I received an email from an engineer that was looking at our Super Air Nozzles. They currently were using four blow-off lines that were made from 6mm ID copper tubes. The system was designed to blow out holes after machining. The engineer was in charge of the task of optimizing 25 machining stations similar to this one. He was familiar with EXAIR products from his previous employment, and he recognized the waste of compressed air by using open pipe. He purchased four Nano Super Air Nozzle, model 1110SS, for a trial. He was impressed with the performance, the low sound level, and the engineered design in safety. But, for upper management in his company, he had to show a cost savings in order to change all the stations in the facility. He asked me to help him in calculating the compressed air savings.
He gave me some additional details about their application. He was using the compressed air about 30% of the time throughout an 8 hour day at a pressure of 80 PISG. He wanted to present the savings per day, week, and year as well as the payback period in his evaluation. I have performed many of these calculations for other customers and was happy to help. It is sometimes easier to speak in terms of savings, as everyone can relate to money, especially management.
Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG
The Calculator tells us you will see a ROI (Return on investment) is less than 5 days! And will save you $3,033.00 over a full year on compressed air generation cost alone!
Don’t be fooled by the initial cost of a tube, pipe, drilled holes, or a substandard nozzle. You can see by the facts above, if you use any additional compressed air in your blow-off application, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you need any help in calculating how much money EXAIR products can save you, you can use our Air Savings Calculator from our website, or you contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
Well, the obvious answer is, of course, an engineered air nozzle…you’re likely aware of this, or you wouldn’t be reading posts on the EXAIR Corporation blog. We have no issue with narrowing that down a bit, and saying that the answer is an EXAIR air nozzle. I bet you knew that was coming as well. So let’s assume that, because of the cost of compressed air, the potential hazards of its unregulated discharge, and the flat-out racket it can make (unless you do something about it,) you’re looking for something efficient, safe, and quiet.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s unpack that question. The nature of the application will let us know the airflow pattern & characteristics (mainly flow & force) that we need.
For example, if you need just a pinpoint of airflow, our Atto Super Air Nozzle blows a 1/2″ diameter pattern at a distance of 3″. Get a little closer than that, and it’s as tight as you want it to be. Now, it’s only generating a force of 2oz (at 12″ away) but keep in mind that’s all concentrated in a small fraction of an inch diameter. Which is plenty for most applications that need that precise of an airflow.
If you DO need a little more flow & force, our Pico and Nano Super Air Nozzles offer incremental increases in performance. The pattern starts to widen out, but that’s a function of the increased flow expanding in to atmospheric pressure…it has to go somewhere, you know. But, again, the closer you get, the more focused the flow is to the centerline of the nozzle.
On the other end of the spectrum are EXAIR’s High Force Air Nozzles. These are particularly useful for stubborn blowoff applications – a foundry blowing slag off hot strip as it cools, for example. Our largest of these, a 1-1/4 NPT model, generates 23 lbs of force…that’s over 25 times the power of our standard Super Air Nozzle.
Speaking of the standard Super Air Nozzle, it’s the most popular answer to the Big Question. It’s suitable for a wide range of blowoff, drying, and cooling applications, like the kinds of jobs an awful lot of folks use open end blowoff devices on. Open ended tubes blow out a great amount of air, but they’re wasteful and noisy, and OSHA says you can’t use them unless you regulate the pressure to 30psig…where they’re not even going to be all that effective.
If you’ve got a 1/4″ copper tube, for example, it’ll use 33 SCFM when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. It’ll for sure get the job done (albeit expensively, when you think of all that compressed air consumption,) but it’ll be loud (likely well over 100 dBA) and again, OSHA says you can’t use it at that pressure. So, you can dial it down to 30psig, where it’ll be marginally effective, but it’s still going to use more air than the Model 1100 1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle does at 80psig supply pressure. The hard hitting force of the Model 1100, under those conditions, will make all the difference in the world. As will its sound level of only 74 dBA. Not to mention, it’s fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b). Oh…and you can even install it directly on the end of your existing tube with a simple compression fitting.
We’ve also got engineered Air Nozzles smaller than the 1100 (all the way down to the aforementioned Atto Super Air Nozzle) and a good selection of larger ones, including Cluster Air Nozzles that hold tighter airflow patterns than similar performing single Super Air Nozzles. They’re available in materials ranging from Zinc-Aluminum alloy, bare aluminum, brass, 303SS, 316SS, or PEEK thermoplastic polymer to meet the requirements of most any area of installation, no matter how typical or aggressive.
If you have an loud, wasteful, and likely unsafe blowoff, you owe it to yourself and everyone else who has to put up with it to consider a better solution. Call me; let’s talk.
Russ Bowman Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
The history of automated controls can be traced back to inventors in ancient Greece & Egypt, who sought ways to keep more accurate track of time than afforded by sundials and hourglasses. Their efforts, dating as far back as 300BC, produced devices actuated by water flow, which is actually quite reliable and repeatable: a set amount of water will flow via gravity through a fixed conduit in the exact same amount of time, every time. These were in fairly common use until the invention of the mechanical clock in the 14th century.
The Industrial Revolution grew the need for automated processes exponentially…the need to control objects or tooling in motion, fluid flow, temperature, and pressure, just to name a few. As time passed, the sky was literally the limit: modern aircraft & spacecraft rely on a staggering amount of automated processes from production to operation.
All throughout history, though, the benefits of automation remain the same: making processes more efficient. That’s where the EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control comes in, for automating processes involving compressed air use, by turning air flow off when it’s not needed. In fact, not only do they provide simple on/off control to blow only when a part is “seen” by the photoelectric sensor, there are eight distinct modes to incorporate delay on or off, flicker on or off, signal on/off delay, interval, or “One-Shot,” where the sensor detects the part, delays opening the valve per the timer setting, and blows for one second.
The EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control is a true “plug and play” solution for automating a compressed air application. Mount the sensor, plumb the valve, plug it in, and you’re ready to go. There’s no complicated PLC wiring or programming, although the aforementioned mode selections do offer a great deal of flexibility other than “on when the sensor sees it; off when it doesn’t” operation, if desired. Here are some prime examples of that flexibility, and the monetary benefits due to the compressed air consumption savings:
(Left) On/Off Delay setting used in tank refurbishment application to operate a “halo” of Super Air Knives for blow off as tanks exit oven where old paint is burnt off – $3,393 annual air savings. (Center) Interval setting actuates a Super Ion Air Knife for flat panel display dust blow off/static elimination – $2,045 annual air savings. (Right) Interval setting actuates a “halo” of Super Ion Air Knives to clean & remove static charge from plastic automotive bumper covers prior to painting – $5012 annual savings.
The EXAIR Soft Grip Super Air Scraper is a great tool for any industrial environment that requires some cleanup. Some examples include removing tapes or sticky metal chips from the floor, scraping material from screening towers or removing stubborn adhesives and labels from workstation tabletops. They are available with extensions up to 72″ so reaching remote areas is also easier.
Today’s video is going to showcase how easy it is to replace the scraper blade within the nozzle and get back to work quickly.
If you would like to discuss how the Super Air Scraper could benefit your facility, contact us.
Static charge causes a variety of problems & challenges in industrial applications:
It “zaps” operators who have to handle statically charged materials.
It makes sheets and films cling to each other.
It can cause tearing or jamming of those sheets and films as well.
Objects with high static charges can cause sensors or sensitive electronics to malfunction, and it the charge is high enough, even damage them.
It makes dust cling to parts and material that you want to keep clean.
It can lead to uneven or spotty coverage if the statically charged piece is to be painted, coated, printed on, etc.
Good news is, static charge is pretty easy to dissipate, and EXAIR Corporation offers a number of solutions that are simple to install and easy to operate. Among them is the Gen4 Ion Air Jet.
The Gen4 Ion Air Jet generates a concentrated flow of ionized air, which is ideal when you need to focus on a specific spot without disturbing anything in the surrounding area. They’re quiet, efficient, and OSHA compliant. They are also available with a number of options to further simply installation & operation:
If you can hard plumb an air pipe directly, the Gen4 Ion Air Jet is ready to go, right out of the box.
The Gen4 Deluxe Stay Set Ion Air Jet Kit adds an Automatic Drain Filter Separator and Pressure Regulator so you can keep your air supply clean & moisture free, and dial in the flow & force of the ionized air stream, from a breeze to a blast, or anywhere in between, depending on the needs of your application.
We offer two Power Supply options: the Model 7960 has two ports, which will operate any two EXAIR Static Eliminator Products, and the Model 7961 has four ports, to operate up to four Static Eliminators. They’re switchable for operation with either 115VAC or 230VAC, and come with both cables for your convenience.
The Gen4 Ion Air Jet is just one of EXAIR Corporation’s eight distinct lines of Static Eliminator Products. If you’ve got a problem with static charge, we can help. Give me a call.
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Compressed air, as a utility, dates back to ancient Egypt, where metal alloy production was enhanced by using bellows devices to force air into furnaces in order to generate the extremely high temperatures needed to meld iron ores. Major industrial use began in the mid-19th century, as pneumatic drills became popular for tunneling and mining operations. With the development and large scale production of the modern air compressor in the 20th century, many other uses for compressed air were discovered.
Among the most prevalent of these additional applications is cleaning & blow off. Mechanical or chemical methods such as washing, scrubbing, brushing, wiping, etc. often take time and considerable effort, when a quick blast of high velocity air from a pressurized source can make quick work of debris and/or moisture removal. Thing is, unfettered discharge of high pressure air without concern for safety or efficiency has consequences:
Open end blow offs without a relief path for the air in case the device is dead ended, can have enough energy to break the skin, causing a dangerous and potentially fatal condition known as an air embolism. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifically addresses this danger in 29 CFR 1910.242(b).
They’re also incredibly loud, usually higher than 100 decibels, which exceeds OSHA’s noise exposure limits per 29 CFR 1910.95(a).
As if that wasn’t enough, they can waste an awful lot of compressed air too. The U.S. Department of Energy even goes so far as to classify it as an Inappropriate Use of Compressed Air.
Given these drawbacks, you might wonder why ANYONE would do such a thing! Well, that’s the nature of our business at EXAIR Corporation: manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry. Among these are the first engineered products developed by EXAIR: Air Nozzles and Jets. No matter what your blow off needs are, we’ve got a solution. Consider:
Durability. Some environments where blow off is required are downright aggressive: high heat, exposure to corrosive chemicals, etc. With these situations in mind, we offer Air Nozzles & Jets in a variety of materials of construction, as shown to the right:
Zinc Aluminum alloy
Types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel
PEEK (polyether ether ketone) thermoplastic
Range of operation. Any blow off device’s performance can be varied by regulating the compressed air supply pressure. EXAIR offers several products with even greater ability for change:
The Model 1009 (Aluminum) and 1009SS (303SS) Adjustable Air Nozzles have a micrometer-like dial that allows you to very precisely set the flow & force to exact requirements.
Adjustable Air Jet Models 6019 (brass) and 6019SS (303SS) feature similar operation with a micrometer-like gap adjuster/indicator.
Our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles (available in Zinc Aluminum or 316SS) have a replaceable shim. The standard models have a 0.015″ thick shim installed, and the High Power models have 0.025″ thick shims. We also offer individual shims, and sets, ranging from 0.005″ to 0.030″ thicknesses.
High Velocity Air Jets come in brass or 303SS, and also have replaceable shims. The one that comes installed is 0.015″ thick. The Shim Set gives you a 0.006″ and 0.009″ shim.
Function. Most of our Air Nozzles generate a high velocity air stream coming straight from its end. We’ve also engineered some nozzles for specific applications:
Model 1144 2″ Super Air Scraper is our popular 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a corrosion resistant scraper blade, making quick work of removing stubborn materials like tape, gaskets, labels, grease, paint, or sealant. It’s particularly handy when installed on a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with an appropriate length of pipe extension.
Back Blow Air Nozzles are made to clean out inside diameters or blind holes. Three sizes are available for ID’s of 1/4″ to 16″.
If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can help you get the most out of your compressed air system, give me a call.
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A couple of years ago I got to spend some time with my dad rock climbing in the North Cascades in Washington. My eyes were set on a very easy 5.9 big wall multi-pitch route called Prime Rib of Goat on the Goat Wall in Mazama. The route that we climbed was 1300ft of vertical cliff and one of the most popular beginner routes for getting into large climbs. Both my dad and I are knowledgeable when comes to climbing and were looking for a nice relaxing day on the wall. This is how that relaxing day turned into a crazy rescue…
The trip started out as any normal climbing trip would, an early 6 am flight as we had to get all of our climbing gear through airport security. Once the plane landed, we picked up our rental car and the gorgeous 3.5 hr drive up I-5 along the bay and straight on through the North Cascade National Park. Mazama is a small town with a population of only 158 people located on the East side the Cascades. Once we reached our destination and set up camp, we decided to do a little warm up on the wall to try and beat the stiffness and fatigue from a full day of travel.
The next morning, we woke up a little on the late side (around 7:30 am) got a light breakfast and set out for our goal the Goat Wall. The wall was a short 3 miles outside of town with a not so easy 1-mile hike in 95°F temperatures up a Scree field (basically hill of loose rock at the base of a mountain). Once we reached the base, we loaded up our gear onto our harnesses and started climbing to the first set of anchors (this is what is known as a pitch in climbing terms). Pitches 1 – 6 were fairly straight forward and easy going, water was rationed to ensure that we wouldn’t get dehydrated but at the same time wouldn’t run out of water.
By around 4:00 pm we had reached the halfway point at the top of pitch 6; this is where we ran into two people who were also climbing the same route as us but moving at a much slower pace. Luckily the were two trees that were growing on the cliff so we decided to take a small lunch break in the shade. Around a half hour later I shouted up the cliff to see if the two people had moved on yet; when I heard nothing we started climbing pitch 7. To my surprise the group ahead of us were still sitting at the top of pitch 7.
Turns out that the group had a 40 pound pack with them which was unusual for the single day climb on an easy route that could be easily terminated if needed. After another 10 mins of waiting we decided help them haul this pack of theirs up the wall. It was slow moving up to Pitch 8 and they had run out of water and our water was running low. By the time we had finally reached pitch 9 with all the people things had started to get worse for the group that we were assisting; fatigue and dehydration had brought them to the point of a mental break down.
At this point my dad and I decided to share the last bit of water we had with them and to turn around and bail on the last 3 pitches. It was a slow process moving back down the way we had come and try to keep the group calm; the sun and heat was really starting to take a toll on our bodies. Our lips were cracked and blistered and our mouths had quit producing saliva but we kept trudging on. A relief from the heat came around the time when the sun had set around the top of pitch 4 and from that time onward, we were descending down the cliff face into what seemed like a black abyss.
Finally, we were able to set foot on the ground and low and behold the friends of the group we helped had hiked to the base looking for their friends and they brought water we could all drink. We didn’t get back to the campsite until 1:00 am. The next day my dad and I decided to pack up and head to the coast because we were done climbing.
Here at EXAIR we like to bring that same kind of enthusiasm and perseverance to help you solve your compressed air issues. We will walk you step by step in getting you either the right part or solving any of your technical issues and won’t leave you high and dry.
If you want to talk about any of the 16 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.
Cody Biehle Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook