A close relative to the Super Air Knife, the Super Air Wipe provides a uniform 360° laminar airflow for blowing off, drying, cleaning, and cooling a wide variety of pipe, cable, extruded shapes, hose, and wire. Its split design allows it to be easily clamped around the surface of the material without having to “feed” the material through.
The Super Air Wipe is available in aluminum construction in sizes ranging from 3/8” – 11” diameter. All Super Air Wipes comes with stainless steel hardware and stainless steel shims. Sizes up to 4” include plumbing to supply both halves of the Super Air Wipe. Sizes over 4” should be piped directly to each ¼ NPT compressed air inlet on each half. In addition to aluminum construction, the Super Air Wipe is also available in 303 stainless steel for corrosive or high temperature applications. The Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe can withstand temperatures up to 800°F and is available in sizes from ½”-4” from stock.
Much like the Super Air Knife, the Super Air Wipe has ¼-20 tapped holes along the downstream side that can be used for mounting. Smaller Super Air Wipes can be supported by rigid compressed air pipe that is used to supply the unit. The Super Air Wipe is also infinitely adjustable through the use of shim sets or a pressure regulator. Kits will include the Super Air Wipe, shim set to make gross adjustments to the airflow, an auto-drain filter to keep the air clean and dry, and a pressure regulator. By adjusting the input supply pressure to the Super Air Wipe, you regulate both the force and flow that is projected onto the target material. Increasing the input supply pressure will increase both the force and flow from the Super Air Wipe. This video blog demonstrates how effective the Air Wipe is when drying 1-1/2” PVC pipe:
If you’re processing any type of hose, wire, or extruded shapes that could benefit from installing a Super Air Wipe, give us a call. With all sizes shipping from stock on an order received by 3:00 pm EDT we can have one to you as early as tomorrow!
A tier 2 automotive company makes small metal boxes with a process which includes laser welding and a vision inspection system. The machine was programmed to weld different components onto the metal enclosure. During the welding operation, an optical sensor would check the quality of the welds. The vision system used a lens to protect the sensor from welding slag and debris. After a few operations, they started seeing false positives in the welding areas, and the metal enclosure would be flagged for rejection. In investigating the issue, they found that the lens was getting dirty from the welding operation. Because of the sensitivity of the sensor, it would detect the debris and marks on the lens and signal for poor weld. The lens was doing its part in protecting the sensor from damage; but, they needed a way to shield the lens from dirt and slag during the welding operation and visual inspection.
With this process, the machine would weld metal fasteners onto an enclosure by laser. The optical sensor would move along the welded areas to check the quality. In a lead/lag operation, the vision system would check the welds after a few seconds of cooling. So, both operations were occurring at the same time but at different intervals. When they started to see the rejection rate increase, they would have to stop the operation, clean the lens, and verify the integrity of the welds. In some cases, they would have to replace the 1 ¼” diameter lens especially if a piece of welding slag marred the surface. With incorrect rejections and lens cleaning, downtime was hurting their production rates and cost.
This customer wanted to use compressed air because it is a powerful and invisible way to create a shield. Since EXAIR is a leader in efficient and effective ways to use compressed air, they contacted us for help. Initially, I suggested a Super Air Knife to deflect any slag and debris from the lens surface. I showed a prior solution to a very similar issue; “Air Shielding a Laser Lens” (Reference below). But, because of the proximity to the part and the limitation in space, the Super Air Knife configuration in the solution below would make it impossible to use. They were looking for a product that could be mounted either flush or behind the surface of the lens and still protect it.
To accommodate for this request, we had to direct the compressed air stream at an angle. EXAIR manufacturers a product that can do just that, the Super Air Wipe. The design of the Super Air Wipe blows compressed air at a 30-degree angle toward the center in a 360-degree air pattern, just like a cone. It can be placed around the lens and still be able to create a “wall” of air to block any slag or debris from hitting the lens.
I recommended the model 2452SS, 2” Super Air Wipe Kit. This Super Air Wipe has the body, braided hose, hardware, and shims that is made from stainless steel. It can handle the high heat loads from the welding process as well as to allow for easy cleanup after a day of operating. The kit includes a filter, to keep the compressed air clean; a regulator, to finely tune the force requirement; and a shim set. The shim set includes two additional sets of shims that can be added to increase the force of protection if needed. With the kit, the customer can “dial” in the correct amount of force needed to keep the lens clean without using excessive amount of compressed air.
As an added benefit of saving compressed air, the Super Air Wipe uses the Coanda effect to maximize the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air stream. This makes the unit very efficient and very powerful. The Super Air Wipe was mounted just behind the lens like the customer required (Reference mock picture below), and the sensor could examine the welds without any interference with the metal enclosure.
Visual inspections systems are highly accurate pieces of equipment, and a dirty lens will affect the performance. EXAIR has many ways to keep the lens clean with a non-contact invisible barrier to protect sensors, cameras, and lasers. If you have a similar application, you can contact an Application Engineer to determine the best way to keep the lens clean and your equipment functional. After mounting the Super Air Wipe, the customer above eliminated any false rejections, and dramatically decreased any downtime for cleaning or replacing the lens in his welding machine.
I don’t want to sound “preachy,” but I’m a stickler for using the right tool for the job. Case in point: just the other day, I noticed (OK; my wife told me about) a loose drawer handle. I went to my toolbox in the garage to get a flat-head screwdriver, even though the drawer in question had a selection of butter knives, any one of which could have been used to tighten that screw.
I can trace this, without doubt or hesitation, to my service in the US Navy, under the direction of Senior Chief Cooper. Proper tool selection & use was VERY important to him. He stressed the issues of safety, quality, and performance, but if that didn’t work, he’d make his point with an offer to demonstrate the use of a specific tool (a ball peen hammer) on a sensitive part of your anatomy (it’s exactly the part you’re thinking of.) At that point, it would have been unwise (and unsafe) to question whether that was a proper use of the tool or not.
Likewise, there are safety, quality, and performance issues associated with compressed air blow offs. At EXAIR, we’re ALL sticklers about this, and we get calls all the time to discuss ways to get more out of compressed air systems by using the right products. Here’s a “textbook” example:
A hose manufacturer contacted me to find out more about our Air Wipes, and how they might be a better fit for their various cleaning & drying applications (spoiler alert: they are.) The blow offs they were using were made of modular hose, designed (and very successfully used) for coolant spraying in machine tools.
The selection process was two-fold: they purchased one Model 2401 1″ Super Air Wipeto verify performance, and they sent in some of their modular hose assemblies for Efficiency Lab testing. The first part was just as important as the second because, no matter how much air they were going to save (another spoiler alert: it was significant,) it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t get the job done. At the station shown above, the Super Air Wipe resulted in superior performance, and a compressed air cost savings of over $400.00 annually. For that one station. Based on that, they outfitted TWENTY FIVE stations with engineered product sized for their different hoses, using our Model 2400 (1/2″), 2401 (1″), 2402 (2″) and 2403 (3″) Super Air Wipes.
If you’d like to find out how using the right product for the job can help your operation, give me a call.
A large manufacturing company called looking for a better solution to control the thickness of a curing agent being applied to the outside of tubing used in the automotive industry. The tubing is formed in an extruder and travels through a liquid cooling chamber and then air dried. After the tubing is dried, it is sent to a spray chamber where the curing agent is applied to the exterior. On the exit side of the spray chamber, the customer had installed several flexible air lines placed around the perimeter of the tubing to blow air across the surface to help control the coating thickness. This worked somewhat but they were seeing an increase in the amount of rejected material as the air pattern was sporadic and uneven, which caused streaking and dry spots in certain areas of the tubing. They reviewed our web site and familiarized themselves with our Air Wipes but were unsure of the best design and size to fit their need so they reached out for assistance.
After further discussing the process, their tube O.D. sizes range from 3/8″ – 1/2″, making our 1″ Air Wipe the ideal solution. As far as the design, the Standard or Super Air Wipe, I recommended they use our Model # 2451 Super Air Wipe kit due to the aluminum construction and stainless steel wired braided hoses being able to withstand the potential temperature in the area of 200°F. The kit includes a filter separator to remove any water or contaminants in the supply and a pressure regulator which would allow them to control the flow and force of the exiting air, to help “dial” it in to fit the demand of the application.
EXAIR Air Wipes features a split design, which can easily be clamped around the material, to provide a 360° uniform airflow, perfect for treating the surface of round shapes, like extruded tubing. If you have an application where you are needing to dry, cool or clean the outside of a pipe, hose or cable, contact an application engineer for help making the best product selection.
For many years we as Americans wanted to biggie size, super size, or mega size anything and everything we could. For myself that mainly meant the fries and drink I used to get at any local fast food joint. Now that I have hit my mid-30s and all of that has started to catch up to me, I don’t always want the large fry or any fries at all, instead I might try a new salad and trying to eat healthy. Here at EXAIR, we don’t always associate bigger with better but we do always fill the need when we don’t have something off the shelf.
However, there are still occasions where going super size is necessary and this week, we did just that. We had a customer ask if we can go bigger on our Super Air Wipes. We simply asked how big they needed to go and what the reasoning is for it. Turns out, the reasoning for the larger Super Air Wipe was a newly designed automated cell in a pipe manufacturing facility. The stock 11″ was too small to fit the 11″ max. diameter piece through to blow off debris so they requested a 12″ Super Air Wipe. To top off the customization, they were also in need of BP threaded air inlets.
Within a matter of weeks our customer has gone from a product they didn’t know was possible, to shipping out to their site. This is a one off, custom machined, Super Air Wipe that has a 12″ Throat Diameter. The only parts on this that are from our standard stock are the bolts, stickers, and the connecting / hinge plates(The clam shell design requires these.).
If you have an application where you don’t think we have exactly what you need or maybe you need to go bigger, or smaller, than what we show in the catalog don’t move on and try to find something else. Give an Application Engineer a call and we will see how we can tailor our products to your exact needs.
A tubing manufacturer called looking for a better way to dry their 3″ (O.D.) tubes after a rinse application. In their current setup, the tubes are being cut by a band saw, which uses flood coolant to keep the blade cool and evacuate chips. After the tubes are cut, they are then bundled together and dipped into a rinse tank to remove the cutting fluid and any machining debris on the surfaces. The tubes are then fed, one by one, through a series of blower driven air knives placed around the outside of the tubing to dry and clean them before a painting and bar code process. The air knives were working somewhat, but they were seeing some residual streaking on the surface of the tubes that needed to be manually cleaned by hand, slowing down the process.
I recommended the customer use our 4″ Standard Air Wipe in their application. EXAIR Air Wipes provide a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that adheres to the outside surface, as it passes through the throat of the device. Here is a short video we made showing the cleaning power of our Standard Air Wipes.
The Standard Air Wipe is available in stock sizes from 1/2″ up to 11″. The aluminum construction and PVC hose (included on sizes up to 4″) is suitable for most “general” industrial environments with ambient temperatures reaching as high as 150°F. We also offer Stainless Steel Super Air Wipes, which have the same performance as the Standard, for processes requiring superior corrosion resistance and/or where higher temperatures are possible, up to 800°F.
For help selecting the best product to fit your particular need, please contact an application engineer for assistance.
As machined parts require tighter tolerances, machine shops are starting to look at Swiss-type CNC machines. These types of machines are extremely accurate and very fast in producing small parts. But in order to reach that level of accuracy, the bar stock may have to be pre-treated by a centerless grinder.
Our customer was using Swiss-type CNC machines with guide bushings to produce a very tight-tolerance part. Because they were using guide bushings, the outside diameter of the bar stock had to be smooth and concentric. This helps to reduce any vibration when machining. A centerless grinder was used to accomplish this. The bar stock that they used was 10 feet long and it was placed into a bar feeder. They had to grind the bar to an outer diameter of 30mm with a surface finish of 32Ra. As they were loading the bar stock, they noticed that the surface finish was scuffed and marred. This was enough to affect the machining process and not meet the tolerance standard.
As they reviewed the possible causes, they found that after the bar was ground, some grinding remnants were sticking to the outside of the bar. As the rods were leaving the grinder and placed onto a roller-type conveyor, the oily film and metal shavings were sticking to the rollers. This would scrape and mark the rods as they traveled along the conveyor toward the Swiss-type machining center. As an attempt to remove this debris, they attached two copper tubes to blow compressed air onto the top and bottom of the bar. Not only was this loud and inefficient, it was not effective. They still had a dirty line along the sides of the rod that remained. They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them with this dilemma.
In order to get a consistent blow-off force around the entire circumference of the rod, EXAIR Air Wipes were engineered to be an ideal solution for this kind of problem. I recommended the model 2482 Standard Air Wipe Kit. The Standard Air Wipe is designed to blow compressed air in a 360 degree flow pattern. This air pattern is directed at a 30 degree angle toward the center to blow the debris off of the bar stock. The Coanda effect maximizes the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air. This makes the unit very efficient and powerful. The model 2482 Standard Air Wipe has an I.D. of 2” (51mm) which gives it enough clearance for the 30mm bar stock. It can be mounted easily near the exit of the centerless grinder to keep the grinding remnants inside the machine. The kit includes a filter, regulator, and shim set. The filter will remove contaminants from the compressed air system to keep from introducing any new grime and to keep the inside of the Air Wipe clean and functional. The shim set and regulator provide the ability to adjust the air to the ideal force level and remove any debris from the surface of the bar.
As they removed their home-made copper tubes and attached the Standard Air Wipe, they noticed some great improvements. The dark lines of debris previously along the sides of the bar stock were gone. The surface was clean around the entire circumference of the bar. The customer also noticed that the Standard Air Wipe was much quieter than their home-made solution, as it only has a decibel rating of 77 dBA. As an added benefit, the Standard Air Wipe was using much less compressed air than the copper tubes. This is due to its design to maximize the amplification ratio. With more of the “free” ambient air than the compressed air being moved over the target area, it will save money in compressed air usage. The ROI could be less than four months.