Cleaning with an Air Wipe

I received a call about a blow-off operation. The customer had an automated machine that would thread, cut, and stack a 1” (25mm) diameter pipe. The operation was ran by a CNC lathe that would thread both ends and cut the pipe to length. An automatic arm would feed the next piece of pipe into the lathe, and at the same time, push the finished piece of pipe through the chuck. Another robot arm would grab the finished pipe and stack it. The reason for his call was that he was losing coolant from his CNC machine. He used the coolant for the cutting and threading operations. When the CNC lathe would cut the pipe to length, the coolant would leak into the center of the pipe. As it was being brought out of the machine, coolant would leak onto the floor. It was a safety issue as well as the cost to replace the coolant. He wanted to keep as much coolant inside his machine during his operation.

Air Wipe blowing off outside of pipe
Air Wipe blowing off outside of pipe

The customer believed that he would need two types of products to solve his problem. He was looking at a Standard Air Wipe to remove the coolant from the outside of the pipe, and a Super Air Nozzle to remove the coolant from inside the pipe. In getting more details about the application, we were able to determine that we could use just the Standard Air Wipe. With the design of the EXAIR Air Wipes, a 30 degree angle of compressed air is directed toward the center in a 360 degree air pattern, just like a cone. This design allowed us to address both problems. The primary function of the Air Wipe would be to blow the coolant from the outside of the pipe. As it passed through the chuck to the robot arm for stacking, the Air Wipe would blow the coolant off the pipe and back into the machine. The second function of the Air Wipe was to keep the coolant from leaking through the center of the pipe. With the finished pipe being stacked, the conical air flow would blow into the open cavity of the chuck and right into the center of the pipe. As the new pipe was being cut, the Air Wipe would increase the pressure inside the pipe, keeping the coolant from seeping into the center.

Air Wipe - How it works
Air Wipe – How it works

I recommended model 2482, 2” (51mm) Standard Air Wipe Kit. The kit included the Air Wipe, shim set, filter separator, and pressure regulator. This would insure long lasting operations with the ability to control the amount of compressed air being used. Here at EXAIR, we enjoy solving problems. I was able to correct his problem with one product item, instead of two or more. It is not just about the amount of sales, but about helping our customer in the most effective way. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of your applications, you can contact the Application Engineers at EXAIR.

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

I Love A Good Commercial

I watch an awful lot of television. I always have. I grew up in the 1970’s, and I can STILL remember the sixth sense that my friends and I seemed to possess, regarding the imminent air time of our favorite shows. We could be engaged in the most epic Friday evening whiffle ball game EVER, but a few minutes before 8pm, we all became acutely aware that The Incredible Hulk was about to come on, followed by The Dukes Of Hazzard. Throughout the week, our games might be called on account of weather or darkness, but on Fridays, they’d be called on account of Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) and Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke.) It’s entirely likely that this was triggered by the subtle reinforcement of having viewed a short advertisement earlier in the week, shown multiple times, just to make sure it stuck:

For the record, we didn’t watch Dallas an awful lot.  We got sent to bed right about then.  In retrospect, I’m glad.

In the present age of Digital TV and programmable DVR’s, I honestly don’t watch too many shows when they’re actually being aired. And with the fast forward function, I don’t catch too many commercials, except when (much to my wife and sons’ chagrin) I back up to see if I might be interested in. And yes, it’s usually food or vehicle-related. I’m usually in the mood for a cheeseburger, and…don’t tell her…but I may be purchasing a pickup truck very soon.

But I digress. I got to thinking about the effectiveness of commercials when I had the pleasure of discussing a blow off application with a caller recently. He was looking for a way to keep the lens of laser sensors clean…there are three sensors located inside his machine, and they are used to check & control the exact positioning of precision machined parts. As good as they are at doing so, just a little bit of coolant spray on the lens will have a pretty bad effect on their operation. When he started describing the sensor to me, I knew exactly what he was looking for, because I’d seen something just like it in a “commercial”…

These Press Releases can all be found in our Media Center.
These Press Releases can all be found in our Media Center.

OK, a Press Release, actually. Now, this is the Model HP1126SS 1” High Power 316SS Flat Super Air Nozzle, which was needed for the aggressive, high temperature environment in which this photo was taken. He didn’t need all that, so he went with the Model 1126 1” Zinc Aluminum Flat Super Air Nozzle, which has more than enough force & flow to blow off a little coolant mist, and is perfectly suitable for use around water-based solutions.

When I showed it to him, he agreed that it was exactly what he was looking for. I feel bad that I neglected to tell our Marketing folks how easy they made it for me to solve this application until now…but they totally rocked it. Thanks!

Our Application Engineers work with them to publish Press Releases, Newsletters, Case Studies, Application Database entries, and more, on a regular basis. I encourage you to check out our Media Center and Knowledge Base (registration required, but it’s free and easy) to get an idea of the full range of our abilities to solve your compressed air product applications. We can start there, and if you ever have any questions, give us a call. We’re eager to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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