Mini Cooler Improves Custom Cutlery Production

Vortex Tubes use compressed air to create a stream of cold air and a stream of hot air. As the compressed air enters the unit, it travels through a spin chamber which spins the air at speeds up to 1,000,000 RPM producing temperatures ranging from -50°F to +260°F and providing cooling up to 10,200 Btu/hr. With no maintenance requited and no moving parts, they have become quite popular in large and small scale cooling applications in place of more conventional methods of cooling.

How an EXAIR Vortex Tube Works

EXAIR has incorporated this technology into several different products like our Cabinet Cooler Systems used to cool electrical panels and our Cold Guns commonly used to replace messy mist systems in tool cooling, milling and machining operations. For smaller scale processes we offer our Mini Cooler System which provides a 50°F temperature drop from the compressed air supply temperature and 550 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity.

I recently worked with a small, custom knife manufacturer who was looking for a way to keep his tooling cool during production. As the blades are made, he uses a small rotary die tool to shape and sharpen the blade. He also makes his own handles out of materials like wood, ceramics or other metals, which get etched with a custom design into the surface. The heat generated during theses processes, causes the tooling to either bend or break completely, resulting in damage to the knife blade and burns or breaks in the wood and ceramic handles. After looking at our spot cooling products online, he familiarized himself with the Vortex Tube technology but with only 12.9 SCFM of air available, he was unsure what product would best fit his application.

With the limited amount of air available, the Model # 3808 Mini Cooler System was the perfect solution. The Mini Cooler uses only 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, falling well within the capacity of his current compressor. The integral magnetic base would ensure an easy installation and with the included flexible hose, he could direct the cold air to the needed area.

The Mini Cooler is ideal for small tool and part cooling applications.

For help with your spot cooling needs or to discuss how the Vortex Tube technology could help in your process, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

A Cold Gun Increase Speed for a Reel Manufacturer

When it comes to die stamping, friction generates heat.  Heat can be a big cause in slowing production and decreasing tool life.

Reel Film

A reel manufacturer was seeing the effects of the heat in their process.  They had a stamping machine that was creating sprocket holes in the outer edge of a 35mm film.  These holes are used for advancing the reel strip through printers, projectors, and processing machines.  They had to be particularly careful, as film materials warp easily with heat.  Some of us remember the film reels that would bubble and burn out when the film stopped in the projector.  (I am giving away my age a bit).  So, speed was critical as they did not want to create any quality issues.

They were intrigued with the EXAIR Vortex Tubes as it can generate cold air by only using compressed air.  Vortex Tubes do not use refrigerants or have any moving parts.  They are very compact and can fit into tight places.  If they could reduce the temperature in the stamping process, then they could speed up production.

Compact Vortex Tube

With the Vortex Tubes, EXAIR adds accessories to help with installations for different applications.  For this customer, the Cold Gun Aircoolant System was the best product to deliver the cold air.  I recommended the model 5315 Cold Gun System.  This product generates 1000 BTU/hr of cooling power, and it has a Dual Point Hose Kit to target both sides of the film reel.  It includes a magnetic base to securely position it on the stamping machine, and two 1” flat nozzle ends to attach at the end of the Dual Point Hose Kit.  These flat nozzles would help to direct the cold air in between the two stamping plates.   They were able to keep the film reel and the die stamp cool as they sped up their operation.  Even with the additional speed, they also noticed that the die stayed sharper 20% longer before they had to rework.

Cold Gun with Dual Hose Point

If you believe that heat is slowing down your system, EXAIR may have a product to keep it cool.  With the customer above, heat was a “reel” problem.  With the Cold Gun System, we were able to increase their productivity and decrease their downtime.  You can contact an Application Engineer to discuss your application if you believe that temperature is affecting your process.

 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo: Movie Reel Film Cinema by JanBaby.  Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain.

Compressed Air Flows At The Speed Of Technology At EXAIR

I don’t know that any enterprise can give you a better idea of the scope, width, and breadth of American manufacturing quite like the automotive industry:

*Pick a raw material – rubber, steel, plastic, glass, just to name a few – modern day production of all of these has been heavily influenced by the way they’re used in automobiles.

*Pick a manufacturing process – welding, cutting, molding, machining, mechanical & electrical assembly, again; just to name a few – car makers have revolutionized them all, oftentimes to the benefit of many other industries that have used…and adopted…these technological improvements.

*Pick a business.  OK; this is going to depend on where you are.  I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I can be on Interstate 75 Northbound in under 10 minutes, and four hours later (and on one tank of gas, thanks to the fuel efficiency of my American made automobile,) I can be in Detroit, Michigan – the land of the “Big Three.”  And I’ll pass dozens, if not hundreds, of buildings within sight of the highway that house businesses whose largest customers are automotive industry types.

We brag on American manufacturing occasionally, because we’re proud to be a part of it, and to support so many different aspects of it.  What got me thinking about all of this was a call I got recently about our Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems, and how one might be used in a particular machining application.  They machine transmission parts and, due to the specifics of a new material and a subsequent operation, they needed to eliminate the liquid coolant.  This is a ‘textbook’ situation for a Cold Gun – the part in question is small, and just needs a quick shot of cold air during the process, so they got a Model 5215 Standard Cold Gun, put it on the machine, and turned off the coolant…forever.

With four models to choose from, we've got most any cooling application covered.

With four models to choose from, we’ve got most any cooling application covered.

This is one of, literally, hundreds of applications where EXAIR’s line of engineered compressed air products is making all the difference in the world.  If you’d like to discuss how we can help you keep up with the speed of technology, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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How To Solve A Problem with Compressed Air

In my (almost) six years as an EXAIR Application Engineer, I’ve learned a great many things about the capabilities of our products.  The way we do business sure does make it easy:

  • We readily share application information, as a team.  If you ask me a question, you’re asking all of us.  It does neither of us any good if I tell you something MIGHT work if one of my team knows it WON’T – or if someone knows what else DOES work.  If we can offer a solution, we will.
  • We’ll test your product, free of charge.  This is a popular way of finding out which Line Vac is best for conveying a particular product, for example.
  • If you’re considering a quiet, safe, and efficient EXAIR product as an upgrade, we’ll test your current product in our award winning Efficiency Lab, so you can compare accurate performance data and analyze the expected benefits…which can be dramatic.  Try us on that.
exair-testin

Line Vac conveyance rate testing (left;) Efficiency Lab testing (right.)

 

  • We’ll let YOU test our product, risk-free.  All catalog products come with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  We invite you to put it through its paces for up to a month.  If it’s not working out, we’ll arrange return for full credit.
  • We’ll do the math.  But first, a disclaimer: strictly comparing the force or flow of an engineered product to an open-end blow off won’t always tell the tale.  Our Intelligent Compressed Air Products are creating a laminar flow which won’t generate as high of a force/thrust as open-end blowing (which is turbulent by nature,) but is MUCH more conducive to efficiency and noise reduction, as well as similar (if not improved) performance.  But back to the math: if you know the metrics you need to meet for spot cooling (like a Vortex Tube, Adjustable Spot Cooler, Cold Gun, etc.) or for liquid spraying (the liquid flow rate and/or pattern size & shape from an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, for instance,) or the heat load that a Cabinet Cooler System can handle, we’ll do the calculations and specify the appropriate product.

Regardless of the application, if it can be solved with compressed air, it’s very likely that we have a great solution.  Call me to find out how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Mini Cooler Increases Production and Revenue in a Sewing Process

Big and small companies are always looking to increase revenue. One way to do this for manufacturers is to speed up the manufacturing process.

carpet

Carpets hanging for sale

A small company had a carpet whipping business. They would take off-cuts of carpet and stitch a binding tape around the outside edge.  They used nylon thread to attach the binding tape with an industrial sewing machine.  They had to be careful with the feed rate into the sewing machine, as the nylon thread would heat up and become stretchy or even break. Either way, it would not have a professional look, and they would have to start over.  They came across the Vortex Tubes by EXAIR, and they were intrigued.

With plastics, I like to describe the importance of the glass transition temperature, or Tg. This is the temperature when the plastic material starts to become soft.  Below the Tg, the plastic acts “normal”, keeping its typical mechanical properties.  But, once you are above this temperature, the plastic will start to become very flexible, soft, and rubbery.  The glass transition temperature is much different than the melting temperature, as the plastic is able to keep its compound structure.  The plastic will return to its natural state after cooling below the Tg.  For the nylon material that they were using, the glass transition temperature, Tg, was 117 deg. F.  The heat in their process was being generated from friction.  As the needle was being poked through the binding tape and carpet, the temperature would rise.  So, the faster this process was occurring, the hotter the needle would get and begin to stretch the nylon thread. To keep the process operating normally, they had to keep the feed rate at a speed not to generate too much heat.

In explaining the concept of the Vortex Tube, these devices will take ordinary compressed air and reduce the blowing temperature on the cold end. For this customer, I suggested the Mini Cooler as it works great for small components, in this instance, a sewing needle.  The EXAIR Mini Cooler is a “dressed up” version of the Vortex Tube for easy utilization.  I recommended the model 3808 Mini Cooler System as it comes with a single point hose to direct the cold air, a swivel magnetic base to mount it near the needle, and a filter to keep the compressed air clean.  It only uses 8 SCFM of compressed air at 100 PSIG to generate a blowing temperature of 20 deg. F.  This mighty Mini Cooler was able to remove the heat from the needle.  After installing, they were able to increase the feed rate by 20% without affecting the sewing process.

Mini Cooler

Mini Cooler

For this customer, the Mini Cooler  was able to increase the speed of their operation, and in turn increase their revenue. If heat related process issues are slowing your process down, EXAIR has many products that can cool things down.  You can always contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to see if we can provide a solution to increase the speed of your process.

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

 

Photo: Carpets by Moyan Brenn under Creative Commons License

Mini Cooler Cools Hot Glue Beads

A few weeks ago I worked with a nail and staple gun manufacturer on a glue cooling process involving their collated nail strips. To keep the nails together, they place a small amount of hot glue across the body of the nails and then have an open air line blowing compressed air on the glue to secure a good bond between the pieces. The current process used to work great, but they recently made a change to the type of glue they were using and now they are starting to see more rejects as the heat from the glue isn’t able to be removed quick enough with ambient air. The customer is familiar with EXAIR as they currently use some of our other products in various applications throughout their plant but in this particular case, they were unsure of the best product to fit their needs so they reached out for assistance.

nails

Example of collated nail strip

For this particular application, I suggested the customer use our Mini Cooler. The Mini Cooler is specifically designed for small area or small part cooling applications. The Mini Cooler uses less compressed air than our Cold Gun but still produces the same 50°F temperature drop from the incoming supply air temperature. So say your plant air is 70°F, you would see 20°F air being exhausted from the unit. The device features a flexible hose, allowing the user to focus the cold air to the desired location, in this case right at the glue which would provide the quicker, more reliable solution the customer was needing. Installation is a breeze as well, thanks to the included magnetic base, you don’t need to make any expensive modifications or add any type of mounting brackets to the existing setup.

3808

The Mini Cooler is the ideal choice for small part cooling.

EXAIR offers a wide variety of spot cooling products that provide a low cost, maintenance free solution for large or small scale cooling processes. With help selecting the best product to fit your specific need or to discuss your particular application, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Best Regards,
Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Nails image courtesy of Joy Kirr via Creative Commons license

 

EXAIR Cold Gun Provides Dry Cooling for Gang Drill

gang-drill-1

A gang drill in need of dry cooling

When working with machining centers of any sort, proper cooling is critical to producing in-spec parts.  Inadequate cooling deteriorates the tooling and can lead to defective or rejected parts, so most of us try to avoid overheating whenever possible.  Traditionally, the best way to cool the cutting blade or bit of a machining center was to use liquid coolant, routing the liquid to the required areas of the machine, and then reclaiming the coolant to be used again while cleaning the finished parts of the coolant residue.

This process, while effective, creates a considerable amount of cleanup, both for the machining area, and for the machined parts.  Because of this, dry cooling can provide distinct advantages when compared to a traditional setup.

gang-drill-with-red-arrow

Liquid cooling spilled onto the floor as a result of machining operations

In the setup shown above, a gang drill with 24 drill heads cuts into various aluminum profiles.  As shown in the picture, the process generates a significant strings and chips, and the current setup using liquid cooling results in coolant outside of the desired workspace (see the red arrow in the bottom right, highlighting liquid coolant on the floor – a potential safety hazard).  The end user in this case was in search of a way to maintain cooling for the drills while eliminating the liquid spillover.  The solution, was the EXAIR Cold Gun model 5315 with two cold outlets

When faced with the potential to outfit a machine with a completely new cooling system, we’ve found that a short test can go a long way toward implementing a proper solution.  So, testing a single Cold Gun with two outlets can be tested on a single drill head, with the results reviewed before installing additional units onto the machine.  Our Application Engineering team is available to assist this customer every step of the way with product selection, installation and testing results, and full machine outfitting.

Providing a viable solution and service to the customer have opened the door to removing liquid cooling from this machine.  This will eliminate cleaning of the aluminum profiles after machining, thus reducing the total input required to produce a finished product, and it will eliminate the safety hazard of having liquid coolant on the floor surrounding the machine as well.

If you have a similar application or would like to speak to an Application Engineer about dry cooling, give us a call – we’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

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