In my last blog, I went over How to Choose/Build an E-Vac system, and you can read about that here– The E-Vac’s are a compressed air powered, single stage vacuum generator, providing a low cost solution for creating a vacuum for many applications. Today, we will look at the many accessories that are available to complete a vacuum system best suited to your vacuum application.
For pick and place operations and hold down or clamping processes, we offer an array of Vacuum Cups. Available from stock are small and large Round, Oval, and Bellows styles. Round cups are best suited for smooth, flat surfaces. Oval cups provide the most vacuum due to the larger surface area, making them ideal for lifting heavy loads. The Bellows style is best suited for textured or uneven surfaces, where the folds provide a collapsible area that allows the cup to compress and seal to the uneven surface.
For vacuum processes where personnel are nearby, there are two (2) types of mufflers available to reduce the sound level to comply with the limits OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95(a) has established. The EXAIR E-Vac Mufflers are designed so that the E-Vac exhaust is not impeded, so that the highest and fastest vacuum response is achieved. The Standard Muffler (for use with In-Line E-Vacs only) has a closed end and is best suited for vacuum draws that are free from dust and debris. The Straight Through Muffler is open all the way through and is recommended for those vacuum draws where there will be dirt and debris, since it will not plug up. The Straight Through style offers the best sound level reduction, up to 26 dBA.
The vacuum port of the E-Vacs has an NPT threaded connection and with a suitable connector, a vacuum cup can be closely installed, minimizing the system air volume. When vacuum cups are to be remotely mounted, Push-In Connector Type Fittings of assorted styles are available along with the polyurethane tubing to make the installation and vacuum plumbing a cinch.
And finally, to get the best performance and maintenance free operation from your E-Vac, always use a source of clean, dry compressed air. We can help you do that with a wide array of Automatic Drain Filter Separators and Oil Removal Filters sized to pair up with the various E-Vac’s. Also available are Pressure Regulators, Vacuum Gauges, Manual Shut Off Valves, Solenoid Valves, and Compressed Air Hose.
If you have questions about E-Vacs and accessories or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
One Christmas, a long time ago, my Mother In Law gave me a beautifully wrapped present, and a great big smile. I opened it up…it was an extension cord. One of those heavy duty orange, indoor/outdoor, 100 foot long models. I returned her smile, while thinking about all the things I might be able to use it for…and not coming up with anything really solid.
As the family continued to open presents, she disappeared into the other room, and came back with a much larger package and handed it to me…still with that great big smile. It was a convertible string trimmer; one that worked as a ‘weed eater’ or, with a twist of the handle, an edger. And it was electrically operated…NOW I knew what the extension cord was for. As great and useful a gift it was – eighteen years on, and I’m almost competent at edging the sidewalk – I got a valuable lesson from it: accessories make a great gift better. Since then, I’ve always thoughtfully considered:
If I give someone a battery operated gift, I give them batteries too.
If it comes with its own rechargeable battery, I carefully open the package and charge it up, before I wrap it up.
If accessories are available, I think about how they might use it. I’ve even presented them with the accessory first, in tribute to my wonderful wife’s wonderful Mom.
If there’s a “deluxe” or “premium” version, sometimes it’s worth it to just go all out…again, after consideration of how they might use it.
Now, this is not only the case with presents…many household, commercial, or industrial products offer Deluxe or Premium packages…like the EXAIR Chip Vac System.
At the most basic level, a Model 6193 Chip Vac System for 55 Gallon Drum is all you need to turn an existing drum into a powerful, reliable, durable industrial vacuum. It comes with a lid & latch ring, Filter Bag, 10 foot vacuum hose, a set of plastic tools, and of course, the Chip Vac itself. All you need for simple, on-the-spot cleanup purposes.
Sometimes you might have (literally) more ground to cover: the Model 6293 Deluxe Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility, and a Tool Holder to keep the attachments handy.
Other times, you may just be looking for a complete system, ready to handle everything, right out of the box. Enter the Model 6393 Premium 55 Gallon Chip Vac System, which adds a heavy duty steel drum, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & Static Resistant Vacuum Hose, and a 20ft Compressed Air Supply Hose with Pressure Gauge & Shutoff Valve.
With no moving parts to wear and no electrical components to burn out, the EXAIR Chip Vac is a virtually maintenance free replacement for noisy, damage-prone electric vacuums. If you’d like to find out just how handy they are, give me a call.
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EXAIR offers different styles of hoses and tubes as accessories to our product lines. They are built and designed to easily fit with our products as well as being sized correctly to not affect performance. It simplifies the use, setup, and integration of EXAIR products in your facility. You do not have to determine the proper diameters, pressure ratings, or end fittings to best fit the EXAIR products to maximize their performance. Also, having these items available from one source minimizes the number of purchases and vendors necessary for a complete and working solution. In this article, I will go over the different hoses and tubes that EXAIR can provide.
The hoses above are used with our Air Operated Conveyors or Line Vacs. The Line Vacs are designed to move product from point A to point B. If the Line Vac is the “vehicle”, the Conveyance Hose is the track. The hoses are made of a durable PVC semi-flexible hose with 6 different diameters from ¾” I.D. to 3” I.D. The conveyance hose can slip easily onto the EXAIR non-threaded style of Line Vacs. EXAIR can cut-to-length Conveying Hoses up to 50 feet (15m); in increments of 10 feet (3m).
To get compressed air from the piping system to the Safety Air Guns, we offer a series of Coiled Hoses. They are made of a durable abrasion-resistant nylon material that is 12 feet long (3.6 meters). They have swivel fittings to allow for easy uncoiling, and a spring strain relief to keep the hose from kinking. The coiled design makes it easy to reach around the work area and retract back to the substation. This will help to keep the hose off the ground where potential dangers could occur. We offer 3 different connection sizes of 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and 3/8” NPT to attach right to the Safety Air Guns. With the proper size, the Coiled Hoses can supply the required amount of compressed air with a minimal amount of pressure drop.
Compressed Air Hoses:
If you need a compressed air line to reach from overhead or around equipment, the EXAIR Compressed Air Hoses would work with these applications. They are made from a reinforced synthetic rubber in 3/8” I.D. and 1/2” I.D. diameters. We can make specific lengths up to 50 feet (15m). They are rated for 250 PSIG (17 bar) air pressure, and the hose material works well for long lasting protection against ozone, weathering and temperatures up to 158oF (70oC). They come with two male ends in ¼” NPT or ½” NPT.
Stay Set Hoses:
The Stay Set Hose gives you that possibility of manually adjusting or re-adjusting Super Air Nozzles. The hose has a “memory” function, and it will not creep or droop until you physically move it. They work well to direct air flows in specific target areas. They can be used with Super Air Nozzles, Safety Air Guns and Blow-off Kits. The Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6” (15cm) to 36” (91cm), and they are offered with ¼” NPT male on both ends or with a 1/8” NPT female and a ¼” NPT male connections. These hoses are rated for 250 PSIG (17 bar) and are made from reinforced synthetic rubber. If positioning is required for accurate blowing or re positioning for different areas, the Stay Set Hose would be a nice addition to your equipment.
For our E-Vac product line, EXAIR offers vacuum hoses to connect the E-Vac vacuum generators to the suction cups. They are made from polyurethane in ¼” O.D. and 3/8” O.D. The tubing is very flexible for moving product, and they can resist the vacuum pressures created by the E-Vac. They slip easily into our Push-In Connectors to quickly attach vacuum cups to the E-Vac system. EXAIR can sell both types of tubing up to 50 feet (15m) in increments of 10 feet (3m).
Hoses and tubes may seem like simple things, but EXAIR already did all the research in determining the best material and correct size for optimum performance. You can leverage this information to save you time and money when using EXAIR products in your application. If you need help in selecting the correct model, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help you.
The word “accessory” can come with some baggage… it’s become synonymous with “add-on” and “up-sell,” and cost-mindful consumers may see them as just another way for a slick salesperson to make an extra buck. And frankly, they wouldn’t have that reputation if there wasn’t some truth to it. The server at your favorite restaurant will offer appetizers, or recommend side dishes to go with your entree. If you go to buy a new car, you’ll get a pitch for a variety of aftermarket add-ons. The paint counter folks at the hardware store always tell me what specific brush and/or rollers I should use with the paint I’m buying…and it’s never the 10-pack of economy brushes that costs less than the single, premium quality brush they recommend. In all of these cases, these employees are trained, constantly encouraged, and hopefully rewarded on the success of these “up-sell” strategies.
Of course, my boys and I can devour even the largest plate of chili cheese nachos long before the rest of meal comes out. My wife absolutely loves the remote starter function that the dealership installed on the new car she bought last year. And, if you’ve ever painted a well-lit room, you know the difference between a $1 paint brush and a $10 paint brush. So if my server gets a little bigger tip, my car dealer salesperson gets a little more commission, or the paint counter folks get a bonus, then it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
EXAIR carries a variety of accessories for our Intelligent Compressed Air Products. Some aid in mounting & installation:
Others make it easy to ensure adequate supply conditions:
The performance of many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can be altered by replacing the shim:
In addition to these product-specific accessories, EXAIR carries a complete line of:
*Filter Separators to remove water, dirt, and rust from your compressed air system. Our Automatic Drain Filter Separators have a 5 micron particulate element, and a centrifugal vane to remove moisture.
*Oil Removal Filters with coalescing elements that remove any trace of oil, and also provide additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.
*Pressure Regulators, so you can “dial in” the performance you need, so you don’t overpower the application, or waste compressed air. They come in sizes from 1/4 NPT to 1-1/4 NPT, and are rated for flows up to 700 SCFM. A pressure gauge provides accurate indication of outlet pressure, and the adjustment cap can be removed to prevent tampering.
*Silencing Mufflers to reduce work area noise from compressed air exhausting from pneumatic cylinders, valves, etc. There are several styles to choose from, depending on your needs:
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, with minimal back pressure restriction, and come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2 NPT.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer noise reduction up to 20 dB, and come in sizes from 1/4 NPT (up to 22 SCFM) to 3/4 NPT (up to 73 SCFM.)
Heavy Duty Mufflers have an internal stainless steel screen that not only protects the exhausting components from environmental contamination, but also keeps air system contaminants from being ejected at high speed into the work area.
Reclassifying Mufflers are an upgrade to the Sintered Bronze Mufflers and provide the highest level of noise reduction – up to 35 dB. They also trap oil mist, eliminating breathing hazards to personnel.
*12 ft Coiled Hoses (1/4″ or 3/8″ ID) and Compressed Air Hose (3/8″ or 1/2″ ID; up to 50ft lengths) can be provided with any Intelligent Compressed Air Product. We also have a full supply of fittings (tees, elbows, nipples, couplers, reducers, etc.) and adapters to fit our Super Air Nozzles to your existing air guns or blow off devices.
*Receiver Tanks are used to store a ready supply of compressed air. If you have an intermittent demand of sufficient size, it can cause a pressure transient in your system, which can drag down the ability to supply other points of use. Installed near the point of intermittent demand, they prevent pressure & volume fluctuations, keeping the operators at all points of use happy. Model 9500-60 Receiver Tank has a capacity of 60 gallons, is rated to 200psig, and meets ASME pressure vessel code.
In closing, let me offer the following advice that’s served me well over the years:
*Be mindful of the valued added by the accessories & add-ons you’re presented during a purchase of capital equipment…or anything else, really. Don’t buy something you don’t need, but if you need it…well…it’s OK to buy it.
*Don’t skimp on quality. Odds are, if an accessory is offered by the manufacturer of the product, it’s going to work well for you. They should be able to tell you if it will or won’t if you discuss your needs with them. I know I will if you call me to discuss a compressed air product application.
*Get the big plate of nachos, especially if you’re dining with teenagers.
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Everyday here at EXAIR we talk about pressure, specifically compressed air pressure. The other day I was looking up our model 9011, 1/4″ NPT Pressure Gauge , and it got me to wondering just how does this small piece of industrial equipment work. The best way to find out is to tear it apart.
Most mechanical gauges utilize a Bourdon-tube. The Bourdon-tube was invented in 1849 by a French watchmaker, Eugéne Bourdon. The movable end of the Bourdon-tube is connected via a pivot pin/link to the lever. The lever is an extension of the sector gear, and movement of the lever results in rotation of the sector gear. The sector gear meshes with a spur gear (not visible) on the indicator needle axle which passes through the gauge face and holds the indicator needle. Lastly, there is a small hair spring in place to put tension on the gear system to eliminate gear lash and hysteresis.
When the pressure inside the Bourdon-tube increases, the Bourdon-tube will straighten. The amount of straightening that occurs is proportional to the pressure inside the tube. As the tube straightens, the movement engages the link, lever and gear system that results in the indicator needle sweeping across the gauge.
The video below shows the application of air pressure to the Bourdon-tube and how it straightens, resulting in movement of the link/lever system, and rotation of the sector gear – resulting in the needle movement.
If you need a pressure gauge or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Recently, I worked with a production engineer at a Tier 1 supplier for the auto industry. An upcoming project was in the works to install a new line to produce headlight lenses. As a part of the process, there was to be a “De-static / Blow-off” station, where a shuttle system would bring a pair of the parts to a station where they would be blown off and any static removed prior to being transferred to a painting fixture and sent off for painting. For best results, the lenses were to be dust and lint free and have no static charge, ensuring a perfect paint result.
The customer was limited in compressed air supply volume in the area of the plant where this process was to occur. 50 SCFM of 80 PSIG was the expected air availability at peak use times, which posed a problem – the Super Ion Air Knives would need up to 105 SCFM if operated at 80 PSIG. A further review of the design parameters for the process revealed that the system needed to blow air for only 4 seconds and would be off for 25 seconds to meet the target throughput.
This scenario lends itself perfectly to the use of a Receiver Tank. Running all of the design numbers into the calculations, showed that the 60 Gallon Receiver Tank we offer, would allow for a 20 second run-time, and require 13.1 seconds to refill. These figures were well within the requires times, and would allow for the system to work as needed, without having to do anything to the compressed air supply system.
The moral of the story is – if you have a process that is intermittent, and the times for and between blow-off, drying, or cooling allows, a Receiver Tank can be used to allow you to get the most of your available compressed air system.
Note – Lee Evans wrote an easy to follow blog that details the principle and calculations of Receiver Tanks, and it is worth your time to read here.
If you would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
So, you’ve selected a quiet, efficient, and safe EXAIR Super Air Nozzle for your blow off application – good call! – and now you’re thinking about how to install it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as replacing whatever you’re using right now:
Or maybe you’re using an open end blow off…in which case, you’re just an adapter away:
Perhaps, though, it’s a new installation, or the existing supply lines aren’t suitable for one reason or another. In those cases, we’ve still got you covered…consider the EXAIR Stay Set Hose:
Available in a variety of lengths from 6″ to 36″, they’re positionable, and re-positionable with a simple bending action. They won’t kink or easily fatigue like copper tubing. The supply end is 1/4 MNPT, and you have your choice of 1/4 MNPT or 1/8 FNPT on the other end, depending on which Super Air Nozzle, Air Jet you need to use it with.
We also offer Blow Off Systems, which are a combination of a specific Air Nozzle (or Air Jet,) fitted to a Stay Set Hose:
For added convenience and ease of installation, these products can also come with a Magnetic Base:
From the beginning in 1983, EXAIR’s focus has been on being easy to do business with, and that goes from our friendly customer service to our expert technical support to our 99.9% on-time shipments (22 years and running) to designing our engineered products and value-added accessories with efficiency, safety, and ease of installation in mind. If you want to find out more, give me a call.