3-1/2 EXAIR Pro Tips for Compressed Air Use

EXAIR offers industry leading Intelligent Compresses Air Products. Our products are engineered to comply with all relevant OSHA standards and are CE certified. When you purchase an EXAIR product, be it a Super Air Knife or a brass bulkhead fitting, you are expecting to receive a high quality and high performing product, and you will. If the product is not performing there is a very high probability that the problem is not the product.

So whatever could it be? And how can we fix the issue? Air supply going to the product is a common issue, so first we need to insure that there is a steady flow of the appropriate pressure and volume of air. Even though you may have a 100HP compressor, the distance form the product, the size of the pipes delivering the air, the smoothness of the inside of the pipes (is there internal rust and buildup), leaks and other restrictions of air flow rate all contribute to the overall performance.

A large majority of the product performance issues that are brought to us are caused by insufficient air supply in one form or another. Sometimes this is due to the overall size of the system, but many times it is at the point of use. Let’s assume that you have the right sized compressor to power all features in the shop. These next items are where we would want to focus and correct.

EXAIR Digital Flowmeter

Pro tip #1 – Use EXAIR Digital Flowmeters to monitor your air consumption. You should have a log of how much each compressed air tool / machine uses, and compare that to how much air is traveling down that leg of your facility. Leaks, corrosion, rust, and accidents happen. By monitoring and logging your SCFM in each major leg of your system, you will easily be able to narrow down root problems, and track leaks. You will also have solid answer when asked – “Do you have enough air for this?”.

Pressure Regulators “dial in” performance to get the job done without using more air than necessary.

Pro Tip #2 – Use a Tee Fitting and install a Pressure Regulator with Gauge at the point of use. This allows you to see, and control the pressure for each product. This removes all questions of air pressure at the point of use. Although your system seems large enough, many times the pressure is less at the point of use, due to restrictions, unknown leaks etc… Having the information from tip #1 and #2, you will easily be able to identify if your issue is the system, or the tool.

Pro Tip #2.5 – Turn it down (the pressure) if you can… Operate each compressed air application at a pressure just high enough for your desired result – not necessarily full line pressure. We have discussed in many other blogs how compressed air is your 3rd or 4th highest utility. If you optimize the pressure per application, you can save dollars. As a rule of thumb, if your system is operating at the 100 psig level, lowering the pressure by 2 psig will save 1% of energy used by the air compressor. A great example of this would be our Super Air Knives. Optimal use is at 80 psig, and “X” SCFM (based upon length of the Super Air Knife). At 80 psig and the proper SCFM, this flow will feel like having your hand out the window of your car when you are driving about 50 MPH. Your application may not need that much air flow, to get the job done. Turn it down and test it. Start at 80 psig and using the tools from tip #2, turn it up or down until your needs are met. Many of our products do not need to be used at full pressure to effectively solve your process problem.

Pro tip #3 – Use the proper sized lines, connectors and fittings. Pipe restriction can kill performance. Quick connects can be very problematic. Most quick connects are rated at the same size as the incoming pipe, tube or hose, but may actually have a much smaller inner diameter. As you can imagine, this oversight can cause significant performance issues, and end up costing more lack of production or defective product. Be it a quick connect, or any other connector or fitting, it is imperative not to restrict the air. This will result in problems, and lack of performance.

Please do not hesitate to reach to discuss any performance issues, or find out how we can help.

Thank you for stopping by,

Brian Wages

Application Engineer

EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR’s 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzles Provide Fast ROI When Replacing Inefficient Blowoffs

Any time you’re considering a new purchase your return on investment is a critical aspect of the decision-making process. An easy way to illustrate this is the use of an LED lightbulb. An LED lightbulb may cost more initially but will use less energy to operate. In addition, it’ll also have a longer lifespan than an incandescent bulb. You can calculate, down to the day, when you’ll recoup the costs difference from buying the more expensive bulb.

The same can be said for EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products. In many cases, our products are replacing a homemade, cheap, or otherwise inefficient blowoff device. Let’s walk through an example of an application where EXAIR helped save a company money by reducing their compressed air consumption.

An extrusion company had a line where they were using (3) modular-hose style flat nozzles. These products are not designed to be used with compressed air, but rather are intended for distributing liquid coolant. Despite these devices not being designed for compressed air, seeing them used for blowoff purposes is all to common in industrial applications. A total of (3) nozzles were being used to dry the material as it exited a cooling bath. While they did work for them in the application, they had begun to notice pressure drops in their compressed air system that was causing issues for other processes in the facility.

The (3) nozzles were all operated at 50 PSIG consuming 17 SCFM per nozzle for a total consumption of 51 SCFM. They were operated for one full 8-hour shift, 5 days per week.

51 SCFM x 60 mins x 8-hours = 24,480 SCF/day

To keep the same airflow profile, we recommended the Model 1126 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle to replace the modular hose. Operating at 50 PSIG, the 1126 will consume 7.17 SCFM of compressed air. With a total of (3) nozzles operating, that comes to 21.5 SCFM total for the drying operation.

21.5 SCFM x 60 mins x 8-hours = 10,320 SCF/day

By implementing the 1” Flat Super Air Nozzles, they reduced their compressed air consumption for this particular application by 57%!! But, just how quickly will that air savings provide them with a return on their investment? Let’s calculate the savings:

The average cost for compressed air is $0.25/1000 SCF. Before the installation of the Super Air Knives, the total consumption was 24,480 SCF/day.

24,480 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $6.12/ day

With the Flat Super Air Nozzles, this was reduced to just 10,320 SCF/ day:

10,320 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $2.58/ day

Total Savings – $3.54 each day!!!

The 2022 list price on the Model 1126 is $53.00. Since they bought (3) their total investment was $159.00.

$159.00/$3.54 = 44.92 (45 days)

On the 45th day, the customer will have saved enough money from the reduced air consumption to account for the initial purchase price of the Flat Super Air Nozzles. Once they’re paid for, it isn’t like you just stop saving money. The nozzles will continue to save money, each shift, day in and day out. In some areas, your local utility provider may also offer rebates for the installation of engineered compressed air nozzles when replacing an inefficient solution.

If there’s a process in your facility that you can improve upon, give us a call. We’re also able to test it out here at EXAIR and report back to you on the savings through our free Efficiency Lab!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Light bulb photo courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr Creative Commons License

INDIANA: Energy Rebates and EXAIR Save You Money On Top of Compressed Air Savings

The energy rebates described below are available throughout the country, not just Indiana – but here is the latest example.

Here in Cincinnati we border two states, our bypass loop actually goes through both of them, Kentucky and Indiana. Indiana is a state that most may fly over or if you are going anywhere it may be to go to Indianapolis, myself, I have a few ties to the state elsewhere, from racing motorcycles at Putnam Park west of Indy, my niece attending the prestigious Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, to my previous career where I installed CNC machines in various parts of the state. While many may think the state is a giant wind power farm, there is a great deal of industry and manufacturing throughout the state including pharmaceutical and medical devices, mining, and transportation. The leading energy provider for the state, Duke Energy, also supports these manufacturers with programs to incentivize (through rebates) products which increase efficiency.

We’ve mentioned energy rebates previously and I have recently had the chance to help a customer with their energy rebate. More often than not, these rebates are an after thought, I hope that after reading this we can help you to check with your local service provider to see if they offer a similar process – they are available throughout the country from MANY electricity providers. The process for this customer was based off purchasing a single Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with Stainless Steel Mini Super Air Nozzle. The rebate was focused on the engineered air nozzle. For a 1/8″ NPT nozzle, it must consume 10 SCFM or less at 80 psig inlet pressure. For a 1/4″ NPT nozzle, they have to consume 17 SCFM or less at 80 psig. The fact the nozzle was assembled onto a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun enabled the customer to apply for a rebate for the full cost of the whole air gun.

EXAIR Model 1299SS – Soft Grip Safety Air Gun w/ Stainless Steel Mini Super Air Nozzle

The value of the rebate for Indiana where Duke is the energy supplier is $40.00 USD per engineered nozzle installed. The rebate is capped at 75 percent of the project cost in Indiana. The current cost of the 1299SS is $134.00, which enables this customer to the full $40.00 for each Safety Air Gun with Mini Super Air Nozzle they install. This is one of the simplest prescriptive rebates in the Duke Energy program. The main focus here is to conserve compressed air which ultimately puts more energy available to the rest of the grid. The engineered nozzle prescriptive rebate is just one way that Duke Energy customers in the state of Indiana can save.

If you are in the state of Indiana (OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE USA) and would like to discuss whether the Safety Air Guns or any point of use compressed air application in your facility can be improved, contact an Application Engineer. The truth is we all love saving a customer their resources, whether it be compressed air, electricity, liquid, or good old-fashioned cash.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Best Angle is the Try-Angle

The importance of Swivel Fittings for your Air Nozzles

Hey there. So I was asked to write about our Swivel Fittings for Air nozzles. My first thought was, hmmm isn’t everything you need to know about a swivel fitting in the name Swivel Fitting? I started writing and then editing, and then rewriting, and then more editing. I don’t want my blog to be boring and just skimmed over, or worse not read at all!

Then just like a Mike Tyson uppercut it hit me. It’s all about the angle. The angle that you are blowing the air (and for me the angle I am taking in writing this blog) means a lot.

We talk a lot about using air intelligently. Your compressed air is in fact one of your largest utility expenses. My colleague just wrote a Blog about air being your 4th Utlity – read that here. There are many ways to control this expense such as: finding air leaks with our Ultrasonic Leak Detector, using the Electronic Flow Control and turning air off when not in use, using the lowest pressure and volume of air necessary to accomplish the task, just to mention a few. One thing that gets overlooked a lot is the importance of blowing air at the perfect angle to achieve the maximum effect.

Now, some of you remember how to do all of the equations to find this precise angle and that is wonderful, however most of us will struggle with these calculations as there are so many variants involved. Even if we did the math we would then need to engineer the exact fixture to hold the chosen nozzle in this precise place. So what do we do?

Let’s Fast forward to the point where you have already chosen and installed the best EXAIR Air Nozzle for your application. You are confident that the pressure, the flow, the SCFM, the pattern, and the material are all perfect. You install this on your set fixture, and OMG it’s not producing the desired effect. You then realize that everything is right about this, other than the nozzle is just not hitting the surface at the correct angle. All of our nozzles are built to attach and blow straight, inline with any fitting. The stationary fitting could be on a machine, a pipe, a hose or even an air gun. You then realize that for maximum performance – you need this nozzle to be angled off of the fitting, not straight.

We understand that your application is unique to you.  And your solution should be just as unique. Your distance and method to mount the nozzles or jets is unique to your application. Your system’s air pressure with all its power (or weakness) is all you. Your environment is just that – yours. It would be hard to believe that a straight nozzle will always be the canned solution. It would be a stretch to say that the exact angle that you need to blow air is going to always be straight. In fact, I would venture to say that a nozzle by itself is rarely the best solution. When using compressed air intelligently, we need to look at all the – umm – angles…. and one of the most important aspects that gets overlooked is finding the exact angle necessary for the perfect air movement in your unique application.  A few degrees can make a big difference in the overall efficiency of air flow. 

Now it comes down to finding the perfect angle. You can do all that math if you want. Or you can test several different angles very easily. This is what I like to call the TRY-ANGLE. This brings us full circle to the Swivel Fittings. This is the best way to find the precise angle to solve your process problem. EXAIR’s swivel fittings permit a movement of 25 degrees from center axis, for a total movement of 50 degrees. They are available from M4 x 0.5mm female X 1/8 MNPT through 1 MNPT X 1 FNPT.

Sometimes we over engineer and think projects to death. We spend hours thinking and miss the window of opportunity to DO! Many times the simplest solution is the best solution. Yes, sometimes it can be this easy… When buying nozzles, it’s worth the little extra to get these little gems. Some times 10° makes all the difference in the world…

Thank you for stopping by. Please reach out for assistance with any of your process problems, chances are – we have a solution.

Brian Wages, Application Engineer

EXAIR Corporation
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Boxer image courtesy of Mohamed_Hassan Pixaby License
Math image courtsey of Geralt Pixaby License