EXAIR keeps a library of Case Studies for your reference. The Library s is also organized by product so you can easily find the information and product you have interest. These case studies summarize how our customers have purchased, used, and benefited from our products and their purchase. These studies focus on our products and your project, we do not use our customer names and only use photos and verbiage that you approve and share with us.
The process to develop a Case Study is as easy as talking to one of our Application Engineers. We will discuss your project and work with you to decide the wording and photos that you approve for the study. Once the study has been completed and approved we can discuss a credit on your purchase or percentage discount on your next purchase. This becomes a “win, win” for both you and EXAIR.
EXAIR appreciates a good success story, and we want to encourage you to share your success from using one or more of our products. This is why EXAIR incentivizes Case Studies. We will offer a discount to any company who will provide enough information to produce a case study. If you have interest to create a Case Study (and save money) on your next project please contact one of our Application Engineers so we can discuss your application and goals.
I have a manufacturing background primarily with automotive and plastic injection molding. I used compressed air but I will admit that I did not know the difference between Laminar and Turbulent air flow. You’ll often hear EXAIR refer to laminar vs turbulent flow when discussing our blow off of products. I will briefly describe the difference between the two and hopefully we all learn something new. In any blow off process or application, laminar airflow is going to be much more effective at eliminating pressure drops, blowing product and reducing noise levels than the turbulent air flow. To read more about the math behind it, check out my colleague John Ball’s previous post here.
A good example of an EXAIR product that delivers a laminar air flow are our Super Air Knives. The super air knife offers a more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. They deliver a uniform sheet of “Laminar” airflow across the entire hard-hitting force. The Super Air Knives deliver a uniform sheet of air that has the same force across the entire length.
The efficiency of EXAIR’s Super Air Knife delivering the laminar air flow becomes more valuable when comparing the effectiveness to a blower operated knife or fans. A fan “slaps” the air, resulting in a turbulent airflow where the airflow particles are irregular and will interfere with each other. A laminar airflow, by contrast, will maintain smooth paths that will never interfere with one another, which allows for maximum velocity and can produce higher force levels.
EXAIR had a customer needing help applying icing on snack cakes. As baked sponge cakes moved down a conveyor, a continuous ribbon of icing was applied to the individual cakes. Trying to make a clean break in the icing was next to impossible. Mechanical blades needed constant cleaning. Compressed air through a series of holes in drilled pipe used too much air, was noisy and did not make a clean break.
The solution was using an EXAIR Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. A photo eye detected space between cakes turning the compressed air on at the precise moment to apply a uniform airflow and velocity against the ribbon of icing, creating a nice clean break. The stainless steel Air Knife was the best choice for this application. Since there was no contact with the icing, no additional cleaning was required. The Laminar flow of the Super Air Knife had uniform velocity across the entire length and broke the ribbon of icing evenly. This successful result would never have been possible with turbulent air from drilled pipe, nozzles or a blower.
The Super Air knives are just one of many of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air products. When planning your next project that requires compressed air please contact one of our many Application Engineers for assistance. EXAIR takes pride in our products and customer service.
I remember the book and movie about a young teenager who gets sent to a prison/ work camp that all they do is dig holes. Yeah, there’s a much deeper story line there and that isn’t the point of this blog. The point is, that movie is all I thought of when I encountered this customer’s nozzle solution. Their ejector nozzle on a recycling conveyor was using too much air and was too noisy.
Upon receiving the nozzle to do a free EXAIR Efficiency Lab, we were absolutely amazed at the level of care taken to make something like this. The nozzle was purpose built and definitely got the job done, it also drained their compressed air system at times and made a lot of noise while it did the work. So what did this nozzle look like, now keep in mind, this was not the customer’s design, it was a solution from the machine manufacturer.
For an idea, the customer nozzle was a 3″ overall length, and had a total of 162 holes in it. There were two inlets for 3/8″ push to connect tubing. The holes were very cleanly drilled and we used a discharge through orifice chart to estimate the consumption before testing. Operating pressure were tested at 80 psig inlet pressure.
Our estimations were taken from the table above. We used a pin gauge to determine the hole size and it came close to a 1/32″ diameter. With the table below we selected the 1.34 CFM per hole and used a 0.61 multiplier as the holes appeared to have crisp edges.
Then, we went to our lab and tested. The volumetric flow came out to be measured at 130.71 SCFM. This reassured us that our level of estimation is correct. We then measured the noise level at 95.3 dBA from 3′ away. Lastly, we tested what could replace the nozzle and came up with a 3″ Super Air Knife with a .004″ thick shim installed. To reach this solution we actually tested in a similar setup to the customer’s for functionality as they sent us some of their material.
Now for the savings, since this customer was focused on air savings, that’s what we focused on. The 3″ Super Air Knife w/ .004″ thick shim installed utilizes 5.8 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 psig inlet pressure. So the consumption looks like below
That’s an astounding amount of air saved for each nozzle that is replaced on this line. The line has 4 nozzles that they want to immediately change out. For a single nozzle, the savings and simple ROI looks like the table below.
That’s right, they will save 115.02 SCFM per minute of operation. These units operate for seconds at a time so the amount of actual savings is still to be determined after a time study. In videos shared, there was not many seconds out of a minute where one of the four nozzles was not activated. Once the final operation per minute is received we can rework our calculations and see how many hours of line operation it will take to pay back each knife purchase.
If you have any point of use blowoff or part ejection and even have a “nice looking” blowoff in place, don’t hesitate to reach out. These are still very different from our Engineered Solutions. We will help you as much as we can and provide test data, pictures, and even video of testing when possible.
In order to achieve the best performance of your EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® product, a steady flow of compressed air must be supplied at the optimal pressure. Compressor output pressure, air flow rate, piping ID (inner diameter), the smoothness of the inside of the pipe and connector type all contribute to the performance.
Especially for manufacturing uses, it is important to consider both the air pressure and air flow being produced by the air compressor providing the supply for all tooling. It is possible for an air compressor to produce sufficient supply pressure for an EXAIR product while not having adequate air flow to use the product for very long.
The optimal air pressure for most EXAIR productsis 80 PSIG, with the exception of Vortex Tube based products, which are rated at 100 PSIG. Operating EXAIR products at air pressures less than 80 PSIG may lead to lower performance, but EXAIR encourages operating any blow-off product at as low a pressure as possible to achieve your desired result. A simple pressure regulator can lower your pressure and save energy. As a general rule near the 100 PSIG level, lowering air pressure by 2 PSIG will save 1% of energy used by an air compressor. Operating the product at pressures greater than 80 PSIG may produce slightly higher performance, but will require more energy to produce only a small gain.
Make sure that connectors and fittings do not restrict compressed air flow in any manner. Quick connectors can be especially problematic in this area. Because of their construction, quick connections that are rated at the same size as the incoming pipe or hose may actually have a much smaller inner diameter than that associated pipe or hose. This will significantly restrict the amount of air that is being supplied to the tool, starving it of the air flow it needs for best performance. In some cases, if the fitting is too small, the tool may not work at all!
EXAIR products are designed to improve the overall efficiency of your operations. If you need help and have questions please contact any of the Application Engineers. There is no risk to trying our products as we have a 5 year warranty and also a 30 Day Guarantee to all of our US and Canadian customers.