in Copper Forming Applications

Lan

EXAIR Atomizing Nozzle, Narrow, Round Spray Pattern

 

Copper and its alloys are used in a variety of products from consumer goods like musical instruments, drawer and door pulls, wind chimes, electrical contacts and many other, similar parts that you do not see on more complicated pieces of equipment such as HVAC systems.

Comparatively speaking, copper is quite a malleable metal. That’s what makes it so useful for manufacturing processes such as expanding, reducing, flaring, beading and other similar processes that don’t necessarily involve a cutting or grinding action on the material, but rather a tool that comes into contact with the material to impart a specific shape that makes the made part beneficial to some other product or process.

And so, in the metal forming process, you generally have a hardened alloy tool that comes into contact with the soft copper (or brass) to impart one of the above mentioned effects to the material. With the metal forming process, you have friction that needs to be reduced substantially to aid in the forming process while maintaining the tool integrity and keeping heat generation to a minimum. There are a variety of oil-based lubricants that companies who specialize in this kind of processing, will use to lubricate the raw part prior to forming.

This is the point within the process where EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can play a significant role in application of the lubrication. By atomizing the lubricant, the customer can have a controlled, even application of the lubricant to the tooling and/or material surface prior to putting the material through the forming operation. By applying a controlled layer of atomized lubricant, the customer can apply the lubricant in a sparingly manner to conserve on how much is used for each part formed. They get the benefit of the lubrication without over-doing it and wasting excess volume of lube applied. This, in turn, allows for a cleaner and safer processing area as well as measurable cost savings for the lubricant as well.

For lower viscosity lubricants (< 300 cP) that require only a light application of material, we have model AN1010SS which can provide a Narrow, Round spray pattern to coat smaller parts. If the part is larger or perhaps starts out as a sheet, we do also have model AW1030SS which can provide a Flat, Wide Angle spray pattern. If the lubricant has a viscosity that is higher than 300 cP, we also have a series of External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with similar spray flow patterns that can be selected for high precision adjustment of the liquid flow and droplet size to suit any need.

If you are in the metal forming industry and you are concerned with application of lubricants in your applications, we be glad to help you pick an Atomizing Nozzle to suit your needs. Contact us to discuss your application.

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

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