An E-Vac Improves Manufacturing of Contact Lenses

 

Contact Lens

Vacuum pumps have vanes, electric motors, and bearings that can wear out.

A contact lens manufacturer called EXAIR to ask about our E-Vac Vacuum Generators.  Their operation consisted of using a small vacuum cup to grab the contact lens for polishing.  Due to the long hours of operation, their mechanical vacuum pump would start to malfunction.  The vacuum pressure would start to decline, and the contact lens would begin to shift or fall off.  This would affect the clarity of the lens, and it would have to be rejected.

Our company found that the vanes in the vacuum pumps would start to wear. They would have to shut down the process to recondition the vanes, causing down time.  After a few times of refurbishing the pump heads, the bearings in the electric motors would then start to wear.  A loud high pitch noise would be generated, indicating that the motors needed to be replaced.  This would cause even more downtime.

EXAIR E-Vac Vacuum Generator

After carefully reviewing the customer’s needs, I suggested the model 810002M E-Vac High Vacuum Generator.  This model can create a vacuum level of 27” Hg with only using 2 SCFM of compressed air; perfect for holding the contact lens firm to the vacuum cup for polishing.  The E-Vac has no moving parts or bearing to wear out.  They use compressed air to generate a venturi vacuum, so the only maintenance is to clean or change the compressed air filter yearly.  Its compact size made the E-Vac more versatile than the much larger vacuum pump that it would replace.  The customer could mount the E-Vac much closer reducing the volume of air in the vacuum lines to evacuate.  This gave them an almost instantaneous vacuum at the lens which could improve the speed of the operation.

If you wish to eliminate downtime to fix, change, or recondition motors and pumps, the E-Vac could be the vacuum pump for you.  If you need help to size the correct model for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo: Contact Lens by Andy Simmons.  Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Video Blog: The EXAIR Ultrasonic Leak Detector Works for Vacuum Leaks?

 

A brief video showcasing the EXAIR model 9061, Ultrasonic Leak Detector’s, performance on vacuum leaks.  For more information or questions on what else the ULD can be used for, contact an Application Engineer!

 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

E-Vac For Lubricant Recovery

Over the last 3 months, I have been in contact with a customer, keeping track of an application that involved the EXAIR E-Vac.  The customer had reached out to us looking for some advice on how to solve a process problem. The operation is a drawing/stamping process, and the when the part exits the machine there is coolant that resides in a deep draw section, approx 0.4″ in diameter by 3.5″deep.  About 1 oz of coolant per part is retained, and over many 1000’s of parts, would add up to lost dollars and messy clean up.

The customer was looking for an automated process that would be able to draw out the coolant and direct the liquid back to the coolant reservoir, all while maintaining the current machine run rate. We settled in on the model 840015 Adjustable E-Vac Generator. The Adjustable E-Vac has a straight through pathway from suction through to discharge, allowing for fast evacuation times.  A simple turn of the unit changes the vacuum and flow levels to best match the needs of the application.  The Adjustable E-Vac coupled to a solenoid valve controlled by the stamping machine resulted in the automatic system the customer was looking for.

Adjustable EVac

Adjustable E-Vac Family

The customer ordered a unit, and based on the preliminary bench testing, it was approved for a production run trial. After some tweaking in the production environment, the unit was performing to spec, and was then subjected to a 100,000+ part run.  The results were a success!  Instead of the parts exiting onto an inclined conveyor, relying on gravity to drain and causing coolant to collect under the conveyor, the coolant could be removed in a controlled manner and sent back to the reservoir.  Less mess and no coolant loss.

EXAIR manufactures (3) types of E-Vacs – Low vacuum generators for porous materials, high vacuum generators for non-porous materials, and the adjustable type for flexible vacuum performance.  They are available in multiple sizes, to best match the vacuum requirements, while using the least amount of compressed air.

To discuss your application and how the EXAIR E-VAC can benefit your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Even Our Customers Are Sending “Holiday Gifts”

Lately, it certainly has felt like Christmas here at the factory.  Two customers sent in some sample parts  for us to test and provide solutions for their application issues.  Opening the box is like unwrapping a present, what surprise will we find inside?

The first customer currently uses the Line Vac to convey (3) different parts from the floor to a hopper for the assembly process.  (2) of the (3) parts transfer very well, but the third conveys a little too slowly. Having all three parts here at EXAIR allows us to set up testing and determine what the root cause is and recommend a solution that will work equally well for all three parts.

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The second is interested in our vacuum technologies to pick and place some fiber board material products.  Due to the curved surfaces and porous material, getting a good vacuum could be a challenge. By having the sample parts here, we can utilize our Demo Room, and try various E-Vacs with various vacuum cup designs and possibly the Line Vac or Air Amplifiers  to develop a good suction on each item.

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When it isn’t possible to send in samples, we will stand behind the EXAIR Unconditional Guarantee – purchase a stocked catalog item, and you have 30 days to try it your facility, in your process, under your real world conditions.  If after the 30 days you aren’t satisfied, send it back for a full refund – and try something else!

To discuss your application and find out information about sending in material samples to confirm that an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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A Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor System Really IS Just That Simple. Seriously.

I’m a skeptic by nature. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, is engrained in my cerebral cortex as firmly as anything else. And I know I’m not the only one, if only because of the conversations I have with callers about our Line Vacs. Here are some of the questions we’ll get:

“What all do I need?” Here’s a basic system:

A Line Vac.
A length of hose to get from Point A to Point B.
A supply of compressed air.
Something to convey.

Click on the photo to see a great example of the simplicity of an EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor system in this video.

Click here for a great video example of the simplicity of an EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor system.

That’s it.  You might need something to hold the hose in place.  Or maybe a Mounting Bracket for the Line Vac to hold IT in place…if so, one comes in the Kit.  Which brings me to the next question…

“What ELSE do I need?”

This depends on what you’re conveying.  Anything in your compressed air supply to the Line Vac can get on (or in) the product passing through.  Our Kits include an Automatic Drain Filter Separator, which keeps the air clean & dry.  If you need to keep any trace of oil from your product, we’ve got Oil Removal Filters, which can couple right to the Kit’s Filter Separator.  Not only do they use a coalescing action to remove any trace of oil, they provide additional particulate filtration down to 0.03 microns.  THAT’S some clean, dry air right there.

“What’s the catch?”

By and large, the mission of the Application Engineering staff at EXAIR is to eliminate any “catches.”  We’ll discuss your application with you and make just as solid of a recommendation as we can with the data provided.  We’ll talk about:

The physical nature of your product.  If it can make a combustible mixture with air, we won’t specify a Line Vac.  If it’s particularly low density, we’ll discuss the Light Duty models.  If it’s abrasive or particularly high density, we’ll go to the Heavy Duty models.  If it’s corrosive, we’ve got Stainless Steel.

The environment it’ll be used in.  If it’s hot (or corrosive, like the product,) we’ve got Stainless Steel.  If it’s REALLY hot – up to 900F (482C) – we’ve got High Temperature units.

How you want to hook it up.  We’ve got Conveyance Hose for our standard Line Vacs…it’s reinforced PVC and is awesome for typical industrial/commercial uses.  If you want to use hose with specific properties (food grade, static resistant, high temperature, etc.,) these are all readily commercially available, and are quite commonly seen in successful Line Vac installations.  Our Threaded Line Vacs can be used with NPT pipe fittings & connections for more permanent setups.

Lastly, the “catch” is ours…not yours.  If, after a thorough discussion (mind you, I can talk about Line Vacs all day long…and sometimes I do,) there are still some variables or unanswered questions, we offer all catalog products with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  Try it out – if it doesn’t do what you want, we’ll arrange return for full credit; easy as that.  It’s the complete absence of “catch.”  Oh, and if you buy a Line Vac before October 31, 2016, you’ll get a free 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.

If you’ve got a Line Vac – or any Engineered Compressed Air Product – application you’d like to discuss,  give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Celebrating The Chip Trapper

NFL Football season is officially under way, and my hometown team, the Cincinnati Bengals, are off to a solid start. With less than a minute left in the game on Sunday afternoon, an interception stopped the New York Jets’ final drive, and Who-Dey Nation began to celebrate the win. Some (not me…not as far as you know) may have even celebrated in accordance with a hallowed Bengals tradition:

While I won’t celebrate just ANYTHING (although I do indeed hold prompt service at the deli counter in high regard,) you might get me excited enough to do the Ickey Shuffle if you start talking about how much you like your Chip Trapper.  Just like a caller did this morning.

Now, I’m unabashedly proud of all of our products, so I’m not going to come right out and SAY that I have a favorite any more than I would publicly proclaim one of my children as my favorite.  Although, in all fairness, they’re teenage boys, so at any given time, one of them is quite likely edging out the other on The List.

But back to the Chip Trapper – this morning’s caller just wanted to order some more Filter Bags, but in the midst of our conversation, he started “writing the commercial” for the product:

*It’s extended the life of their coolant – regular removal of solids and particulate contamination means the coolant stays clean & effective.

*It ensures the reliability of the machine – clean coolant doesn’t clog the lines, which WILL wreck the part you’re machining, and probably the tooling too.

*It eliminates odors – OK; nobody ever brags about a “spring fresh” aroma in a machine shop, but bacteria-laden, rancid coolant is the WORST.  Nobody needs to be working around that.  And since that bacteria needs solid surfaces to grow on, filtered coolant is fresh coolant.

*It’s EASY (part 1) – it’ll pump 55 gallons of dirty coolant into the drum in about 90 seconds.  Turn the valve and reverse the direction of the Reversible Drum Vac, and it’ll pump freshly filtered coolant back into the sump just as quickly.

*It’s EASY (part 2) – the Filter Bag holds over 5 gallons (almost 3/4 of a cubic foot) of chips, and the system comes with two of them so you can use one while cleaning out the other.

EXAIR's new Chip Trapper

EXAIR’s Chip Trapper comes in 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Sizes, depending on your needs.

If you’ve got a machine shop and DON’T have a Chip Trapper (yet,) call me; let’s talk.  If you DO have a Chip Trapper and you like it as much as my caller today did, DEFINITELY give me a call.  I might even do the Ickey Shuffle with you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Vacuum Generators: Adjustable E-Vac Holds Parts To Work Station

I’ve written before about the diversity of applications that EXAIR’s compressed air products can be used for – the Super Air Knife and the Line Vac come to mind – but of all the products in our catalog, none have a longer list of applications than the E-Vac Vacuum Generators:

While they're probably most popular for "pick and place" (as evidenced by our catalog photos) the EXAIR E-Vac's boast a wide variety of uses.

While they’re probably most popular for “pick and place” (as evidenced by our catalog photos) the EXAIR E-Vac’s boast a wide variety of uses.

I had the pleasure of helping a customer specify a product another popular application recently: clamping and chucking.  This caller had a machining center with a vacuum table – if you’re unfamiliar, it looks like an air hockey table, and works like one too, only in reverse: instead of using blowing air through all those little holes out to “float” the puck on the surface, it pulls air in through them to pull the part down and hold it in place.

This was for a relatively small table surface…about 9″ x 14″…and some of the holes could be blocked, if smaller parts were to be held down.  It was originally equipped with an electrically driven vacuum pump, but it had seen better days, and a replacement was going to be a little pricey.  They already had compressed air running to the machine, and were keenly interested in something small, inexpensive, and with no moving parts – like the Adjustable E-Vac.

After some discussion of the specs on their vacuum pump, we provided a Model 840008M Adjustable E-Vac & Muffler.  This not only gives them the ability to easily change the vacuum level & flow for different sized parts, but it also has a larger throat than the In-Line E-Vacs, meaning it won’t get clogged by the finite amount of dust & small particulate that can make it through the vacuum table’s holes.

EXAIR has four sizes of Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generators in stock.

EXAIR has four sizes of Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generators in stock.

By my count, we’ve still got fourteen E-Vac applications that I haven’t discussed in a blog yet.  If you’ve got one that you’d like to talk about (and give me something to write about,) feel free to call me anytime.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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