If It Ain’t Broke…It Could Still Improve

…Don’t fix it, or so the saying goes. Sometimes, though, we have the opportunity to talk to compressed air product users who are looking to redefine the term “ain’t broke.” There are, for instance:

*People with end-use compressed air devices that came with their machines, which “ain’t broke,” but may be louder, or costing more to operate, than an engineered solution. A prime example of this is replacing an open-ended blow off with a Super Air Nozzle. We’ve got (69) distinct products in our Air Nozzles & Jets line…we’re sure to have one that’ll install quickly and easily, with immediately noticeable improvements. Improvements including a more comfortable work environment from lower noise levels and a lower air consumption which will provide your compressor relief and save air for other or future applications.

EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.
EXAIR Model 1100 Super Air Nozzle installs easily on copper lines, with a simple compression adapter.

*Expansions to processes, or add-ons to systems. We’ve helped out more than a few customers in the automotive industry – from manufacturing to detailing – who are now able to move more vehicles through by enhancing their existing central vacuum systems with EXAIR Model 6292 Vac-u-Gun Transfer Systems. They use these guns at work stations to deliver scrap and debris into the central vacuum system, the Vac U Guns have shortened the time spent removing scrap and trim by boosting the vacuum flow at the work station.

With three systems to choose from, we've got the portable vacuum system you need.
With three systems to choose from, we’ve got the portable vacuum system you need.

*Perhaps something “ain’t broke,” but it’s also not as safe as it could be. Our E-Vac Vacuum Generators and Vacuum Cups are perfect solutions for pick-and-place applications that keep operator’s hands away from machinery, while still allowing for the safe removal of manufactured parts. Actually, though, if the particular situation is “not as safe” enough to constitute an OSHA violation, we would certainly classify that as “is broke.” Call me NOW. I can help.

EXAIR In-Line E-Vacs and Vacuum Cups...ideal for quick, easy pick-and-place systems.
EXAIR In-Line E-Vacs and Vacuum Cups…ideal for quick, easy pick-and-place systems.

*”Bucket and Ladder” material transfer methods may be described as “ain’t broke” (usually by people who aren’t carrying the buckets up the ladder) but they certainly can be time and labor intensive. EXAIR Line Vacs have been solving these applications for years. From packing peanuts to steel shot (and just about anything in between…so long as it’ll fit inside a hose from 3/8” to 6”,) we’ve got it covered. Check this out and see for yourself:

Whether or not you’d call your current situation “broke” or not, if you’re thinking about it, I bet it’s worth talking about. Give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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A Better Way To Move Pellets

I wrote recently about providing my sons as involuntary labor no-cost assistance to their uncle as he installed a garage door at our house. What I didn’t mention was the amount of time and labor that my eldest and I spent, clearing out the front half of the garage so that my brother-in-law could have the necessary unobstructed space to work quickly and efficiently. This included some climbing of my ladder to put some things in the attic space immediately above my garage. At first, it wasn’t bad – in fact, I realized how much I LIKED having a great big storage space that was out of sight; out of mind (my wife’s issues with my hoarding problems notwithstanding.) A few more trips up and down the ladder, though, and it got to be kind of a drag.

Perhaps that’s why I got so excited when I had the opportunity to discuss a Line Vac application with a caller today. Right off the bat, he said he was looking for something to replace his “bucket and ladder” operation. This is, of course, a textbook situation for a Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor.

The product in this case is just small particulate plastic regrind. This is an extremely popular application for the Model 6984 2” Aluminum Line Vac Kit. We’ve even got high quality clear reinforced PVC conveyance hose, available in lengths up to 50 feet, in stock. Slip a section of that on the inlet and outlet, and you’ve got an instant conveyor.

With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we've got your solution.  Call us.
With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we’ve got your solution. Call us.

There are much better ways you can use your buckets – and your manpower – and your ladders, for that matter. If you’d like to find out how an EXAIR Line Vac system can work for you, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Air Conveyor Improves Candy Bar Recovery

This week I worked with a candy company who was looking to improve their overflow product recovery. When their bulk bagging machine is inoperable, the wrapped candy bars are sent to an overflow container where they are manually scooped out by an operator. This process was causing damage to the bars and wrappers, as well as presenting an ergonomic hazard to the employee, so they called EXAIR for a solution.

I recommended using our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor. The Line Vac  connects to hose or pipe to create an inline conveyor and is able to move large amounts of material over long distances, requires no electricity, has no moving parts, and provides maintenance free operation, making it the ideal choice for this application.

After discussing the details with the customer, they were concerned that the candy bars and wrappers, getting picked up by the airflow and transported through the hose, might continue to be damaged. I advised that by using a pressure regulator they could control the vacuum/conveying rate by increasing or decreasing the supply pressure, but their concern remained. I then offered to perform a conveyance test at our facility, if they were willing to send product. The customer agreed and was kind enough to send some of the candy, with some extra bags inside for the staff here at EXAIR. (Which is pretty awesome! I mean, FREE candy? Who doesn’t love that?!)

With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we've got your solution.  Call us.
Available in 11 sizes and different materials to meet many application requirements. Line Vacs have smooth ends for connecting hose with a clamp or threaded ends to connect with standard pipe sizes.

Our set up included our 3″ Line Vac with a 10′ section of 3” conveyance hose on the vacuum side and a horizontal conveyance run of approximately 35′, with a 13′ vertical run into a soft sided hopper. We were successful in conveying approximately 9.9 lbs. per minute, when operating at 80 PSIG, with no broken candy bars and no damage to the wrappers. We also determined that 40 PSIG inlet pressure was the lowest they could run the operation, if they were okay with a lower convey rate.

We provided the results to the customer and included a short video of our testing. Intrigued by the results, they are now looking in to other possible applications throughout their facility.

To discuss your Line Vac application, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

The Versatile Line Vac

Of all the tools that I own, my cordless drill has to be just about my favorite. I’m remodeling a bathroom in my house right now, and last night I was setting the new toilet flange onto the new tile floor. I had to drill some holes for this through the new tile. I’d never done this before, and was definitely feeling some heartburn about it. Especially after finding out just how fragile and brittle ceramic tile is…I cracked two pieces, just trying to cut a hole for the heat & AC vent register. Luckily, that was BEFORE I mortared & grouted it in, so it wasn’t a big deal…they’re about a buck a piece, and I got five extra anyway.

I know how to do this...but I have no idea how to fix this.
I know how to do this                                                 but I have no idea how to fix this.

THIS one, though, was fully installed, and, despite all the internet videos I found & watched on how to install a tile floor, I haven’t yet had the need to find one that shows me how to replace a broken tile. And I don’t really want to, so I went slowly and carefully with the drill, using the special glass & tile bit that I bought. On my first hole, when I got the bit through the tile itself, I changed to a different (smaller) bit to pilot the screw hole through the subfloor. Then, I put a Phillip’s head bit in to drive the screw. It occurred to me that I was performing these three related but separate tasks, with the same tool…I just thought that was very cool.

Over the course of the last couple of days, I’ve talked to three different callers, with three different Line Vac applications:

HDLV

 

*One wants to use a Model 150200 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac to convey cement. They’re currently hauling the bags, by hand, up to a hopper, where they cut them open and dump them in.

 

Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac

*One needs to move small springs, one at a time, from a hopper to an automated assembly turret machine.  The springs are 5/8″ in diameter, and they’ll be fed through a length of PVC pipe.  Our Model 151100 1″ NPT Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac will be easily installed in the pipe line using standard threaded fittings, and the springs will pass through the 0.75″ throat nicely.

 

sslv

 

*One has a auger-type chip conveyor that removes machining debris from a lathe, and it’s broken…again. They needed a Model 6066 3” Stainless Steel Line Vac, in a hurry, to use until they get their chip conveyor fixed. In fact, if it works, they may not fix the chip conveyor.

 

With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we've got your solution.  Call us.
With a wide range of sizes and materials of construction, we’ve got your solution. Call us.

So, kind of like my cordless drill, our Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have a variety of uses, right out of the box. If you have an application that you think a Line Vac may be able to solve, give me a call.  By the way, if you order one before the end of October, 2014we’ll give you a FREE 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.  Really.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Line Vac Application: Hopper Loading for Injection Molding Machine

LV App

Sometimes when we talk about applications for our products, we tend to try and discuss the ones that really stick out in our minds because of some unusual factor. Today, I’m going to do the opposite. By that I mean I ‘m going to discuss one of the most popular Line Vac applications which we generally refer to as hopper loading.

In this scenario, the customer has a machine processing a raw material. In this case, the machine is a plastic injection molding machine and processes plastic pellets. Above you can see how the Line Vac is set to suck the pellets out of a super sack (jumbo bag) and into a raw material use hopper. The hopper then feeds material into a machine feed hopper at a controlled pace that keeps up with the machine’s capability for material use. This kind of application highlights the usefulness of the Line Vac for what we call “bucket and ladder” applications where the Line Vac unit itself replaces the action of an operator climbing a ladder with a bucket of the raw material and dumping manually. The customer has implemented a PLC which controls both the solenoid valve to turn the Line Vac on and off. It also controls the knife gate valve (KGV) to allow material to flow into the machine feeder.

The material is conveyed into the raw material bin with model 6064 (2” Stainless Steel Line Vac) in this case. When the hopper is filled to a pre-determined level, a sensor in the hopper lets the PLC know that it is full and the PLC sends a command to shut the solenoid valve. This action simply repeats itself over and over again, freeing the operator to do other, more important tasks.

And that is the point of the implementation of many of our products: To provide product to our customers, who want to design a system for their processes to allow improved productivity, safety, conserve compressed air, increase force and reduce air noise. The nice thing is that our products do not have any moving parts to wear out. So longevity for these applications is another nice feature our customers can count on.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com