Traffic And Fluid Dynamics

Traffic

Earlier this morning I heard that a high speed chase that started in Michigan ended near Cincinnati, Ohio. My first thought was that, due to traffic, the chase became a jam.  Depending on the time of day, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to go anywhere, no matter how much you want it to happen (a circumstance many of us experience).

Similarly, when there is inadequate sizing of a compressed air line, no amount of desire is going to deliver the air where it needs to be.  Imagine every air molecule in the pipe is a car on the road.  When demand spikes and all those air molecules need to go to the same place, they have to have sufficient space to do so, just like vehicles on the road need enough lanes to prevent backup.  When the demand for compressed air reaches the maximum flow rate of the pipe, this is called saturation.  When the demand for compressed air exceeds this saturation point, end use items such as air nozzles or air tools are going to be starved for air.  The air might get there, but it will be late, and the earlier air molecules will be long spent, leading to underperformance of the item.

Unfortunately for those of us who fight traffic daily, fluid flow mechanics don’t apply to traffic flow.  But, fortunately for those of us who use compressed air as a utility, compressed air IS bound by fluid mechanics.  So, if we can quantify the compressed air demand in a system, we can design the system with enough capacity and volume capability to perform as needed.

EXAIR Application Engineers are well versed in helping our customers determine line sizes and providing support for our products on their systems.  If you need help with an EXAIR product and how it integrates into your compressed air system, contact an Application Engineer.

If only we could call city engineers to help with traffic…

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR
@EXAIR_LE

Seeing is Believing

My wife and I are searching for our first home this week, which has been an eye-opening experience in many ways.  There are so many things that you have to learn about financing, home inspection, layouts, locations and insurance.  There is insurance or warranties for the home, title, and asbestos, but that is for another day.

The thing that my wife and I both noticed is that we wouldn’t look at any houses that didn’t have pictures available.  We just assumed that if they didn’t have pictures available the place wasn’t worth our time.  The one house without pictures that we did visit was disaster.  The one photo of the outside of the house was very old, but there were no pictures of the inside of the house. When we got a closer look at the outside of the house, the paint was peeling, the yard was a mess, and the screen door was locked.  We couldn’t get inside to see the rest of the house.  This leads me to be very hesitant to consider any purchase without seeing at least a photo of the unit.  If you are trying to sell a product and you don’t have photos readily available it seems safe to assume that since it wasn’t important enough to the sellers to put the photos online, it wasn’t worth my time looking at the place or product to find out what they were trying to hide.  I’m very weary of any sale of product were I can’t see what I’m buying.

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At EXAIR.com, we provide all of the specs for our products to anyone who would like the information on our products.  In our Application Database, we feature many of the applications that we have in our thirty years of experience of making compressed air products.  The CAD Library has detailed dimensional drawings for all of our products.  Finally in the Video Library all of our products are explained and shown in action.  We strive to provide you the most information about our products  available.  Furthermore, we allow you to take advantage of a 30 day trial on all cataloged products – not only can you see it first, you can use it in your application!Capture

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
davewoerner@exair.com
@EXAIR_DW

Today We Say Goodbye

Today is a sadhappy, well let’s just say it’s a day here at EXAIR.   It is back to school time throughout most of the country and sadly enough, it is the last day of our Co-Op’s final quarter semester as a Co-Op.

Benzil01

You may notice him from his star role in films such as, Escape To The Planet Of Professor Penurious, Will It Launch, Penurious 2012, What I Do, and The Professor “Raps”? I’m Speechless.   Yes, he is the first and only Co-Op here to get a face tattoo, for work purposes.   Needless to say the Co-Op program here at EXAIR is not the normal engineering Co-Op experience.

We like to think that we have given our Co-Op the experience of a lifetime.   The truth is, he has learned a good amount about compressed air and how to save it, mostly thanks to The Professor.  Below is Prof. Penurious in his casual Friday dress with the Co-Op and his trophy of things that didn’t make it through his time of use here at EXAIR.

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We all wish him a great final year at the wonderful University of Cincinnati, along with a great future even after he graduates.  Hopefully for him it will be far away from the Professor.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Learning Styles – We Have You Covered

In the engineering department at EXAIR, we feature a couple of different generations of engineers.  This generational difference leads to some great discussions about the times, politics, and pop culture.  I’m often defending people who do things a little differently than they did in the 70’s or the 90’s.  I hate defending this because I think we have lost some know-how and wisdom over the last couple generations, but I do think that there are more opportunities for folks, who learns things outside of reading a book.

In my experience people learn by three different ways.  People learn by seeing things, hearing things, or doing things. I learn best by seeing things and doing things.  If you try and teach me something over the phone without any visual representation I have a hard time understanding the subject.  If I can see a picture or a video on the topic, I will pick it up much better and will take away more than listening to a lecture or reading a book.  One of my favorite things is talking to a person who has been growing a garden, grilling a steak or fixing a leaky sink about what they know and their secrets to a successful project (often a plan and organization but that is another blog).

types

Having said all that, today we have access to an enormous amount of information over the internet that we could never have accessed before.  This has the great benefit of opening new opportunities up to everyone. We don’t need to know everything that engineers had to know in the past, because we can look it up so much quicker.  It doesn’t pay much to have the dimensions of every thread memorized, because we can find it at our fingertips in seconds on a smart phone or laptop.

At EXAIR we are constantly mindful of a new generation of consumers that are using our products for the first time, and we want to provide as much material as possible to all of the different learning styles.  Because EXAIR is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, we cannot physically visit every customer that we have around the world, but we do try and expand our presence as far as possible.  Our best resource for dispersing our information is our website, EXAIR.com.

On the website we try to include as much new media as we can to explain how our products work and at which applications they excel.  In our Knowledge Base, we feature Case Studies, CAD Libraries, and Frequently Asked Questions to provide our customers as much information as possible about our products.  We do ask that you register to the website to receive this material.  To teach our visual learners, we create informal videos created by our application engineering department and post those on this blog, and we have Video Library.  For the audio learners, our application engineers are available to speak over the phone to answer any questions you may have.  For the tactile learners, we do offer all of our products inside the United  States and Canada on 30 day unconditional guarantee.  This allows customers to try our products and learn by doing.  These three methods allow any style of learner to understand our products, and use them to the best of their ability.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
davewoerner@exair.com

 

The Heat is On!

Well, it is here.  The middle of summer cannot be denied in Cincinnati this week.  We have had a high temperature of at least ninety degrees the last five days with near 100% humidity.  These are the days when you have to either work very earlier in the morning or very late at night to get any yard work done.  You’ll notice that the most of our blogs the last couple weeks have been about keeping things cool, like Cabinet Cooler systems, or High Temperature Cabinet Coolers.  I’m not one to buck a trend, so I’m going to talk about cooling as well, but I will talk about cooling a manufactured product.

A customer this week was designing a new plastic extrusion system and he needs to quickly cool four plastic extrusions strands from 400 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees at a fairly high feed rate.  In the past the customer had used an immersion bath followed by a blow off station using EXAIR’s Air Knives, Air Wipes, or Super Air Nozzles depending on the plastic extrusions geometry.  The immersion bath would use the specific heat of the water to quickly take away the heat from the extruded plastic.  This process had worked well for him in the past, but the immersion bath was expensive to build and maintain.  For these reasons, he was looking for an alternative.

What is going to cool better than water?  The water in the immersion bath has a very high specific heat, which is what makes it such a good material for cooling large amounts of heat very quickly.  Specific heat is the amount of energy it takes to raise 1 pound of mass 1 degree Fahrenheit.  One British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool one pound of water one degree.  A BTU is 1,055 Joules, which is a very high specific heat compared most other common materials.  So we can’t change the immersion liquid, but could we come up with a better process?

Well of course we can.  We can use both the specific heat of water and the latent heat of water.  The latent heat is the amount of energy water takes to evaporate.  The latent heat of water is 970.4 BTU per pound.  If we can use both the specific heat of water and the latent heat of water, we can increase our cooling and not need a large, expensive immersion bath.  The customer came up with the idea of using Atomizing Spray Nozzles and a blow off station to get the same amount of cooling but without needing a water bath.  By spraying a fine mist of water onto the extrusions, we create almost the same amount of conduction with the water and the plastic.  The water takes out the energy of rising from room temperature to its boiling point, then takes out the energy of evaporating, and then the air dries the remaining water and takes away any more heat that may be remaining.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
davewoerner@exair.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

History of Machining Technology

At the time of the industrial revolution, Europeans and Americans approached machine tool design differently. In England,  there was no shortage of skilled labor. Rather than replacing workers, their machines made work more precise. Machines served to make talented artisans better. Meanwhile, in sparsely populated America, the needs of a new nation required rapid and simple means of production. In America, machines served to produce more with less labor.

antique

Next to Cincinnati, the largest concentration of machine tool builders was Milwaukee. Cincinnati was the birthplace for names like LeBlond, American Tool Works, Lodge & Shipley, and Cincinnati Milling Machine. Cincinnati is also the birthplace of EXAIR Corporation, an industry leader in Intelligent Compressed Air Products ® .

With its humble beginnings downtown on Findley Street producing air nozzles, EXAIR’s product line has since expanded into air knives, air amplifiers, vortex cooling, vacuum generators, atomizing spray nozzles, and static eliminators.

EXAIR has received many prestigious awards for product innovation. We are proud of our heritage, our community, and our employees who make it all happen.

We would welcome the opportunity to help you with your compressed air applications. We genuinely appreciate the opportunity! We can be reached at 1-800-903-9247 or click on the live chat icon in the upper left hand corner.

Joe Panfalone

Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Cincinnati Institutions – Baseball, 3-Ways and Vortex Tubes

Every decent sized town has its own institutions. Cincinnati proper’s population is about 300,000 while the greater Cincinnati area is 2.1 million. Founded in 1788, Cincinnati grew as a result of the Miami-Erie Canal connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio river and became a major trade partner with the southern states. And as every city will, it began to develop its personality…

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the countries first professional baseball team was created in 1869. There has been baseball in this town ever since, and the Reds are having a fairly good season this time around.

Baseball history photo: An 1868 studio photo of the 36 and 7 Cincinnati Club with a listing of the player’s primary position. Standing (L to R): Asa Brainard, Second Base/Pitcher; J. Williams Johnson, Right Field, Johnny Hatfield, Left Field; Rufus King, Centre Field; John Con Howe, Short Stop. Seated (L to R): Harry Wright, Pitcher; Fred Waterman, Third Base; Charley Gould, First Base; Moses Grant, Substitute.
Of course many cities also develop their own unique flavors and tastes. Around here, Cincinnati style chili represents our unique taste. Order yours as a 3-way, 4-way or 5-way and you’ll receive chili covered spaghetti topped with cheese (3-way); add onions (4-way); add beans (5-way). Years ago, as an outsider myself (a Wolverine in Buckeye territory no less) I couldn’t fathom this even represented what chili should actually be. Today, however, I can regularly be found thoroughly enjoying a 3-way.

Cincinnati chili, 3-way style.
Major business is also a part of every cities identity. Cincinnati houses the world headquarters of Procter and Gamble and Kroger. GE Aviation has built jet engines here since 1946. It also depends on a large and diverse manufacturing base to keep people working.

That’s where EXAIR comes in, as part of that diverse manufacturing base. Cincinnati is also the genesis of commercial Vortex Tube technology and developing Vortex Tube products for the industrial manufacturing market. EXAIR has been a part of that tradition for 29 years, our founder has been involved with the Vortex Tube market for 40 years.

The uniqueness of Vortex Tubes, and the way they operate, make them suitable for many industrial applications. Applications which require low maintenance, steadfast, reliable solutions will benefit form a Vortex Tube product. Vortex Tubes will also remain operational in extreme environments whether it is from a overly dirty or oily surrounding to very hot or isolated in a remote part of a facility where regular maintenance is not an option.

Vortex Tube products can cool small areas where space is limited such as cooling brazed joints on a rotary assembly station or cooling glue beads in a packaging operation. Heat seals can be cooled to prevent leakage and high temperature camera electronics can be kept cool when looking into furnaces or boilers.

Cabinet Coolers systems are in full swing this time of year as well. Based on Vortex Tube technology, these products keep your electronic cabinets from overheating in the sweltering summers, or if they are packed with heat generating components that cause problems year round. Cabinet Cooler systems benefit from the same inherent qualities of a Vortex Tube; low maintenance, durable, reliable, low cost and simple to install. See the video below.

So whether it is baseball, Cincinnati style chili or Vortex Tubes – EXAIR is proud to be part of the institutions of Cincinnati.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com