Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure of the gain (preferably) or loss generated relative to the amount of money that was invested. ROI is typically expressed as a percentage and is generally used for financial decisions, examining the profitability of a company, or comparing different investments. It can also be used to evaluate a project or process improvement to decide whether spending money on a project makes sense. The formula is shown below-
A negative ROI says the project would result in an overall loss of money
An ROI at zero is neither a loss or gain scenario
A positive ROI is a beneficial result, and the larger the value the greater the gain
Example – installing a Super Air Nozzles (14 SCFM compressed air consumption) in place of 1/4″ open pipe (33 SCFM of air consumption consumption) . Using the Cost Savings Calculator on the EXAIR website, model 1100 nozzle will save $1,710 in energy costs. The model 1100 nozzle costs $42, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $45 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year one is-
ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value. Payback time is only 13 working days!
If you have questions regarding ROI and need help in determining the gain and cost from invest values for a project that includes an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Recently I took a call from an existing customer that is questioning their Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit setup. They are experiencing around a 38 psig pressure drop from before the filter in the system to the inlet of the Line Vac. At first glance, they assumed this was due to the filter restricting the flow. They then posed the question, “Do I have to run this filter or can I take it out? I mean I already have a filter at my compressor.” The answer is yes, install the filter. It will keep dirt, scale and condensate from entering the Line Vac or other components downstream. In the case of a Line Vac, a filter will also prevent this unwanted debris from getting into the material being conveyed.
However, this is a great question, especially when assuming the filter is causing the pressure drop – but that was not the case for this application. So more questions were asked to our customer to determine what the root cause of the pressure drop could be. Seeing a pressure drop across a filter can be caused by several factors.
One would be an inappropriately sized filter. This can restrict the volumetric flow of air through to the point of use causing a pressure drop. All of the filters supplied with our product kits are auto-drain, have 5 micron filter elements and appropriately sized to operate the product at 80 psig inlet pressure so this was not the problem.
The next issue could be that the filter is clogged, this brought on another question. If you see more than a 5 psig pressure drop across a filter from EXAIR then we suggest changing out the filter element as it could be clogged and not permitting the full volumetric flow through. This installation was fairly new and a quick test without a filter element installed proved it was not the filter element that was clogged.
That brought us to the last variable, the length, size, and number/type of fittings between the filter and the Heavy Duty Line Vac. This length of pipe was more than 30′ in length and was only appropriately sized for a 10′ length or shorter run. The customer was using a 1/2″ Schedule 40 black iron pipe to feed a 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac at 80 psig inlet pressure. The 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit will utilize 75 SCFM at 80 psig inlet pressure. That will need a 1/2″ Sched. 40 pipe that is 10′ long or less in order to not have friction loss within the feed pipe. Armed with this information the customer is researching whether or not the line needs to stay that long. If it does, they will have to re-plumb the system with a minimum of a 3/4″ Sched. 40 black iron pipe.
Luckily this was all able to be discussed within a few hours of time and the customer is on their way to an optimal supply system for their in-line conveyor. One brief phone call took this customer from lackluster performance and thinking a product was not going to work for what they need, to performing beyond their expectations, and being able to keep up with their production needs.
If you have a product or any part of your compressed air system that you question why it may be performing or not performing a certain way, please do not hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team of Application Engineers. We are always interested in finding a solution to your needs.
It’s a longstanding joke for anyone that lives in the Cincinnati area that we can experience all (4) seasons in less than a week. This past weekend, we topped out at a high temperature of 83°F. This morning when I left the house it was a cool, crisp 37°F. With temperatures later on this week dropping below freezing, we’ve gone from the heat of summer to the cold of winter all in less than a week. These uncertain temperature fluctuations create all sorts of problems for farmers and home gardeners (like myself) as we struggle with determining the best time to plant (and rushing to cover up anything that’s already been planted!). Additionally, extreme temperature fluctuations can also cause significant issues for the electrical panels in your facility.
During times of high heat, the temperatures inside of these enclosures can reach dangerous levels. The use of fans, or worse opening the panel door, does help to keep the temperature down. But this can create even more issues. When using a fan or opening the panel door, you expose the sensitive internal electronics to any dirt, dust, debris, and even moisture from the ambient environment. Fortunately, maintaining a safe temperature and clean environment inside of your enclosure is simple.
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. The Cabinet Cooler Systems are available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel construction with Nema 4 (IP66) ratings. We also have Nema 12 (IP54) rated Cabinet Coolers that are available constructed of Stainless Steel. 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.
These systems are available with cooling capacities of anywhere 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’re experiencing heat related issues somewhere within your facility or remember the troubles that they caused you last year, contact an Application Engineer today and we’ll see to it that this summer your cabinets remain cool!
It’s easy to know that EXAIR’s vortex tubes can be used to cool down parts and other items, but did you know that our air knifes can be used to cool down these same things? It’s the same process that we do every day to cool down hot food by blowing on it. Every molecule and atom can carry a set amount of energy which is denoted by physical property called Specific Heat (Cp); this value is the ration of energy usually in Joules divided by the mass multiplied by the temperature (J/g°C). Knowing this value for one can calculate the amount of air required to cool down the object.
Starting out you should note a few standard values for this rough calculation; these values are the specific heat of Air and the specific heat of the material. Using these values and the basic heat equation we can figure out what the amount of energy is required to cool. The specific heat for dry air at sea level is going to be 1.05 J/g*C which is a good starting point for a rough calculation; as for the specific heat of the material will vary depending on the material used and the composition of the material.
If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any EXAIR’s of our products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.
Cody Biehle Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
Why should you consider a Pressure Regulator when designing your compressed air system? As many know, our products and those of other product manufacturers have a certain set of specifications regarding performance at stated input pressures. But what if your application doesn’t require that “full, rated performance”? Maybe instead of needing two pounds of force, you only need one pound? Sometimes more force does not produce the desired result for an application. By that, I mean you cause damage to the target or other surrounding items in the application. Or, perhaps blowing too hard (or vacuuming too hard in the case of a Line Vac or E-vac) might cause the vessel or the material you are picking up to collapse or deform (due to too much power).
There is also the concern about using more energy than one really needs to in order to achieve the desired effect in an application. In other words, if you can achieve your goals with only 40 PSIG, then why would you ever use 80 PSIG to accomplish the goal? By reducing your compressed air from 80 down to 40 PSIG, you can easily reduce the air consumption of the “engineered” solution by another 40% or more. Once you have installed engineered air nozzles to reduce compressed air on blow off applications, a pressure regulator can fine tune the pressure to save even more energy.
Then there is the issue of taking advantage of the pressure differential (from 80 down to 40 PSIG) that creates a little bit more air volume capacity. At 80 PSIG, your compressed air to free air volume ratio is 6.4:1. At 40 PSIG, it is only 3.7:1. The net effect is you effectively have an overall larger volume of air you can use for other applications in your facility. By reducing compressed air pressure of your demand applications, you may be able to reduce over all compressor discharge pressure. Reducing compressor discharge pressure by 2 PSIG also reduces required input power by 1 percent – so keep your pressure as low as possible!
Regulating pressure is definitely warranted given the benefits that compliment the operation of the core EXAIR products.
If you need a deeper understanding about how EXAIR’s products can help your application, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to give you a clear understanding of all the benefits that can be had by our products’ use as well as proper implementation of accessory items such as compressed air filters and regulators.
How did a past inventor help generate efficient compressed air products for EXAIR? In the early 20th century, Henri Coanda who was a Romanian aeronautical engineer that built an experimental Coanda-1910 airplane. There are some debates if the airplane actually flew, but he invented a curved surface for a wing to generate a Coanda effect. The Coanda effect is the “tendency of a fluid jet to stay attached to a convex surface”1. Thus, a moving stream of fluid will follow the curvature of the surface rather than continuing to travel in a straight line. The Wright Brothers who flew the first airplane in the state where EXAIR is located, Ohio, used the Coanda effect to create lift. With a curved profile, the air will adhere to the surface, causing a low pressure which makes the airplane fly.
EXAIR uses this Coanda profile to make some of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products™. Like the airplane wing, our curved surface will also create a low pressure. How does this help? Well, high pressure will always travel to low pressure. Instead of lift, we use the low air pressure to entrain ambient air. This ratio is what we call the amplification ratio. The higher the amplification ratio, the higher the efficiency for a blowing device. Two main compressed air products that EXAIR manufactures use this type of profile; Air Knives and Air Amplifiers. I will cover both below.
The Air Knives that use the Coanda profile blows air along the length of the knife at a 90o angle from the exit. We offer two types; the Standard Air Knife and the Full Flow Air Knife. The Standard Air Knives are made in Aluminum or Stainless Steel with blowing widths up to 48” (1219mm). The inlet ports are at each end; so, the overall length is 1” (25mm) longer. The Full Flow Air Knives have the port or ports on the back. The air blows out the entire length of the air knife. The maximum length is 36” (914mm).
Both types of air knives use the Coanda profile to generate a low pressure as the air exits the gap and “hugs” the curve (reference photo above). This low pressure draws ambient air into the air stream at a 30:1 amplification ratio for both the Standard Air Knife and Full Flow Air Knife. So, for every one part of compressed air, we entrain 30 parts of ambient air. Besides efficiency, it also adds mass to the air stream for a hard-hitting force. With this engineered profile, the air stream is laminar which gives a consistent force across the entire length and reduces noise levels. Not only will they save you money, but they are also OSHA safe.
The Air Amplifiers use the Coanda profile in a circular form to pull in dramatic amounts of free surrounding air. The Coanda effect is able to generate a low pressure to blow air for cooling, cleaning or removing smoke and debris efficiently and quietly. The Air Knives above blow a flat stream of air while the Air Amplifiers will blow a conical air stream. They can reach amplification ratios up to 25:1. The Super Air Amplifiers use a patented shim to increase efficiency.
Unlike fans, they blow a laminar air stream for quick cooling. They do not have any moving parts or motors to wear, so they are very quiet. EXAIR manufactures five different sizes from ¾” (19mm) to 8” (203mm). The Adjustable Air Amplifiers have a plug that can be adjusted to control the blowing force from a breeze to a blast. For cleaning surfaces, this is a nice feature to “dial” in to exactly what you need. We also manufacture five different sizes in aluminum and stainless steel ranging from ¾” (19mm) to 4” (102mm). Both Air Amplifiers can be attached to ducts to remove debris, heat or smoke from the area.
Utilizing the Coanda effect allows for massive compressed air savings. Whether it is a flat or round air stream, EXAIR can do this with high amplification ratios. If you would like to discuss further how our Air Knives or Air Amplifiers can help you in your applications, please contact us. An Application Engineer will be happy to help you. History has shown us a way to increase efficiency when using compressed air. And you can take advantage of it with the Coanda profile. Thank you Mr. Henri Coanda.
EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products have no moving parts and require no maintenance. Most EXAIR products require no direct maintenance, and will continue to require no maintenance if the supplied air is clean. Keeping air clean, in EXAIR’s case, can be done with a simple water/dirt or oil filter separator close to the application of the product – usually within 10 feet. The reason for the filters is that many products have very tight orifices that could get clogged from contaminants such as particulate, condensate, and lubricant.
Oil is commonly present in a compressed air supply, whether that’s intentional or not. Many air compressors are lubricated by a constant supply of oil, inevitably some of this oil ends up in the air supply. As the compressor wears, more oil is permitted to pass and ends up in the distribution system. While this is kept to a minimum with proper maintenance, it is impossible to prevent unless using an oil-free compressor.
Sometimes oil is present in the air supply intentionally. Many pneumatic devices require a precise amount of oil to keep the internal moving parts lubricated. In the case of EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, we recommend particulate-free, moisture-free, and oil-free air.
EXAIR offers a line of Oil Removal Filters. These coalescing style filters are used to remove very fine water vapor as well as any residual oil. These filters are highly recommended to be installed just prior to dryers that contain a media that would be compromised by lubricant passing through it. Coalescing filters utilize an element typically made up of glass fibers that “coalesce”, or combine, the fine water vapor and oil aerosols until the droplet size becomes large enough that it drops off into the filter bowl. With a coalescing filter, the most common cause of pressure drop increase is due to particulate clogging the element. Because of this, a particulate filter should always be installed just prior to coalescing filters. Check out this video demonstrating an Auto-Drain Filter and Oil-Removal Filter in action:
Without filtration, oil in the air supply will pass through the point of use device and into your product or process. The elimination of this problem is such a simple solution. Don’t neglect your compressed air system and ensure you’re delivering clean, dry, oil-free air to all of your EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products.