Dirty Coolant in, Clean Coolant Out – EXAIR’s Chip Trapper Extends Coolant Life

In a machine shop one of the most dreaded tasks is always cleaning out the coolant sumps of the CNC machines. Over time, chips and shavings can make their way up into the coolant lines resulting in a clog. The coolant flow slows down or stops entirely, resulting in premature wear of expensive cutting tools, imperfections in the parts, or unacceptable product finish. When this occurs, if it is even noticed right away, the machine has to be stopped and valuable production time must be spent identifying the location of the clog and removing it.

Another problem, one anyone working around CNC machines can attest to, is the rancid coolant smell that is a result of bacteria building up in the stagnant cutting fluid. Regularly cleaning this oil can reduce this smell, prevent premature tool wear or costly shutdowns, as well as extend the overall life of your coolant.

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There are some machines out there capable of cleaning the oil and removing any chips or shavings, but these tend to be very expensive and not very effective. We tested a few different methods here at EXAIR in our machine shop. As a result of these tests we determined that the best foot forward would be to develop something ourselves. Enter the EXAIR Chip Trapper. Using either a standard or High Lift Reversible Drum Vac to provide the vacuum source, the Chip Trapper is capable of filling or emptying a 55 gallon drum in less than two minutes. It is able to pick up both the liquid coolant as well as any chips or shavings that are suspended in the coolant. The liquid is forced through a filter bag inside of the drum which contains any solid materials while allowing the coolant to filter out into the drum. Switching the knob on the Reversible Drum Vac and the directional flow valve to empty will allow the clean coolant to be pumped back out of the drum and reused.

After implementing the Chip Trapper in our own shop, we were able to increase the life of the coolant by 6x. In addition to the increased coolant life, a process that used to take up to 2 hours per machine now takes less than 10 minutes. The Chip Trapper quickly and easily pays for itself.

The Chip Trapper is available in either 30, 55, and 110 gallon systems. It’ll also come with (2) 5 micron filter bags, other filter bags are also available ranging from 1 micron up to 200 micron filtration. Using a simple detergent, the filter bags can be washed out, cleaned, and reused multiple times. With no motors or impellers to clog or wear out, as well as no electricity requirement or shock hazard, the Chip Trapper comes with our standard 5-year Built to Last Warranty. Do yourself (and your machine operators) a favor and get a Chip Trapper on order today. They’re in stock, ready to ship and start saving you time and money!

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

Liquid Handling With Compressed Air: An Overview

There are some very good reasons to consider an EXAIR compressed air operated Industrial Housekeeping Product for liquid applications:

*Durability. No moving parts means nothing to wear or get damaged.
*Safety. No electricity means no dragging an energized cord through a wet area.
*Convenience. All you need is a supply of compressed air.
*Reliability. If you supply it with clean, dry air, it’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.

Depending on the needs of the application, we have different models to choose from:

Reversible Drum Vacs

If you’ve got a closed top steel drum that’s in good condition, look no further than the Reversible Drum Vac System.  It comes with everything you need to turn that drum into a powerful, 2-way liquid pumping system.  This is great if you just need to park the drum in one spot and suction out a sump or tank on a regular basis, using its 10 foot Vacuum Hose & Suction Wand.  They’re in stock for your existing 30, 55, and 110 gallon drums.  A 5 Gallon Mini Reversible Drum Vac System is also available; it includes the drum as well.

Reversible Drum Vac Systems come in sizes from 5 to 110 gallons.

If you’d like a little mobility, and a way to clean up floor spills, then the Deluxe Reversible Drum Vac System might be what you’re looking for.  It adds a Drum Dolly and our Spill Recovery Kit…it consists of a floor-length wand and a dual squeegee tool.  It also comes with a set of plastic tools (crevice tool, small skimmer, and two 20″ extensions) and a Tool Holder with clips for the tools, and magnets to attach to the drum.  We keep them in stock for your existing 30 and 55 gallon drums.  It also comes in the 5 Gallon Deluxe Mini Reversible Drum Vac System (drum included.)

 

Deluxe Systems add a Spill Recovery Kit, and a Dolly for your drum.

For a complete system, the Premium Reversible Drum Vac Systems have everything you need for most any liquid drum transfer job: they add a drum, lid & latch ring, as well as a compressed air supply hose & shutoff valve, and an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools.  They’re available with 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums; in stock.

Premium Reversible Drum Vac Systems come with everything you need, right out of the box.

Any of the 30, 55, or 110 Gallon systems are also available with our High Lift Reversible Drum Vac.  These provide for increased performance with more viscous liquids, and/or when the liquid needs to pumped from a depth of up to 15 feet.  They are outfitted identically to the standard Reversible Drum Vac Systems, except they come with a 20 foot Vacuum Hose.

The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac System converts a drum and dolly into a mobile pumping system.

As versatile as the Reversible Drum Vacs are, we also incorporate them into another 2-way pumping system, designed to help you get maximum life and performance from machine tool coolant and cutting oils:  The award-winning Chip Trapper Systems.

The vacuum hose (1) is attached to the barbed connection of the Chip Trapper (2). The directional flow control valve on the top of the drum (3) and knob on the pump (4) are set to the “fill” position. The air supply valve is opened to permit compressed air at 80-100 psig (5.5-6.9 BAR) to flow through the pump which pulls the liquid through the hose, then into the reusable filter bag (5). When all liquid is in the drum, the air supply is turned off. The filtered liquid can then be pumped out by setting the directional flow control valve on top of the drum and the knob on the pump to the “empty” position. Once the air supply valve is opened, the air pushes the liquid back through the hose while all solids remain in the reusable filter bag.

Powered by the Reversible Drum Vac, the Chip Trapper System draws the incoming liquid into the drum through a Filter Bag, which retains (or “traps”) any particulate as the drum fills with liquid.  Then, the freshly filtered liquid can be immediately pumped back out, while the particulate remains in the bag.  Once the bag is full, simply remove the drum lid, unhook the bag, empty it out, and return it to service.  The Chip Trapper System comes with two Filter Bags, in fact, so you can clean one while you use the other.  They are available, from stock, in 30, 55, and 110 gallon sizes.  They are all three available in High Lift configuration as well, with a 20 foot Vacuum Hose.

If you’d like to find out more about safe, reliable and effective liquid handling with EXAIR’s compressed air operated Industrial Housekeeping Productsgive me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Celebrating The Chip Trapper

NFL Football season is officially under way, and my hometown team, the Cincinnati Bengals, are off to a solid start. With less than a minute left in the game on Sunday afternoon, an interception stopped the New York Jets’ final drive, and Who-Dey Nation began to celebrate the win. Some (not me…not as far as you know) may have even celebrated in accordance with a hallowed Bengals tradition:

While I won’t celebrate just ANYTHING (although I do indeed hold prompt service at the deli counter in high regard,) you might get me excited enough to do the Ickey Shuffle if you start talking about how much you like your Chip Trapper.  Just like a caller did this morning.

Now, I’m unabashedly proud of all of our products, so I’m not going to come right out and SAY that I have a favorite any more than I would publicly proclaim one of my children as my favorite.  Although, in all fairness, they’re teenage boys, so at any given time, one of them is quite likely edging out the other on The List.

But back to the Chip Trapper – this morning’s caller just wanted to order some more Filter Bags, but in the midst of our conversation, he started “writing the commercial” for the product:

*It’s extended the life of their coolant – regular removal of solids and particulate contamination means the coolant stays clean & effective.

*It ensures the reliability of the machine – clean coolant doesn’t clog the lines, which WILL wreck the part you’re machining, and probably the tooling too.

*It eliminates odors – OK; nobody ever brags about a “spring fresh” aroma in a machine shop, but bacteria-laden, rancid coolant is the WORST.  Nobody needs to be working around that.  And since that bacteria needs solid surfaces to grow on, filtered coolant is fresh coolant.

*It’s EASY (part 1) – it’ll pump 55 gallons of dirty coolant into the drum in about 90 seconds.  Turn the valve and reverse the direction of the Reversible Drum Vac, and it’ll pump freshly filtered coolant back into the sump just as quickly.

*It’s EASY (part 2) – the Filter Bag holds over 5 gallons (almost 3/4 of a cubic foot) of chips, and the system comes with two of them so you can use one while cleaning out the other.

EXAIR's new Chip Trapper
EXAIR’s Chip Trapper comes in 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Sizes, depending on your needs.

If you’ve got a machine shop and DON’T have a Chip Trapper (yet,) call me; let’s talk.  If you DO have a Chip Trapper and you like it as much as my caller today did, DEFINITELY give me a call.  I might even do the Ickey Shuffle with you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Continuous Improvement

I’m sure I have blogged about similar topics before but I’m going ahead with this anyway.   Have you ever bought something and after using it a few times say to yourself, I really wish they would have done this or I wish this had this feature.  I do that quite often, more often that my wife really cares for.  Normally it ends up with me being in the garage or the basement working on whatever it is for several hours and possibly even breaking whatever it was I was working on.  Well, I don’t just do that at home.

Two of our newest Industrial Housekeeping products were created from our own employees using them and seeing something that could make it better.   The easiest to see this with is our Chip Trapper System.

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Our Reversible Drum Vac Systems were around for a couple decades when someone decided to figure out a (patented) way to filter all the chips and solids out of the coolant we were processing.  So now, instead of just sucking the coolant out, we are able to filter the coolant and reuse it up to four times longer in our machines.

It is continuous improvements and being willing to listen to recommendations that make things like the Chip Trapper possible.  If you have one of our products and see a better idea, feel free to let us know, it may even be something that we could do on a custom basis for you.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Return (or Lack Thereof) of The Better Mousetrap

You may know that EXAIR offers a 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee on all of our catalog products. It’s pretty simple: we let you test-drive one of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products for a month…if it works for you, keep it. In fact, buy more; tell your friends; and most importantly (and seriously) call us if we can help further. If it doesn’t work like you wanted, call us, and we’ll take it back. It really is just that easy.

I was researching some information on our Chip Trapper yesterday, and found more than I was looking for. If you’re not familiar with it, the EXAIR Chip Trapper filters chips (and swarf, shavings, etc.) from a machine’s coolant or oil sump. This video shows how it works:

The Chip Trapper won Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Award when it was introduced in 2009. In 2010, it was a finalist in the Golden Mousetrap “Best New Products” Awards.  And the hits keep on coming: the recently introduced 110-Gallon version got Environmental Protection Magazine’s “2011 New Product of the Year” Award, just last month.  Perhaps the best-kept secret is that it’s available in a 30-Gallon size as well.  That one hasn’t been singled out for an award…yet.  The results are in; the Chip Trapper has proven itself to be a popular addition to our Industrial Housekeeping Products line.

What got my attention during my research, though, was how seldom Chip Trappers get returned. Based on that evidence and feedback from our customers, the Chip Trapper is doing what we say it will do and clearly creating happy customers. To me, that was just as impressive as the accolades it’s received from The Authorities. Maybe even more so.

If you’re one of the multitude that’s using a Chip Trapper successfully, we’d like to hear from you. What (if anything) were you using before? How has the Chip Trapper improved your operation? Are you saving money on coolant? Are you spending less time on maintenance, and more on machine operation? Or are you just shirking your responsibilities and waiting for someone else to ship it back? I hope that’s not the case…as great as the Chip Trapper is for coolant filtration, it’s a lousy paperweight.  Whatever the case, though, if you have a Chip Trapper success story, we’re all ears.  Thanks in advance!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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