Super Air Knife Improves Plastic Injection Molder Process

EXAIR commonly works with plastic injection molding companies. They produce top quality plastic parts from both commodity and engineering-grade resins for many diverse industries. The customer reached out to us with a problem. A mold that they were running was having some issues. The parts were not releasing and ejecting properly, causing the need to use a mold release, which was slowing down the process by a manual operation to the process.  Also, the parts were seeing push pin marks, causing cosmetic issues with the parts.  The customer wanted to explore using compressed air to blow the parts free.

Plastic Injection Mold
Typical Plastic Injection Mold

Based on the mold size and layout, a pair of 12″ Super Air Knives was installed.  The knives are oriented to blow straight down along the face of the mold, one knife per part tree.  The strong laminar flow of air hits the parts causing them to release and drop without the use of release agents.  Also, the push pin marks are within normal standards, eliminating the the cosmetic concerns.

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This is just one example of how intelligently using compressed air can help improve a process.  By using air knives for wide areas or using a 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle for very small parts, or anywhere in between, we can help to solve your part ejection issues and make your process run better, faster, and with higher quality.

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1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with Changeable Shims

If you would like to talk about Super Air Knives, Flat Nozzles or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, 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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Injection Mold Photo – “Creative Commons Injection Mold” by Mitch Barrie is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Super Air Knife is Most Efficent in Compressed Air Usage

 Of the 3 styles of Air Knife offered by EXAIR, the Super, Standard and Full-Flow, the Super Air Knife is our most efficient, in regards to compressed air usage. Using a 40:1 amplification rate of entrained ambient air to compressed air consumed, it uses only 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 PSIG, while producing a low sound level of only 69 decibels (the quietest on the market today). The Super Air Knife provides  an even laminar flow of air across the length of the knife and is available in single piece lengths from 3″ up to 108″ in aluminum, 303 stainless and 316 stainless as well as up  to 54″ in PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) construction for applications where aggressive chemicals may be present. 1/4″ FNPT air inlets are available on each end as well as on the bottom of the knife.

Aluminum, Stainless Steel and PVDF Super Air Knives

For Super Air Knives 24″ and longer, you need to plumb air to multiple inlets to maintain an even airflow. Our available Plumbing Kits includes the properly sized hose or pipe and fittings, to not only save valuable time looking for these parts yourself but also eliminates the potential of using undersized lines which will reduce the performance of the Super Air Knives.

For Super Air Knives in aluminum construction, the Plumbing Kits include cut to length PVC compressed air hose and the required brass fittings.

Plumbing Kit for aluminum Super Air Knives

The Plumbing Kits for our stainless steel and PVDF Super Air Knives, include 316ss cut to length pipe as well as 316ss fittings.

Plumbing Kit for 303ss, 316ss and PVDF Super Air Knives

The Super Air Knife is the ideal choice when looking to treat wide-area applications, like cleaning a conveyor or drying parts after a wash process. For help selecting the best product to fit your process, contact one of our application engineers for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

EXAIR’s Super Air Knife Eliminates Problem of Fused Packages

The EXAIR Super Air Knife – high force with precision flow

An Argentine food manufacturer recently reached out to our distributor in Buenos Aires (AYRFUL) to discuss a potential application for EXAIR products.  The need became clear when a packaging line for soon-to-be-frozen food began experiencing problems with excessive water on the surface of the packages.  In this process, the packages are rinsed to remove any unwanted debris, and then sent into a large freezer before distribution to local groceries.

The excessive water on the packages would become ice, which would fuse the packages together when stacked in boxes for transporting to retail centers.  This fusing caused rips in the packaging when they were separated, thereby creating unsellable goods, ultimately leading to returns for this manufacturer.  And, the residual water also increased the total weight of the packed packages, enough to increase the actual weight when bulk packed.  This increase in actual weight led to an increase in freight costs from their courier.  So, this manufacturer needed a way to remove the residual water, reduce defects and returns, and simultaneously lessen the freight cost.

Model 110048 Super Air Knife (inside red box) blowing off residual water after rinsing and before freezing. See note on plumbing below.

The solution they found was a 48” EXAIR Super Air Knife, model 110048, mounted using (2) Universal Air Knife Mounting Kits.  The Super Air Knife in this application provided a precision airflow to blow off the water from the top of the packages, after rinsing and before freezing.  Removing the water at this stage, as shown above, eliminated the problem of fused packages, rejected products, returns, and increased freight.  And, the Super Air Knife was able to do this at a low operating pressure, fed from a single compressed air inlet.

(Note – EXAIR recommends plumbing multiple compressed air inlets for Air Knives longer than 18”.  For this model, 110048, we recommend compressed air be supplied to (3) compressed air inlets.  Plumbing less inlets will reduce the compressed air flow into the knife, which reduces possible operating pressure.  In this case, the lower operating pressure was acceptable, however, we still recommend to plumb (3) compressed air inlets on a 48” Super Air Knife.)

Plumbing specifics aside, this solution still brought tremendous value for the customer.  They were able to solve the root cause of a multi-faceted problem with an engineered solution.  If you have an application in need of an engineered solution, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com

How Versatile Are EXAIR Compressed Air Products?

I wish I could quantify that, but we keep finding more and more applications for them:

Vortex Tubes are used all the time for cooling applications, down to MINUS 40 degrees (Fahrenheit OR Celsius…that’s the point where they’re both the same; no math required.) They also produce a HOT air flow, which we usually call “exhaust,” but some users actually use IT for heating, and call the COLD flow the “exhaust.”

The EXAIR Vortex Tube. Cold air from one end; hot air from the other. Fully adjustable. You can use either...it's fine with us; whatever you need.
The EXAIR Vortex Tube. Cold air from one end; hot air from the other.  You can use either…it’s fine with us; whatever you need.

Our E-Vac Vacuum Generators are popular for “pick-and-place” jobs…hook one up to a Vacuum Cup and you can move parts around all day long. One time, though, I helped a

customer who needed to “pick-and-place” individual small pieces of woven fabric, a lot like a coffee filter. Even our smallest E-Vac, supplied from a Pressure Regulator cranked all the way down, was too much…it would still pick up most of the stack. We found they could use a Model 120020 3/4″ Super Air Amplifier just fine…the Pressure Regulator was still cranked all the way down, and it picked them up one at a time.

No matter what you need to pick-and-place, we've got you covered.
No matter what you need to pick-and-place, we’ve got you covered.

Our Super Air Knives are perfect for blow off, drying, and cooling applications…whether you’re trying to rid your product of dirt/debris, water, or heat, a laminar curtain of adjustable air flow is a “textbook” solution. But I recently had the pleasure of helping a customer who needed to KEEP SOMETHING IN PLACE and called to ask about an Air Knife. They had small cups running single-file down a conveyor belt, with an overhead brush roller pushing down on them at one point so they could be treated on one side. Without something holding them in place, the tooling would simply push them off the side of the conveyor. It required frequent adjustment because they run different sized cups…and they almost always lost some cups when they switched to a different size, while “dialing in” the brush tension. By installing a Model 110036 36″ Aluminum Super Air Knife in place of the brush, they can hold any size cup in place with the downward air flow “curtain.” No more lost product when they don’t get the brush adjustment just right!

Continuous, even, fully adjustable curtain of air...EXAIR Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet.
Continuous, even, fully adjustable curtain of air…EXAIR Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet, in stock.

If you have a compressed air application you’d like to discuss, give me a call.  Perhaps we’ll find the next level of versatility!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Coast to Coast and Beyond

Recently, I was working with  a customer looking for a Premium Reversible Drum Vac and wanted it shipped to the Northwest Territories of Canada –  which we could do!  It got me to thinking, what are the farthest US state and territory locations EXAIR has shipped to in the North, South, West and East directions.  I ‘scoured’ the records and came up with these.

Furthest North- We have shipped to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.  Most recently, believe it or not, we shipped a NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler to an Oil and Natural Gas Exploration Company.  Goes to show that even the coldest environments still have the need to provide cool, clean, dry air to cool and protect electronics in electrical enclosures.

Furthest South – We have shipped to the US Territory of Puerto Rico, city of Santa Isabel.  An Aerospace company needed a strong, laminar blast of air and utilized a 6″ Stainless Steel Air Knife.  An Air Knife offers a quiet, efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs, or conveyors.

Furthest West- We have shipped to the US Territory of Guam.  The local University ordered a model 1111-4 Super Air Nozzle Cluster, for a good strong blast of air flow for a cleaning operation.  The model 1111-4 delivers 3.2 lbs of force, at just 82 dBA of sound. A safe and efficient nozzle for blowoff operations.

Furthest East- We have shipped to Eastport, Maine.  The customer in Eastport ordered a Line Vac and a section of Conveyance Hose.  The Line Vac is a great tool for conveying large volumes of material over long distances, through a standard hose or tube.  The compact design features large throat diameters for maximum throughput capability.

 

It was interesting to look back and see all the places that EXAIR has shipped.  We have customers from all over the globe. If you are outside the of 50 US States and Canada, we have a dedicated team of International Application Engineers that will work with you to select the best EXAIR product for your process and application, and direct you to your local International Distributor.

If you would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, 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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Super Air Knives – A Plethora of Materials and Sizes

EXAIR manufactures the line of air knives known as the Super Air Knife. We pride ourselves on the wide array of material types and lengths that we offer, all from stock.

The Super Air Knife is the latest generation of engineered air knife that dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoffs.  It is a very efficient way to clean, dry, or cool parts, webs, or conveyors.  It delivers a sheet of laminar air flow across the entire length, with a smooth and consistent delivery of air.

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In order meet process environments that may be hot or corrosive in nature, EXAIR offers the Super Air Knife in four standard materials.  The materials for stock air knives are aluminum, Type 303 stainless steel, Type 316 stainless steel, and PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride.) Aluminum is well suited for a wide variety of environments where corrosion or contamination is not a factor. Type 303 stainless steel is a very common grade of stainless steel, and is good for mildly corrosive environments up to 400 °F. Type 316 stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, better strength properties, and resists pitting. It can handle temperatures up to 800°F.  Lastly, the PVDF air knives offer many benefits including resistance to UV light, inorganic chemicals, solvents, ozone, acids, weak bases and salts and can withstand temperatures up to 275°F.  If there is a certain material required, EXAIR can also do custom Super Air Knives and have done them in PVC and other plastics.  Check out this write up about a very unique custom material Super Air Knife that we made.

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Glass Filled PEEK Super Air Knife with Brass Hardware and PTFE Shim (Click Here or on Photo)

Not only is there a wide offering of materials of construction to meet the process needs, the Super Air Knives are available in many lengths to fit into the space available. From stock, we offer Super Air Knives in these lengths-

3″, 6″, 9″, 12″, 18″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, 48″, 54″, 60″, 72″, 84″, 96″, and 108″

If a special length knife is needed, or one longer than the 108″, the Super Air Knives can be coupled utilizing the stocked Air Knife Coupling Kit to join multiple air knives as needed. If space is an issue, and certain length that is not stocked is needed, just give us a call –  we can manufacture them to your specifications, to the exact length that you need.  It takes just a few days and then the Super Air Knife of exactly the proper length will be on its way.

If you have questions about the Super Air Knives, or would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, 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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EXAIR Super Air Knives Offer Infinitely Adjustable Force and Flow!

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EXAIR’s industry leading Super Air Knife dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoff methods. The Super Air Knife is available in lengths ranging from 3”-108” and in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, 316 Stainless Steel, and PVDF for corrosive applications. Even at high pressures of 80 psig, the Super Air Knife is able to maintain a sound level of just 69 dBA for most applications! Air is entrained from the ambient environment at a rate of 40:1, maximizing the force and flow from the Super Air Knife. In addition, these knives meet or exceed OSHA maximum dead-end pressure and noise requirements.

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From left to right – plastic shims, SS shims, PTFE shims included in the shim sets

Adjustability of both the force and flow from the Super Air Knife is infinitely adjustable. Right out of the box from the factory the Super Air Knife comes stock with a .002” thick shim installed. This sets the gap between the body and cap of the knife and determines how much compressed air can flow through the precise, slotted orifice. An accessory that EXAIR has available for the Super Air Knife is the shim set. For the aluminum knives, a .001”, .003”, and .004” plastic shims come in the shim set. To reduce the flow and force, a .001” can be used. If more force is required, a thicker shim can be installed. For the stainless steel and PVDF knives, (3) .002” shims are included in the set. Stainless steel shims for the stainless knives and a PTFE shim for the PVDF. These, as well as the plastic shims, can be stacked on top of one another to create an even larger gap. One thing that is important to keep in mind however, the larger the air gap the greater the air consumption. Installing a .004” shim in a Super Air Knife will double the flow and consumption of the knife when compared to the stock .002” shim.

Installing a new shim in your Super Air Knife is very simple to do. Check out this quick video from Neal Raker that walks you through the steps:

While the different shims are available for you to make gross adjustments to the force and flow of your Super Air Knife, there is one additional method. By using a pressure regulator, you can fine-tune the input pressure that is supplied to the Super Air Knife. This will also greatly impact the force and flow. At 40 psig, the Super Air Knife will consume 1.7 scfm/inch and provide 1.1 oz/inch of force. At 80 psig, it will consume 2.9 scfm/inch and provide 2.5 oz/inch of force. EXAIR offers pressure regulators in a variety of different sizes to accommodate any of our Super Air Knives from 3” all the way up to 108”.

If you’re wasting air in your facility using cheap nozzles, drilled pipes, or any other inefficient solution give us a call. An Application Engineer will gladly investigate your application and help to design a better, safer, and more cost-effective solution!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD