E-Vac Vacuum Generators- For More Than Just Pick and Place

A textbook application for vacuum generators is the ‘pick and place’ function.  With ever increasing automation and robotic cells, more and more opportunities present themselves to utilize the E-Vac Vacuum Generator as a part of the system to ‘pick up’ an object and ‘place’ it in a new position. But the E-Vac’s can be used for many more types of applications.

evac_models (2)
In-Line E-Vac

Another popular usage is to hold something in place. One of our customers uses an array of Adjustable E-Vacs to pull a vacuum and hold down various sizes of Styrofoam sheets during a machining operation. The previous system was a 1 hp blower type, and did not offer any flexibility for handling different size sheets. Sheets would slip and produce off quality results. After installing the new design, the system was able to handle any size sheet, and scrap levels went down dramatically.

adjustable_evacs (2)
Adjustable E-Vac

A unique implication that was solved with an E-Vac was to deflate sporting balls.  The customer printed custom logos, and preferred the items to be flat for the printing operation. Using a commercial grade electric shop vac didn’t completely deflate the balls, and motors burned out often.  Using a low vacuum In-Line E-Vac with a quiet Straight Through Muffler, the customer can now quickly and quietly, fully deflate the balls.

Another popular use for the E-Vac is to pull a vacuum for drawing up liquids or gases. A customer that manufactures automotive seats was having issues with the process, where the expanding foam was producing a gas, and the gas would produce pockets and voids in the foam after setting.  The customer used a model 800017 In-Line E-Vac to create a vacuum inside the mold and draw off the gas, eliminating the pockets and the voids in the final product.

Lastly, as I am big fan of recycling, anything and everything, we worked with a customer that recycles the old CRT style of computer monitor  (remember those?) The housing would be sawed in half, so that access to the internal components could be made. Because of the variability in the size and shape of the monitors, the customer was using an adjustable chuck system, which took time to set-up for every monitor, each being a bit different. To speed up the process, an EXAIR In-Line E-Vac and 5″ Suction Cup was implemented, and the monitor held in place by the screen, which was was very consistent in shape from monitor to monitor. This change reduced the set-up time required.

These and other Applications for the E-VACs and all other EXAIR products can be found on the EXAIR website on the Products page, under the Related Info section toward the bottom of each page.

If you have questions regarding E-Vac Vacuum Generators or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Improved Safety Benefits Employees & the Company

“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility” is a slogan that companies around the world have adopted.

A refinery that processes palm oil from palm seeds had pipes throughout their facility to transport the oil. They would periodically have to clean the 10” diameter pipes as part of a maintenance program.  To do this, they would use a rubber plunger-like device called a pig to move through the pipe lines.  When they opened the piping system to install the pig, palm oil would leak onto the floor.  In their safety protocol, they would place adsorbent barriers around the spills and use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the waste oil.  They would discard the liquid in a vat for disposal.  The wet/dry vacuum was limited in size to only hold 5 gallons because the operators would have to lift the container to dump the oil in the vat.  If the oil spills exceeded 5 gallons, then they would have to make multiple trips.  They wanted to get a better system as time was of the essence when you have oil on the floor.

6296 Deluxe RDV System

In speaking about their operations, they were needing to improve on their process and safety. I recommended the model 6296 Deluxe Reversible Drum Vac System.  This system uses a two-way pump and siphon tube that mounts into a 55 gallon drum easily without any modifications.  The pump uses compressed air, not electricity, to quietly generate a vacuum to a level of 96” of water. It does not have any moving parts, no motor or bearings to wear out, so it is very reliable and maintenance free.  The deluxe system comes with our Spill Recovery Kit for complete liquid pickup, a drum dolly, vacuum hose, and tool accessories with a holder.  In replacing their current system with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac, they could now vacuum a larger volume of liquid during excessive spillage without stopping.  Once the waste oil was vacuumed and contained, they could then just push their drum to the disposal vat.  With a simple turn of the knob, the two-way pump changes from a vacuum system to dispensing the waste oil into the vat.  This removed the need to lift any containers which could cause back damage to the operator.

Easy to change the operation
Easy to change the operation

As stated in the OSHA website, “Businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses — expenditures that come straight out of company profits. But workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. In today’s business environment, these costs can be the difference between operating in the black and running in the red.” Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and in using EXAIR products, you can do your part like the refinery above.

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

EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac Solved a Big Issue that Electric Vacuums Have

Reversible Drum Vac Family
Reversible Drum Vac Family

An industrial contractor used a walk-behind cement saw to cut out and revamp cement floors in commercial buildings. In their operation, they used a lot of water to keep the diamond blades cool and the cement dust down.  A wet/dry vacuum was used for cleanup during and after the sawing operation.   But because of the dust and large amount of use, the electric motors in the wet/dry vac would fail.  The dust would migrate into the bearings of the motor, and you would start to hear a high pitch noise (a mark of the bearings starting to fail).  It wasn’t long, and the vacuum would stop working.

As with many people, they typically start with a lower priced vacuum model from their local hardware store. It was no different with this contractor.  He found out shortly that he was replacing the vacuum units every 4 to 6 weeks.  With the excessive down time and continuously running to the local hardware store, it was becoming too much.  He decided to spend the extra money and get an industrial type vacuum unit.  It had a 30 gallon tank, a drum dolly, and a 2 HP electric industrial motor.  He spent nearly $800.00 on this rugged vacuum, hoping that he would not have to purchase another unit for a while.  Even though the electric motor was heavy duty, it was no match for the cement dust.  This unit stopped working like the others after only six months of use.  After this failure, he decided to search for a better alternative.

When he contacted me about his issues with the short-lived operations of his electric vacuums, I knew EXAIR had a solution. I suggested our model 6396-30, a 30 gallon Premium Reversible Drum Vac System.  The 30 gallon size made it very easy to fit into his work truck and to setup at different locations.  With the Spill Recovery Kit included in this system, it made cleaning up the water/cement mixture quick and efficient.  The EXAIR vacuum generator has no moving parts or bearings to wear.  It is made from stainless steel construction which is very resistant to corrosion, and it is very quiet as it only has a decibel rating of 86 dBA.  For the commercial buildings that did not have compressed air yet, he used a portable compressor to operate his new Reversible Drum Vac.  With clean compressed air, this vacuum will last for many years; not months.

If you find that you are going through your electric vacuums or just would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products. You can contact an Application Engineer to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

Compressed Air Vacs have Advantages Over Electric Vacuums – Durability, Reliability, Noise Levels

Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life? It gets this high pitch annoying noise caused by the bearings going out.  I spoke recently to a customer who was hearing it about every two months.   This company cuts ceramic tiles with a diamond-tooth circular saw.  During this operation, a lot of dust is being created.  He would attach an electric vacuum to the dust port of the saw housing.  The vacuum was to remove as much dust as possible from the sawing operation to keep the area clean and the operators safe.  After about two months of operation, they would start hearing that “moan” from their electric vacuum.  The performance of the vacuum started to drop off, and it would allow more dust to collect in the saw room.  This was a hazard as it would make the floor slippery.  The operators then had to stop operations early to clean the floors at the end of each shift.  After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better alternative.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family
Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

When they contacted me about their issue, I knew immediately which EXAIR product would serve their need very well. I suggested our new model 6399-30, 30 gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac system for this operation.  The 30 gallon size is the smallest in the Heavy Duty HEPA family which made it easy to fit behind the saw table away from the operators.  The HEPA filter inside has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.  So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air.  The EXAIR vacuum generator has no moving parts or bearings to wear.  It is made from a hardened steel construction which is very resistant to wear and abrasion from materials like ceramic.  The EXAIR design can generate a high vacuum level to draw dust material at an extremely high rate, and it only has a decibel level of 82 dBA.  With clean compressed air, this vacuum will last for years and years; not months.

As this company installed the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac into their system, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated. The constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment.  They also noticed that the dust was being removed very quickly by the powerful vacuum pressure.  This meant that the amount of dust that could collect on the floor and equipment was greatly reduced.  Since the floors were cleaner longer, it decreased shut down times and removed the constant hazard of a slippery floor.

If you find that you are going through your electric vacuums or just would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products. You can contact us to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

Compressed Air – Diagnose a Car Problem or Simulate Ape Breath

At the end of this week and all through next week, I will be taking my family to the “most magical place on earth!”  Keep in mind, I have three daughters at the ages of 5 (almost 6 if you ask her), 3, and 1. (Not to mention my wife who has spent endless hours researching and scheduling our events for the week.) It’s not just my household that is going on this trip though, it is my entire family, parents, siblings, teenage nieces, and one nephew.   I honestly don’t remember the last family vacation we went on with all of us there so it is going to be an amazing experience no matter what.

Cin-Orl
Cincinnati to Orlando = 13 hours (not with kids)

The trip from Cincinnati, OH to Orlando, FL is approximately 13 hours, factor in the children and parents ages and I am going to go ahead and say we are looking at 24 hours of travel, at least.   Now I am being smart, we are breaking this trip up into two days. I envision something that will look like a military convoy going down I-75 when the 3 vehicles all get going, the painful truth is it will look more like the Clampets move to Hollywood.

In preparation for the trip I have been doing some routine maintenance on our family van and discovered what I believed to be a rather bad coolant leak.  Now, I didn’t see the leak but I noticed the lack of coolant in the system.   So I started to conduct a few tests and oddly enough, they involved compressed air.   First I filled the system and pulled a vacuum on the entire cooling system to draw out any air.   Once I pulled around 11″ of mercury, I went ahead and turned off my compressed air vacuum generator and tried to see if it would lose vacuum.  It didn’t, so I then hooked a hose to a container of coolant and slowly released the vacuum sucking the coolant down into the system and eliminating the risk of air bubbles.

Since I couldn’t see a loss in vacuum I decided I would test the system under pressure.  To do this I simply removed the radiator cap and attached a special tool which would pump air down into the radiator and put the entire system under pressure, much like it would be during normal operation.  Once I built the pressure up to 15 psig, the factory cap was rated for 16 psig,  I let it sit.  I scoured every single coolant line I could find and came up dry.  Couldn’t find a single drop of coolant escaping the system at all and it even held pressure for a solid hour. Coming up with no leak I decided to give it a test drive and low and behold, I have yet to find a leak.  My only theory at this point is during some warranty work a dealership must have disconnected a hose and forgot to fill it back up, or it is normal evaporation seeing as how I don’t remember the last time I topped off the coolant.

The entire time I was troubleshooting this system I found it interesting I was still using compressed air in some form, even on a liquid cooling system.  I then started to wonder if I am going to be able to see any EXAIR products while at that magical park in Orlando, hopefully something like the Roaring Banana Breath that is featured in our Super Air Amplifiers section of the catalog. Our amplifiers also get used to puff air at folks during other “4D” experiences throughout the world.

banana
EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers help disperse banana scents into the air and into the face of patrons at a theme park ride.

Nonetheless, compressed air helped me determine that my family’s vehicle is not going to be spraying coolant on the roadway during this trip and I am glad for it.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

The HEPA Filter Protector

With our Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, it is very capable of capturing particles that are very small. You do not have to worry about re-entraining the dirt that you vacuumed back into the air. The filtration efficiency of the HEPA filter is 99.97% at 0.3 micron. Because it is so efficient, we place a prefilter on the outside of the element. This helps to capture the larger particles so that they do not prematurely plug the HEPA media. In extreme conditions with large amounts of debris, we do have another option. It is the model 901373 filter protector. It is a bag that will go on the outside of the prefilter and the HEPA filter. With a large influx of contamination, the filter protector will create a matrix from the contamination to create a cake. This cake, as it builds, will start to capture smaller particles and become more efficient. It is similar to a natural dam after a big rain. The large boulders and logs collect into a section, and then the smaller rocks and branches will collect behind it.

HEPA filter after 1 week
HEPA filter after 1 week

Under normal conditions, the standard HEPA filter with prefilter will last you for a while before replacing. It is dependent on the amount of dirt that is being collected. But, in those extreme conditions, you do not want to change the HEPA filter every week. This would be too expensive. That is why EXAIR found a cost-effective option to help, the filter protector. The model 901373 filter protector can be changed in a matter of minutes and the cost is less than 2% of the HEPA filter. Just like disposable shoe covers, they are inexpensive and they protect your expensive shoes. If you require any more information on our Heavy Duty HEPA Vac or the accessories, you can contact one of our helpful Application Engineers at EXAIR.

 

Filter Protector 901373
Filter Protector 901373

 

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

 

 

What’s an EXAIR?

Sometimes taking customer’s phone calls remind me of an Abbott and Costello bit (but I have to be Costello). Conversations can feel a bit like twenty questions. Instead of opening with mineral, vegetable, or animal, customers call in wanting more information on an “EXAIR”.  For our brand manager and marketing department, it is a clear sign that what they are doing is working, but to me can be a bit confusing.

Before you start thinking I don’t know my product, please remember an “EXAIR” can be quite few things. We make the broadest variety of problem solving end-use compressed air products for industry which equates to many possibilities of what an “EXAIR” may be. Is it an Air Nozzle, an Air Knife, an Air Wipe, an Air Amplifier, an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, a Safety Air Gun, a Static Eliminator, a Vacuum Generator, a Line Vac, an Industrial Vacuum, a Vortex Tube, a Cold Gun, or a Cabinet Cooler?   Unfortunately, with no moving parts to wear out, our products sometimes will outlast their labels, so the customers don’t have anymore information. Then, I have to ask what the product does.

So I ask the customer, “does the EXAIR blow off, vacuum, clean, dry, cool, convey, evacuate, coat, divert, dust, float, open, lift, purge, or spray?”

And then I wait for the customer’s detailed and eloquent response…”It works”, they sometimes say. But most of the time they respond with all of the details or enough to determine what product they have. In, in the end, an “EXAIR” is generally a Cabinet Cooler or a Vortex Tube (though it may be any of the above selection) – and we won’t complain that our company name can be so closely associated with our products.

We have so many products because compressed air is so versatile and useful.  We have taken our expertise in compressed air and used it to solve numerous problems for our customers. This is not as easy, as it sounds.  First, you need to know how well our compressed air products can perform. Second, you need to know what kind of performance the customer needs to get the job done. For instance when working on a Cabinet Cooler sizing exercise: A customer has a control box that is 24″ tall by  36″ wide by 12″ deep.  This box is reaching temperatures that cause the electronics to fail. Generally, this temperature is going to be between 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature in the plant was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, when it failed.  The customer would now like a Cabinet Cooler System to protect his enclosure from future temperature failures.

To calculate the heat load of the electronics, first we need to calculate the surface area in square feet. In the example above that would be 22 square feet. Second, we need to calculate the temperature differential between the outside and the inside of the cabinet.  The maximum temperature differential is 130 F – 95 F, which is 35 degree differential. With the temperature differential chart from our website, we can calculate the BTU/HR per square foot.

Temperature Conversion Table

For our example, it would be 13.8 BTU/HR/ft^2. Multiply this by our surface area. Our Cabinet Cooler needs to cool at least 303.6 BTU/HR. Our 4308 Cabinet Cooler System would be a good cabinet cooler for this enclosure. It can cool 550 BTU/Hr. It is rated for a NEMA 12 enclosure to prevent dust and oil from entering the cabinet.

To help the customer, you have to first ask the right questions. Most of these questions are listed on the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide on our website. What is the internal air temperature in the cabinet? What is the ambient air temperature? Are their any fans in the cabinet? What is the NEMA rating for the Cabinet? Sometimes it is best to speak with an Application Engineer to know for sure you have your bases covered.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW