Super Air Wipe Helps in Testing Wire Insulation

A cable manufacturer sent me videos of his operation as they needed to improve their efficiency in removing water from the surface of the insulation. Their system began with the insulation being applied to the outside of the wire cable, being dipped into a water trough to harden the insulation, travel through the blow-off device, then into a spark tester.  The spark tester checks the insulation for imperfections.  Also called a hi-pot tester (high-potential), a high voltage is used to create a large potential across the insulation.  Any defects in the insulation can be detected, but it is very sensitive to surface contamination.  Being that the water is very conductive, it had to be removed or it would give a false result.  They were using a home-made circular blowing device (photo below) to blow the water off after dipping.  When they were at the higher line speeds, the blow-off device was not removing the water completely from the insulation.  This would cause the spark tester to alarm and stop production.

Home-made Air Wipe

Home-made Air Wipe

This company makes cables ranging from 10mm to 25mm in diameter. With various types of voltage ratings on the wire, the insulation was made with different types of materials and thicknesses.  So, the line speeds could range from 20 to 200 meter/minute.  Being that they needed a better way to remove the wire, they searched for wire and cable blow-off devices. They came across the Super Air Wipe from EXAIR.  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 uses the Coanda effect to entrain as much ambient air into your compressed air to maximize force and efficiency.  Because of the variations in diameters and speeds, I suggested two different sizes, the model 2401 and model 2402.  The model 2401 has an I.D. of 1” (25mm), and it would work best with the cable diameters of 15mm and under.  The model 2402 has an I.D. of 2” (51mm), and it can handle the cables that are above 15mm in size. This pair of Super Air Wipes would give the customer the most consistent results no matter what line speeds that they ran.  With the split design of the Super Air Wipe, it makes it easy to clamp around the cable and change from one size to the other.

Super Air Wipe

Super Air Wipe

As they removed their home-made unit and attached the Super Air Wipes, they noticed a few things. The spark tester stopped getting false alarms.  This made the production process run smoother; even at the faster line speeds.  They noticed that the Super Air Wipe was much quieter.  With a decibel rating of 77 dBA, the nearby operators were very happy with this choice.  Also, they noticed that the Super Air Wipes used much less compressed air.  Because the design utilizes the “free” ambient air, less compressed air is required.  This would save them a lot of money in their electric bill and the stress on the compressed air system.  If your company needs to blow off cables, hoses, pipes, or any cylindrical type parts, the Super Air Wipe could be a great product for you.

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

Super Air Wipe Exceeds Expectations

20160714_155430L

This forming application needed a way to remove excess oil (currently being collected by paper towels)

In the application shown above the end user needed to remove excess lubricant from the outside of a tube after a forming process.  The existing setup offered no removal of the excess oil, and as the tubes exited the machine, oil would fall from the tubes and drip onto the floor.  To prevent these oil drops from reaching the floor and accumulating into a potential safety hazard, paper towels were placed at the exit of the machine to catch the oil and replaced as needed.

Considering that a blow off solution was needed to provide coverage to the full OD of the formed tubes, this application was an excellent candidate for a Super Air Wipe.  The Super Air Wipe provides 360° blowoff for the tubes, removing excess oil as the tubes pass through the air stream of the Super Air Wipe.

20160714_155422L

The “wet” side of the application

An added benefit for this application in blowing the excess oil back into the machine was the need for lubrication on the machine components on the “leading” side of this application.  As the tubes exit the machine, no oil is desired; but on the preceding side of the machine, oil is very much needed.  Using the Air Wipe to remove excess oil from the tubes and simultaneously blow this oil back into a needed workspace made this product the perfect fit.

The exact model chosen for this application was the 2404, 4” Super Air Wipe.  Available from stock with same-day shipping, we were able to meet the needs of this application while exceeding customer expectations.

If you have a similar application or would like to discuss your application needs with us, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Will Water Move Through EXAIR Air Knives and Air Wipes? (Images included)

Today, I would like to discuss a question that comes up time and time again over the years.  “What happens when I put water through a Super Air Knife?” That raised another question from myself of what about a Super Air Wipe?

The answer is quite simple, it will come out, just not as good as compressed air does.   The engineering and design for Super Air Knives were all based around compressed air use.  With any good product of course comes the question in time, how else can we use this?   A number of applications for the Super Air Knife is blowing moisture off a part that has been applied through a series of wash/rinse nozzles.  What if the knife could apply the liquid and then a second knife could remove the liquid.  Below are some images from testing that was done on a Stainless Steel Super Air Knife at various gap sizes and various pressures.    The “best” performance visually was from operating the air knife with .004″ gap and approximately  a 17 PSIG inlet pressure (this is for a 12″ Super Air Knife).

Water flowing through a 12" Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

Water flowing through a 12″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife

As you can see in the photos, the water does flow fairly well immediately out of the knife, and becomes more turbulent as it gets further away from the knife.   The stream actually begins to break up and thus the effective distance of the knife may be reduced when using it to flow liquids.   This is not going to perform like a pressure washer, the maximum distance for the stream of liquid before it completely fell off was around 10′ from the discharge point.   If this were to be used to remove loose debris or to cover a part in water to help cool the part the stream would be more than enough to perform.

As noted above the operating pressure was fairly low, and the gap was at a .004″ thickness.  I recently tested a 1″ Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe as well.  The shim gap was once again set to .004″ thick to permit a better flow and a low pressure, approximately 10-12 psig inlet pressure.  As you can see the flow of water is not as smooth as the air flow out of a Super Air Wipe but if a light rinsing process was needed, or a water cooling process, this would work well.

1" Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe w/ Water

1″ Stainless Steel Super Air Wipe w/ Water

 

So the answer to the main question at hand is yes, a Super Air Knife and Super Air Wipe will both operate with a pressurized liquid source under the correct circumstances.   While they do not operate exactly like they do with compressed air, the results still prove useful in certain applications.

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

Super Air Wipe and Back Blow Nozzle Increase Production at a Pipe Manufacturer

Last week I took a call from a pipe and tube manufacturer who was looking for a solution for two problem areas within their process of manufacturing 1″ pipe.

First, they were removing moisture from the outside of the pipe after a rinse cycle, to prepare the material for painting. To remove the water, they had an operator with a hand held blow gun and shop rag who blows off the residual fluid, then manually wipes it clean. This process added time to their process, reduced overall production and increased labor.

Since 1″ schedule 40 pipe has a 1.3″ outside diameter, I recommended they use our 2″ Super Air Wipe for this particular part of the process. The Super Air Wipe produces a 360° ring of air to clean, cool or dry the outside surface of a hose, tube, pipe, etc. as it passes through the center of the unit. Installation is simple as the unit features a split design which can easily be clamped around the material, with the need to remove it from the machine.

Super Air Wipe

Super Air Wipes are available from 1/2 up to 11″.

The second issue they were experiencing was as they cut the pipe to length, they are seeing the cutting fluid and scrap chips settle on the inside which again requires the same operator to manually clean this surface as well. I recommended using our Back Blow Air Gun Model # 1204SS-12-CS Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with Model 1004SS Atto Back Blow Nozzle, 12″ aluminum extension and Chip Shield. The Back Blow Nozzle’s airflow is directed away from the nozzle and provides a 360° ring of air, making it the ideal choice for blowing out the I.D. of a pipe. With this particular design, you eliminate the risk of blowing the chips and fluid out of the far end or pushing debris farther into the pipe. It also prevents the potential of blowing debris toward other personnel or machinery. The Chip Shield protects the operator from the particulate being removed for the inside area.

 

1006ss

Unique Design For Treating Inside Diameter of Pipe

If you have any questions about these products or would like to discuss your particular application, give us a call so we can help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

EXAIR Products Work Together In Laser Weld Application

I was recently contacted by an engineer for a large car manufacturer looking for a better solution to protecting the glass lens on their laser welding machine. During the weld process, there is a large amount of excess slag that rises and breaks the glass lens that houses the laser. They are currently using a very expensive, bolt-in air cartridge, supplied by the machine OEM based overseas but it doesn’t produce a high enough velocity of airflow to protect the glass. The existing design incorporates a replaceable glass lens with the hopes that if the slag is able to get past the airflow, the spare lens would break and signal a failure. The problem they were experiencing is the spare lens is being broken during almost every weld, causing major backups in production not to mention the money being wasted on replacement lenses and spare parts shipping from overseas.  They went as far as adding additional homemade nozzles and other blowoffs to the process hoping for better containment but these failed as well. The customer is somewhat local and was able to bring the existing cartridge and other devices  for us to flow test and see what recommendations we might have for a solution.

Upon flow testing the cartridge, we noticed that the output flow was not forceful and the air was just blowing around inside the housing, there was no directional airflow to blow away from the lens. The design of this cartridge was poor and did not effectively use the compressed air.

To replace the poorly designed cartridge, I recommended the customer use our Super Air Wipe. The Super Air Wipe provides a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that is typically used to treat the outside of a hose, tube, extruded shape, etc. as it passing through the center. Since the existing unit isn’t producing much airflow, the idea was to mount the Super Air Wipe in front of the main glass with the airflow blowing down. This would not only keep the slag from contacting the glass but would also blow the slag away so they could maintain a clean weld.

Super Air Wipe

Super Air Wipe available from 1/2″ up to 11″

They also were able to bring the homemade nozzles and an air knife used at different areas of the machine system supplied by the OEM. When we started the test, the customer commented that “these don’t really produce much airflow either but I thought I would have them tested”. Fair enough, so that’s what we did and boy were we surprised! The units actually produced a VERY high velocity airflow but were very loud, inefficient and provided much more force than they would need in a blowoff application further down the line. At the customers facility these existing units were being supplied by a 12mm header tube which was restricting their performance. I recommended our 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle and our 6″ Super Air Knife as possible replacements. These products would provide a much lower sound level, a decrease in their air consumption and a more suitable force for their particular needs – it resulted in a win-win situation.

We understand that not every customer has the capability of visiting our facility for this kind of testing. For this very reason, we offer our Efficiency Lab – a free service where you can send us your existing product, we will test it’s performance and provide a detailed report. We can then make a possible recommendation for an EXAIR replacement.

EXAIR Efficiency Lab

EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab will test your product for force, flow, and noise.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Standard Air Wipe Improves Results and Replaces Inefficient Flat Plastic Nozzles

Last week I chatted with a customer who was looking for some “good” air wipes to replace their current setup. They are in the wire and cable industry and are having a difficult time removing water from their product during higher speed runs (500 fpm). They were currently using (6) flat plastic nozzles that were doing an okay job until they got to the higher speeds, and they were using a lot of air. The nozzles were mounted on flexible hose so they could position them to try an achieve maximum blow off but were still seeing some residual moisture.

Coolant Type Nozzle

Example of the flat plastic nozzle currently being used.

I recommend they use our Standard Air Wipe for this process. The Standard Air Wipe provides a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow, capable of removing the water from the surface of the cable as it passes through the unit. With it’s aluminum construction and included PVC air hose (up to 4″ diameter), it’s a good choice for general, non-corrosive applications. The unit entrains a large volume of surrounding, ambient air, resulting in minimal compressed air usage, much more efficient than the current (6) plastic nozzles being used. The unique, split design of the Air Wipe features 2 halves that are coupled together – One bracket is notched, while the other remains stationary, allowing the unit to be easily mounted around the material.

Standard Air Wipe

Standard Air Wipe available in sizes from 1/2″ up to 11″ ID throat diameter.

For help with a similar application or to discuss how the Air Wipe might be best used in your process, please contact an application engineer.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

Use The Force…Or Not…It’s Up To You, Really

The month of May, in 1977, was a great time to be ten years old. I was finishing up my fifth grade year, a pivotal one, thanks to Miss Walker, who ended up being my favorite teacher ever. She had a pet rat named A.J. that we took turns taking home for the weekend. She rewarded us for class performance by taking us outside to play softball on warm & sunny spring afternoons. I trace my love for math (and hence, my inspiration for a career in engineering) to the excitement she instilled in me for the subject…I was among the first to master the multiplication tables.

And then there was Star Wars. There were commercials for the movie and the toys and the merchandise on TV; I swear they ran every five minutes. A fast food chain released a series of posters (free with purchase) and every time a new one came out, Miss Walker promptly hung it on the classroom wall. None of us, her included, could hardly wait until the premiere. I could go on (and on and on and on,) but suffice it to say (for the purposes of this blog,) I’ve been a BIG fan ever since.

Which brings us to today…opening day for “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” The first time, by the way, a Star Wars movie hasn’t premiered in the month of May, but I digress. The 10 year old inside me wants to go see it RIGHT NOW, but the grownup I have to be has a company Christmas party, two Boy Scout events, and a pre-holiday “honey-do” list to attend to first.

Of course, the “other” epic space movie series couldn’t resist launching THEIR new trailer this week…

All this talk about The Force (capital “F”) and the fact that I write this blog on company time has me thinking about compressed air applications that involve force (lower case “f”) and how using force (unlike “The Force”) is not always prudent.

This is the case in just about any blow off application that uses air under pressure. Open ended copper tubing, drilled pipes, etc., are common and easy ways to discharge compressed air for debris removal, drying, or cooling a part. But the fact is, they waste a LOT of the energy devoted to compressing the air by simply turning it into brute force and noise.

This is where EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products(r) come in: by using the energy of the compressed air to entrain air from the surrounding environment, the total air flow is amplified, resulting in a high velocity blast, at minimal consumption. No; it doesn’t have the same amount of force as an open ended discharge device, but most blow off applications don’t need all that much force anyway.

Of course, there ARE situations where you need to use the force, and we’ve got efficient and OSHA compliant ways to do that too: additional shims in Air Knives, Air Wipes & Air Amplifiers, or larger Super Air Nozzles.

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” the continuing theme of the Star Wars saga is to use The Force properly. For the past 32 years, the continuing theme at EXAIR is to help you use the force (of your compressed air) properly. Let me know how we can help.

May The Force be with us all…this weekend, and always.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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