Multiple Products Provide a Solution to Improve a Laminated Sign Making Process

A manufacturer that produces laminated signs contacted EXAIR for a blow off application. Being that we are experts in this area, I thought this would be a simple solution. The conversation started out about the signs that they manufacture. They are laminated sheets that have a thin aluminum film with a coating on the front and back sides. Their process was to cut stacks of these signs that he called books to specific dimensions. Here is how the conversation went in a shortened version:

Problem –

  1. I need to blow off chips from the saw process.
  2. It has to be strong enough to remove the chips that are melted into the face of the laminate.
  3. When the blade gets dull, the chips become hotter. The operator has to blow on the blade as it is cutting to reduce the amount of chips that melt into the laminated face.
  4. After the machine finishes and the books are removed, the table lifts up and disposes of the excess chips.

Solution –

  1.  Model 1122 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle to blow a wide area off the top of the signs after sawing.
Model 1122: 2
2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle

2.  Model 5330 High Power Cold Gun with dual point hose to place on the saw blade. This will extend the life of the blade and help keep the chips cool. Eliminating the melting into the face.

5330 High Power Cold Air Gun
High Power Cold Gun System

3.  Model: 110248 Super Air Knife Kit to blow the chips from the table after it is lifted.

Super Air Knife
Super Air Knife

As you can see, with a simple initial question, it became complicated rather quickly. Instead of looking at one area of the application, I was able to improve their entire process. In any manufacturing plant, scrap and downtime are the two biggest culprits in reducing profits. The scrap occurred when the faces were scratched and damaged. The downtime happened during the cleanup between book change-overs and when the saw blades were being replaced. Overall, their process improved in efficiency and speed.

Whenever you need to look at the overall process for improvement, EXAIR may have multiple solutions to offer. You can speak to an Application Engineer to see how EXAIR can increase your efficiency and reduce your scrap. You can either call 800-903-9247 or send an email to techhelp@exair.com.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_jb

Total Cost of Ownership

CFL

When you think about energy savings in general, there probably isn’t any product that has a higher degree of association with this mindset than the compact fluorescent light bulb. In terms of performance, the CFL lasts about 7 times longer than incandescent and uses about ¼ the energy input for an equivalent amount of light output as measured in lumens. CFL’s cost about 4 times more than an incandescent light bulb, but the overall cost of ownership is much lower due to the lower energy consumption. The major point here is that it is not the purchase price that determines the total cost of ownership. It is the energy use that determines it. Including cost of operation, an incandescent bulb costs more than 4 times to acquire and operate than a CFL bulb. BUT THE CFL IS MORE EXPENSIVE TO BUY!!!!

What does this discussion have to do with EXAIR and Super Air Knives, Super Air Nozzles or even Super Air Amplifiers?

These products represent EXAIR’s version of the compact fluorescent light bulb. We were the first in the industry to manufacture a Super Air Knife and still the only ones to have the Super Air Amplifier, both of which continue to provide significant energy savings to our customers for their precision blowing needs.

In recent past, there have been a few imitators on the market who try to “do one better” than EXAIR by publishing performance data that appears to be as good, or slightly better than EXAIR. Our testing has revealed that these imitators actually consume as much as 46% more compressed air than equivalent EXAIR products. Admittedly, there can be some slight variation in performance from one unit to another. But when the actual data is this far out from what is published, that is a serious performance problem which results in much higher total cost of ownership for the customer. And since the customer is generally not going to have the necessary equipment to verify these things, they are pretty much buying on faith that the seller is producing a product that is true to their word in terms of performance listed for it in their literature.

My message is simple. Don’t allow yourself to be lured into a situation where the purchase price is all that you consider when buying compressed air blowing equipment. The performance of the product is going to be a much larger portion of that total cost of ownership. Just make sure you are comfortable with that aspect of your purchase before making the commitment to buy.

At EXAIR we always strive to truly understand the needs of the customer and make proper recommendations based on those needs. We always have the total cost of ownership in mind and want to produce the best result for our customers. If the customer isn’t happy with the product for any reason, we will gladly take it back on our 30 Day Guarantee and they can move on to another solution of their choice.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

CFL image courtesy of Mulad. Creative Commons License