Compressed Air Uses In Industry

Air Compressor

There are so many uses for compressed air in industry that it would be difficult to list every one of them as the list would be exhaustive.  Some of the uses are the tools used in production lines, assembly & robotic cells, painting, chemical processing, hospitals, construction, woodworking and aerospace.

It is considered as important as water, electricity, petroleum based fuels and often referred to as the fourth utility in industry. The great advantage of compressed air is the high ratio of power to weight or power to volume. In comparison to an electric motor compressed air powered equipment is smoother.  Also compressed air powered equipment generally requires less maintenance, is more reliable and economical than electric motor powered tools.  In addition they are considered on the whole as safer than electric powered devices.

Even amusement parks have used compressed air in some capacity in the operation of thrill rides like roller coasters or to enhance the “wow factor” of certain attractions. Compressed air can be found in your dentist’s office where it is used to operate drills and other equipment. You will find compressed air in the tires on your car, motorcycle and bicycles. Essentially, if you think about it, compressed air is being used nearly everywhere.

Here at EXAIR, we manufacture Intelligent Compressed Air Products to help improve the efficiency in a wide variety of industrial operations. Whether you are looking to coat a surface with an atomized mist of liquid, conserve compressed air use and energy, cool an electrical enclosure, convey parts or bulk material from one location to another or clean a conveyor belt or web, chances are we have a product that will fit your specific need.

Atomizing nozzle
Atomizing Nozzles Can Apply Even Coatings
Super Air Amplifier
Air Amplifiers pull in a large volume of ambient air to increase air flow volume and are great for cooling applications!
Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac
For conveying heavy or abrasive products the Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vacs have male NPT Threads to make permanent and rigid installation into a piping system a breeze.

If you would like to discuss quiet, efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Standards, Compliance, And You. And EXAIR.

I’m pretty impressed with the number of safety features my car has. Aside from the literal lifesaving functions like seat belts and air bags, it’s got anti-lock brakes…if you’ve ever had to counter-steer out of a skid on an icy road, you will appreciate the value of this for sure.  Those are just some of the ones I’m keenly aware of – the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards comprise dozens of regulations in three categories: crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and post-crash survivability.  None of these prevent me from operating my vehicle at an unsafe rate of speed…an expensive reality that an Ohio State Highway Patrolman dutifully reminded me of last Sunday afternoon.

Likewise, there are many regulations to ensure safety and prevent hazards of all kinds in industry, administered by a host of agencies that are either subordinates of, or accountable to, the federal government.  When you manufacture products that are used with high energy sources (compressed air or high voltage electricity,) a strong commitment to safety is not negotiable.  So, at EXAIR, we commit considerable resources towards the best engineering and manufacturing practices to make our products as safe as possible.  That includes compliance with a number of standards and certifications:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Their mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”  They are a regulatory body in the truest sense, in that they don’t offer certification or approval of products, processes, etc.; they publish guidelines and standards for manufacturers and users to comply with.  OSHA Standard 1910.242(b), for instance, limits the downstream pressure of a compressed air operated device used for cleaning purposes to 30psi. Now, you can regulate the supply pressure to meet this, but that also limits the effectiveness of the air flow generated.  EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are all designed and manufactured to be in compliance with this standard, at any supply pressure.  Take, for example, our Super Air Nozzles:

Because none of our products can be dead-ended, there’s always a relief path preventing the downstream pressure from exceeding that level.

OSHA also has Standard 1910.95(a), that sets limits for maximum allowable noise exposure.  All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, with the exception of some our largest and most power Super Air Nozzles (which aren’t normally used in areas that don’t already require hearing protection anyway) meet the 8-hour exposure limits of this standard.

Hearing loss is the best known, but not the only, ill effect of harmful noise exposure. It can also cause physical and psychological stress, impair concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents or injuries.

CE marking indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold withing the European Economic Area.  Unlike OSHA standards, responsibility for CE marking falls solely with the seller of the product – a CE marked product has been tested and certified to have been made in such a way to meet safety & quality benchmarks specified for that type of product.  All EXAIR products that are defined under applicable directives have been tested according to these standards, and carry the CE mark.

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, or RoHS, is another standard borne from the European Union, and is geared towards public & workplace safety by restricting the use of hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic & electrical equipment.  Since its inception in 2006, similar standards have been vigorously adopted around the globe.  Electrical portions of EXAIR’s Static Eliminators, EFC Electronic Flow Controls, ETC Electronic Temperature Controls, Digital Flowmeters, Solenoid Valves, and Thermostats all comply with the RoHS Directive.

Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act doesn’t address a concern for product users, but rather a particularly troubling human rights issue – Conflict Minerals.  For almost two decades, trade in tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been used by some very bad people to finance violent campaigns against their neighbors.  EXAIR thoroughly and systematically documents our supply chain compliance with this act.  We are proudly committed to our support for this effort to the world a better place for everyone…especially those in desperate circumstances beyond their control.

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products have been successfully implemented into a variety of uses where application- or industry-specific standards are in force.  We’re happy to work with you to determine if our products meet those standards…or can be made to meet them.  If you’ve got such an application, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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The Case For The Flat Super Air Nozzles

What do you think of when someone says “air nozzle?” Is it a crimp or a “crush” on the end of a piece of tubing? Is it a device that attaches to the end of a pipe or a hose? If so, does it have engineered features that focus the stream, amplify the flow (through entrainment, perhaps,) reduce the noise level, or provide an element of safety?

If so…you’re right. Any of the above descriptions, strictly speaking, qualify as an “air nozzle,” in fact, just a plain open-ended pipe or tube meets the criteria. As long as it serves to discharge a stream of air towards a target, it’s an air nozzle.

Even the devices with those efficient, quiet, and safe engineered features come in a variety of styles, types, and models. Consider EXAIR’s product line of Air Nozzles and Jets…we have seventy-two distinct models, in a range of sizes, materials of construction, and performance.  That’s a LOT to choose from, and it doesn’t even take into account the products that can be fitted with different shims that, technically, make them a wholly different nozzle, performance-wise.  Which brings us, dear reader, to the focus of today’s blog: the Flat Super Air Nozzle.

Flat nozzles are not unique to EXAIR…there are dozens of others on the market in a variety of sizes and materials.  What IS unique about EXAIR’s Flat Super Air Nozzles is their performance…

Efficiency: When a competitor’s flat nozzle was replaced with a Model 1122 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle, consumption was reduced from 31 SCFM to 21.8 SCFM.  Since the nozzle was operated 24/7, this resulted in a savings in compressed air cost of $3.31 per day…meaning the nozzle paid for itself in under three weeks.

EXAIR’s Flat Super Air Nozzles have been blowing away the competition since 2003.

Durability: Both our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles are available in rugged Zinc Aluminum alloy, or heat & corrosion resistant Type 316 Stainless Steel.

Zinc aluminum models are perfect for general purpose blow offs (left,) while 316SS models are specified for food/pharma and high heat or corrosive environments (right.)

Versatility: A 0.015″ thick shim is installed in the Flat Super Air Nozzles.  These provide optimal performance in a wide variety of typical industrial and commercial blow off applications.  We also offer High Power versions, with a 0.025″ thick shim, for additional flow and force.  You can also experiment with other shims, from 0.005″ to 0.030″ in thickness, for customized applications.  These shims are all 316SS, and are available in sets, or individually.  The patented design of these shims, in fact, is key to their high efficiency, as explained in this video:

Ingenuity: While this EXAIR characteristic is not specific to the Flat Super Air Nozzles, our most recent ingenious development features them: the Super Air Scraper.  By combining a scraping blade with the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle, we’ve turned our very popular Soft Grip Safety Air Gun into the perfect tool for easy removal of sticky or stubborn debris from most any flat surface.

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are Intelligent Compressed Air Products with a 15 year history of successfully solving all kinds of air blowing applications.  To find out more about how they can work for you, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Product Overview: Back Blow Safety Air Guns

BackBlowNozzle

EXAIR’s highly engineered and efficient Back Blow Nozzle’s provide a powerful 360° airflow through an array of holes to remove coolant, chips or debris.  Back Blow Nozzle’s are the perfect solution for cleaning out the inside of any pipe, tube, hose or channels.

They are available in three different sizes:

M4 X .5 BB Nozzle

.25 NPT BB

1 NPT BB

The Back Blow Nozzle’s are also offered on the VariBlast, Soft GripHeavy Duty, and Super Blast Safety Air Guns.  They can be configured with different length extensions (up to 72″) to make nearly any cleaning job within reach!   We recommend the optional Chip Shield since the air stream is carrying the debris back towards the operator.

1604SS-6-CS-lftangle
Variblast Safety Air Gun 1604SS-6-CS, Includes 1004SS Back Blow Nozzle With 6″ Extension and Chip Shield. The 1604SS Is Offered In 6″, 12″, 24″ and 36″ Lengths.
1204SS-6-CS
Soft Grip Safety Air Gun 1204SS-6-CS, Includes 1004SS Back Blow Nozzle With 6″ Extension and Chip Shield.  The 1204SS Is Offered In 6″, 12″, 24″ and 36″ Lengths.
1206SS-6-CS559
Soft Grip Safety Air Gun 1206SS-6-CS, Includes 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle With 6″ Extension and Chip Shield.  The 1206SS Is Offered In 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″, 48″, 60″ & 72″ Lengths.
1306SS-6-CS
Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun 1306SS-6-CS, Includes 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle With 6″ Extension and Chip Shield.  The 1306SS Is Offered In 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″, 48″, 60″ & 72″ Lengths.
1219ss800
Super Blast Safety Air Gun 1219SS, Includes 1008SS Back Blow Nozzle With 1′ Extension.  The 1219SS Is Offered In 1′, 3′ & 6′ Lengths.

Take it from me EXAIR’s Safety Air Guns fitted with a  Back Blow Nozzles are a must have for any operation that needs to remove debris from pipes, tubes or hose!

If you would like to discuss Safety Air Guns with Back Blow Nozzles or any of our quiet and efficient compressed air devices, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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Safety Air Guns: Chip Shields, Extensions, and More

Over the last several weeks, you may have read blog posts regarding the EXAIR Safety Air Guns.  You can find the blogs here, here and here. We are also in the midst of a Safety Air Gun Promotion, please click HERE for more details on how you can get a free 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle. Today, I want to review a few available options for the Safety Air Guns.

Protect Workers From Flying Debris! – Chip Shields are durable polycarbonate shields that protect the operator from flying debris often seen when blowing off chips from machined parts. They are also useful to prevent coolant from splashing back, creating a mess during drying processes.

Chip Shields
Chip Shields

The Chip Shields are available for EXAIR’s VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. The Chip Shield can be used on Safety Air Guns with or without an aluminum extension. They may be purchased as part of a new air gun system, or retrofitted as a Chip Shield Kit.  Consult an Application Engineer for selection assistance.

 

If you have a blow-off process where the air is to be directed at a distance away from the operator, or into a hard to reach location an extension is the solution. Available in lengths from 6″ (152mm) to 72″ (1829mm), with sizes as shown below, a length to meet most any requirement can be found. To add an extension to an air gun, simply add -xx to the current part number.

extensions
Aluminum Extensions, Available in Sizes of 6″ (152mm) up to 72″ (1829mm)
1210-6-CS
Model 1210-6-CS, a model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, with 6″ Extension and Chip Shield

And, if you need a 12′ coiled air hose, to use with your Safety Air Gun, we have them available and in stock. Available with 1/8 NPT, 1/4 NPT or 3/8 NPT male end swivel connections. Avoid tangled and messy air lines and keep things neat!

Coiled Hose
Coiled Hose, 12′ Long, With 1/8 NPT, 1/4 NPT or 3/8 NPT Male Swivel Connections

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can improve your process, feel free to contact EXAIR, myself, or one of our other Application Engineers. We can help you determine the best solution!

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle Produces High Force to Clean Steel Sheet

I recently worked with a customer at a company that manufactures steel sheets. They grind, polish, and then shot blast the steel sheets. As the material exits the shot blasting chamber, some of the media still sticks to the steel and is carrying over into additional processes. To mitigate this, they installed a 1” pipe with drilled holes at the exit of the conveyor to remove the excess media and keep it contained inside of the machine. While this worked, it was using a substantial amount of compressed air which was resulting in a pressure drop across the rest of the facility when this machine was in operation.

Although their current method was doing the job for them, they couldn’t live with the increased compressed air consumption. After searching the internet, they came across the EXAIR website and were interested in learning about other blowoff methods. Typically for an application involving a wide sheet of moving material we’d look towards one of our Super Air Knives, available from stock in lengths from 3”-108”. But, in this case there was some friction between the shot blasting media and the stainless steel sheet that required brute force. They needed something that was going to give them an increased amount of force, but still reduce their overall consumption.

IMG_20180714_152620.jpg
(10) HP1125 2″ High Power Flat Nozzles installed on 1″ pipe manifold

I recommended our HP1125 High Power 2” Flat Nozzle. With a .025” thick shim installed, the HP1125 nozzle will produce 2.2 lbs of force when operated at 80 psig. This was more than enough to remove the shot blasting media. They’re also much quieter than an open blowoff, producing a sound level of just 83 dBA. While this wasn’t a motivating factor for them, the reduction in noise was definitely welcomed. They placed some on order and replaced the 1/4″ open holes with (10) Model HP1125 2” Flat Super Air Nozzles.

For comparison, (10) 1/4″ holes will consume 690 SCFM at 80 PSIG while (10) of the HP1125 comes in at just 370 SCFM. By simply installing the HP1125 (which conveniently also has a 1/4 NPT air inlet), they reduced their compressed air consumption by a whopping 46%!! By reducing air consumption they eliminated the system pressure drop, they were also able to increase the force as the compressor was able to maintain the 80 PSIG pressure at the header pipe. This also alleviated the pressure drops experienced elsewhere in the plant.

hp1125
HP1125 2″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle

At EXAIR we have a wide-range of different products suited to a number of different blowoff  applications. From 4mm nozzles producing just 2 ozs of force, all the way up to our largest nozzle capable of delivering 23 lbs of force and everything in between. No matter the application, EXAIR has something capable of taking care of the job. Odds are it’ll be safer, quieter, and more efficient!

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

Where Has The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun Been All My Life?!?

Have you ever happened across something that would have been a real “game changer” at some time in the past? I’ll never forget the time that I went camping with my sons’ Boy Scout Troop, and I was introduced to the peanut butter and bacon sandwich. I still enjoy one from time to time, but my doctor does not enjoy hearing about it…

I’ve also written before (and before) about when I found out EXAIR Vortex Tubes were being used in some shipyards for freeze sealing pipes…a task that (when I worked in a shipyard) we used tanks of liquid nitrogen for.  I was amazed that such a cumbersome ordeal was replaced by something so simple and easy.

When we were developing the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun, a key feature…the variable flow trigger…also would have been real handy at a time in my not-so-distant past.  See, I used to run a small industrial equipment service department, and one time I found myself in a pinch to get a structural steel tube frame made for a support for a particular piece of equipment.  This wasn’t something we did all the time, and this particular job was a bit larger scale than most of what we’d done before.   It wasn’t really a big deal; I just had to cut some rectangular tubing to length with our band saw, drill some small holes (for bolts) and bore some larger holes (for cables & hose) along the length.

We had a small air compressor and a cheap commercial grade air gun, which served the purpose of our infrequent usage. Blowing the shavings away from those holes, and the inside of the tubing was a challenge…that air gun would just barely move them all the way from the holes near the middle, and when I blew out the holes near the ends, the spray of coolant-soaked shavings was making a heck of a mess in our relatively small shop.  After a while, I found that I could kind of “mash” the trigger a little to one side and get a rough measure of control…I was only going to have to mop about half the floor, instead of the whole thing, and I wasn’t going to have to wash the service truck parked in the closest garage bay to the shop area.

Needless to say, this wasn’t exactly ergonomic, and it was  real pain (literally) to use my left hand for a few days following.  Which, being left-handed, was kind of a drag.

Fast forward to just last year, when we rolled out the latest and greatest (in a distinguished line of latest and greatest) EXAIR product: the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun.  Now, individually, the key features might not be all that mind-blowing to the casual observer, but taken together, they’re a pretty big deal. Consider:

*Aluminum construction – lightweight, durable, corrosion resistant.

*Two compressed air inlets – one on the bottom (below your pinkie finger) and one on the rear (above your thumb;) your choice…whichever makes your task easier.

*Cast-in hanger – to keep it out of the way, but still handy, when you’re not using it.

*Chip Shield – you still have to wear safety glasses, but this will keep them cleaner.

*Wide selection of engineered nozzles – from our Atto Super Air Nozzle (2.5 SCFM; 2.0 oz force) to the 1″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle (17.5 SCFM; 16 oz force,) there are 20 distinct models in stock.  We can customize the performance of the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun to the specific needs of your intended use for it.

*Extensions – for applications that require a little (or a little more) reach, we offer the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun with rigid aluminum extensions up to 72″ in length.  These are particularly handy when used with the Atto Back Blow Nozzle.

*Variable pull trigger – as the name implies, you can “vary the blast” by how hard (or not) you pull the trigger.  Like I said before, you can do this – kind of – with a run of the mill commercial grade air gun, but it’s not very precise, and far from ergonomic.  Here’s a short video showing just how sensitive that trigger pull is:

If you’d like to give one a try, EXAIR offers these – and any catalog product for that matter  – with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  We invite you to put it through its paces for up to a month.  If it’s not going to work out for you, for any reason, we’ll arrange return for full credit.  Give me a call – we can talk about how you intend to use it, and which one’s right for you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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