Compressed Air Uses In Industry

From pneumatic hand tools like impact wrenches or nail guns to larger scale industrial applications like stamping presses, the use of compressed air can be found in almost any industry. In fact, it is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric.

Compressed air is used in virtually every industry!

 

Take for example in construction, workers will use a pneumatic riveter to join steel framing because of the power generated by the tool over an electrically powered device, not to mention it provides for a safer operation by removing an electrical hazard. Many companies use compressed air operated diaphragm pumps or air motor driven pumps to move expensive or viscous liquid from one location to another. These types of pumps are self priming drawing the liquid in and provide positive displacement meaning they fill and empty the liquid chamber with the same amount of liquid through a common inlet and outlet.

Amusement parks have used compressed air in some capacity in the operation of thrill rides like roller coasters or to enhance the effect of certain attractions. Compressed air can be found in hospitals where it is used for specialized breathing treatments or to power surgical instruments in an operating room. Educational facilities use compressed air for laboratory testing. You can even find compressed air in the tires on your car. Basically, when you think about it, compressed air is being used just about anywhere.

Here at EXAIR, we manufacture Intelligent Compressed Air Products to help improve the efficiency in a wide variety of industrial operations. Whether you are looking to coat a surface with an atomized mist of liquid, conserve compressed air use and energy, cool an electrical enclosure, convey parts or dry material from one location to another or clean a conveyor belt or web, chances are we have a product that will fit your specific need.

EXAIR has been providing engineered solutions since 1983.

 

To discuss your particular application or for help selecting the best product, contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247 for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Compressed Air Valves image courtesy of Shane Gorski via creative commons license.

This Is A Hold Up

To clarify, right off the bat:

  1. Nobody is getting robbed here.
  2. Nothing is being delayed, especially a shipment from EXAIR. If it’s in the catalog, it ships on time, 99.97% of the time, for 17 years & running. This has nothing to do with this blog; I just never get tired of bragging about that.

Today I wanted to write about installing EXAIR products, but hey, it’s Friday, so I thought I’d start with something that would get your attention. If you’re still reading, I guess it worked.

We talk to users…and potential users…all the time about how to install an Air Knife, Air Nozzle, Vortex Tube, etc. And the answer is…it depends. But, it’s almost always quick and easy.

Consider the EXAIR Super Air Knife. There are a few ways to hold one in place:
*There are 1/4″-20 tapped holes, every 2″ along the bottom. These can be used to bolt it to just about anything you want to bolt it to.
*The 1/4″-20 cap screws can also be replaced with fasteners of sufficient length to allow use of a bracket. In fact, this is what we use for…
*The Universal Air Knife Mounting System – it’s a quick and convenient way to support an Air Knife. It’s especially beneficial to precisely position the Super Air Knife for optimum performance.
*Last but not least, Super Air Knives 24″ and longer need to be plumbed to both ends for proper performance. If you hard pipe it in, it’ll be as well supported as the piping.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

EXAIR Super Air Knives are easy to install, no matter what the length, or application.

Then there’s our Super Air Nozzles:
*With standard, common NPT threads, these are easy to install anywhere you have an existing air line. You can get NPT adapters for darn near any threaded connection, off the shelf, from a friendly local air compressor or hydraulic/pneumatics shop.
*We’ve got Stay Set Hoses in lengths from 6″ to 36″ – these let you reposition the Air Nozzle at will. It’ll “stay set” until you bend it again.
*Our Swivel Fittings can be used with any of our Super Air Nozzles, as well as our Air Amplifiers, for sturdy, yet easily repositionable, installation.

EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses - no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!

EXAIR Swivel Fittings or Stay Set Hoses – no better way to optimize your air flow than aiming it where it needs to be!

We’re even committed to making our air preparation accessories easy to install…our Automatic Drain Filter Separators, Oil Removal Filters, and Pressure Regulators (up to 1/2 NPT) can be coupled via a modular block assembly that eliminates a threaded connection between them, and is ideal for close quarters.

EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits

EXAIR Model 9027 Oil Removal Filter, installed between Model 9004 Filter Separator and 9008 Pressure Regulator, using our Modular Coupling Kits

That’s not even mentioning the products that are ready to install, right out of the box with a convenient Magnetic Base:

From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.

From left to right: EXAIR Mini Coolers, Cold Guns, and Adjustable Spot Coolers come with Magnetic Bases for instant installation.

If you’d like to find out more about how easy it is to install an EXAIR Compressed Air Product, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Air Gun Extensions Provide Reach and Flexibility

My youngest son started crawling a few weeks back which quickly reminded us how the game changes at this stage. He has been motoring all around the living room building his confidence and is now ready to tackle standing with the aid of the coffee table, couch, chair, well pretty much any elevated surface that he can easily grab and pull himself up. This is my one of my favorite time of a baby’s development stage but also one of the most stressful. Gone are the days of leaving anything within arms reach because all too soon it will be “strategically relocated”, usually inside someone’s mouth. Just this past weekend I’ve had to search for the TV remote, video game controller and a picture – yes a picture! Even when we think we are smart and have put things out of reach, you’d think this kid was Stretch Armstrong because just like that, “poof”, the search is on.

stretch

Stretch Armstrong doll

Sometimes having some extra reach can actually be quite beneficial. For example, maybe you need to blow out debris from under a machine or you’re needing to blow dust off of an area overhead, EXAIR has you covered. We offer Aluminum Extension Pipes from 6″ up to 72″ lengths for our Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. Coupled with the comfortable, ergonomic design of our Safety Air Guns , extensions provide a reliable option for those hard to reach industrial areas.

Aluminum Extension

Aluminum Extension on the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

 

In addition to Aluminum Extension Pipes, we also have our Flexible Stay Set Hose Extensions. The Stay Set Hose allows for a an easy way to direct the airflow to the critical areas, while holding it position. The hose will remain in position until an operator has physically repositioned it for the next process. One of our customers manufactures toilets and they use this feature to blowout any dust or debris under the rim before the product ships. These hoses are offered in lengths from 6″ up to 36″ lengths, factory assembled on our Soft Grip Safety Air Guns.

Stay Set Hose

Flexible Stay Set Hose Extension on the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

All of EXAIR Guns are equipped with engineered, OSHA safe, nozzles to minimize air consumption and noise. If you need any help, “reach” out to one of our Application Engineers at 800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Stretch image courtesy of Alex Beattie via Creative Commons License

 

A Perfect Fit for Primary Metal Manufacturing

Primary metal manufacturing and processing plants tend to have a variety of applications using compressed air, some of which can be quite large.  Our Finnish distributor found just such an application, using a high volume of compressed air under unsafe conditions.

20151111_122132

Homemade air gun at a metal manufacturing plant in Finland

In the photo above you can see a homemade air gun used to provide a high force blow off.  This unit has a welded cone on the end of a metal pipe using a ¼ turn ball valve to control the compressed air.  When the ball valve is turned the airflow remains constant until the operator returns the valve to the closed position.  This means that if the operator were to let go of the unit for any reason, the air gun would continue to blow, creating a safety hazard.

In addition to this concern, the welded cone at the end of the pipe provides no protection for high dead end pressures, creating a potential source of an air embolism if contacting human skin.  This can lead to difficulty breathing, chest pain, low blood pressure, or even a stroke (Source: MedScape; Venous Air Embolism; Updated December 8th, 2015).

The end user had accepted the risks associated with this homemade device because they were unaware of anything in the market capable of meeting the volume and force necessary to meet their application needs.  That is, until they were shown the EXAIR Super Blast Safety Air Gun model 1218.

Feeding the compressed air through an automatically closing ball valve, the 1218 removed the threat of unwanted flow from such a high force air gun.  The model 1218 also provides more than enough force and flow – the existing setup uses a 1-1/4” diameter orifice with a flow rate of 1986 SCFM (56,233 SLPM) with an unknown entrainment ratio; the 1218 has a flow rate of 460 SCFM (13,026 SLPM) with an entrainment ratio of 25:1, making the total directed flow equal to 11,500 SCFM (325,650 SLPM)!  This means the application can produce better or equal performance at a fraction of the compressed air consumption, thanks to the engineered design of EXAIR nozzles.  (See below for operational cost comparison.)

By converting to an EXAIR Super Blast Safety Air Gun this customer was able to add safety, increase performance, and lower operating costs.  If you have an application you think could benefit from better safety, performance, or operating cost, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

 

Compressed air costs are calculated as follows:

Previous setup:

1,986 SCFM compressed air consumption.  At a cost of $0.25/1000 SCF this equates to:

1,986 * ($0.25/1000) = $0.4965 for every minute of use

EXAIR model 1218:

460 SCFM compressed air consumption.  At the same cost of $0.25/1000 SCF this equates to:

460 * ($0.25/1000) = $0.115 for every minute of use

When comparing the two, the EXAIR model 1218 will provide an operational cost savings of almost 77%!

And, if you’re wondering how we determined the airflow through the existing setup, we used the charts below.

air calcs

Air calcs for the flow through a 1-1/4″ orifice

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with Extensions up to 72″

Have you ever walked through a facility and looked up?  Most facilities have compressed air lines, electrical conduits, HVAC duct work, lighting ballast, beams, sprinkler systems, etc. located near the ceiling.  Can you imagine the amount of dirt and debris that has been collecting up there?  I received a phone call from a food processing plant.  They knew the necessity in keeping the entire area clean, even above their equipment.  They contacted me for help in trying to remove the dirt and debris from above all the structures near the ceiling.

72" Extension on Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

72″ Extension on Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun

I suggested the model 1330-72 Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with a 72” (1829mm) extension.  I also suggested a model 9053 swivel fitting to help angle the 2” (51mm) Flat Super Air Nozzle, installed at the end of the extension.  The customer would use a scissor lift to reach close to the ceiling and with the 72” (1829mm) extension, they could reach all the hard-to-get areas.  The 2” (51mm) Flat Super Air Nozzle would cover a larger area above HVAC duct work and racks of pipe and conduit.  When you add the model 9053 swivel fitting, it will help in directing the force of the compressed air at the top surfaces of your target.  Adding the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun to this assembly, it makes a very reliable, durable system that can handle the banging and bumping in this application.

Dirt and dust can get everywhere, and EXAIR can help to remove it.  We carry a variety of Safety Air Guns, Super Air Nozzles, and lengths of extension pipes.  If you cannot reach it, give us a call and ask one of our Application Engineers for help.

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

EXAIR Safety Air Guns Quickly Remove Years Of Debris From Large Building’s Ceiling

The air gun is a quintessential tool found in a variety of settings. Machinists will use them to blow chips, debris, and coolant from parts as they’re being finished. They’re commonly used for final cleanup before an item is packaged…nobody wants to open up a brand new product and find dust, dirt, or dried-up coolant spots on it. They can make a quick job of cleaning off a work bench…if you intend to sweep the floor afterwards, that is. In fact, larger air guns can even be used to “sweep” the floor.

I recently had the pleasure of assisting a user who was going completely the other way…from the floor, that is. His company had been contracted by the new owners of a rather large show facility to “rehab” the building. Before they could do anything, though, he needed to clean years and years (and years, he said) of dust, sediment, cobwebs, and other various debris, from the open rafters overhead. All 42,000 square feet of overhead. And, because of their schedule for getting the facility ready for upcoming shows, it needed to be done quickly.

After discussing the application and comparing the capabilities of our various Safety Air Gun offerings to the available compressed air supply, I recommended, and they purchased, two Model 1360-48 Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns, fitted with Model 1106 High Force Super Air Nozzles. These made short work of a big part of the job, allowing them to move quickly on to the rest of the building restoration.

If you’ve got a cleanup job…big or small…perhaps an EXAIR Safety Air Gun is the solution. We’ve got them ranging from the Model 1408SS Precision Safety Air Gun, fitted with our 1108SS Atto Super Air Nozzle (2.5 SCFM; 2.0 ounces of force,) to the Model 1218-6 Super Blast Safety Air Gun, which uses our largest High Force Super Air Nozzle, the 1120 (460 SCFM, 23 pounds of force,) and 29 models in between. We can provide them with accessories such as Chip Shields, Stay Set Hoses, Rigid Pipe Extensions, and Compressed Air Hoses, as needed. Give me a call to find out which one is right for you.

Here are just 2 of our 53 distinct models of Safety Air Guns.  I bet we've got the one you're looking for.

Here are just 2 of our 53 distinct models of Safety Air Guns. I bet we’ve got the one you’re looking for.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Safety Air Gun Improves Aluminum Extruding Machining Process

I was doing some work around the house Saturday when I heard my wife shouting out from our laundry room….”Something is wrong with our dryer. This is the 3rd time I’ve restarted it and the clothes are still wet!”. Now having been in this situation before, I knew this meant that the exhaust was probably clogged with lint (again).

See, our laundry room runs parallel to our family room and the exhaust ducting goes up and then across the laundry room, across the family room and then exhausts on the side of the house. (I would like to find the person who thought this was a good idea!). I have thought about re-routing the ducting but the only other option would be to have the exhaust on the front of the house which will “never happen” (per my wife). So I usually end up taking my vacuum and attaching as many extensions as possible to reach as much of the ducting as I can. I have tried a few other methods with no success – like taking my leaf blower and, from the outside of the house, blow the lint back towards the laundry room and into a garbage can. (hint: make SURE your wife is not in the laundry room when attempting this…. They don’t react too well when they get covered in lint!)

This made me think of an application I worked on last week with an aluminum extrusion company. The customer cuts lengths of aluminum siding from 1’ up to 10’ in length and, standing at one end of the material, are using a standard blow gun to try and blow out the chips but are unsuccessful. They reviewed our website but were still unsure what product may fit their needs best, so they gave us a call.

We discussed their application and the customer was able to email pictures. After reviewing the pictures I recommended using one of our Soft Grip Safety Air Guns with our Model # HP1125, 2” Flat High Power Super Air Nozzle and a 72” extension.  The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun is constructed of cast aluminum and includes a hook for hanging in a convenient location. The Model # HP1125, 2” High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle, produces 2.2 lbs. of force @ 80 PSIG and utilizes 37 SCFM with a sound level of 83 dBA. This would also meet or exceed the OSHA standards for safety, per Standard 1910.242(b) for 30 psi dead end pressure, and allowable noise exposure per Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95(a).

HP1230

An EXAIR model HP1230 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun

To discuss your application or help with selecting the right product, contact an application engineer.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

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