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

 

The Adjustable Spot Cooler Is Ideal For Small Parts Cooling

I recently worked with a customer who was trying to cool some small part housings after they leave a wash system. The parts are currently placed in a wash tray where they travel down a conveyor belt and into the washer where they are heated to around 160°F. As the parts exit the washer, the belt is stopped so the parts can be left to cool before an operator places the parts into their dryer system. This cooling process was taking about 15 minutes before the operator was able to safely handle the parts. This cooling delay was negatively affecting their production cycle. They were looking to eliminate the 15 minute cooling cycle by incorporating some type of air cooling system so the parts could be quickly processed to the dryer. They wanted to standardize on a single device as they manufacturer a variety of part shapes with the largest being a valve housing that measures close to 2″ x 2″.

The customer was able to send a few photos of their parts and after reviewing the information sent, I recommended they use our Model # 3925 Adjustable Spot Cooler System with dual point hose kit. Incorporating a Vortex Tube, the Adjustable Spot Cooler is able to produce cold air temperature as low as -30°F, based on ambient supply temperature. The unit features a temperature control valve that allows for simple adjustments of the temperature of the exhausting cold air as well as the volume of air being discharged.  The system includes 2 additional generators which provide more or less airflow volume through the device as well as cooling capacity (Btu/hr.) for even  more control. The dual hose kit separates the cold air into two separate airstreams to provide for a wider coverage area or in this particular case, the customer would be able to treat both sides of the housing for even cooling. The magnetic base makes for easy installation without having to make expensive modifications to their existing setup.

3925 Adjustable Spot Cooler
3925 Adjustable Spot Cooler System – for wider coverage areas with no moving parts to wear out or replace.

EXAIR offers a wide variety of spot cooling products for use in many industrial settings. For help selecting the best product to fit your needs, give me a call, I’d be glad to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

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

The Adjustable Spot Cooler Provides High Flexibility and Effectiveness

A customer emailed me with some questions about the using the EXAIR spot cooling technology for use on PEEK material being machined in a Swiss Turning machine. Typically, apart from drilling and parting, coolants are not necessary for thermoplastic machining operations.  In order to obtain the best surface finish and tightest tolerances, keeping the cutting area cool is required.  The ideal goal was to provide sub-zero air to the cutting area, while being quiet and easy to operate.  After reviewing the various EXAIR spot cooling products, it was determined that the Adjustable Spot Cooler System would satisfy all of the requirements.

asc-single-point-2
Model 3825 Adjustable Spot Cooler System

The Adjustable Spot Cooler System shown above is capable of producing temperatures from -30°F to room temperature, with just the turn of a knob.  Included in the package are (2) additional generators, which allow for more or less cold air flow rate, depending on the application cooling needs.  With the magnetic base, the system can be easily positioned, and the flexible hose allows for precise aim of the cold air flow. And, sound levels are kept below 75 dBA.

asc_onlathecmyk
Model 3825 Used in a Turning Operation

To recap, the Adjustable Spot Cooler System provides adjustable cold air temperature with the simple turn of a knob, includes additional generators to provide wide ranging flow rates, has a magnetic base to allow for positioning anywhere, on any machine, and has a flexible hose for directing the cold air wherever it is needed.

I would say that it is a Very Adjustable Spot Cooler.

To discuss spot cooling and your application, we ask you to contact EXAIR and one our  Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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