What do you think of when someone says “air nozzle?” Is it a crimp or a “crush” on the end of a piece of tubing? Is it a device that attaches to the end of a pipe or a hose? If so, does it have engineered features that focus the stream, amplify the flow (through entrainment, perhaps,) reduce the noise level, or provide an element of safety?
If so…you’re right. Any of the above descriptions, strictly speaking, qualify as an “air nozzle,” in fact, just a plain open-ended pipe or tube meets the criteria. As long as it serves to discharge a stream of air towards a target, it’s an air nozzle.
Even the devices with those efficient, quiet, and safe engineered features come in a variety of styles, types, and models. Consider EXAIR’s product line of Air Nozzles and Jets…we have seventy-two distinct models, in a range of sizes, materials of construction, and performance. That’s a LOT to choose from, and it doesn’t even take into account the products that can be fitted with different shims that, technically, make them a wholly different nozzle, performance-wise. Which brings us, dear reader, to the focus of today’s blog: the Flat Super Air Nozzle.
Flat nozzles are not unique to EXAIR…there are dozens of others on the market in a variety of sizes and materials. What IS unique about EXAIR’s Flat Super Air Nozzles is their performance…
Efficiency: When a competitor’s flat nozzle was replaced with a Model 1122 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle, consumption was reduced from 31 SCFM to 21.8 SCFM. Since the nozzle was operated 24/7, this resulted in a savings in compressed air cost of $3.31 per day…meaning the nozzle paid for itself in under three weeks.
Durability: Both our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles are available in rugged Zinc Aluminum alloy, or heat & corrosion resistant Type 316 Stainless Steel.
Versatility: A 0.015″ thick shim is installed in the Flat Super Air Nozzles. These provide optimal performance in a wide variety of typical industrial and commercial blow off applications. We also offer High Power versions, with a 0.025″ thick shim, for additional flow and force. You can also experiment with other shims, from 0.005″ to 0.030″ in thickness, for customized applications. These shims are all 316SS, and are available in sets, or individually. The patented design of these shims, in fact, is key to their high efficiency, as explained in this video:
Ingenuity: While this EXAIR characteristic is not specific to the Flat Super Air Nozzles, our most recent ingenious development features them: the Super Air Scraper. By combining a scraping blade with the 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle, we’ve turned our very popular Soft Grip Safety Air Gun into the perfect tool for easy removal of sticky or stubborn debris from most any flat surface.
EXAIR Flat Super Air Nozzles are Intelligent Compressed Air Products with a 15 year history of successfully solving all kinds of air blowing applications. To find out more about how they can work for you, give me a call.
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EXAIR’s highly engineered and efficient Back Blow Nozzle’s provide a powerful 360° airflow through an array of holes to remove coolant, chips or debris. Back Blow Nozzle’s are the perfect solution for cleaning out the inside of any pipe, tube, hose or channels.
I recently worked with a customer at a company that manufactures steel sheets. They grind, polish, and then shot blast the steel sheets. As the material exits the shot blasting chamber, some of the media still sticks to the steel and is carrying over into additional processes. To mitigate this, they installed a 1” pipe with drilled holes at the exit of the conveyor to remove the excess media and keep it contained inside of the machine. While this worked, it was using a substantial amount of compressed air which was resulting in a pressure drop across the rest of the facility when this machine was in operation.
Although their current method was doing the job for them, they couldn’t live with the increased compressed air consumption. After searching the internet, they came across the EXAIR website and were interested in learning about other blowoff methods. Typically for an application involving a wide sheet of moving material we’d look towards one of our Super Air Knives, available from stock in lengths from 3”-108”. But, in this case there was some friction between the shot blasting media and the stainless steel sheet that required brute force. They needed something that was going to give them an increased amount of force, but still reduce their overall consumption.
I recommended our HP1125 High Power 2” Flat Nozzle. With a .025” thick shim installed, the HP1125 nozzle will produce 2.2 lbs of force when operated at 80 psig. This was more than enough to remove the shot blasting media. They’re also much quieter than an open blowoff, producing a sound level of just 83 dBA. While this wasn’t a motivating factor for them, the reduction in noise was definitely welcomed. They placed some on order and replaced the 1/4″ open holes with (10) Model HP1125 2” Flat Super Air Nozzles.
For comparison, (10) 1/4″ holes will consume 690 SCFM at 80 PSIG while (10) of the HP1125 comes in at just 370 SCFM. By simply installing the HP1125 (which conveniently also has a 1/4 NPT air inlet), they reduced their compressed air consumption by a whopping 46%!! By reducing air consumption they eliminated the system pressure drop, they were also able to increase the force as the compressor was able to maintain the 80 PSIG pressure at the header pipe. This also alleviated the pressure drops experienced elsewhere in the plant.
At EXAIR we have a wide-range of different products suited to a number of different blowoff applications. From 4mm nozzles producing just 2 ozs of force, all the way up to our largest nozzle capable of delivering 23 lbs of force and everything in between. No matter the application, EXAIR has something capable of taking care of the job. Odds are it’ll be safer, quieter, and more efficient!
The word “accessory” can come with some baggage… it’s become synonymous with “add-on” and “up-sell,” and cost-mindful consumers may see them as just another way for a slick salesperson to make an extra buck. And frankly, they wouldn’t have that reputation if there wasn’t some truth to it. The server at your favorite restaurant will offer appetizers, or recommend side dishes to go with your entree. If you go to buy a new car, you’ll get a pitch for a variety of aftermarket add-ons. The paint counter folks at the hardware store always tell me what specific brush and/or rollers I should use with the paint I’m buying…and it’s never the 10-pack of economy brushes that costs less than the single, premium quality brush they recommend. In all of these cases, these employees are trained, constantly encouraged, and hopefully rewarded on the success of these “up-sell” strategies.
Of course, my boys and I can devour even the largest plate of chili cheese nachos long before the rest of meal comes out. My wife absolutely loves the remote starter function that the dealership installed on the new car she bought last year. And, if you’ve ever painted a well-lit room, you know the difference between a $1 paint brush and a $10 paint brush. So if my server gets a little bigger tip, my car dealer salesperson gets a little more commission, or the paint counter folks get a bonus, then it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
EXAIR carries a variety of accessories for our Intelligent Compressed Air Products. Some aid in mounting & installation:
Others make it easy to ensure adequate supply conditions:
The performance of many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can be altered by replacing the shim:
In addition to these product-specific accessories, EXAIR carries a complete line of:
*Filter Separators to remove water, dirt, and rust from your compressed air system. Our Automatic Drain Filter Separators have a 5 micron particulate element, and a centrifugal vane to remove moisture.
*Oil Removal Filters with coalescing elements that remove any trace of oil, and also provide additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.
*Pressure Regulators, so you can “dial in” the performance you need, so you don’t overpower the application, or waste compressed air. They come in sizes from 1/4 NPT to 1-1/4 NPT, and are rated for flows up to 700 SCFM. A pressure gauge provides accurate indication of outlet pressure, and the adjustment cap can be removed to prevent tampering.
*Silencing Mufflers to reduce work area noise from compressed air exhausting from pneumatic cylinders, valves, etc. There are several styles to choose from, depending on your needs:
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, with minimal back pressure restriction, and come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2 NPT.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer noise reduction up to 20 dB, and come in sizes from 1/4 NPT (up to 22 SCFM) to 3/4 NPT (up to 73 SCFM.)
Heavy Duty Mufflers have an internal stainless steel screen that not only protects the exhausting components from environmental contamination, but also keeps air system contaminants from being ejected at high speed into the work area.
Reclassifying Mufflers are an upgrade to the Sintered Bronze Mufflers and provide the highest level of noise reduction – up to 35 dB. They also trap oil mist, eliminating breathing hazards to personnel.
*12 ft Coiled Hoses (1/4″ or 3/8″ ID) and Compressed Air Hose (3/8″ or 1/2″ ID; up to 50ft lengths) can be provided with any Intelligent Compressed Air Product. We also have a full supply of fittings (tees, elbows, nipples, couplers, reducers, etc.) and adapters to fit our Super Air Nozzles to your existing air guns or blow off devices.
*Receiver Tanks are used to store a ready supply of compressed air. If you have an intermittent demand of sufficient size, it can cause a pressure transient in your system, which can drag down the ability to supply other points of use. Installed near the point of intermittent demand, they prevent pressure & volume fluctuations, keeping the operators at all points of use happy. Model 9500-60 Receiver Tank has a capacity of 60 gallons, is rated to 200psig, and meets ASME pressure vessel code.
In closing, let me offer the following advice that’s served me well over the years:
*Be mindful of the valued added by the accessories & add-ons you’re presented during a purchase of capital equipment…or anything else, really. Don’t buy something you don’t need, but if you need it…well…it’s OK to buy it.
*Don’t skimp on quality. Odds are, if an accessory is offered by the manufacturer of the product, it’s going to work well for you. They should be able to tell you if it will or won’t if you discuss your needs with them. I know I will if you call me to discuss a compressed air product application.
*Get the big plate of nachos, especially if you’re dining with teenagers.
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Have you ever happened across something that would have been a real “game changer” at some time in the past? I’ll never forget the time that I went camping with my sons’ Boy Scout Troop, and I was introduced to the peanut butter and bacon sandwich. I still enjoy one from time to time, but my doctor does not enjoy hearing about it…
I’ve also written before (and before) about when I found out EXAIR Vortex Tubes were being used in some shipyards for freeze sealing pipes…a task that (when I worked in a shipyard) we used tanks of liquid nitrogen for. I was amazed that such a cumbersome ordeal was replaced by something so simple and easy.
When we were developing the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun, a key feature…the variable flow trigger…also would have been real handy at a time in my not-so-distant past. See, I used to run a small industrial equipment service department, and one time I found myself in a pinch to get a structural steel tube frame made for a support for a particular piece of equipment. This wasn’t something we did all the time, and this particular job was a bit larger scale than most of what we’d done before. It wasn’t really a big deal; I just had to cut some rectangular tubing to length with our band saw, drill some small holes (for bolts) and bore some larger holes (for cables & hose) along the length.
We had a small air compressor and a cheap commercial grade air gun, which served the purpose of our infrequent usage. Blowing the shavings away from those holes, and the inside of the tubing was a challenge…that air gun would just barely move them all the way from the holes near the middle, and when I blew out the holes near the ends, the spray of coolant-soaked shavings was making a heck of a mess in our relatively small shop. After a while, I found that I could kind of “mash” the trigger a little to one side and get a rough measure of control…I was only going to have to mop about half the floor, instead of the whole thing, and I wasn’t going to have to wash the service truck parked in the closest garage bay to the shop area.
Needless to say, this wasn’t exactly ergonomic, and it was real pain (literally) to use my left hand for a few days following. Which, being left-handed, was kind of a drag.
Fast forward to just last year, when we rolled out the latest and greatest (in a distinguished line of latest and greatest) EXAIR product: the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun. Now, individually, the key features might not be all that mind-blowing to the casual observer, but taken together, they’re a pretty big deal. Consider:
*Aluminum construction – lightweight, durable, corrosion resistant.
*Two compressed air inlets – one on the bottom (below your pinkie finger) and one on the rear (above your thumb;) your choice…whichever makes your task easier.
*Cast-in hanger – to keep it out of the way, but still handy, when you’re not using it.
*Chip Shield – you still have to wear safety glasses, but this will keep them cleaner.
*Variable pull trigger – as the name implies, you can “vary the blast” by how hard (or not) you pull the trigger. Like I said before, you can do this – kind of – with a run of the mill commercial grade air gun, but it’s not very precise, and far from ergonomic. Here’s a short video showing just how sensitive that trigger pull is:
If you’d like to give one a try, EXAIR offers these – and any catalog product for that matter – with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee. We invite you to put it through its paces for up to a month. If it’s not going to work out for you, for any reason, we’ll arrange return for full credit. Give me a call – we can talk about how you intend to use it, and which one’s right for you.
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Chances are if you have been on your job for a little while, you have noticed some processes or equipment that takes excessive time, wastes energy, etc.. and delivers less than optimal results. So, just how do you communicate those observations to management in your organization? You certainly do not want to embarrass yourself by having your idea torpedoed, nor let the company continue wasting money on inefficient processes or equipment. The question becomes, how do you present your cost savings plan to the management team? This blog will help you with that very question!
Your idea(s) for cost savings should be presented clearly and concisely with some key information highlighting the cost and the savings. The simplest way to accomplish this is to quantify the savings for a given period of time and the payback schedule. The payback schedule is generally calculated by dividing the cost of the project by the forecast savings. Generally speaking, the shorter the time required for payback, the better the odds of your project being approved.
To start the process generate a (1) page overview that states the problem, cost of your proposal and the forecast savings. A thorough and concise presentation will help sway any naysayers in the group, and you should include detailed information that includes current operating costs and how you arrived at those figures.
In the compressed air industry, EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air products provide some easy installations and quick payback times without sacrificing production or quality – in many cases, we can improve production and quality. Let’s consider the case below, where open tubes were being used to blow off punch presses. We started by capping off (4) of the open tubes and trying one EXAIR 1100 Air Nozzle with a defined air pattern and we clearly needed more force. That is when we attached the second super air nozzle, and voila! We had the amount of force and the air pattern required for this application, all while greatly minimizing air consumption and noise! The image below shows what a sample air savings presentation sheet or test sheet may look like.
Considering the EXAIR1100 Super Air Nozzle are $39 each, you can calculate that the payback time is slightly less than 10 working days per press, since two nozzles were used for each press.
When considering larger and more in-depth projects, naturally more documentation and information will be required. In addition to the requirements for the above example, just be sure to include the following points:
List the action items for your proposal and any purchases that may be necessary.
Outline your proposed savings and document how you arrived at that number.
Discuss anything that may cause delays or not go as planned, and if possible, suggest viable workarounds.
Create a milestone schedule for all the major points in your plan.
If you would like to discuss increasing the efficiency of your compressed air usage, quieter compressed air products, and/or any EXAIR product, I would enjoy hearing from you. Give me a call.
Many customers may not have the means to test the air consumption of their blowoff solutions. With compressed air being the most expensive utility in a manufacturing facility, it’s important to identify places where you can save money on your overall operating costs. EXAIR manufacturers a wide variety of products intended to help you reduce your compressed air usage. If you’re not able to accurately measure the consumption in your own shop, we invite you to send the products into EXAIR for testing. With EXAIR’s Award Winning Efficiency Lab, just simply contact an Application Engineer, box them up and send them to our warehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Once we receive it, our engineers will complete some in-depth testing to determine the compressed air consumption, sound level, and force that your current solution provides. With this information, we’ll be able to compare it to an EXAIR Engineered Solution. This way we ensure that you receive the best, safest solution possible also capable of saving money through reduced air consumption and improved efficiency. We’ll send you back a comprehensive report that’ll help you to make the best decision for your company.
I’ve been recently working with a customer that sent in one of the nozzles they’re using across all their CNC machines. They wanted us to test it out and see if we’re able to offer them something that could reduce their overall compressed air usage. The nozzle was one of the cheap plastic varieties and was attached to a commonly used modular hose. This type of modular hose is not designed for operating under high pressures. These hoses are more suitable for liquid coolant or air that is at or below atmospheric pressure.
After testing, we found that at 80 psig the nozzle consumed 3.85 SCFM and produced a force of 1.92 oz. We also noticed that after 60 psig, the nozzle began to leak due to a poor seal where the nozzle met the brass hex. The EXAIR nozzle most suitable to replace this was the 1108SS. At just 2.5 SCFM at 80 psig, replacing the plastic nozzle with an engineered solution saves them 35% of their overall consumption for this blowoff. With close to 1000 of these nozzles in operation, that adds up quickly!!
In addition to increasing efficiency, replacing these nozzles also greatly increases overall worker safety. The sound level is reduced from 73 dBA to just 58 dBA and EXAIR’s nozzles also adhere to OSHA 1910.242(b). The plastic nozzles could be dead-ended, posing a hazard that can result in costly fines. These fines are assessed per infraction, so having multiple non-compliant nozzles can easily get very expensive if you’re subject to an unannounced visit by an OSHA inspector.
If you think you may have an opportunity to improve upon your existing blowoff methods, give us a call. We’ll be happy to take a closer look and have you send the product back to EXAIR for a quick trial in our Efficiency Lab. You’ll be glad you did!