Air Amplifiers – What is an Amplification Ratio?

On Friday my colleague, Russ, blogged about the Super Air Amplifier (see that BLOG here, including a video demo)  In discussing the Air Amplifiers, the topic of amplification was mentioned. Today, I’d like to expand a bit further the amplification aspect of the Air Amplifier performance.

As the name of the device implies, the compressed air used by the Air Amplifier is added to, and thus ‘amplified’, the total output flow of the unit. Depending on the size and type of Air Amplifier, the amplification ratio starts at 12:1 and goes up to 25:1, with the ratio being the output flow to the compressed air usage.

AirAmplifiers.jpg
Super Air Amplifier and Adjustable Air Amplifier

EXAIR offers (2) types- the Super Air Amplifier and the Adjustable Air Amplifier.  The Super Air Amplifier uses a patented shim technology to maintain a precise gap, which controls the compressed air flow and expansion through the unit.  As the expanded air flows along the Coanda profile, a low pressure area is created at the center which induces a high volume flow of surrounding air into the primary air-stream.  The combined flow of primary and surrounding air exhausts from the Air Amplifier in a high volume, high velocity flow.  The larger diameter units have a greater cross sectional area with larger low pressure areas, resulting in greater amplification ratios.

The Below table shows the amplification ratios.

SuperAirAmplifierPerformance

The Adjustable Air Amplifier does not use a shim, but rather has an infinitely adjustable gap, allowing for fine adjustment of performance.  Force and flow is changed by turning the exhaust end to adjust the gap, and is then locked into place. The method of the amplification is the same as for the Super Air Amplifier, and the amplification ratios are similar and shown below.

AdjustableAirAmplifierPerformance

The Super Air Amplifiers and Adjustable Air Amplifiers are ideal for use in applications and processes that require cooling, drying and/or cleaning of parts, or the ventilation of confined areas or weld smoke or the exhausting of tank fumes.

If you have questions regarding the Air Amplifier, or would like to talk about any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web 
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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

EXAIR Super Air Knives Helps Keep Labels on the Bottles.

Super Air Knife Blower Air Knife

Sometimes you need more power.  I received a phone call from a bottling facility that was currently using a blower style type of air knives.  They increased their production rate from 220 bottles/min to 300 bottles/minute, and they started to see issues in the labeling process.  Their operation consisted of a wash cycle, rinse cycle, drying cycle, then labeling.  They determined that the bottles were not getting dry enough during the drying cycle before the labels were applied.  They had a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) for the blower system, and they reached the maximum rate.  Still the bottles were not getting dry enough to allow the label to stick to the surface properly.  This meant that they would have to increase the size of their blower system.  With the capital cost of a blower system, they decided to call EXAIR to see if we could help them with the drying application.

Compressed air is the best way for establishing a strong blowing force.  Instead of air pressures in the range of inches of water, the compressed air system can generate over 40 times the amount of pressure than a typical blower system.  EXAIR products uses this power of the compressed air to give you a wide range of blowing forces for drying, cooling, or moving products.  For the above application, I recommended two model 110212 Super Air Knife kits.  The kit includes the Super Air Knife, a filter, a regulator, and a shim set.  They mounted one knife on each side of the bottles to blow off and remove the liquid after the rinse cycle.  Even at the increased bottle speeds, the EXAIR Super Air Knives had no issues in keeping the bottles dry.  With the regulator and the shim, it was easy for them to dial in the correct amount of force without using excess compressed air.  The labels remained glued and the bottling process ran smoothly.  Because the company was impressed by the Super Air Knives, they wanted to comment on the comparisons between the blower knife and the Super Air Knife.

  1. Cost:
    1. Blower System – The reason for contacting EXAIR. Blower-type air knives are an expensive set up.  They require a blower, ducting, and a knife.  To have any flexibility, a control panel with a VFD will be needed.
    2. Super Air Knife – It is a fraction of the cost. With their system, we were roughly 1/10 the cost; even with the kit.  No capital expense report would be needed for the two air knives.
  2. Installation:
    1. Blower System – They stated that it took them a week to install the entire system before they were able to operate. They had to run electrical wires, controls, ducting, and they even had to change the conveying system slightly to accommodate the blower size.
    2. Super Air Knife – They mounted the filter and the regulator on the conveyor, and ran tubing to the Super Air Knives. Even with a fabricator making a bracket to fit into their system, they had the system up and running is less than two hours.
  3. Size:
    1. Blower System – The foot print of the blower is large and it takes up floor space. The 3” ducting had to be ran to an oversized air knife.  With the congestion of the bottle system, it made it difficult to optimize the position and the blowing angle to adequately dry the bottles.
    2. Super Air Knife – With the compact design, the Super Air Knife packs a large force in a small package. It has a footprint of 1 ¾” X 1 ½” X 12” long.  The air knife only required a ¼” NPT compressed air line to supply the compressed air.  It opened up the floor space as well as the bottling area.
  4. Maintenance:
    1. Blower System – The blower filter had to be changed regularly, and system had to be checked. Being that the blower motor is a mechanical device, the bearings will wear and the motor will fail over time.  These items should be checked quarterly as a PM which increase the cost to run the system.
    2. Super Air Knife – No moving parts to wear out. The only maintenance would be to change the filter once a year.
  5. Versatility:
    1. Blower System – They did have a VFD to control the blowing force. But it was still very limited.  With a 36% increase in the bottle speed, they went beyond the maximum capacity of the blower.
    2. Super Air Knife – With a regulator and the shim set, the blowing force can be controlled easily from a breeze to a blast. With their application, the customer only required 40 psig with a standard 0.002” shim to clean and dry the bottles.  They had the option to adjust the regulator or change the shim to get the appropriate amount of blowing force.  So, with any changes in the bottling operations, the Super Air Knife could easily be adjusted.  Also, with the blowing force being optimal from a distance of 3” to 12” from the target, they had more flexibility in angle and distance to hit the moving target.
  6. Quiet:
    1. Blower System – With the blower and turbulent air flow, the units are very loud. It had a sound level near 93 dBA, and with the operators working around the system, they needed PPE to protect them from the high potential of noise induced hearing loss.
    2. Super Air Knife – These units are very quiet. At 40 PSIG, the sound level is only at 61 dBA.  (Even operating at a pressure of 100 PSIG, the sound level is only 72 dBA).  This was very nice for the operators to work around as it wasn’t a constant noise nuisance.

In using the compressed air, the Super Air Knives are engineered to be very efficient.  The design creates a 40:1 amplification ratio which means that for every 1 part of compressed air, 40 parts of the ambient air is entrained.  But, even with the use of compressed air, the customer still wanted to share the ease of installing, the effectiveness of blowing, and the improvements to their process.  With the 6 points noted above, the customer wished that they would have contacted EXAIR at the beginning.

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

EXAIR Application Details Guide

The EXAIR website is valuable resource for reviewing and getting information about the many Intelligent Compressed Air® Products that we manufacture and sell.  It is a good place to learn more about the products, how they work, calculate air savings, see the many styles and materials of construction and much, much more.

If you have a specific application and would like us to review the process parameters and get our recommendation as to the best way to solve the issue, you can utilize the Application Assistance Worksheet located on the Left Menu Bar on many of the Product Pages.

Capture

Clicking on the Application Assistance Worksheet will provide you with a couple of ways to access the form.  Choosing one of the options will present you with the form below.

ApplicationDetailsGuide

This form has sections regarding Process Description, Part Specifications, Product Movement, and Other for general information.  By filling out this form with as much detail possible, and then online submitting or emailing to applications@exair.com, one of our Application Engineers will review and be in contact with you to further discuss in preparation for presenting a solution for you.

Or – to discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product can provide a beneficial service, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

 

Another Piece To The Puzzle

With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house.   Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up.  (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.

Cabinet Cooler

Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle.   Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit.  This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel.  More often than not, it’s not that easy.  We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.

This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us.  If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving.  It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.

The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options.   We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.

30 Day Guarantee
30 Day Guarantee

If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

An Advantage of Vortex Tube Based Cabinet Cooler Systems

Today, I begin publishing the first in a series of blog posts about some common misconceptions of vortex based cooling. The primary focus will be cooling electrical panels, but we may touch on a few other application for vortex tubes as well.

A Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels or small enclosures. The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System incorporates a vortex tube to produce cold air from compressed air without any moving parts.

VT
How a Vortex Tube Works

 

I want to take on the most difficult myth first. I was attending a compressed air conference recently where Cabinet Cooler Systems were listed as a waste of compressed air. Saying Cabinet Cooler Systems waste compressed air is like saying automobiles waste gas. A ’74 Dodge Monaco station wagon was best served to haul 8 kids to Florida and use three times the gasoline of (4) 2014 Honda Civics, but the automobile was driven everyday on that 15 mile work commute.  Comparatively, a 5,600 BTU/HR Dual Cabinet Cooler System without a thermostat, cooling an enclosure the size of a shoebox, is a waste of compressed air. Using a properly sized, thermostat controlled Cabinet Cooler system upon an enclosure will protect your company from thousands of dollars in equipment damage and hours of downtime caused by heat damaged electronics – this is not a waste of compressed air. I understand what the presenter wanted to say, and like anything else, if the product is not sized right or installed improperly it will not operate as efficiently as it could. Cabinet Cooler systems do not waste compressed air, they utilize compressed air.

nema12thrmocntrsys
The components of a NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler System w/ thermostat control.

 

One of the places where Cabinet Cooler Systems shine are dirty, dusty environments where maintenance to air conditioners costs thousands of dollars in replacement parts and man hours every year.  Take one look at the troubleshooting guide for these units and you will find a litany of items that need to be replaced: evaporator coils, motors, wheels, compressor, or capacitor. In many cases, this replacement needs to be done by an outside contractor, which only adds to the cost.

Vortex based cooling improves on air conditioning in dusty or dirty environments in two ways. A vortex based cabinet cooler has no moving parts to wear out or be replaced. The units have been known to last for more than two decades. This lack of moving parts means that a dusty environment will not have an operational impact on the Cabinet Cooler Systems. Secondly, Vortex based coolers can create a positive pressure inside a sealed enclosure. This positive pressure can prevent dust from entering that cabinet. Dust inside of cabinet will cover heat sinks, chip sets, and internal fan blades to prevent air movement and insulate hot parts from heat transfer. If you are comparing a vortex based cooler to a fan in a dusty environment, the vortex based cooler will be pushing dust out of the pipe. The fan will be pulling dust in to the enclosure. The dust pulled in by the fan will lower the cooling capacity of the fan and limit the heat transfer from the heat sink or the circuitry of the device.

I wrote a bit more about this first myth than I intended. This may turn in to a ten part series, if I keep going like this.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Not Just Another Day At The Ballpark

Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.

We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.

Notice the Braille at the bottom.  I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.
Notice the Braille at the bottom. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.

The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.

To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.

My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair