Monitor Your Compressed Air System With EXAIR’s Digital Flowmeters

A topic that we’ve talked about here on the EXAIR blog discusses the costs of compressed air and how to use it more efficiently. How can you determine the costs of your compressed air? The first step you’ll need to take is to quantify the flow. In order to do that you’ll need a measurement tool such as the EXAIR Digital Flowmeter.


EXAIR’s family of Digital Flowmeters

The Digital Flowmeter is available from stock for use on Schedule 40 pipe with sizes ranging from ½”-4” I.D. Sizes up to 6” for Schedule 40 and ¾”-4” for copper pipe are also available. With a digital readout display, it’s easy to accurately monitor your compressed air usage throughout the facility. Creating a baseline of your usage will allow you to understand your compressed air demand, identify costly leaks, and replace inefficient air products.

The Digital Flowmeter installs in minutes with help from a drill guide and locating fixture to assist in mounting the Digital Flowmeter to the pipe. Two flow sensing probes are inserted into the drilled holes in the pipe. The meter then seals to the pipe once tightened. There is no need to cut, weld, or do any calibration once it is installed. With blocking rings also available, installation can be permanent or temporary.

The newest addition to this product line is the Digital Flowmeter with wireless capability. Using a ZigBee® mesh network protocol, data is transmitted to an Ethernet connected gateway. This allows you to mount the Digital Flowmeter in areas that you may not be able to easily access and wirelessly monitor and graph the usage with the EXAIR Logger software. Take a peek at this video blog for a demonstration of the use of a wireless Digital Flowmeter software to compare an open pipe to an engineered Air Nozzle.


In addition to communicating wirelessly with the gateway, the Digital Flowmeters can “piggyback” off of each other to extend their range. Each meter has a range of 100’. Using multiple Digital Flowmeters within the same ZigBee® mesh network, data can be passed from meter to meter to extend the distance over which the meters can operate. These can be installed on each major leg of your compressed air system to continuously monitor usage throughout the facility.

If you’d rather go with a hard-wired data collection method, the Digital Flowmeter is also available with a USB Data Logger. Simply remove the Data Logger from the Digital Flowmeter and connect it to the USB port of your computer. The data can then be viewed directly in the accompanying software or exported into Microsoft Excel.


Digital Flowmeter w/ USB Data Logger installed

If you’d like to get a clear view of your compressed air usage, give us a call. An Application Engineer will be happy to work with you and get the proper Digital Flowmeters installed in your facility!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles: 38 Day ROI Saves Money

Blow off station

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.  (Reference picture)  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.  (The numbers below can be adjusted to match your application and blow-off devices).


Cost of compressed air: $0.25/1000 cubic feet of air (this is based on $0.08/Kwh of electrical cost)

Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG

Flow:  6mm ID copper tube – 42 SCFM at 80 PSIG


The difference in compressed air flows from a 6mm tube to the Nano Super Air Nozzle is (42 SCFM – 8.3 SCFM) = 33.7 SCFM.  At a 30% duty cycle, we get 33.7 SCFM * 0.3 = 10.2 SCFM (cubic feet/minute) of additional compressed air being used.

Per day, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

10.2 cubic feet/minute * 60 min/hr * 8 hr/day (one shift) = 4,896 cubic feet per day.

Per week, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

4,896 cubic feet/day * 5 days/week = 24,480 cubic feet per week.

Per year, the additional amount of compressed air wasted is:

4,896 cubic feet/day * 250 days/year = 1,224,000 cubic feet per year.


With the cost to make compressed air at $0.25/1000 cubic feet, we have the following:

4,896 cubic feet/day * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $1.22 per day

24,480 cubic feet/week * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $6.12 per week

1,224,000 cubic feet/year * $0.25/1000 cubic feet = $306.00 per year.

From these values, the payback for a model 1110SS Super Air Nozzle is just under 38 days.  Because the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are so efficient, some utility companies will offer a rebate program to use them.  This will improve your ROI even more.  (We can check to see if your local electric company participates in these programs).  Just think, the remaining life of the Super Air Nozzle will be using less compressed air and saving much money for the company.

The calculations above are only for one nozzle.  As discussed above with the engineer, they had 4 tubes/station and 25 stations in their plant.  So, if you multiply each figure by 100, you can see the large amount of money that can be saved.   The engineer presented these figures to upper management, and it was an easy decision to replace all the copper tubes with EXAIR nozzles.

Nano Super Air Nozzle

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.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Many Ways to $ave on Compressed Air Costs

Using compressed air in the plant is common for many types of processes.  Typical uses are drying, cooling, cleaning and conveying. Compressed air does have a cost to consider, and there are many ways to keep the usage and the costs as low as possible.  The first step is to use an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product, which has been engineered to provide the most performance while using the least amount of compressed air. The next step is to control the use of the air, to only have it on when needed.

EXAIR offers the EFC – Electronic Flow Control.  It offers the most comprehensive method to maximize the efficiency of compressed air usage.  It combines a photoelectric sensor with a timing control that operates a solenoid valve to turn on and off the air as required. With 8 different program types, an on/off mode that works with any process can be programmed ensuring that the minimum amount of compressed air is used.  You can use the online EFC Savings Calculator to see how quickly the savings add up!


EFC – Electronic Flow Control

Another method would be to use a solenoid valve with some other method of control. Depending on the process, the solenoid could be energized via a machine control output, or as simple as an electrical push button station. EXAIR offers solenoid valves in a variety of flow rates (from 40 to 350 SCFM) and voltages (24 VDC, 120 VAC and 240 VAC) to match the air flow requirements of the products we provide, while integrating into the facility and available supply voltages.

For control of the Cabinet Cooler Systems, the ETC – Electronic Temperature Control, uses a thermocouple to measure cabinet temperature and cycle the system on and off to maintain a precise cabinet temperature, and provides a digital readout of the internal temperatures and on the fly adjustment.  Also available is the Thermostat Control models, which utilize an adjustable bimetallic thermostat to control the solenoid valve, also cycling the unit on and off as needed to maintain a set cabinet temperature.


ETC – Electronic Temperature Control

There are several manual methods that can be used to control the compressed air.  A simple valve can be used to turn the air off when not needed, whether at the end of the work day, at break time, or whenever the air isn’t required.  We offer several options, from a foot controlled valve, to a magnetic base with on/off valve, to a simple quarter turn ball valve.

footpedalvalve (2)dualstand (2) manual_valves (2)


To discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can control the air supply and save you money, 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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How Much Money Will You Save with Engineered Air Nozzles

The simplicity of installing an air nozzle and the importance of saving compressed air (which in turn saves money) go hand-in-hand with our engineered air nozzle product line. For an 8 hour shift running 250 days per year, replacing one 1/4″ open air tube can save $650 dollars per year. Replacing any run-of-the-mill, commercial air nozzle can typically save $330 dollars per year!

How many open tubes or commercial air nozzles do you have?
10 tube replacements = $6500 saved per year
25 tube replacements = $16,250 saved per year
50 tube replacements = $32,500 saved per year                          

10 commercial nozzle replacements = $3300 saved per year
25 commercial nozzle replacements = $8250 saved per year
50 commercial nozzle replacements = $$16,500 saved per year

If you want to know EXACTLY how much replacing your current compressed air blow off devices with EXAIR engineered air nozzles will save you, take advantage of our free Efficiency Lab. We will test your current device for flow, force and noise levels with our calibrated equipment. You will receive a report with all the details, including and ROI – which is generally within weeks!Capture2


To see our complete line of nozzles, get our Blowoff Guide sent to your desk. EXAIR offers Air Nozzles ranging in thread size from our smallest Atto Super Air Nozzle with an M4 thread providing 2.0 ounces of force to our largest 1-1/4″ NPT Super Air Nozzle providing 23 lbs. of force. In addition to the various thread size and force levels, select nozzles are also offered in brass, stainless steel, zinc aluminum alloy and even PEEK plastic for superior chemical resistance or applications needing a non-marring nozzle (a maintenance crew for a large telescope used the PEEK nozzles to blow off their large mirrors). Offering such a wide variety to choose from, selection can seem like a daunting task. Luckily we have you covered with our FREE Blowoff Guide to help make the best product selection for your needs. The Blowoff Guide features performance specs as well as dimensional information and airflow patterns. Some things to consider when making a choice would be matching existing pipe size, material compatibility, noise level in the area, compressed air requirement and/or force required for successful blowoff.

Blowoff guide

To order your FREE Blowoff Guide, please click here.

We also offer a few handy accessories for our Air Nozzles as well. For example our Flexible Stay Set Hose are available with 1/4 MNPT X 1/4 MNPT fittings or 1/4 MNPT x 1/8 FNPT connections and lengths from 6″ up to 36″. The Stay Set Hose can be bent to deliver the air to the critical area while holding position until it is manually repositioned.

stay sets

Flexible and durable, EXAIR Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6″ to 36″.

Additionally we offer our Swivel Fittings allowing for 25 degrees of movement to provide the best angle for air delivery to the part. These useful tools are available in 316ss or 303ss from M4 thread up to our largest 1″ NPT size.

Swivel Fittings

Swivel Fittings make it easy to adjust the aim of your Air Nozzle.

For help selecting the right engineered Air Nozzle and accessory to fit your specific application, please contact EXAIR for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


Save Money By Using Your Own Thermostat? Well…

Last week, I wrote about what a great idea it is to use a thermostat with a Cabinet Cooler System. I’ll let another cat out of the bag right now and tell you that there are less expensive thermostats than ours. But just like the savings you might realize on the purchase by foregoing a thermostat, using a poorly specified thermostat can also be the last savings you see.

In a Cabinet Cooler System application, we’re refrigerating air. This makes for a cool, clean, and dry atmosphere for your electrical & electronic components to operate in.

UL Listed & CE Compliant, EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems maintain NEMA 4, 4X, or 12 integrity.

UL Listed & CE Compliant, EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems maintain NEMA 4, 4X, or 12 integrity.

Not all thermostats are designed to read air temperature – in fact, a LOT of common, commercially available thermostats are designed for use with liquid. Using these to control air temperature will lead to slow response times. That means one of two things will happen:

When the air inside the enclosure is cooled to the thermostat’s set-point temperature, it won’t shut off the compressed air flow to the Cabinet Cooler unit, resulting in unnecessary compressed air consumption.  And that’s a shame.


When the air inside the enclosure is heated to the thermostat’s set-point temperature, it won’t start the compressed air flow to the Cabinet Cooler unit, resulting in a potential overheating of those expensive…or critical…or both…electronic components.  And that’s a REAL shame.

We don’t want to see you using any more compressed air than you need to.  And we SERIOUSLY don’t want to see you fry your electronics.  If you’d like to find out more about EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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A Perfect Fit for Primary Metal Manufacturing

Primary metal manufacturing and processing plants tend to have a variety of applications using compressed air, some of which can be quite large.  Our Finnish distributor found just such an application, using a high volume of compressed air under unsafe conditions.


Homemade air gun at a metal manufacturing plant in Finland

In the photo above you can see a homemade air gun used to provide a high force blow off.  This unit has a welded cone on the end of a metal pipe using a ¼ turn ball valve to control the compressed air.  When the ball valve is turned the airflow remains constant until the operator returns the valve to the closed position.  This means that if the operator were to let go of the unit for any reason, the air gun would continue to blow, creating a safety hazard.

In addition to this concern, the welded cone at the end of the pipe provides no protection for high dead end pressures, creating a potential source of an air embolism if contacting human skin.  This can lead to difficulty breathing, chest pain, low blood pressure, or even a stroke (Source: MedScape; Venous Air Embolism; Updated December 8th, 2015).

The end user had accepted the risks associated with this homemade device because they were unaware of anything in the market capable of meeting the volume and force necessary to meet their application needs.  That is, until they were shown the EXAIR Super Blast Safety Air Gun model 1218.

Feeding the compressed air through an automatically closing ball valve, the 1218 removed the threat of unwanted flow from such a high force air gun.  The model 1218 also provides more than enough force and flow – the existing setup uses a 1-1/4” diameter orifice with a flow rate of 1986 SCFM (56,233 SLPM) with an unknown entrainment ratio; the 1218 has a flow rate of 460 SCFM (13,026 SLPM) with an entrainment ratio of 25:1, making the total directed flow equal to 11,500 SCFM (325,650 SLPM)!  This means the application can produce better or equal performance at a fraction of the compressed air consumption, thanks to the engineered design of EXAIR nozzles.  (See below for operational cost comparison.)

By converting to an EXAIR Super Blast Safety Air Gun this customer was able to add safety, increase performance, and lower operating costs.  If you have an application you think could benefit from better safety, performance, or operating cost, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer


Compressed air costs are calculated as follows:

Previous setup:

1,986 SCFM compressed air consumption.  At a cost of $0.25/1000 SCF this equates to:

1,986 * ($0.25/1000) = $0.4965 for every minute of use

EXAIR model 1218:

460 SCFM compressed air consumption.  At the same cost of $0.25/1000 SCF this equates to:

460 * ($0.25/1000) = $0.115 for every minute of use

When comparing the two, the EXAIR model 1218 will provide an operational cost savings of almost 77%!

And, if you’re wondering how we determined the airflow through the existing setup, we used the charts below.

air calcs

Air calcs for the flow through a 1-1/4″ orifice

Calculating Compressed Air Cost & Savings Made Easy

If you have ever looked through our catalog, website, blog, twitter feeds, or even our Facebook page, you will see that we can almost always put a dollar amount behind the amount of compressed air you saved by installing EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products.   No matter which platform we use to deliver the message, we use the same value for the cost of compressed air which is $.25 per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. This value is derived from average commercial and industrial energy costs nationwide, if you are on either coast this value may increase slightly. On the positive side, if your cost for compressed air is a bit more, installing an EXAIR product will increase your savings.

So where does this number come from?   I can tell you this much, we didn’t let the marketing department or anyone in Accounting make it up.   This is a number that the Engineering department has deemed feasible and is accurate.

To calculate the amount we first look to what the cost per kilowatt hour is you pay for energy.  Then we will need to know what the compressor shaft horsepower  of the compressor is, plus the run time percentage, the percentage at full-load, and the motor efficiency.

If you don’t have all of these values, no worries.   We can get fairly close by using the industry accepted standard mentioned above, or use some other general standards if all you know is the cost of your electricity.

The way to calculate the cost of compressed air is not an intense mathematical equation like you might think.  The best part is, you don’t even have to worry about doing any of the math shown below because you can contact us and we can work through it for you.

If you prefer to have us compare your current compressed air blow off or application method to one of our engineered products, we can do that AND provide you a report which includes side by side performance comparisons (volume of flow, noise, force) and dollar savings. This refers to our free Efficiency Lab service.

EXAIR's Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

If you already know how much air you are using, you can use the Air Savings Calculators (USD or Euro) within our website’s knowledge base. Just plug in the numbers (EXAIR product data is found on our website or just contact us) and receive air savings per minute, hour, day and year. We also present a simple ROI payback time in days.

Now, back to the math behind our calculation.
Cost ($) =
(bhp) x (0.746) x (#of operating hours) x ($/kWh) x (% time) x ( % full load bhp)
Motor Efficiency

— Compressor shaft horsepower (generally higher than motor nameplate Hp)
0.746 – conversion between hp and KW
Percent Time — percentage of time running at this operating level
Percent full-load bhp — bhp as percentage of full load bhp at this operating level
Motor Efficiency — motor efficiency at this operating level

For an average facility here in the Midwest $0.25/1,000 SCF of compressed air is accurate.   If you would like to attempt the calculation and or share with us your findings, please reach out to us.   If you need help, we are happy to assist.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager


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