EXAIR Standard Air Knife Keeps Bottles Free From Contaminants

Recently I worked with a customer on an application to remove contaminants from the inside of glass bottles. During production, dust from the ambient environment was collecting inside of the bottles. They needed a way to remove it prior to filling. The solution was to briefly pause the conveyor, pulsing air into the bottles to free any dust that had accumulated. Their problem was that while the dust was blowing out of the bottle without an issue, some of it was settling back down into the bottles.

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The customer needed a way to mitigate the risk of dust particles resettling into the bottles after it was removed. The solution was to install a Model 2012 12” Standard Air Knife to provide a curtain of air across the top of the bottles, catching any freed dust particles and blowing them away from the conveyor.

After noticing positive results, we wanted to take things one step further and help to reduce overall air consumption in the process. The blowoff was achieved with (8) ¼” open tubes operating at a pressure of 80 PSIG. Although they were only operating for a fraction of a second, they still consume a whopping 33 SCFM! Replacing them with Model 1101 ¼” NPT Super Air Nozzles (14 SCFM at 80 PSIG) resulted in compressed air savings of 58%!!

In addition to saving compressed air, the noise level was also dramatically reduced. At just 74 dBA, we’re below the threshold for an 8-hour exposure time for operators according to OSHA. Where earplugs were necessary before, they’re now able to operate safely without the need for PPE to protect their hearing. The second most effective fundamental method of protecting workers, according to NIOSH, is to substitute or replace the hazard with an engineered solution. It’s not possible to eliminate the hazard as a compressed air blowoff was necessary, but the next best step is to replace it with something safer.

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In addition to complying with OSHA 1910.95(a), the Super Air Nozzle also cannot be dead-ended. In applications for compressed air blowoff with unsafe nozzles, pipes, or tubes, the pressure must be regulated down to below 30 PSIG according to OSHA 1910.242(b). The installation of an engineered compressed air nozzle by EXAIR allows you to operate safely at much higher pressures.

If you have inefficient blowoff processes in your facility, give one of our Application Engineers a call. We’ll be happy to take a closer look at your application and recommend a safe, reliable, engineered solution!

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

Candy Producer Saves $4600 in Compressed Air with EXAIR’s EFC

A few months ago, I took a phone call from a manufacturing engineer who worked at a large candy production facility here in the United States. Extra chocolate was dripping out of the candy molds onto the conveyor belt below.  Within a few hours the belt was dirty enough they would have to stop the line and clean the residual chocolate off the belt. 

The best solution I found was a 72” 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife. It worked great when powered at 60 psig inlet pressure. The laminar flow of the Super Air Knife was perfectly suited for this application.  The knife was mounted between the mold and the belt to help solidify and blowoff the excess drips of chocolate. There was one drawback, the Super Air Knife was not needed to blow the belt continuously and the continuous demand was not desirable during peak production.

The simple solution for this was the EXAIR Electronic Flow Control, the EFC minimizes compressed air use by turning off the air when a sensor is triggered. Since there was a 4.5-minute time gap between each mold set this was a great solution. When the photoelectric eye saw a mold, it then told the solenoid valve to open and supply the knife with compressed air for 30 seconds while the mold was open and the excess chocolate would be dripping. See the Savings calculations below;

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Without using the EFC

(* Using $ 0.25 per 1000 SCFM used)

  • 72” Super Ion Air Knife = 165.6 SCFM @ 60 PSIG
  • 165.6 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1000 SCFM = $ 2.48 per hour
  • $ 2.48 per hour x 8 hours = $ 19.84 per 8-hour day
  • $ 19.84 x 5 days = $ 99.20 per work week
  • $ 99.20 per week x 52 weeks =$5,158.40 per work year without the EFC control

 

With the EFC installed (turning the compressed air off for 4 minutes 30 seconds with a 30 second on time = 6 minutes/hour compressed air usage)

  • 165.6 SCFM x 6 minute x $ 0.25 / 1000 SCFM = $ 0.25 per hour
  • $ 0.25 per hour x 8 hours = $ 2.00 per 8-hour day
  • $ 2.00 x 5 days = $ 10.00 per work week
  • $ 10.00 per week x 52 weeks = $520.00 per work year with the EFC control 

$ 5,158.40 per year (w/o EFC) – $ 520.00 per year (w/ EFC) = $4,638.40 projected savings per year by incorporating the EFC.

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This example illustrates, clearly, why choosing the EFC is a good idea. It has the ability to keep compressed air costs to a minimum and saves compressed air for use within other processes around the plant. With this type of compressed air savings, the unit would pay for itself in less than 3 months.

If you would like to see how we might be able to improve your process or provide a solution for valuable savings, please contact one of our Application Engineers.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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Video Blog: Cleaning Gen4 Ionizing Bars

EXAIR’s Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife and Ionizing Bars are a great way to relieve static charges in your products and/or processes.  They are a very powerful, efficient design that will eliminate static charges and require only minimal maintenance to keep them performing at peak efficiency.

Check out the video below to see just how easy it is!

When you are looking for expert advice on your static relief application or any of our safe, quiet and efficient point of use compressed air products give us a call.   We would enjoy hearing from you!

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Has a New Product: The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

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

EXAIR has designed a new nozzle called the Super Air Scraper.  This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  It creates a mechanical force with a compressed air force to remove stubborn sticky material.  This patent-pending nozzle can be added to the EXAIR Soft Grip Air Gun to create a powerful scraping tool.

Let’s breakdown the nozzle.  The 2″ Super Air Scraper nozzle is a model 1144 which has a ¼” NPT female connection.  The model 1144-A includes a ¾ – 32 UN adaptor for connecting to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun extensions.  The scraper can be changed when worn with a replacement blade; model 902007.  To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set, model 1132SS, can be used to modify the blowing force.  With these combinations, the nozzle complements the scraper as an effective way to clean with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper nozzle to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun.  This gives a comfortable and ergonomic way to use and operate this product.  We offer different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length.  With the extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installed an additional foam grip sleeve.  This gives additional leverage for scraping material at a distance like floor level.  Chip Shields are also offered to prevent blow-back onto the operator.  You can view the details of the new product at this link on our website: Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

To give some ideas for applications, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can be used for removing tape, gasket material, caulk, adhesive, paint, labels, and more.  With the addition of air, the detached material is blown away during scraping, keeping the area clean to target the remaining “stuck” material.  If gummy or flaky substances are a nuisance for workers, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can keep the machine or work station clean and operational.

Just like all cataloged items for EXAIR, we stock these parts for same day shipment with orders placed before 3 p.m. EST.  We offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to allow you to see how great this product can work in your application.  If you have a sticky, flakey, or greasy substance that needs to be removed, the Soft Grip Safety Air Scraper is up to the challenge.  If you have any questions about the product or your “gummy” situation, you can contact an Application Engineer for help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs for Bulk Conveying

Piping systems have been a hallmark of human civilization for almost as long as people have been living in community with each other. Evidence of complex earthen pipe systems, with flanged fittings & asphalt sealants, date to 2700 BC. These were used for crop irrigation, potable water distribution, and wastewater removal in ancient civilizations from the Mediterranean to the Far East.

Over the centuries, new ways to use pipe led to new ways to make pipe.  Scientists and engineers figured out ways to make pipe stronger, lighter, cheaper, and in a variety of materials.  One of the more recent milestones is the development of sanitary piping and fittings.  The stringent cleanliness controls in certain industries (food and pharmaceutical, I’m looking at you) require highly corrosion resistant materials of construction.  The inside & outside surfaces of the pipe have to be finely finished so that they can be thoroughly and positively cleaned, with no crevices, “nooks & crannies,” etc., for material to gather or cling.  And since regular cleaning & sterilization is performed, the fittings must be able to be made & unmade in a manner that still provides for positive sealing when the system is restored to operation.

EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications like this.  With their open, unobstructed throats and smooth bores, they’re intuitively easy to clean, by design.  And we’ve made them, for years, in Type 316 Stainless Steel – the preferred material of construction for many food and pharmaceutical applications.  Many users in these industries were able to install them in sanitary piping systems by welding the flanges on our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, or by installing adapters on our Threaded Stainless Steel Line Vacs.

In the spring of 2017, EXAIR released the Sanitary Flange Line Vac with those same users in mind – eliminating the need to weld or thread flanges onto existing products.  They feature the same conveyance power as our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, and can even be modified to meet Heavy Duty Line Vac performance, if needed.  There are four sizes: 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3″…which covers the most popular size range of sanitary pipe systems.

While the sanitary piping systems are certainly most often found in those cleanliness-critical food & pharma type applications, other users incorporate them because of the smooth, continuous bore of the pipe and fittings, as opposed to a threaded pipe system, where the OD of the pipe threads into the ID of the fittings, causing a “step” in the throughput.  Because sanitary fittings mate via face-to-face flange seals, this eliminates that “step” which can make for a catch-point for certain items.  It’s for this very reason that a popular ammunition manufacturer uses sanitary pipe systems to convey shell casings…because they tumble with such turbulence in the air flow, they are especially prone to hanging up on any kind of catch-point.  So, they use sanitary piping & fittings, long radius elbows, and EXAIR Model 161150-316 1-1/2″ Sanitary Flange Line Vacs.

Air conveying of certain items, like these ammo shell casings, can be prone to clogging or jamming in systems where pipe, hose, and/or fittings are inserted into each other, creating catch-points.

EXAIR has a wide selection of engineered compressed air products that are “textbook” solutions for certain applications, but also make perfect sense for use in places you might not have thought of.  If you have a bulk material conveyance operation you’d like to discuss, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Shells photo courtesy of hydropeek  Creative Commons License

Super Air Wipe Vs. Block Type Air Wipe

Air Wipes, which provide 360 degree blowoff, are typically used to remove heat, liquid, debris or static from wire, cable, pipe, tube, or extrusions.

We had a customer that was using a block type Air Wipe from a competitor to remove water from an extrusion.  These air wipes are built using a plastic material, typically with some additional ceramic insert to resist abrasion of the wire, the halves are hinged with air holes drilled into each half which carries air through the block and on to the wire. They were using these block air wipes on several lines. The interesting point of this blog is that it required 5 block type air wipes to equal the results of 1 EXAIR Super Air Wipe.

Since EXAIR’s Super Air Wipe equaled the performance of 5 of the competitors it consumed less air was less expensive and produced less noise.  Also in space sensitive applications the EXAIR Super Air Wipe is much thinner than the block type.  To highlight this the Super Air Wipe is 1.13″ thick on all 11 models that range from 3/8″ to 11″ throat diameter.   The performance of the block air wipe can only be changed by altering the inlet air pressure while the EXAIR Super Air Wipe can also be changed by adusting the inlet air pressure OR by adding an additional shim the force can be nearly doubled!

Many of these block type air wipes use a series of holes to direct the compressed air supply at an angle over the material that needs to be cleaned off.  EXAIR’s Super Air Wipe being an engineered compressed air product use’s fluid dynamic’s to create more force as demonstrated below. The air from EXAIR’s Super Air Wipes is a continuous 360 degrees, without the gaps a series of holes creates.

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How The Air Wipe Works

Compressed air flows through the inlet (1) of the Air Wipe into the annular chamber (2).  It is then throttled through a small ring nozzle (3) at high velocity.  This primary airstream adheres to the Coanda profile (4), which directs down the angled surface of the Air Wipe.  A low pressure is created at the center (5) inducing a high volume flow of surrounding air into the primary airstream.  As the airflow leaves the wipe, it creates a conical 360° ring of air that attaches itself to the surface of the material running through it (6) uniformly wiping the entire surface with the high velocity airflow.

Block type air wipes are generally available in standard sizes up to 7″ in diameter while EXAIR’s Super Air Wipes are available in stock diameters up to 11″ and we also offer custom sizes to suit many other applications.

If you have any items that need to have a 360 degree blowing pattern, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer
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No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Fan and 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Atomizing Nozzles

EXAIR offers a wide variety of  Atomizing Spray Nozzles that can be used to coat, rinse or cool a surface. We manufacture (3) different types – Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed – as well as 3 different sizes – 1/8″ NPT, 1/4″ NPT and 1/2″ NPT – all in 303ss construction, rated up to 400°F.

Today, I would like to focus on 2 specific Atomizing Nozzles – our No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Fan Nozzle and our Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Nozzle.

Model AD2010SS – No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle, 6.9 GPH, 1/4″ NPT

The No Drip Internal Mix Deflected Fan Atomizing Nozzle produces a flat fan of atomized liquid at a right angle to the nozzle’s orientation and is designed for use in pressured fed applications where the liquid doesn’t need to be controlled independently from the pressurized air. This nozzle is the perfect choice in processes where mounting space is limited like spraying solvent on conveyed parts inside a small chamber or coating the inside of an enclosure. The patented No Drip feature positively stops the liquid flow when the supply air pressure drops below 30 PSIG, eliminating the need for any additional valves or supply lines.  This is especially beneficial in applications using expensive fluids or where drips can ruin a finished product. This nozzle is available with 1/4″ NPT inlets and flows as high as 6.9 gallons per hour.

 

Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern – designed to spray evenly, away from the nozzle in all directions.

Our Internal Mix 360° Hollow Circular Pattern Atomizing Nozzles produce a circular spray pattern, the ideal solution when trying to coat the inside of ductwork or where a broad mist of atomized liquid is necessary, like dust suppression or humidification. Available in 1/4″ NPT with flows as high as 14.7 GPH and spray diameters up to 53″ in diameter  depending on air and liquid supply pressures. With the 1/2″ NPT, we can achieve up to 150 GPH with a spray diameter up to 156″. Our  standard Atomizing Nozzles also feature an adjustment valve to provide control of the flow rate, making them easy to adapt to a specific requirement.

If you have an application requiring a fine mist of atomized liquid, please contact one of our application engineers and let us know how we can help in making the best product selection to fit your need.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN