Replace Homemade Blowoffs with Engineered Solutions for BIG savings

Saving money on compressed air is as simple as replacing current, inefficient products with engineered products which are made to be efficient and OSHA safe (for noise and dead end pressure).

Sections of pipe with drilled holes along the length are a common find in industrial environments as they are made of relatively inexpensive materials and simple to make.  Where the cost begins to add up is on the operation side as these types of homemade blow-offs waste a ton of compressed air offsetting their cheap purchase price and making them expensive to operate.

For comparison, lets look at a 12″ section of pipe with (23) 1/16″ diameter drilled holes. Referencing the table below, each hole will flow 3.8 SCFM @ 80 PSIG for a total of 87.4 SCFM.

With an average cost of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used (based on $ 0.08/kWh), it would cost $ 1.31 to operate this blowoff for 1 hour. (87.4 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)

Now let’s run the numbers as if we look at replacing the drilled pipe with our 12″ Super Air Knife. A 12″ Super Air Knife will consume 34.8 SCFM (2.9 SCFM per inch) when operated at 80 PSIG. Using the same figure of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used, it would cost $ 0.52 / hr. to operate this knife. (34.8 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)

Just to better lay these out, let’s review the operating costs.

Drilled pipe operating costs:
$ 1.31 per hour
$ 10.48 per day (8 hours)

12″ Super Air Knife costs:
$ 0.52 per hour
$ 4.16 per day (8 hours)

Cost Savings:
$ 10.48 per day (drilled pipe) –  $ 4.16 per day (Super Air Knife) = $ 6.32 savings per day

Over the course of one year, one shift per day, and 250 working days per year – the Super Air Knife saves $1580 annually. Obviously, that will increase if you are running more than one shift.

While the drilled pipes always appear to be a quick an easy solution that carry low cost of ownership, remember to look at the total cost of operation. This is where engineered solutions surpass their drilled hole alternative.

If you would like to discuss drilled pipes within your facility or want to see how an engineered solutions may fit the needs you see, contact an application engineer today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you to everyone who has helped contribute to the wellness and positivity within EXAIR. We appreciate all of our employees, our customers and our vendors for working closely with us in 2021.

EXAIR will be closed November 25 and 26 while we spend time with family, friends and loved ones over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

From everyone at EXAIR – Enjoy!

Super Air Knife Promotion: Get a FREE Safety Air Gun!

Do you have a need to blow off a wide area? Do you like to save money on compressed air? Well, then I have a solution for you! EXAIR’s Super Air Knife is the BEST SOLUTION for all wide area blow off applications using compressed air. We have been manufacturing Air Knives for over 38 years and the Super Air Knife is the culmination of all that experience put into one design. The Super Air Knife was first released back in 1997 and it remains the most efficient knife on the market. We have seen copy-cat products and others that claim better performance, but testing proves otherwise. Super Air Knives remain the most efficient.

316SS Super Air Knife removes excess water from fish prior to flash freezing

The Super Air Knife works by taking a small amount of compressed air to create a high velocity laminar sheet of air. This sheet of air then entrains (pulls in) the surrounding ambient air at a rate of 40:1 (40 parts ambient air to one part compressed air), making it very effective in a variety of cooling, drying, and blow off applications. The Super Air Knife also comes in the most variety of lengths ranging from 3″ all the way up to 108″. And in 4 different stock materials which are Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, 316 Stainless Steel, and PVDF. This allows the Super Air Knife to fit your specific needs. Like all of EXAIR’s product lines, these air knives meet or exceed OSHA standards for safety.

Super Air Knife blowing off Parts

Starting in November through the end of the month, order any EXAIR Super Air Knife and receive a free 1210 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. This applies to all stock Super Air Knifes. The Model 1210 is a top pick for many industrial applications. With the ideal combination of forceful air flow, quite noise level, and compressed air usage there’s not many applications that aren’t suited for this style of gun. All EXAIR’s Safety Air Guns are compliant with OSHA 1910.242 (b), relating to dead-end pressure, and can keep your personnel safe. 

Click to view the Promotion Page

If you have questions about any of our engineered Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR or any Application Engineer.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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About Air Compressors: Single-Acting Reciprocating Type

My colleague, Tyler Daniel, wrote a blog “Intelligent Compressed Air: Double-Acting Reciprocating Compressor”, and I wanted to extend that conversation to a close cousin, the single-acting reciprocating compressor.   As you see in the chart below, this type of compressor falls within the same family under the category of positive displacement compressors.

Positive displacement compressors increase air pressure by reducing air volume within a confined space.  The reciprocating type of air compressor uses a motor that turns a crank which pushes a piston inside a cylinder; like the engine in your car.  In a basic cycle, an intake valve opens to allow the ambient air into the cylinder, the gas gets trapped, and once it is compressed by the piston, the exhaust valve opens to discharge the compressed volume into a tank.  This method of compression happens for both the single and double-acting reciprocating compressors.  With a single-acting compressor, the air is compressed only on the up-stroke of the piston inside the cylinder.  A single-acting compressor will have an operating efficiency between 22 – 24 kW/100 cfm of air.  This type of air compressor is the most common and least expensive within the reciprocating family. 

Piston goes down: air draws in. Piston goes up: air is pushed out.

To explore the internals a bit closer, a mechanical linkage, or connecting rod, is attached to a piston and a crankshaft.  For every rotation of a motor, the piston will move up and down.  Air is being drawn into the cylinder and then compressed.  The volume of the cylinders, the number of cylinders, and the rotations per minute will determine the amount of compressed air that can be produced.  The advantages with reciprocating compressors are that they can produce high pressure, compress different types of gases, and have a cheap and rugged design.  The disadvantages would be high vibration and noise levels as well as being oversized as compared to capacity. 

There are different types of single-acting reciprocating compressors; single stage, dual stage, and multistage. The single stage uses one compression cycle to generate a pressure; generally for lower air pressures near 125 PSIG (8.6 bar). The dual stage will allow the pressure from the first cylinder to go into a smaller second cylinder. This dual compression will give a higher pressure up to 175 PSIG (12 bar). Multistage uses the same principle for multiple cylinders for much higher pressures up to 6,000 PSIG (414 bar); for applications like compressed air tanks used in SCUBA diving. They have options like air-cooled, intercooled, flooded type and oil-less. Single-acting reciprocating compressors have a wide range of uses and applications.

No matter the type of air compressor that you use, they are very expensive to use.  Air compressors are considered to be the fourth utility within a manufacturing plant.  To help use it efficiently and safely, EXAIR offers a range of products to clean, cool, blow, clean, conserve, and convey.  This would include our Super Air Knives, Super Air Nozzles, Safety Air Guns, Cabinet Coolers, and much more.  If you want to save energy, increase safety, and cut overhead costs, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help. 

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

Types of Compressor image courtesy of the Compressed Air Challenge

Compressor internals image courtesy of h080Creative Commons License.