When The Obvious Choice Isn’t

Do you have a copy of EXAIR’s Product Catalog? My opinion may be biased, but I think it’s one of the best ones out there. It’s arranged by product category, and gives you easy access to not only the model numbers of all of our stock products, but succinct and pointed details on principles of operation, examples of applications, dimensions, technical specifications, features & benefits, etc. They’re free for the asking – and if you don’t have the latest (as of this writing, #26), go ahead and ask too – you might be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve added recently!

Now, your application may be straightforward and simple, in which case, you can quickly and easily order any catalog product…almost all of them ship the same day. Our Design Engineers aim to make them simple to install and operate, so you could very well be “off to the races” in very short order. That’s our intent, anyway. But if your situation isn’t so clear cut, here’s a part of the catalog you should pay particular attention to:

tech800at120You’ll find this on the front cover, and the phone number is on darn near every page, too.

See, sometimes, “the usual suspect” isn’t the product that’s going to solve your application. Here’s a prime example:

willy wonka meme

A very popular candy maker (not this guy, but I do so love those Facebook memes) wanted to automate a part of their operation where they cut a large slab of chocolate into small squares, and then move them to a machine that individually wraps them. They were transferring them by hand, but figured they could improve efficiency by using a “pick and place” process, and were particularly interested in an air-operated vacuum system. On the surface, it looked like a “textbook” application for an E-Vac Vacuum Generator. Due to the delicate nature of the product, though, the higher vacuum levels produced would cause the lifting mechanism to mar the surface. And, as delicious as these candies are, it would be a shame if they didn’t look perfect too.

That’s where Application Engineering comes in. Like Joe Panfalone wrote about on Monday, we’ve got the education, and experience, that allow us to “marry the practical with the hypothetical to find the best answer.” We knew we couldn’t use high vacuum, but the pieces are so small and lightweight that a low vacuum level could be quite effective, if we had a decent vacuum flow. After discussion of the application and their expectations, we recommended a Model 120024 4” Super Air Amplifier which they fitted a stainless steel mesh screen to the inlet of, and were able to pick up the freshly cut chocolate squares delicately enough to prevent any marring of the surface at all. The automated process made it quicker and easier for the operators to get the candies to the wrapping machine, defect-free, every time.

So, no matter what the obvious choice (of product) may (or may not) be, the obvious choice for guidance with your compressed air application is EXAIR.  Call us and find out.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
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Blog: http://blog.exair.com/
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