Super Air Wipes Help a Swiss CNC Machine to be More Accurate

Precision Required

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.

Standard Air Wipe with Shim Set

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.

If you have any items that need to have a 360 degree blowing pattern, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if a Standard Air Wipe could work for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb
Picture: External-Micrometer-Screw-Gauge by Emilian Robert Vicol.  Creative Commons license

Super Air Wipe Cools, Cleans and Dries Extruded Shapes

We have many customers that use the manufacturing process of extrusion to make their various type of products.  EXAIR has an Intelligent Compressed Air Product that works very well with these processes to provide a drying, blowoff and cooling function.

Many types of products are produced via the process of extrusion, which is to shape (as metal or plastic) by forcing through a die.  There are many advantages to the extrusion process, including it being a continuous operation, it runs at high speeds, is good for high volume and low production costs, as well as many other factors.

The extrusion process typically requires heating of the metal billet or melting of the plastic to a high enough temperature to allow it to flow and be shaped as it it forced through the die. After the product has passed through the die and has been shaped it must be cooled and this is usually achieved by passing the it through a water bath.  Once the material has been cooled, it needs to be dried to remove the moisture, before the extrusion enters the next stage of processing, like getting cut to length or printed upon.

The EXAIR Super Air Wipe is ideal for blowoff, drying, cleaning and cooling of continuous materials such as extrusions, pipe, cable and more.

saw_2-2

The Super Air Wipe has a split design which offers easy clamping around the surface of the material, eliminating the need for threading. All Super Air Wipe models include stainless steel screws and shims.  Stainless Steel wire braided hose which is plumbed to each half, is included on sizes up to 4″ to simplify installation and plumbing. Aluminum models are rated to 400°F and the stainless steel models for temperatures up to 800°F.  Models are available in size from 1/2″ to 11″ Throat Diameters.

The Super Air Wipe provides a uniform, 360° air stream that is ideal for drying and cooling of extruded materials.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Super Air Wipe can benefit you extrusion process, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Adjustability=Flexibility=Wide Ranging Performance

Recently, I moved into a new house, and it didn’t have bathroom vent fans.  In order to prevent mold and mildew growth from the humid shower air; we decided to install them ourselves.  Going to the local home goods store, we were faced with a wall of options, with factors such as noise level, CFM rating and of course price.  Going over the myriad of possibilities was headache inducing and of course, the bathroom size was borderline between a small and mid-size unit. The decision came down to – pay more and oversize it or risk installing an undersized unit.  If only they made a unit to cover a wide variety of conditions.

Here at EXAIR, we make many types of Intelligent Compressed Air Products.  Many times, when we are talking to customers, the right size or performance needed isn’t quite clear.  Fortunately, many of the products we make are flexible, and allow for adjustability and increased range of performance to best match the specific need of the application.

For example, The Super Air Knives and Super Air Wipes have available Shim Sets to increase or decrease the air gap and change the force and flow.  The shims are easily installed, and come in a wide choice of sizes. Super Air Knives are available, from stock, in aluminum, 303SS, 316SS, and PVDF. Super Air Wipes are made from aluminum or 303 SS.

The Super Air Amplifiers also have available patented Shim Sets to fix the air flow at a predetermined setting. Adjustable Air Amplifiers have an infinitely adjustable air gap which can easily be set to match the application needs if a predetermined flow is not preferred. Adjustable Air Amplifiers also have a smaller footprint than Super Air Amplifiers and can also use the aforementioned shims to preset the air flow in applications where space is limited. These are available in 303 stainless steel and aluminum. We also have a high temperature option.

adjustable Air Amplifier

Adjustable Air Amplifier

Within our already enormous and flexible Air Nozzles & Jets product line, the Flat Super Air Nozzles have available Shim Sets to provide the ability to adjust the force and flow for blowoff or cleaning operation.  The model 1009 Adjustable Air Nozzle has an adjustable gap setting, allowing you to “tune in” the force and flow to meet the application requirement.  Also, the Adjustable Air Jet provides an adjustable gap setting to control the air flow performance. Flexibility also comes from the available materials of zinc/aluminum, aluminum, 303SS, 316SS and PEEK thermoplastic.

For vacuum generation, the Adjustable E-Vac allows for the vacuum and flow rate to be easily adjusted.  With a simple turn of the unit, the vacuum and flow levels can be changed to overcome porosity and increase or decrease the lifting power.

Adjustable EVac

Adjustable E-Vac

There are several other Intelligent Compressed Air Products that EXAIR manufactures that offer the adjustability and flexibility, such as Vortex Tubes and Adjustable Spot Coolers.

If only EXAIR manufactured bathroom fans, I could have ensured making the right choice and be able to match the performance to exactly meet my application needs.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Air Wipes Offer an Improvement Over Competition

Last week, I had a customer using a competitor’s air wipes to remove water from an extrusion. These were air wipes built from UHMW blocks or similar material with a hinge and some air holes drilled in it.  He had several extrusion lines, and on each of these lines he used several air wipes. The one positive of these air wipes is they used less air than EXAIR’s Air Wipes, so on paper they seem the better choice. In practice it took 5 of these Air Wipes to do the job of one EXAIR Super Air Wipe. In addition to being more effective, EXAIR Air Wipes were also less expensive and produced a lower noise level.

The customer had two sizes of air wipes. The smaller version was a 1/2″ Air Wipe which used 8.3 SCFM (times 2 = 16.6 SCFM) at 80 PSIG, but it produced a noise level of 85 dBA. EXAIR Super Air Wipe, model number 2400, requires 13.9 SCFM and produces a quiet noise level of 75 dBA at 80 PSIG inlet pressure. EXAIR’s air wipe is able to easily remove water from an extrusion in a single pass. The 360 degree uniform blast of air works to remove water evenly and quickly. We offer the Air Wipes in aluminum and stainless steel with a braided stainless steel air line to join the two halves of a clamshell design.  The EXAIR 1/2 Air Wipe produced a much better blow off while reducing noise level by 10 dBA.

Super Air Wipe

1/2″ Super Air Wipe

The larger version of the air wipe was a 2″ unit that used 15.3 SCFM (times 3 = 45.9 SCFM) of compressed air and created 80 dBA of noise at 80 PSIG of inlet pressure. The EXAIR 2″ Super Air Wipe, model 2402, used 29.5 SCFM and lowered the sound level to 77 dBA at 80 PSIG of inlet pressure.  The EXAIR Super Air Wipes also were significantly thinner than the competitive offering which allows them to fit in tighter spaces. The EXAIR 2″ Air Wipe is 1.125″ in depth, the competitor’s product was more than 4″ long. By reducing the amount of the space need on the line and reducing the number of Air Wipes needed EXAIR was able to supply a better Air Wipe for their extrusion process.

 

EXAIR 2" Super Air Wipe

EXAIR 2″ Super Air Wipe

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

How To Determine Which EXAIR Product Is Right For You

Expert Testing, Professional Results

Expert Testing, Professional Results

Those of you who are frequent readers of the EXAIR blog (we appreciate your loyalty and fine taste, by the way) probably know a little something about our Efficiency Lab. This is where, upon request, we will perform a controlled test of a compressed air product that you’re currently using, and provide a comprehensive report, comparing it to a suitable EXAIR Engineered Compressed Air Product.

It’s a service that we provide at no charge, and to “sweeten the pot,” our goal is a 24-hour turnaround on the testing, from the time we receive your product.

For some folks, however, seeing is believing…and sometimes, critical elements of a particular application just can’t be duplicated in our facility, so a “real world” trial becomes the only way to find out for sure. That’s where our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee comes in. If you’ll commit the time to give us a try, we’ll commit to allowing you to do, risk free.

Give any EXAIR catalog product a 30 day trial, risk free.

Give any EXAIR catalog product a 30 day trial, risk free.

This was exactly the case with a manufacturer of cable cleaning equipment, who sought an efficient, quiet compressed air solution to dry the cable upon exiting their machinery. Some of the cables that these machines service are very small in diameter, so they wanted to evaluated both an Air Wipe, and an Air Amplifier.  Both had theoretical advantages:

Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2" to 11".Air Wipes come in sizes from 1/2″ to 11″. The Air Wipe’s 360° converging flow provides for positive contact with the material, which uniformly wipes the entire surface with high velocity air. Its split clamshell design also eliminates the need to thread the material through it.

Air Amplifiers entrain enormous amounts of "free" air, at ratios of up to 25:1!

Air Amplifiers entrain enormous amounts of “free” air, at ratios of up to 25:1!

The Air Amplifier’s compressed air consumption is lower, its operation is quieter, and it’s less expensive.

After trialing both a Model 2430 ½” Aluminum Standard Air Wipe and a Model 120020 ¾” Super Air Amplifier, the Air Amplifier proved itself out, and became their standard offering on this machine.

For 31 years now, EXAIR Corporation has established and maintained a formidable reputation for being easy to do business with. In Application Engineering, we support this by committing to making sure you get the most out of our products. If you have an application, or an idea, you’d like to discuss, give us a call. We can’t wait to find out how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Air Wipe for a Galvanizing Application

Wire galvanizing machine

Section of wire galvanizing machine

I saw this machine in the faraway corners of a Thai wire manufacturer’s facility.  The manufacturer galvanizes their wire to protect it from corrosion and physical damage, and after the hot dip process, the wire must be wound.  But, before the wire can be wound, it travels through this machine, which serves as a sort of quality control for the finish of the galvanization.

As the wire passes from bend to bend, it approaches a final stage in which any excess zinc is removed from the OD of the wire, which, prior to my visit looked like the photo below.

Wire galvanizing machine homemade air wipe

This short cylinder with a center hole to accept the wire  is an inefficient, homemade blow off

The performance of this homemade blow off was unrepeatable, and the end user had questions about whether the compressed air was being used efficiently.  To find out, we connected a Digital Flowmeter, and found that this homemade device was consuming twice what a comparable Super Air Wipe requires at the same pressure.

We then connected a Super Air Wipe to find that the blow off was not only stronger, but more uniform from the EXAIR unit.  And, the clamshell design of the Super Air Wipe can allow the installation to occur at any point along the process, without requiring that the wire is “threaded” through the Air Wipe.

If you have a similar application, or one that you think may be candidate for an EXAIR solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Video Blog: What Can Air Wipes Do For You

Below is a short video showing the cleaning power of a Standard Air Wipe. EXAIR has a variety of sizes from 1/2″ to 11″, and the air wipes are available in aluminum or stainless steel. Air Wipes are often used in the manufacturing processes for pipe, tubes, extruded profiles, wire and cable.

For help with your Air Wipe application, please do not hesitate to contact an application engineer at 1-800-903-9247.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

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