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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Cold Gun Keeps Analyzer 31°F Cooler to Prevent Failure

A few months ago I had worked with a customer on a finned heat sink, cooling application. The heat sink is part of their TOC analyzer which is a device that detects and measures total organic carbon levels found in a fluid sample. The part of the plant where the analyzers are located has several pieces of equipment generating heat in the ambient environment close to 110°F. When the temperature gets this high, the analyzers begin to overheat, resulting in faulty readings and they will ultimately shut down. They were wanting to install a device that could blow cold air across the heat sink on the analyzer to prevent it from overheating.

After discussing the application with the customer, I recommended our Model # 5315 Cold Gun Aircoolant System with two cold outlets. The Cold Gun produces a 50°F temperature drop from compressed air supply temperature and provides 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. For example, if your compressed air supply temperature is 70°F you would effectively see 20°F air being discharged from the cold exhaust. The Dual Point Hose Kit splits the cold airflow into 2 separate streams, providing for a wider coverage area.

5315_SCGdual

Model # 5315 Cold Gun System with dual point hose kit

The customer decided to order a single unit and after a week of testing replied back…

“We tried one a week ago with excellent results! We are installing three more today.  The other five will be here today and tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your help! Our analyzer is running 31°F cooler than it had been with no more overtemp failures!”

It goes without mentioning, but this is the type of positive feedback we are thrilled to hear! It feels incredible when a customer takes time out of their busy schedule to acknowledge how EXAIR products provided the perfect solution for their needs!

BUT the story doesn’t end there… just last week, over 2 months since our last correspondence, the customer sent me another email that read…

“Just a follow up on the effectiveness of the cold air guns. We have not experienced a single failure of our TOC analyzers since the guns were installed two months ago.

The cold air solved the problem of our analyzer overheating — even during the hottest part of the summer.

Thank you for your excellent recommendation!”

I let the customer know how much we appreciated the awesome news and how happy we were to be able to solve their problem. At the end of the day, that’s what we strive for, to provide the best and largest selection of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the market today.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

 

 

EXAIR Has Solutions For Skin Problems (Really)

The EXAIR Chip Trapper filters solid debris from your coolant that can not only clog the supply lines to the tooling, but also provide a LOT of surface area for the growth of bacteria. This can really foul the air in a machine shop, and sometimes, it can mess with your skin, causing a rash or infection. Honestly, this isn’t a HUGE problem…I’ve fielded a handful of calls about it over the years, though, so when I got the call from a machinist last week who wanted to talk about a possible solution for a skin problem, I immediately thought of the Chip Trapper.

Well, immediately after I thought about this old commercial (I’ve written before about how I watched way too much television growing up. Don’t judge.)

Turns out, though, his problem wasn’t bacterial – it was an allergic reaction he was having with a specific additive in the coolant used on a particular machine tool. He mentioned that it was a mist coolant application, so I immediately thought of the Cold Gun Aircoolant System.

Of, course, right after I thought about this commercial (seriously; stop judging.)

To my knowledge, it’s the first time we’ve ever applied a Cold Gun to solve a skin problem – we’re almost always looking at them to avoid the mess of coolant spray, or to increase tool life in situations where traditional machine tool coolant is impractical (or impossible) to use.

With four distinct models to choose from, we've got a Cold Gun System to meet your needs.

With four distinct models to choose from, we’ve got a Cold Gun System to meet your needs.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR products can save you from:

*Excessive compressed air consumption
*High sound levels
*Static charge problems
*Heat damage to your electronics
*Labor intensive “bucket and ladder” bulk conveyance operations
*Trips to the dermatologist (no, really)

Then give me a call.  We can even talk about vintage TV commercials (I won’t judge either.)

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Multiple Choice

My oldest son got his driver’s license last week.  There was a popular commercial for an insurance company, a while back, that touted how “life comes at you fast,” and that’s been the story of my week:

Friday: Son passes driver’s exam, first time, 100%. Proud Dad moment.
Saturday: Dad & Son go used car shopping. Pride has a price tag.
Sunday: Dad & Son bond while detailing new (to us) car. Son learns what to do when engine in 10 year old car stalls while backing out of driveway cold. Pride usually is followed by lesson in humility.
Monday: Mom adds Son to auto insurance policy. Insurance agent no longer concerned about funding retirement. Pride is getting expensive.
Monday part 2: Son learns valuable lesson about leaving lights on when parking at school in pre-dawn hours. Dad’s portable jumpstarter finds new home in trunk of Son’s car. Lessons in humility have caused pride to approach pre-licensing levels.
Tuesday-present: Enjoying what we can of a return to incident-free normalcy (and I hope I didn’t just jinx it by putting that in writing.)

We had quite a few choices, looking at cars in our (limited) budget range. Having these choices allowed us to choose the features that most appealed to us. They were pretty much all small-to-mid-size used cars with automatic transmissions and fuel efficient (read: small) engines. The one we settled on was the same model (and a year newer) as one I’d owned previously. It was one that had proved reliable, and safe…I was in an accident in that one where the air bag deployed, and I walked away with no injuries. Safety is a big selling point for me, especially where my family is involved.

When we speak with customers at EXAIR, many times, we too, can offer multiple choices to provide a solution.

I had the pleasure of helping a caller with a chip removal application recently. The application was to solve a problem with stringy chips wrapping around a plastic cylindrical part as it was turned on a lathe. The initial thought was to use a Super Air Nozzle to blow them away. Our Model 1100 1/4 NPT Zinc Aluminum Super Air Nozzle was discussed…inexpensive, low air consumption, easy to mount (we also talked about Stay Set Hoses and Magnetic Bases,) and super quiet.

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle is commonly used in point-of-cutting debris removal applications.

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle is commonly used in point-of-cutting debris removal applications.

The second thought was to use a small Line Vac to convey the debris away. Small footprint, easy to install, collection of waste in a receptacle away from the machine, still easy on air use & noise level.

Model 6080 3/4" Line Vac is also used in point-of-machining applications, removing debris from the site altogether.

Model 6080 3/4″ Line Vac is also used in point-of-machining applications, removing debris from the site altogether.

The third option came up when discussing tool life. Turns out, one of their machinists was familiar with our Cold Guns, and how they had been used to markedly improve tool life while eliminating the need for coolant at a previous job. This turned out to be all it took for them to try the Model 5215 Cold Gun Aircoolant System.

EXAIR's Cold Guns not only blow debris away, but also provide cooling for tool life improvement.

EXAIR’s Cold Guns not only blow debris away, but also provide cooling for tool life improvement.  With (4) Models to choose from, we’ve got the right one for your needs.

Any of the three options – Super Air Nozzle, Line Vac, or Cold Gun – should have solved this application successfully, with different benefits. They simply chose the one with the benefits that appealed to them the most.

If you have an application regarding compressed air product use that you’d like to discuss, give me a call. We’ll cover all the bases, and get the one that works best for you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Multiple Products Provide a Solution to Improve a Laminated Sign Making Process

A manufacturer that produces laminated signs contacted EXAIR for a blow off application. Being that we are experts in this area, I thought this would be a simple solution. The conversation started out about the signs that they manufacture. They are laminated sheets that have a thin aluminum film with a coating on the front and back sides. Their process was to cut stacks of these signs that he called books to specific dimensions. Here is how the conversation went in a shortened version:

Problem –

  1. I need to blow off chips from the saw process.
  2. It has to be strong enough to remove the chips that are melted into the face of the laminate.
  3. When the blade gets dull, the chips become hotter. The operator has to blow on the blade as it is cutting to reduce the amount of chips that melt into the laminated face.
  4. After the machine finishes and the books are removed, the table lifts up and disposes of the excess chips.

Solution –

  1.  Model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle to blow a wide area off the top of the signs after sawing.
Model 1122: 2

2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle

2.  Model 5330 High Power Cold Gun with dual point hose to place on the saw blade. This will extend the life of the blade and help keep the chips cool. Eliminating the melting into the face.

5330 High Power Cold Air Gun

High Power Cold Gun System

3.  Model: 110248 Super Air Knife Kit to blow the chips from the table after it is lifted.

Super Air Knife

Super Air Knife

As you can see, with a simple initial question, it became complicated rather quickly. Instead of looking at one area of the application, I was able to improve their entire process. In any manufacturing plant, scrap and downtime are the two biggest culprits in reducing profits. The scrap occurred when the faces were scratched and damaged. The downtime happened during the cleanup between book change-overs and when the saw blades were being replaced. Overall, their process improved in efficiency and speed.

Whenever you need to look at the overall process for improvement, EXAIR may have multiple solutions to offer. You can speak to an Application Engineer to see how EXAIR can increase your efficiency and reduce your scrap. You can either call 800-903-9247 or send an email to techhelp@exair.com.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

Big Or Small, We’ve Got ‘Em All! Vortex Tubes, That Is

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about using large Vortex Tubes for freeze sealing/plugging of pipes. Even though they’re our LARGE Vortex Tubes, they’re still WAY smaller than the liquid nitrogen rigs that are also prevalent for this application. Smaller, in this case, means easier to handle and quicker to set up (and break down.)

So, that’s a case where a smaller device is used to do the same job. Today, I wanted to examine the different sizes of Vortex Tubes that we offer, when the job itself is what’s changing in size.

The Large Vortex Tubes are specified when a high flow of cold air is needed. Like the aforementioned freeze seals. Or this one, published in our catalog:

This is a typical application for a Large Vortex Tube.

This is a typical application for a Large Vortex Tube.

Our Medium Vortex Tubes are the most popular – there are ten to choose from, depending on the cold air flow rate and temperature you’re looking for. These can produce temperatures as cold as -40°F (-40°C) when set to a 20% Cold Fraction (which is the percentage of total supply air that’s directed to the cold end) and cold air flows as high as 32 SCFM when set to an 80% Cold Fraction, which will produce a cold air temperature of about 20°F (-7°C). Some common uses are cooling ultrasonic welds and brazed joints.

The Medium Vortex Tubes are so popular, in fact, that they’re incorporated into our Adjustable Spot Cooler and Cold Gun Systems. They come ready-to-go with mufflers, cold air hose kits, and magnetic bases, so they couldn’t be easier to use.

The Small Vortex Tubes are great when very low flows are needed, or if compressed air supply is limited. These are specified for much smaller applications, like cooling the needle of a sewing machine, small drill bits, etc. You can also get one with a cold air hose & magnetic base…that’s the Mini Cooler System.

Another advantage that makes the Vortex Tubes a great choice for cold air production is their consistency and dependability. If you supply one with clean, dry air, it’ll operate just about indefinitely, maintenance free. And if you need a constant supply of air as a certain temperature, say, for testing a thermostat or temperature switch, a Vortex Tube is exactly what you’re looking for: the only things that’ll change the cold air temperature are the compressed air supply temperature & pressure…assuming you don’t change the Cold Fraction yourself, as shown here:

If you’ve got an application requiring cold air flow, give us a call. We’re eager to help!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Cold Gun Aircoolant System Improves Welding Operation

I received a call from a manufacturer that has a spiral welding operation. They create tubes and pipes from metal strips that are welded together in a continuous operation. The material is placed into the machine and twisted in a way to create a butt seam along the edge for welding. The edge has to be shaved to create a welding seam. Because of the speed of operation, the mechanical trimmer that prepares the edge was getting dull. The operation had to be stop for replacement. Understanding the costs associated with down time, they wanted to improve the length of time before replacement.

He called EXAIR to see if we can offer a solution. With this process, he could not use liquid coolant, as it would affect the welding operation. I suggested that we should use the Cold Gun Aircoolant System. It is designed to improve the life of tools by removing heat that causes premature failure. The Cold Gun produces a cold air stream at 50 deg. F (28 deg. C) below supply air temperature. I recommended the model 5230 High Power Cold Gun for his operation. Because it has the highest cooling capacity and force, it will keep the trimmer cool and clean. The down time was reduced by half, making the manufacturer happy that they called EXAIR.

Cold Gun Lineup

When liquid coolant cannot be used in an application or the tools are dulling quickly on a dry machining process, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to get the correct Cold Gun Aircoolant System.

 

 

 

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

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