EXAIR’s Atomizing Nozzles for Decontamination Due to COVID-19

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At this time, countries across the world are all grappling with the constant change and disruption that is caused by COVID-19. As a worldwide supplier to manufacturers in a wide variety of industries, we’re seeing first-hand how important the manufacturing supply chain is. Many industries that we support including food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, etc. are absolutely critical right now. EXAIR as a company is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that we can remain open to supply the manufacturers in these critical industries.

Manufacturers across the US and the rest of the world are re-purposing their facilities and production processes to manufacture medical supplies at a rapid pace. The situation evolves on a daily basis. The feeling is mutual among all of us, this entire situation is completely unprecedented and unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetime. I’ve recently spoken with numerous manufacturers and end users who are looking to utilize our products to help fight this pandemic.

One such product is EXAIR’s Atomizing Spray Nozzles. Designed to atomize fluids in a wide range of different spray patterns, they utilize a small amount of compressed air that mixes with the liquid supply to create a fine mist of atomized liquid. This makes them very effective in applications that utilize expensive paints, oils, or other liquids. Rather than wasting the expensive materials, the nozzle can be set to precisely dispense only what is necessary to achieve a successful application.

In the current situation, they’re being used for a range of applications for decontaminating rooms, personnel, and equipment. A customer utilizes the Model EF1010SS to perform a dry fogging process inside of residential and commercial rooms to eliminate mold, odors, and pathogens. For them this is a common process, but due to the concerns related to COVID-19 they’ve seen a dramatic increase in business related to pathogen removal. Using a two-step dry fogging process, the solution fills the entire volume of the space to remove any contaminants and prevent against microbial growth in the future. The nozzle provides a fine atomized mist that fills the entire space in a short amount of time. After a physical wipe down of all surfaces, a second solution is applied that prevents future microbial growth.

Atomizng Family

Another customer manufactures decontamination booths for personnel. They’re also noticing an increase in inquiries as companies look to decontaminate their employees upon entering the building. Utilizing (3) of EXAIR’s SF2020SS Atomizing Spray Nozzles, they’re able to spray a decontaminating solution to aid removal of pathogens from their clothing before it has an opportunity to spread around the office.

With the ability to produce a fine droplet size, the Atomizing Spray Nozzle is an ideal product to deliver the fine mist required for decontamination. If you have an application or process that could benefit from an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product please give us a call. We’re here, ready to help, as we all come together to fight this head on.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

 

COVID-19 image courtesy of enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

Air Compressor Motors And Controls

Electric motors are by far the most popular drivers for industrial air compressors.  Indeed, they are the prime movers for a great many types of industrial rotating equipment.  In their simplest form of operation, rotary motion is induced when current flows through a conductor (the windings) in the presence of a magnetic field (usually by electricity inducing a magnetic field in the rotor.)  In the early days, you’d start one up by flipping a big lever called a knife switch.

Example of a knife switch

These are cumbersome and inherently dangerous…the operators literally have their hand(s) on the conductor.  If the insulation fails, if something mechanical breaks, if they fail to make full contact, electrocution is a very real risk.  Over time, motor starters came in to common use.  Early in their development, they were more popular with higher HP motors, but soon were made for smaller motors as well.

There are several types of modern motor starters:

Full Voltage Starters: The original, and simplest method.  These are similar in theory to the old knife switches, but the operator’s hands aren’t right on the connecting switch.  Full line voltage comes in, and amperage can peak at up to 8 times full load (normal operating) amperage during startup.  This can result in voltage dips…not only in the facility itself, but in the neighborhood.  Remember how the lights always dim in those movies when they throw the switch on the electric chair?  It’s kind of like that.

Reduced Voltage Starters: These are electro-mechanical starters.  Full line voltage is reduced, commonly to 50% initially, and steps up, usually in three increments, back to full.  This keeps the current from jumping so drastically during startup, and reduces the stress on mechanical components…like the motor shaft, bearings, and coupling to the compressor.

Solid State (or “Soft”) Starters: Like the Reduced Voltage types, these reduce the full line voltage coming in as well, but instead of increasing incrementally, they gradually and evenly increase the power to bring the motor to full speed over a set period of time.  They also are beneficial because of the reduced stress on mechanical components.

The Application Engineering team at EXAIR Corporation prides ourselves on our expertise of not only point-of-use compressed air application & products, but a good deal of overall system knowledge as well.  If you have questions about your compressed air system, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Operational Status re: COVID-19 Coronavirus – update 04/03/2020

To all of our valued partners-

The US is just entering the most crucial phase of this outbreak, if the lessons of other countries are any guide.  Many of our distributor partners around the world have told us that they are facing social and business restrictions for the next 2-4 weeks as well.

The state of Ohio issued an amended order yesterday requiring most people to stay at home except for exempt activities through May 1st, 2020.  In large part, it simply extends the original stay at home order that was set to expire on Monday, April 6th.

After reading the amended order, EXAIR continues to be exempt from it as we were from the original order.  EXAIR is involved in nearly every industry listed by the Department of Homeland Security as critical industries, and those guidelines were part of the basis for the details of the order by the state of Ohio.

Many industries that we support like food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment and the like are absolutely critical right now.  Just in the past week, we have had orders and requests for technical help from customers making surgical masks, face shields and neutralizing contamination on personnel when entering a building.  At least one long-standing customer is involved with making COVID-19 test kits.  This is real and it affects all of us.

If they need us, we need to be there for them.  The Governor’s press conferences have stressed how important it is for everyone to keep supply chains moving, especially for critical industries.  EXAIR is part of that chain and will continue to do our part to the best of our collective abilities and we know our distributors around the world will continue to do the same.  Anything we can do to help with this crisis is worth doing.

At the same time, we take our responsibility to try to keep our employees healthy and safe very seriously.  We have modified our operations significantly in order to remain open to serve those who need us in a responsible manner.

  • We have divided our workforce into two different shifts, with another group working remotely.
  • Our two on-premises shifts are not in our facility at the same time
  • Common areas of our facility are sanitized between shifts and again at night
  • Personal work spaces are sanitized at the end of each shift
  • Our workstations are spread out to make sure we observe social distancing
  • We are screening all employee temperatures every day before their shifts

EXAIR operations will remain ongoing for the foreseeable future unless local conditions or government mandates require other actions.  As always, we will keep you up to date if those events occur.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Bryan Peters

President
EXAIR Corporation

Air Savings Calculator

I received an email from an engineer that was looking at our Super Air Nozzles.  They currently were using four blow-off lines that were made from 6mm ID copper tubes. The system was designed to blow out holes after machining.  The engineer was in charge of the task of optimizing 25 machining stations similar to this one.  He was familiar with EXAIR products from his previous employment, and he recognized the waste of compressed air by using open pipe.  He purchased four Nano Super Air Nozzle, model 1110SS, for a trial.  He was impressed with the performance, the low sound level, and the engineered design in safety.  But, for upper management in his company, he had to show a cost savings in order to change all the stations in the facility.  He asked me to help him in calculating the compressed air savings.

nano nozzle

He gave me some additional details about their application.  He was using the compressed air about 30% of the time throughout an 8 hour day at a pressure of 80 PISG.  He wanted to present the savings per day, week, and year as well as the payback period in his evaluation.  I have performed many of these calculations for other customers and was happy to help.  It is sometimes easier to speak in terms of savings, as everyone can relate to money, especially management.

Knowns:

Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG

Flow:  6mm ID copper tube – 42 SCFM at 80 PSIG

This is where the COST SAVINGS CALCULATOR on our website shines!

The Calculator tells us you will see a ROI (Return on investment) is less than 5 days! And will save you $3,033.00 over a full year on compressed air generation cost alone!

Don’t be fooled by the initial cost of a tube, pipe, drilled holes, or a substandard nozzle.  You can see by the facts above, if you use any additional compressed air in your blow-off application, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run.  If you need any help in calculating how much money EXAIR products can save you, you can use our Air Savings Calculator from our website, or you contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Which Air Nozzle Is Right For Me?

Well, the obvious answer is, of course, an engineered air nozzle…you’re likely aware of this, or you wouldn’t be reading posts on the EXAIR Corporation blog.  We have no issue with narrowing that down a bit, and saying that the answer is an EXAIR air nozzle.  I bet you knew that was coming as well.  So let’s assume that, because of the cost of compressed air, the potential hazards of its unregulated discharge, and the flat-out racket it can make (unless you do something about it,) you’re looking for something efficient, safe, and quiet.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s unpack that question.  The nature of the application will let us know the airflow pattern & characteristics (mainly flow & force) that we need.

For example, if you need just a pinpoint of airflow, our Atto Super Air Nozzle blows a 1/2″ diameter pattern at a distance of 3″.  Get a little closer than that, and it’s as tight as you want it to be.  Now, it’s only generating a force of 2oz (at 12″ away) but keep in mind that’s all concentrated in a small fraction of an inch diameter.  Which is plenty for most applications that need that precise of an airflow.

Atto Super Air Nozzle

If you DO need a little more flow & force, our Pico and Nano Super Air Nozzles offer incremental increases in performance.  The pattern starts to widen out, but that’s a function of the increased flow expanding in to atmospheric pressure…it has to go somewhere, you know.  But, again, the closer you get, the more focused the flow is to the centerline of the nozzle.

On the other end of the spectrum are EXAIR’s High Force Air Nozzles.  These are particularly useful for stubborn blowoff applications – a foundry blowing slag off hot strip as it cools, for example.  Our largest of these, a 1-1/4 NPT model, generates 23 lbs of force…that’s over 25 times the power of our standard Super Air Nozzle.

 

With 23 lbs of hard hitting force, this 1-1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle is perfect for the most extreme blow off and cleaning jobs.

Speaking of the standard Super Air Nozzle, it’s the most popular answer to the Big Question.  It’s suitable for a wide range of blowoff, drying, and cooling applications, like the kinds of jobs an awful lot of folks use open end blowoff devices on.  Open ended tubes blow out a great amount of air, but they’re wasteful and noisy, and OSHA says you can’t use them unless you regulate the pressure to 30psig…where they’re not even going to be all that effective.

Choose from (top left to bottom right) 316SS, Zinc Aluminum, or PEEK Thermoplastic…whatever you need to stand up to the rigors of your environment.

If you’ve got a 1/4″ copper tube, for example, it’ll use 33 SCFM when supplied with compressed air at 80psig.  It’ll for sure get the job done (albeit expensively, when you think of all that compressed air consumption,) but it’ll be loud (likely well over 100 dBA) and again, OSHA says you can’t use it at that pressure.  So, you can dial it down to 30psig, where it’ll be marginally effective, but it’s still going to use more air than the Model 1100 1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle does at 80psig supply pressure.  The hard hitting force of the Model 1100, under those conditions, will make all the difference in the world.  As will its sound level of only 74 dBA.  Not to mention, it’s fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b).  Oh…and you can even install it directly on the end of your existing tube with a simple compression fitting.

One of our customers installed Model 1100 Super Air Nozzles on all their lathe blowoff copper tubes, and saved almost $900 a year in compressed air costs.

We’ve also got engineered Air Nozzles smaller than the 1100 (all the way down to the aforementioned Atto Super Air Nozzle) and a good selection of larger ones, including Cluster Air Nozzles that hold tighter airflow patterns than similar performing single Super Air Nozzles.  They’re available in materials ranging from Zinc-Aluminum alloy, bare aluminum, brass, 303SS, 316SS, or PEEK thermoplastic polymer to meet the requirements of most any area of installation, no matter how typical or aggressive.

If you have an loud, wasteful, and likely unsafe blowoff, you owe it to yourself and everyone else who has to put up with it to consider a better solution.  Call me; let’s talk.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Advantages Of Compressed Air Operated Industrial Vacuums

Last week, I wrote about the benefits and advantages of the EXAIR Chip Trapper System. It’s just one workhorse in our stable of durable and reliable compressed air operated Industrial Housekeeping solutions.  All of our systems in this product line are compressed air operated, which means they offer several benefits that you don’t get with an electric powered vacuum:

  • Our air operated vacuums have no moving parts.  That means nothing to wear out & replace.
  • Electric motors burn out over time, and have to be replaced.  Not a problem with our products…if you supply them with clean air, they’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.
  • Using electric vacuums in wet areas can prevent a very real risk of electrocution.  This hazard does not apply to a compressed air hose, which is all it takes to run our products.
  • Long, stringy chips can get clogged in the impeller & rotating parts of a motor-driven vacuum.  Ours have no moving parts, which means nothing for detritus to get tangled up in.
Electric Vacuums are prone to clogging, wearing out, and motor failure.

Which EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Product is right for you?  It depends on what you’ll be using it for.  Very generally speaking, here’s a brief overview of the product line:

Chip Vac Systems:

  • Pick up dry or wet chips and transfer them into a standard open top drum.
  • Available in four sizes: 5, 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums.
  • Turns your own 30, 55, or 110 gallon open top drum into a powerful vacuum system, in minutes, with a standard system.
  • Add portability and flexibility with a Deluxe System, which includes a drum dolly and a Tool Holder.
  • For a total Industrial Vacuum System, complete & ready to go right out of the box, the Premium Systems add a drum, a compressed air supply hose, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & a Static Resistant Vacuum Hose.
  • For smaller jobs or in tight quarters, the Mini Chip Vac System comes with a compact 5 gallon drum.  The Deluxe System adds a drum dolly for portability.

Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems:

  • Function is similar to the Chip Vacs, but the vacuum itself is made of a hardened alloy, and offers higher vacuum power for dense and/or abrasive material cleanup.
  • Fits your existing 30, or 55 gallon drums for a quick & easy, basic high powered vacuum solution.
  • Deluxe Systems add Heavy Duty Tools & Tool Holder, and a Drum Dolly.
  • Premium Systems come with a 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Drum.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Systems:

  • All the power, durability, and convenience of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems, but with a HEPA filter for contaminants such as mold, allergens, and other airborne irritants.
  • Fits your existing 30 or 55 gallon drums, or Deluxe & Premium Systems add the same accessories as the Heavy Duty Dry Vac Systems.
(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

Reversible Drum Vac Systems:

  • These are our drum mounted vacuums for liquids.  They’ll fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds (tested with water.)
  • Fits an existing 30, 55, or 110 gallon closed top steel drum in good condition.
  • Deluxe Systems add a drum dolly, a Tool Holder and a set of plastic tools including a Spill Recovery Kit, for a multitude of cleanup needs.
  • Auto shutoff float prevents overfilling the drum.
  • Premium Systems add a 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum, Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools, and a compressed air supply hose.
  • High Lift Systems are available for higher viscosity (ups to 1400 cP) liquids, or when pumping from below grade (180″H2O suction lift.)
  • This same technology is incorporated into the Chip Trapper Systems, which (as detailed last week) trap incoming solids in a Filter Bag, allowing for instant pumping out of freshly filtered liquid.  They’re available with the High Lift capability as well.
Reversible Drum Vac, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, Chip Trapper

Vac-u-Guns:

  • Handy and portable, the Vac-u-Gun is a lightweight handheld vacuum, blow gun, and transfer tool, all in one.
  • Collection System comes with a vacuum bag w/shoulder strap, extension wands, a crevice tool, skimmer tool, and round brush tool.
  • Transfer Systems come with the same tools, but include a 10ft hose instead of the vacuum bag.
  • All Purpose Systems come with the tools, the vacuum bag, and the 10ft hose.
  • Deep Hole Vac-u-Guns are fitted with a blow tube for stirring up fine debris from drilled holes, where it’s quickly and efficiently vacuumed away.

Regardless of your application, EXAIR has an Industrial Vacuum to fit.  Orders for qualifying systems through the end of May 2020 will include a free Vac-u-Gun.  If you’d like to discuss your Industrial Housekeeping needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Controlling Compressed Air can be Easy, and Save Thousands of Dollars

The history of automated controls can be traced back to inventors in ancient Greece & Egypt, who sought ways to keep more accurate track of time than afforded by sundials and hourglasses.  Their efforts, dating as far back as 300BC, produced devices actuated by water flow, which is actually quite reliable and repeatable: a set amount of water will flow via gravity through a fixed conduit in the exact same amount of time, every time.  These were in fairly common use until the invention of the mechanical clock in the 14th century.

The Industrial Revolution grew the need for automated processes exponentially…the need to control objects or tooling in motion, fluid flow, temperature, and pressure, just to name a few.  As time passed, the sky was literally the limit: modern aircraft & spacecraft rely on a staggering amount of automated processes from production to operation.

All throughout history, though, the benefits of automation remain the same: making processes more efficient.  That’s where the EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control comes in, for automating processes involving compressed air use, by turning air flow off when it’s not needed.  In fact, not only do they provide simple on/off control to blow only when a part is “seen” by the photoelectric sensor, there are eight distinct modes to incorporate delay on or off, flicker on or off, signal on/off delay, interval, or “One-Shot,” where the sensor detects the part, delays opening the valve per the timer setting, and blows for one second.

EFC Electronic Flow Control Systems are already assembled & wired for quick & easy installation.

The EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control is a true “plug and play” solution for automating a compressed air application.  Mount the sensor, plumb the valve, plug it in, and you’re ready to go.  There’s no complicated PLC wiring or programming, although the aforementioned mode selections do offer a great deal of flexibility other than “on when the sensor sees it; off when it doesn’t” operation, if desired.  Here are some prime examples of that flexibility, and the monetary benefits due to the compressed air consumption savings:

(Left) On/Off Delay setting used in tank refurbishment application to operate a “halo” of Super Air Knives for blow off as tanks exit oven where old paint is burnt off – $3,393 annual air savings. (Center) Interval setting actuates a Super Ion Air Knife for flat panel display dust blow off/static elimination – $2,045 annual air savings. (Right) Interval setting actuates a “halo” of Super Ion Air Knives to clean & remove static charge from plastic automotive bumper covers prior to painting – $5012 annual savings.

If you’d like to find out more about the EFC Electronic Flow Control can save you time, air, and money, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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