EXAIR 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles – Little Things That Make a Big Difference

EXAIR 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle vs. other nozzles

I recently purchased a dart board to hang on the wall in my basement.  The dart board had a nice wood case with doors.  It also had some beautiful woodwork engraved along the outside edges.  When it arrived, I was so excited I decided to put it on the wall right then.  The wood case had four predefined holes that were 16” apart (to fit onto studs).  I got my tape measure, determined the correct height, and marked the points onto the studs.  As I ran the screw into the wall, I was about halfway into the stud, and the head of the screw broke.  That is correct!!!  It twisted right off the shank.  I was not happy.  I spent good money on a very nice dart board, and the screws were low quality and not tempered correctly.  The screws are only a fraction of the cost of the dart board, but they created a huge headache.  Now, I had to get the screw out and find new better quality screws to continue the process.

As an International Application Engineer for EXAIR, I have been to many facilities throughout the world with large automation systems inside their manufacturing plants.  I always wondered how much money was needed for the capital purchase to get a system created, assembled, and operational.  On many occasions when the customers brought me to their problem areas, I would see the flat plastic “duck-foot” nozzles.  They would be broken, ineffective, and loud.  They were looking for a recommendation to replace these plastic nozzles.  I know that their automation system cost much more than my dart board; but, I can relate to their headaches.

When you have an automated system that costs thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, the last thing you want is for nozzles that cost pennies compared to the full system to cause you headaches and problems.  EXAIR has effectively addressed this issue with the model 1122/1122SS 2” Flat Super Air Nozzles.  They are made either from zinc aluminum or stainless steel, not plastic.  This makes them very strong and durable.  With its unique design, they utilize shims which can be easily changed for different force requirements.  For stronger blowing applications, EXAIR also offers this same design in a high power version, model HP1125/HP1125SS.

This makes the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle very versatile as you can purchase shim sets with different thickness in your kit.  Now you have more flexibility to “dial” in the correct performance for your application.  Another feature is the ability to draw in large amounts of ambient air to make them very quiet and efficient.  So, it will actually save you money by using less compressed air.  The sound level is only 77 dBA for the model 1122/1122SS, so it is not a noise nuisance.  They are OSHA compliant with noise level, 29CFR1910.95a, and  for dead-end pressure, 20CFR1910.242b.

Since the plastic nozzles break easily, they become very loud and unsafe for workers as they will not meet the OSHA standard.  If you need a durable, versatile, efficient, OSHA safe type of nozzle that will last a long time, the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is an easy choice over the plastic types of nozzles.  If you need help with mounting or positioning the nozzles, we have a line of accessories that can help.  We offer the Stay Set Hose, Magnetic Base, and Swivel Fittings to make it easy to mount and direct the nozzle for optimum performance.

2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle

If you have an automated system that is being contracted or if you are a machine builder, you will want to consider the EXAIR brand for your blow-off, cooling, and coating applications. With the overall cost of the system, you would not want to use poor quality plastic nozzles to save a couple of dollars.  In the long run, it will actually cost you more with loss of production, very loud noises, and an unsafe work environment.  I may have only broken one screw in hanging a dart board due to poor quality, but I can also relate to the unhappy feeling you get when your system is not performing because of low quality nozzles.   If you would like to try out the EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles against a plastic nozzle, you can request an Application Engineer to help.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Replacing Unsafe Open Pipes with High Pressure Air Nozzles

Open pipes present unsafe working conditions and continuous pressure drops in compressed air systems

Let’s talk for a minute about pressure drops. Normally when the topic of pressure drops is raised, it comes in a context related to proper plumbing and volume supply.  (If there are significant pressure drops within a compressed air system, especially those which reduce volume flow, problems will arise with compressed air driven devices.)

But, there is another important aspect of pressure drops which relates to open pipe blow-off, a common homemade remedy for blow-off applications. This aspect has to do with the available compressed air pressure at the exhausting point from the pipe or nozzle.  In the case of an open pipe, it requires so much compressed air volume that, there can be a continuous pressure drop from the compressor to the open pipe.  However, when a nozzle is installed onto a compressed air pipe, there is a restriction to the flow and the entire pressure drop takes place across the nozzle.

What this means for the blow-off solution is a higher velocity blow-off and a more powerful force from the airflow, with less compressed air consumption.

To think of it another way, imagine the flow of water from your garden hose. If the hose is open-ended and the water is fully on, the flow will be high and the force will be low.  But, when you install a nozzle onto the end of the hose the flow reduces and the force increases.  This is because the pressure drop in the system is taking place across the nozzle rather than the entire system.

This type of a scenario was taking place in the image shown at the top of this blog. The plastic lines connected to the aluminum manifold were fully open on the end, providing a continuous pressure drop and poor blow-off performance.  This, coupled with the maximum operating pressure of similar types of hose being 35 PSI, led to a poor performance in this application.

The solution for this customer was to replace these open pipe blow-offs with EXAIR model 1126 Flat Super Air Nozzles and 12″ Stay Set Hoses, model 9262. The flat airflow of the 1126 Super Air Nozzles provide a highly efficient and forceful blow-off, and the Stay Set Hoses allow for articulation of the nozzles into any position needed.

By replacing these open pipes this customer saved compressed air, added safety (open pipes present an operating hazard per OSHA Standard CFR 1910.242(b)), and improved the performance of their operation.

If you have a similar application or would like to speak with someone about increasing the efficiency of your compressed air applications, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Drying and Cleaning Tubes Using The Standard Air Wipe

A tubing manufacturer called looking for a better way to dry their 3″ (O.D.) tubes after a rinse application. In their current setup, the tubes are being cut by a band saw, which uses flood coolant to keep the blade cool and evacuate chips. After the tubes are cut, they are then bundled together and dipped into a rinse tank to remove the cutting fluid and any machining debris on the surfaces. The tubes are then fed, one by one, through a series of blower driven air knives placed around the outside  of the tubing to dry and clean them before a painting and bar code process. The air knives were working somewhat, but they were seeing some residual streaking on the surface of the tubes that needed to be manually cleaned by hand, slowing down the process.

Example of a typical band saw used for cutting metals and other rigid material.

I recommended the customer use our 4″ Standard Air Wipe in their application. EXAIR Air Wipes provide a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that adheres to the outside surface, as it passes through the throat of the device. Here is a short video we made showing the cleaning power of our Standard Air Wipes.

The Standard Air Wipe is available in stock sizes from 1/2″ up to 11″. The aluminum construction and PVC hose (included on sizes up to 4″) is suitable for most “general” industrial environments with ambient temperatures reaching as high as 150°F. We also offer Stainless Steel Super Air Wipes, which have the same performance as the Standard, for processes requiring superior corrosion resistance and/or where higher temperatures are possible, up to 800°F.

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes – ideal for drying, cleaning or cooling round shapes like tubing, hose, pipes, etc.

For help selecting the best product to fit your particular need, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

FMB FMB Titan Bandsaw Gravity Feed image courtesy of Kitmondo Marketplace via Creative Commons license.

Proper Plumbing Means Proper Performance

36″ Aluminum Super Air Knife being used in a monofilament extrusion line

An EXAIR customer recently contacted me about the application shown above, using an aluminum Super Air Knife model 110036 as a component to a blow off application in a monofilament extrusion line.  The extrusions from this line are used in one of the end user’s main product lines, a personal health device used by over a billion people around the world.

The original problem of drying the extrusions can certainly be solved with the setup shown, but the output force from the knife was less than what the customer expected, and below the EXAIR published data.  We take great care in the collection and verification of our performance data, so this prompted a deeper dive into the application to determine what could be the cause.

Immediately upon seeing the application photos, there were two things which stood out.  The first was the angle of attack of the knife, and the second was the compressed air plumbing.  The angle of attack in the original setup was ~90°, nearly perpendicular to the extrusions passing through the airstream from the knife.  EXAIR always recommends an angle of attack of ~45° to increase time in contact between the airstream from the knife and the materials passing through the airstream.  Although a small adjustment, this angle significantly contributes to overall blow off performance.

5mm ID x 8mm OD tubing used to supply compressed air to the knife

But, the real issue with this application was in the compressed air supply.  The tubing for this knife was shown as having a 5mm ID and an 8mm OD, which will allow a compressed air flow of ~40 SCFM at 80 PSIG, maximum, without consideration to pipe length from the compressor.  The 36” aluminum Super Air Knife will require 104.4 SCFM at 80 PSIG operating pressure.  So, it was clear that there was a significant plumbing problem, leading to the reduced performance from the knife.

In order to prove this out, we first had to take a pressure reading directly at the knife.  When this was done, the operating pressure dropped from ~85 PSIG at the main header to less than 20 PSIG at the knife.  By taking this pressure reading directly at the knife we were able to gain valuable information as to the true operating pressure of the knife, which was far below what the customer expected, but which made perfect sense given the performance output.

The remedy in this case was to increase the size of the supply line to at least 15mm ID (approximately equivalent to a ½” schedule 40 line), and preferably to something in the range of 19-20mm (~a ¾” schedule 40 line).  Once this was done the knife operated flawlessly, and after adjusting the angle of attack this application was optimized for the best possible results.

Being able to find the source of the problem for this application was a great service to the customer.  Our engineers are well-versed in compressed air system requirements, and we’re available for help in your application if needed.  If you’d like to contact an EXAIR Application Engineer we can be reached by email, phone (1-800-903-9247), or Twitter.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Getting A Little More Vacuum and Flow

Last week, a customer called and indicated that he was a long time user of the model 6013 High Velocity Air Jet.

6013

Model 6013 High Velocity Air Jet

The customer was using the Air Jet to remove light trim scrap from a manufacturing process. The Air Jets utilize the Coanda effect (wall attachment of a high velocity fluid) to produce air motion in their surroundings.  A small amount of compressed air to the Air Jet is throttled through an internal ring nozzle at speeds above sonic velocity.  In the above image, this produces a vacuum at the left side, pulling in large volumes of surrounding air. By utilizing this vacuum pull and ducting the right side exhaust, air and scrap stream to a collection area. The customer assembled a small, efficient, and inexpensive scrap removal system.

The reason the customer had called in was there were some recent changes to the manufacturing process and needed a bit more vacuum force and flow to handle larger scrap and longer travel. We explored using a larger shim, but they were already using the largest size (0.015″.) We talked about the other products that EXAIR offers (Air Amplifiers, Line Vacs) that are used for scrap removal and conveyance.  But with any change, there are usually other modifications and approvals that must be dealt with in order to proceed. So we hit upon the Adjustable Air Jet, which is an adjustable version of the model 6013.

6019

Model 6019 Adjustable Air Jet

The model 6019 Adjustable Air Jet utilizes an adjustable air gap in place of the fixed shim thickness.  This allows for greater air flow, which results in greater vacuum and conveyance distances. As is the case for many customers, we gathered some additional data to help this customer make a decision. We set up each of the units and tested them at maximum capabilities, and the model 6019 was shown to deliver upwards of 50% greater flow.  The customer felt certain this level of performance would handle what the changed process would require, and best of all, no modifications to any part of the set-up would be required, simply install the 6019 where the 6013 was currently placed.

The High Velocity Air Jet is also part of the model 1909 Blowoff Kit, and is also used in the model 8193 Ion Air Gun and model 8194 Ion Air Jet, for Static Elimination applications. Of course, each can be purchased as an individual item.

To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can make your process better, 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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Another Label Problem, Another Super Air Knife Solution

Last week, I used this space to brag on our Super Air Knives, and how they solve a common problem in bottling applications: label adhesion. This week, I have another opportunity to brag on the Super Air Knife. AND it’s another solution to a labeling problem.

Self-adhesive labels are commonly applied to goods are they travel on high speed conveyors. If they’re going onto a flat, smooth surface (like a box,) it’s pretty easy…they come right off a timed roller with a wheel that presses them in place. This can even work with round containers (like drums, jars, or bottles) by putting an idler on the wheel to take up the slack as it rolls over the rounded surface.

Sometimes, the label needs to go around the corner of a box. This requires the roller to turn that corner. Or two rollers to pull the old “one-two” on the label. Either way, that’s going to slow down the speed at which the conveyor can be run. And time is money.

Enter the Super Air Knife…mount it so it’s blowing at the corner. The laminar, high velocity air flow will then press the label in place on each adjacent surface.

With a laminar curtain of air traveling as fast as 13,500 feet per minute, an EXAIR Super Air Knife is the ideal solution for corner labels.

Another benefit: when supplied with clean, dry air, the Super Air Knife will run darn near indefinitely, maintenance-free. Those rollers get dirty, and the bearings will fail eventually. Same with the idlers, and they’ll need adjusted from time to time.

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator…everything you need for long term operation & performance.

The Super Air Knives come in lengths from 3″ to 108″ – if you’d like to discuss how these, or any of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products, can make a difference in your processes, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Super Air Knives Make Beer Bottle Labels Stick; EFC Optimizes Efficiency

The Super Air Knife has been featured as the cover photo of every EXAIR Compressed Air Products catalog since I got here in 2011…except for Catalog #26 in 2013, which featured the Super Ion Air Knife. BIG difference, right there.

The highlighted application photos may change from catalog to catalog, but one that always remains is the iconic (I think, anyway) image of the Super Air Knives blowing off the orange soda bottles:

This is a darn-near ‘textbook’ application for the Super Air Knives…the even, laminar flow wraps around the bottles, stripping moisture away. Among other reason why this is important, it improves the next step in the process – the labels stick better.

One of the many simple and effective ways an EXAIR Super Air Knife is commonly used.

In my younger, intemperate days, I’d join my friends at a popular watering hole to celebrate special occasions like…well, Tuesday, for example. Sometimes, there’d be a ballgame on the TV, or lively conversation, to entertain us. Other times, we’d make a game out of trying to separate the labels from the beer bottles, in one piece.

Some years later, I tried to teach my young sons this game…except with root beer bottles. It didn’t work near as well, because these labels adhered much tighter to the root beer bottles in my dining room than the ones on the beer bottles at the bar.

Some years after that (those boys are teenagers now,) I became an Application Engineer at EXAIR, and found out that this drying-the-bottles-to-make-the-labels-stick-better thing was for real, because I got to talk to folks in the bottling business who told me that the Super Air Knives had made all the difference in the world for their operation.

Just the other day, I had the pleasure of helping a caller who operates a micro-brewery, and had just installed a set of 110009 9″ Aluminum Super Air Knives for the express purpose of (you guessed it, I hope…) making their labels stick better. The only thing that could make it better, according to them, was if they could use less compressed air, and they were interested in what the EFC Electronic Flow Control could do for them.

Click here to calculate how much you can save with an EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control.

As a micro-brewery, their production lines don’t run near as fast…nor do they want them to…as some of the Big Names in the business. As such, there’s some space between the bottles on the filling lines, and they thought that turning the air off, if even for a fraction of a second, so they weren’t blowing air into those empty spaces, would make a difference. And they’re right…it’s a simple matter of math:

Two 9″ Super Air Knives, supplied at 80psig, will consume 26.1 SCFM each (52.2 SCFM total). This microbrew was running two 8 hour shifts, 5 days per week. That equates to:

52.2 SCFM X 60 minutes/hour X 16 hours/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/yr = 13,029,120 standard cubic feet of compressed air, annually.  Using a Department of Energy thumbrule which estimates compressed air cost at $0.25 per 1,000 SCF, that’s an annual cost of $3257.00*

Let’s say, though, that the micro-brewery finds that it takes one second to blow off the bottle, and there’s 1/2 second between the bottles.  The EFC is actually adjustable to 1/10th of a second, so it can be quite precisely set.  But, using these relatively round numbers of 1 second on/0.5 seconds off, that’s going to save 1/3 of the air usage…and the cost…which brings the annual cost down to $2171.00*

*As a friendly reminder that the deadline to file our USA income tax returns is closing fast, I’ve rounded down to the nearest dollar.  You’re welcome.

That means that the Model 9055 EFC Electronic Flow Control (1/4 NPT Solenoid Valve; 40 SCFM) with a current 2017 List Price of $1,078.00 (that’s exact, so you know) will have paid for itself just short of one year. After that, it’s all savings in their pocket.

If you’d like to find out how much you can save with EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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