Standard Air Wipes™ Clean Agriculture Drain Pipes

Standard Air Wipe Family

Being in Ohio, I have gone by many farmlands with rolls of black polyethylene tubes in the fields.   They use these tubes to place in the ground to create proper drainage in the fields. A manufacturer of these agricultural drain pipes sent me a video of their operation.  After the pipe was extruded, they would run it through a wash system to cool the pipe.  After the wash system, they needed to remove the water from a 4” (102mm) diameter pipe at a speed of 70 feet per minute (21 meters per minute).  They designed a home-made device that used a blower-system to blow the water off the pipe (reference photo below).  Since the pipe had ribs and the blower system is at a much lower force, the removal rate of water was only around 75%.  They needed a way to get the pipe dryer before packaging. 

This company made plastic pipe ranging from 4” (102mm) to 10” (254mm) in diameter.  When they searched for pipe and tube blow-off devices, they came across the Standard Air Wipes from EXAIR.  The design of the Standard Air Wipe blows compressed air at a 30-degree angle toward the center in a 360-degree air pattern, just like a cone.  It uses a Coanda profile to maximize the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air stream to produce a strong force.  As a non-contact wiping device; the Standard Air Wipe is very efficient and very powerful. 

For this application, I recommended the model 2485 5” Standard Air Wipe Kit.  This kit includes our Standard Air Wipe, a Filter Separator, a Regulator, and a Shim Set.  With a ½” or 13mm clearance, it gave ample room to allow the 4” (102mm) pipe to travel through without touching and to allow for ambient air entrainment.  The Filter Separator will remove bulk liquids and debris from the compressed air to keep the unit performing optimally and to keep the pipe from getting dirty.  The Regulator is used to control the amount of force.  This helps to not over-use the amount of compressed air required for the cleaning.  With a Regulator, you can make fine adjustments to get the proper amount of air while the shims in the Shim Set will give you coarse adjustments.  With the Regulator and Shim Set together, you can “dial” in the correct amount of force required for the different speeds.  The Standard Air Wipe Kits will give you the most versatility in your system to optimize the 360-degree blow-off. 

As they removed their home-made unit and attached the Super Air Wipe, they noticed some great things.  The speed of production was increased by about 10% which matched the maximum speed of the machine.  The water removal from the surface was near 100% even in the rib area.  (Some acceptable “overlaps” in the extrusion process was cleared by QC).  They also noticed that the Standard Air Wipe was much quieter; near 82 dBA at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar).  The nearby operators were very happy with this choice as the blower-type system was very loud.  And, with no moving parts, the Air Wipe was able to remove the maintenance requirements for the blower system and used a much smaller footprint.  Also, we use a split design to mount the Standard Air Wipe around the outside of the pipe without cutting into the extruded lengths.

With the creation of the EXAIR Standard Air Wipes; uniform cleaning, cooling, and blowing around the outside of parts is a simple task.  You don’t have to worry about many nozzles to target the circumference, or a fabricated blow-off device that will waste time and money.  At EXAIR, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee for U.S. and Canadian customers.  This customer used the 30-day trial to try the Standard Air Wipe.  After the testing, they will now purchase the model 2491 11” Standard Air Wipe Kit for their largest pipe.  You can order them from our website at www.EXAIR.com or call us at 800-903-9247.  If you need help in selecting the proper size for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help. 

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

316SS Sanitary Flange Air Operated Conveyors Pull Corn Meal Quality Samples

Agriculture, it’s a word that invokes a lot of imagery. From the vast rolling fields, to animals roaming, to a simple life of tending to the land. For some it is the perfect life of hard work and simple living. Agriculture can make one think of tractors, heavy equipment, silos, fencing, and much more. But there is one thing that does not typically come to mind, and that is compressed air. Even though compressed air is not commonly thought of being used in agriculture does not mean that it cannot be used. In fact, it can be very useful.

In one application a manufacturer of corn meal needed to take a sample of the product to test the moisture content and quality before it was loaded into a rail car. The lab tech use to have to go out to the silo to scoop up about a pint and transport it back to the lab to be tested. To eliminate the manual retrieval and delivery of the corn meal EXAIR recommended a model #163300-316 3″ St. St. Sanitary Flange Line Vac Kit and was sold to the customer. A system of 100ft of pipe was installed from the silo to the lab so that the test sample could be conveyed by the Line Vac directly to the lab to be tested. This simple fix improved the reliability of the sample and decreased the time it takes to grab a sample. Along with the added benefit that now the lab tech does not need to walk over and scoop the sample out of the container or off the ground.

EXAIR’s Family of Sanitary Flange Line Vacs

Line Vacs are a great product for conveying bulk material from point A to point B and excel with “bucket and ladder” type scenarios where personnel is manually loading or unloading batches of material or scrap. EXAIR’s Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications involving food as the internal components are smooth and can be cleaned out easily and sanitized. With a 316 Stainless Steel body the unit provides superior corrosion resistance and can withstand most caustic cleaners and oxidants. The flange style connection also makes it easy to hook up and remove for cleaning purposes.

Model 161200-316 – 316 Stainless Steel Sanitary Flange Line Vac

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs are all made from 316 Stainless Steel and come in four sizes: 1-1/2”, 2”, 2-1/2”, and 3”.

If you are interested in more applications, check out our application database on our Website. Or if you have any questions on our Line Vacs 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
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Compressed Air in Farming and Agriculture

I used to help my father-in-law around his farm and this city boy had his eyes opened when he realized it was more than shovels, tractors and livestock. Agriculture is vital for human existence and has become far more advanced over the centuries with a continual thirst for efficiency and technology. Agriculture is just like many other industries looking for continued ways to increase yield, improve quality, maximize labor and improve technology.

EXAIR has many products used in the agriculture and food processing industries. The following details a few example by product line how we can influence efficiencies and quality of products:

Super Air Knife drying fruits and vegetables

Super Air Knives:

EXAIRs Super Air Knives are have ben used to help harvest apples and peaches. In this case they use our Super Air Knives to dry and blow off the fruit after the rinsing process just before the waxing process then again after waxing to blow off any remaining debris or moisture from the fruit before being packed.

A processing company using the Super Air Knife to clean a conveying belt equipped with a weighing system. Before the installation of the the Super Air Knife some of the cut vegetables being weighed would stick to the belt. Their solution was to clean the conveyor belt with EXAIR’s Super Air Knife to ensure continuous operation of the weighing and packaging systems.

Super Air Nozzles:

An onion farmer used EXAIR’s Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle to blow loose onion skins from the onions before packaging to improve the aesthetics to the customers.

Line Vacs:

A food packaging company repackages banana peppers from 55 gallon drums to 1 and 5 gallon containers using our Model 6066 3″ Stainless Steel Line Vac.

Using EXAIRs Model 150200 2″ Heavy Duty Line Vacs a feed stock manufacturer conveys various grains and feed stock simultaneously to a mixer which blends the ingredients. This reduced their blend time by 50%.

A grain processor used Model 142200 aluminum threaded Line Vac to convey small amounts of corn meal into a hopper which feeds into their inspection process.

A company producing worm eggs encapsulated in water soluble wax sold to farmers to enhance soil conditions. They eliminated a hand operation using Model 6081 1″ Aluminum Line Vac  to convey the worm eggs from one classifier to another.

EXAIR has several applications using Atomizing Spray nozzles to add moisture in growing environments . Greenhouses use our Atomizing spray nozzles to control humidity in the air and keep their soils moist to maintain optimal growing environments.

There are many other applications using compressed AIR on farms such as filling tires, cleaning equipment, blowing out water lines and more. Technology drives labor savings and improved quality prototypes are being designed and tested to use compressed air using drones to shoot pods filled with seeds, fertilizer and other nutrients into the soil. EXAIR will remain a strong influence in the growth of compressed air products helping to reduce the carbon footprint, enhance efficiencies and improve cost and quality within the agriculture and food processing industries.

If you have an application and you would like to talk please contact me or any of our qualified Application Engineers at 800.903.9247 and we will gladly help with our best recommendations.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

Super Air Knives in Agriculture

I spoke with an international agribusiness that specialized in improving processes with cutting-edge technologies in the agricultural sector.  They started a project with a company to improve their drying process for potatoes.   This company was washing 10 tons of potatoes per hour during 16-hour days.  The potatoes would travel along a conveyor that was 90cm (35.4”) wide after the washing system where they had three blower air knives to remove the water from the surface.  Since the project scope was to increase productivity, the agribusiness company targeted their biggest issue, the blower air knives.

They described the two main problems that their customer was experiencing.  First, the conveyor had to run at a slower rate to remove enough water from the surface of the potatoes before packaging.  Thus, the feed rate into the washing system ran intermittently to not overload the drying process.  The main issue was that the blower system was limited with force.  It could not generate a strong enough air stream to properly dry the entire spud at higher speeds.  Thus, the conveyor system was not at an optimal range.

The second issue was premature spoilage of the potatoes which had to be discarded.  I remember when my family would store potatoes in bunkers under the ground to keep them cool.  This would help to slow the bacterial growth which causes spoilage.  Blower systems generate hot air from the electric motors.  Since bacteria growth is enhanced with warmer temperatures, the potato company was noticing poor appearance and early spoilage.  To increase their profits, they wanted to dry the potatoes without heat.

110236SS Super Air Knife Kit

EXAIR has been manufacturing leading-edge technology since 1983, and we could offer a solution.  For removing water from the surface of the potatoes; the EXAIR Super Air Knife would be the perfect instrument.  This compact system is easy to install; and it does not have any moving parts to wear or need shutdowns for maintenance.

I recommended to replace the three blower-air knives with one piece of a model 110236SS Super Air Knife Kit.  The kit includes a 36” (914mm) 303SS Super Air Knife, a filter, a regulator and a shim set.  The regulator and shim set are specifically designed to control the force requirement and air usage to the Super Air Knife.  So, you can fine tune the correct amount of force to blow around the entire potato for effective drying.  For a stock Super Air Knife, the model 110236SS can generate 5.6 pounds of force (2.55 Kilograms) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar); a tough target for a blower air knife.  The agribusiness was excited about the concept and wanted to know more.

Another unique feature with the EXAIR Super Air Knife is the engineered design.  We are able to reach a 40:1 amplification ratio.  That means for every 1 part of compressed air, we can entrain 40 parts of ambient air.  What does this mean?  First, the Super Air Knife is very efficient within your compressed air system as we are using mainly free ambient air.  Second, since majority of the air is ambient, the temperature of the air is not heated; thus, a cooler air stream.   And third, by adding the mass of the ambient air, it gives a stronger blowing force.  So, the Super Air Knife was able to meet both of the agribusiness requirements.  In the end, we were able to cut scrap and increase the production rate by almost 10%.

If you need to dry your agricultural items with cutting-edge technology, EXAIR would be the manufacturer for you.   We are staffed with Application Engineers to find solutions and improvements, and we will be happy to discuss your application.  For this agribusiness company, they were excited to work with EXAIR to get a great result for the company above in the potato arena.

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