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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“(Stay) Set It And Forget It”

The Stay Set Hose is a popular, and practical, accessory for use with many of our blow-off products. Thread one end onto a compressed air supply connection, thread a Super Air Nozzle (or maybe even a small Air Amplifier or short Air Knife) onto the other end, and you’ve got an easily repositionable blow off…which will reliably hold its position.

That last part was of considerable importance to a caller I had the pleasure of assisting recently. Some of the CNC machines in their shop were fitted with flexible plastic tubing (commonly used for coolant & cutting fluid,) supplied with compressed air to blow off chips & debris from the tooling as the parts were being machined. They use our Super Air Knives in other blow off processes (where they used to use costly & loud open blow off devices,) and wanted to see if engineered products might reduce their compressed air consumption & noise levels in the machine shop too. (spoiler alert: Yes, they can.)

Thing is, they really needed the flexibility of the modular hose, but it’s not rated for the pressure supply required for a Super Air Nozzle. This is what makes our engineered products so efficient; they use the Coanda effect to amplify the compressed airflow..and they use the supply pressure to do that. So they can’t install a Super Air Nozzle on what they have now.

Enter the Stay Set Hoses: They’ll bend to direct the nozzles’ air flow right where you need it, and they’ll keep it there until you bend it again. Which (back to what’s most important to this caller) is exactly what they needed. With our efficient & quiet Super Air Nozzles, they’re saving compressed air and improving the conditions of their work environment. With the Stay Set Hoses, they’re able to quickly & easily rig the air flow before running a job, knowing they won’t have to worry about it until the job’s done.

EXAIR Stay Set Hoses hold their position as long as you need them to. All day, every day.

EXAIR Stay Set Hoses hold their position as long as you need them to. All day, every day.

“Set it and forget about it” is a benefit you can realize from many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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More Power May Not Be The Solution

I can’t tell you how much it pains me to write this after last week’s blog. But, if we’re being honest here, every Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor (“More Power!”) does indeed need an Al Borland (“I don’t think so, Tim.”) As evidence of this, I had an opportunity to provide reasoned advice to a caller on the tech support line this week:

They had just purchased a Model 110224 24″ Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit. The flow it produced wasn’t powerful enough for their needs, so they installed extra shims from the Shim Set (which comes with the Kit) – increasing the shim gap to 0.009″ (which can produce a great deal more air flow and force)…more power, right?

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

Unfortunately, not. The Super Air Knife makes a hard hitting curtain of air when supplied properly…but it’s going to need a 1/2″ pipe (ID of ~5/8″) to carry enough compressed air flow to make that happen. Turns out, they were using 1/4″ tubing, which wasn’t even getting enough compressed air flow to the unit with just the 0.002″ shim installed. Putting in the extra shims actually made that worse. Once they ran a 3/4″ hose to the Air Knife (and took out those extra shims,) they were actually able to regulate the air supply back to about 60psig, which provided a strong enough air flow to solve the application.

This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.

This table comes directly from the Installation & Operation Instructions for the Super Air Knife.

Sometimes, though, compressed air product applications DO come down to a need for more power.  Next week, I’ll tell you about a caller who said he needed “the biggest and most powerful” Safety Air Gun we had – and unlike the last time I wrote a blog about that – he was RIGHT.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Finding What You Want – A Black Friday Blog

In the United States, today is the day that we traditionally call “Black Friday” – the retail industry’s unofficial “start of Christmas gift shopping season” – where stores made a habit of opening up early with deep discounts on select items. Here’s the deal: these are SELECT items (that THEY select) and the hopes are, you’ll buy more stuff (that may or may not be on sale) while you’re there. If you know exactly what you want, it can be a good deal for you. If you don’t, it can be a good deal…for the store.

Although we don’t have Black Friday sales events (in fact, we – and I believe most others in the industry, are closed today,) it still makes good sense to know what you’re looking for before you start shopping.  Let’s consider something basic, like an air gun.

Left-right: Precision, Soft Grip w/Stay Set Hose, Heavy Duty w/Rigid Extension, & Super Blast Safety Air Guns. With so many to choose from, we've got the one you're looking for.

Left-right: Precision, Soft Grip w/Stay Set Hose, Heavy Duty w/Rigid Extension, & Super Blast Safety Air Guns. With so many to choose from, we’ve got the one you’re looking for.

Price: this can be a real two-edged sword…not much is cheaper than a commercial grade air gun that you can buy at just about any hardware store. But, they can use upwards of 50 SCFM.  By comparison, our Model 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun uses only 14 SCFM (@80psig supply pressure.)  And in any typical industrial blow off application, it’ll do the exact same thing, and cost WAY less to operate.  Use this calculator to find out.

Sound level:  you won’t find a quieter blow off product on the market.  At 80psig, the 1210 Safety Air Gun is only running at 74dBA.  Others can be well over 100dBA…that’s up to 3 times as loud, and well in excess of OSHA’s limits published in Standard 29CFR1910.95(a).

Safety: OSHA also limits the dead-end pressure of compressed air blow off devices used for cleaning purposes, to 30psig.  Unless it’s fitted, or designed, with a relief feature, you can’t supply it with any more than 30psig compressed air…which won’t really do a lot, when you think about the jobs you want to use an air gun for.  Ours can’t be dead ended, so you can supply them with 80-100psig for strong performance AND safety…by design.

Durability: You get what you pay for.  Normally, I would say “’nuff said,” but for further proof of this, I submit this blog, from the archives, on our Durable, Safe, and Efficient Safety Air Guns.  ‘Nuff said (now, anyway.)

If you’d like to talk about your compressed air product application, and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product might be the solution you’re looking for, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Knowing many of you may be distracted by the thought of Mom’s (or Dad’s) home cooking – we would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy any time off, and your families and friends.

EXAIRthanksgiving2015_800x988_C

Enjoy,
The EXAIR team
1-800-903-9247

Replacing Water Cooling With Air Amplifiers

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Copper tubing in need of air-powered cooling

The copper tubing shown above is heated in an annealing furnace to a temperature of 175°C (347°F).  This tubing is stacked on racks in 100kg rolls, with 4-6 rolls of copper per rack, and then fed into the oven shown below.  When the tubing exits the oven, water is used to cool the copper to a temperature of approximately 35°C (95°F) with an ambient temperature of ~20°C (68°F).  While effective, the use of water to cool the copper is something the manufacturer would like to replace due to constant maintenance, safety issues and cleanup time, preferring instead to use air to provide the required cooling.

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The copper tubing travels through this oven

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The racks used to stack the copper tubing

I’ve blogged before about the process of determining how much air volume is needed to remove a specific amount of heat.  (You can read previous blogs here and here.)  This application was no different, and I used the flow chart shown below to determine the volume of 20°C ambient air needed to cool this aluminum.

heat load calc process

Airflow calculation process

Using the process outlined above, I determined the application would need 1,133 CFM of air at 20°C to cool these copper coils in one minute. This application, however, has up to 20 minutes available to cool these coils, allowing for a reduced volume of air.  Extending the time available to 2 minutes, and thus reducing the volume requirement to 566.5 CFM (566.5 CFM for 2 minutes = 1,133 CFM for 1 minute), we can definitively say that a series of our model 120022 Super Air Amplifier will be able to provide ample cooling.  (See below for airflow from model 120022 at 5.5 BARG (80 PSIG) at a distance of 6” from the Air Amplifier outlet.)  And, in order to evenly cool the coils, (4) of these Air Amplifiers were recommended, distributed evenly around the coils.

120022-performance-specs

Performance for model 120022 operated at 80 PSIG shown in the red circle on the right

Using a bit of calculation, we were able to provide a specific solution for this customer, eliminating the need for water in the cooling phase of this application.  If you have a similar application, or would like to discuss a compressed air solution for your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

How To Not Use Any More Compressed Air Than You Have To

It should be no secret that EXAIR is all about compressed air efficiency. Our Super Air Knife is the most efficient (and quietest) blow off product on the market today. Our Application Engineering team is tech savvy, highly trained (continuously,) and dedicated to the goal of making sure you get the most out of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products and your compressed air system.  All of our products are engineered with efficiency and value in mind…and if it’s in the catalog, it’s right here in stock, so you can get it right away.  So that’s one way to not use any more compressed air than you have to…start saving it RIGHT NOW.

If you care about your compressed air use, you need one of these. Click here to get one sent to you today!

If you care about your compressed air use, you need one of these. Click here to get one sent to you today!

In addition to the highly efficient design of the Super Air Knife, we also help you to not use any more compressed air than you have to by offering them in any length you need.  We’ve got sixteen lengths in stock because, again, why wait to start saving?  We can also custom cut a Shim for any of those to get you just the air flow you need, or we can fabricate a custom length Air Knife if you’re space-limited.  You can have either of those in just three days.

Buy a Super Air Knife before December 31, 2016, and get a FREE Safety Air Gun!

A FREE Safety Air Gun is another great way to not use any more compressed air than you have to.

With sixteen stock lengths to choose from, product selection oftentimes comes down to which one(s) a user thinks will solve their application.  Such was the case just last week, when a major manufacturer of packing/shipping materials & supplies was building a new blow off station.  Based on their intended design, they ordered four Air Knives: (2) Model 110018 18″ Aluminum Super Air Knives, and (2) Model 110024 24″ Aluminum Super Air Knives.  I’ve written before about how something might have “looked good on paper,” and that’s what happened here…they found out that despite their design considerations, they just didn’t need all 24″ worth of air flow from two of those units, so they wanted to get two more 18″ Super Air Knives to replace them.  And it was an easy fix: this morning, we processed the order for (2) more 18″ Super Air Knives, and arranged for the return of the (2) 24″ ones…which we will issue full credit for, per the terms of our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  They’ll start not using any more compressed air than they have to tomorrow, and it’s not costing them a dime.

You too, dear reader, can start saving quickly by calling me now to discuss your compressed air use, and which EXAIR Engineered Compressed Air Product is right for you.  Why wait?

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: http://blog.exair.com
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