Want to learn more about EXAIR’s line of Atomizing Spray Nozzles? This short video will familiarize you with their benefits, features, and capabilities.
Compressed air isn’t called manufacturing’s “Fourth Utility” (the first three being electricity, water, and natural gas) for nothing. Pneumatic tools are popular because they’re often so much lighter than their electric counterparts. Compressed air can be stored in receiver tanks for use when other power supplies are unavailable or not feasible. Many compressed air operated products can be made to withstand environmental factors (high/low temperature, corrosive elements, atmospheric dust, oil, other contaminants, etc.,) that would make electric devices very expensive, unwieldy, or impractical.
One of the most valuable considerations, though, is that your compressed air system is, by and large, under your control. The type and capacity of your air compressor can be determined by your specific operational needs. The header pressure in your supply lines is based on the applications that your air-operated devices are used for. And the performance & lifespan of every single component in your compressed air system is determined by the care you take in maintaining it.
I covered the importance of compressed air system maintenance in a blog a while back…today, I want to focus on clean air. And, like the title (hopefully) makes you think, it’s a REALLY big deal. Consider the effects of the following:
Debris: solid particulates can enter your air system through the compressor intake, during maintenance, or if lines are undone and remade. If you have moisture in your air (more on that in a minute,) that can promote corrosion inside your pipes, and rust can flake off in there. Almost all of your air operated products have moving parts, tight passages, or both…debris is just plain bad for them. And if you use air for blow off (cleaning, drying, etc.,) keep in mind that anything in your compressed air system will almost certainly get on your product.
Your compressed air system may be equipped with a main filter at the compressor discharge. This is fine, but since there is indeed potential for downstream ingress (as mentioned above,) point-of-use filtration is good engineering practice. EXAIR recommends particulate filtration to 5 microns for most of our products.
Water: moisture is almost always a product of condensation, but it can also be introduced through faulty maintenance, or by failure of the compressor’s drying or cooling systems. Any way it happens, it’s also easy to combat with point-of-use filtration.
EXAIR includes an Automatic Drain Filter Separator in our product kits to address both of these concerns. A particulate filter element traps solids, and a centrifugal element “spins” any moisture out, collecting it in the bowl, which is periodically drained (automatically, as the name implies) by a float.
Oil: many pneumatic tools require oil for proper operation, so, instead of removing it, there’s going to be a dedicated lubricator, putting oil in the air on purpose. Optimally, this will be as close to the tool as possible, because not all of your compressed air loads need oil…especially your blow offs. If, however, a blow off device is installed downstream of a lubricator (perhaps due to convenience or necessity,) you’ll want to do something about that oil. Remember, anything in your system will get blown onto your product.
If this is the case, or you just want to have the cleanest air possible (keep in mind there is no downside to that,) consider an EXAIR Oil Removal Filter. They come in a range of capacities, up to 310 SCFM (8,773 SLPM,) and the coalescing element also offers additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.
In closing, here’s a video that shows you, up close and personal, the difference that proper filtration can make:
If you’d like to discuss or debate (spoiler alert: I’ll win) the importance of clean air, and how EXAIR can help, give me a call.
When it comes to conveying bulk materials like pellets, grains, powders, etc., you’ve got plenty of choices: Mechanical conveyor types, like bucket, auger, and cleated belt conveyors can move product as far as you want, and as quickly as you want…they can be made as long as you want, and as big & fast as you want. “Fast” as in conveyance rate, that is. Lead time, including engineering, design, fabrication, and installation, can be months.
Air operated conveyors are quite popular too, and the dense phase models can move a lot of material a great distance, and quickly. Like the mechanical types, they have a wide range of economy to scale…and the price tags to prove it. Medium- and dilute-phase pneumatic conveyors are less complicated in design, which brings us to the heart of today’s blog.
EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs, are the simplest of all: the Line Vac itself used compressed air to generate a “pull/push” to draw material into the suction, and propel it through the discharge. We have a variety of models to choose from, but our focus today will be the Heavy Duty Line Vac.
EXAIR Heavy Duty Line Vacs are the workhorse of our Air Operated Conveyors product line. Consider their advantages:
*Made of a proprietary hardened alloy, they offer superior abrasion resistance & durability. They’re ideal for shot blast and tumbling media…the very stuff that’s MADE to wear metal surfaces down…and it’s no problem for the Heavy Duty Line Vac.
*Heavy Duty also means higher power, which means higher suction heads (up to 2-1/2 times increase) and conveyance rates (up to 11 times greater.) Oh, and that blasting shot & tumbling media I mentioned? Standard dilute-phase conveyors may have trouble moving that at all.
*Like our Standard Line Vacs, the Heavy Duty models’ Kits come with a Mounting Bracket for ease of installation, an Automatic Drain Filter Separator to keep the air clean & dry, and a Pressure Regulator so you can ‘dial in’ the performance you need.
*Also like our Standard Line Vacs, the Heavy Duty models use common sized conveyance hose (3/4″ to 3″ ID) and are also available with male NPT threads (3/4″ to 3″ as well) if you want to hard pipe them.
I wrote recently about a “textbook” application for EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems…overheating control cabinets on a factory floor, solved quickly & easily with stock product, off the shelf, installed in minutes.
“Well, la-di-da, Russ,” some may say, “You sure knocked that whiffleball out of the park, didn’t you? What about those of us with more complex requirements than a plain Jane electric box on a typical production floor?”
To them, I would say:
1. Yes we did, and thank you for noticing!
2. Read on.
EXAIR manufactures, and stocks, a number of special Cabinet Cooler Systems to meet most any need:
Food and pharmaceutical processing areas often call for specific materials of construction. Something that doesn’t corrode, something that isn’t susceptible to surface wear or pitting in a washdown environment…something like Type 316 Stainless Steel. For these cases, we also offer our complete line of NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems in optional 316SS construction, from 275 Btu/hr (69 Kcal/hr) to 5,600 Btu/hr (1,411 Kcal/hr.) And they’re all in stock.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems work best on a sealed enclosure, but sometimes it’s not feasible to completely seal an enclosure – there may be a cable bundle coming through a common penetration, or perhaps the door isn’t fitted with a gasket. In cases where such equipment still needs to be protected from dust, fumes, or other environmental contaminants, you could always use a Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System. But, if you want to control operating costs with Thermostat Control, our Non-Hazardous Purge option provides a continuous positive flow, even when the internal temperature is below the Thermostat setpoint, to prevent these contaminants from entering. These are all in stock as well.
When we calculate heat load, we use your Sizing Guide data to determine both internal heat load (generated by the components in the enclosure) and external heat load (generated by the ambient temperature in the area.) Regardless of the internal heat load, enclosures in extremely hot locations need protection too. When the ambient temperature will exceed 125°F, a High Temperature Cabinet Cooler System is specified…performance is identical, but they’re outfitted to withstand the higher temperatures for durability and long lasting operation. This option is offered for all of our Cabinet Cooler Systems 1,000 Btu/hr and higher, and they are also all in stock.
No matter the challenges of your facility’s environment, we can help. Again…all of the above options are in stock, ready for immediate shipment. What could be better?
Well, actually, we ARE giving away free stuff with Cabinet Cooler System orders through the end of July 2018:
So…don’t overheat your electronics from the inside, or out, wherever they’re located. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
My colleague, Lee Evans, wrote a blog about calculating the size of receiver tanks within a compressor air system. (You can read it here: Receiver Tank Principle and Calculations). But, what if you want to use them in remote areas or in emergency cases? During these situations, the air compressor is not putting any additional compressed air into the tank. But, we still have potential energy stored inside the tanks similar to a capacitor that has stored voltage in an electrical system. In this blog, I will show how you can calculate the size of receiver tanks for applications that are remote or for emergency systems.
From Lee Evans’ blog, Equation 1 can be adjusted to remove the input capacity from an air compressor. This value is Cap below. During air compressor shutdowns or after being filled and removed, this value becomes zero.
Receiver tank capacity formula (Equation 1)
V = T * (C – Cap) * (Pa) / (P1-P2)
V – Volume of receiver tank (cubic feet)
T – Time interval (minutes)
C – Air requirement of demand (cubic feet per minute)
Cap – Compressor capacity (cubic feet per minute)
Pa – Absolute atmospheric pressure (PSIA)
P1 – Tank pressure (PSIG)
P2 = minimum tank pressure (PSIG)
Making Cap = 0, the new equation for this type of receiver tank now becomes Equation 2.
Receiver tank capacity formula (Equation 2)
V = T * C * (Pa) / (P1-P2)
With Equation 2, we can calculate the required volume of a receiver tank after it has been pre-charged. For example, EXAIR created a special Air Amplifier to remove toxic fumes from an oven. The Air Amplifier was positioned in the exhaust stack and would only operate during power failures. In this situation, product was being baked in an oven. The material had toxic chemicals that had to cross-link to harden. If the power would go out, then the product in the oven would be discarded, but the toxic fumes had to be removed. What also doesn’t work during power outages is the air compressor. So, they needed to have a receiver tank with enough volume to store compressed air. From the volume of the oven, we calculated that they need the special Air Amplifier to operate for 6 minutes. The compressed air system was operating at 110 PSIG, and the Air Amplifier required an average air flow of 10 cubic feet per minute from the range of 110 PSIG to 0 PSIG. We are able to calculate the required receiver volume to ensure that the toxic fumes are evacuated from the oven in Equation 2.
Receiver tank capacity formula (Equation 2)
V = T * C * Pa / (P1 – P2)
V = 6 minutes * 10 cubic feet per minute * 14.7 PSIA / (110 PSIG – 0 PSIG)
V = 8 cubic feet.
Receiver tanks are more commonly sized in gallons. In converting 8 cubic feet to gallons, we get a 60-Gallon Receiver Tank. EXAIR recommended the model 9500-60 to be used near the oven to operate the special Air Amplifier during power outage.
Another way to look at Equation 2 is to create a timing equation. If the volume of the tank is known, we can calculate how long a system will last. In this example for scuba diving, we can use this information to configure the amount of time that a tank will last. The diver has a 0.39 cubic feet tank at a pressure of 3,000 PSIG. I will use a standard Surface Consumption Rate, SCR, at 0.8 cubic feet per minute. If we stop the test when the tank reaches a pressure of 1,000 PSIG, we can calculate the time by using Equation 3.
Receiver tank timing formula (Equation 3):
T = V * (P1 – P2) / (C * Pa)
T – Time interval (minutes)
V – Volume of receiver tank (cubic feet)
C – Air demand (cubic feet per minute)
Pa – Absolute atmospheric pressure (PSIA)
P1 – Initial tank pressure (PSIG)
P2 – Ending tank pressure (PSIG)
By placing the values in the Equation 3, we can calculate the time to go from 3,000 PSIG to 1,000 PSIG by breathing normal at the surface.
T = 0.39 cubic feet * (3,000 PSIG – 1,000 PSIG) / (0.8 cubic feet per minute * 14.7 PSIA)
T = 66 minutes.
What happens if the diver goes into deeper water? The atmospheric pressure, Pa, changes. If the diver goes to 100 feet below the surface, this is roughly 3 atmospheres or (3 * 14.7) = 44.1 PSIA. If we use the same conditions above except at 100 feet below, the time will change by a third, or in looking at Equation 3:
T = 0.39 cubic feet * (3,000 PSIG – 1,000 PSIG) / (0.8 cubic feet per minute * 44.1 PSIA)
T = 22 minutes.
If you have any questions about using a receiver tank in your application, you can contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We will be happy to solve for the proper volume or time needed for your application.
I had the pleasure of talking with an operator in a power generating plant recently. A small sump, in a hard-to-access location, needed to be emptied periodically, or it would overflow and make a big mess. They didn’t have room for a “great big” (his words) 30 or 55 gallon drum, and it was difficult to use an electric shop vac because there wasn’t an outlet nearby (it’s a very humid location in the steam plant) so they had to rig an long extension cord through a doorway and down to the lower mezzanine.
They DO have compressed air available…in fact, there was an unused port on a manifold that supplied other pneumatic equipment, right next to the sump. He thought it sounded like an ideal application for the Mini Reversible Drum Vac.
And it was. They put a Model 6196-5 Mini Reversible Drum Vac System on the floor, next to the sump, and empty it (usually 1-2 gallons) on the night shift. They also got a 6569-20 20ft Vacuum Hose, which they use to pump the drum contents into an internal drain system.
No more hassles with the electric shop vac and extension cord. No more overflow messes. The most they have to do now is change to the 20ft hose when they empty the drum.
If you’d like to find out how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can make your life easier, give me a call.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the Maintenance Manager at a manufacturing plant for a global automotive supplier earlier this week. They have a whole factory floor full of machinery that operates from PLC controls. The space is not climate controlled, and the temperature broke 100°F the day before. This triggered some high temperature warnings on several control panels, but that was the worst thing that happened…luckily.
It should go without saying that the automotive industry is a big deal in the United States…maybe even a bigger deal here in the Middle Atlantic region, and a HUGE deal for those of us within a few hour’s drive of Detroit, Michigan…the home of the Big Three. Disruptions in their supply chains can affect not only the final production of automobiles, but also other suppliers, vendors, and service providers in separate “links” of that chain. So, if my caller has a breakdown and can’t ship parts, many other suppliers’ lines may be slowed or stopped, because if Detroit can’t make cars without one supplier’s parts right now, they won’t need the others’ parts right now either. That means reliability is paramount.
This is a “textbook” situation for EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems. They’re installed in minutes, have no moving parts, and require only a supply of compressed air for operation. If that air is clean & dry, they’ll operate darn near indefinitely, maintenance free. Thermostat Control turns them off & on as needed. I’ve talked to more than a few users who were (pleasantly) surprised when a Cabinet Cooler System activated on the first hot day in the spring, after not seeing it come on at all, after that last hot day near the end of the previous summer.
Back to the situation at hand – the Maintenance Manager had gathered Sizing Guide data for a couple of enclosures. You can submit it through our website, or email it in, but it only takes a minute; we do it over the phone all the time. So I did, and quoted the appropriate Cabinet Cooler Systems, which were ordered soon after. They were installed the next day, with a promise of more to come.
As if quick, easy, and reliable heat protection for sensitive and critical electronics isn’t enough, we’re sweetening the pot this summer: order any EXAIR CAbinet Cooler System by July 31, 2018, and we will include a FREE AC Sensor, suitable for testing breakers, receptacles, switches, fuses, junction boxes, power cords – if it’s got (or should) have AC voltage going through it, the AC Sensor will light up and sound off (or not) to let you know for sure.
If you have electrical or electronic equipment enclosures that need heat protection, EXAIR has the solution. Call me.