Tips and Tricks To Improve Your – And Your Facility’s – Health and Welfare

If you tried to reach me yesterday, I wasn’t here…Monday afternoon, my right eye was getting a little red and itchy. I was hoping it was just allergies, but when I woke up yesterday morning, I had all the classic symptoms of conjunctivitis – that’s right; the dreaded pinkeye.  I’m a Sunday School teacher and a Cub Scout leader, so I should consider myself lucky that I don’t ALWAYS have pinkeye, strep throat, or at the very least, whatever cold seems to be going around at any given moment…it’s sure not for lack of exposure.

Fortunately, I was able to get in to see my doctor early yesterday morning, and if there’s a good thing about pinkeye, it’s that some antibacterial eye drops clear it up pretty quickly. My doctor reminded me, though, that if people wouldn’t touch their faces so darn much and would wash their hands a little more regularly, these highly contagious infections might be a little rarer. I’m going to be VERY conscientious of this, too. For at least a week or so, anyway. Old habits die hard (if ever), and it’s amazing what you can get used to not even noticing that you’re doing.

It reminded me of a recent conversation with a caller – he had some inexpensive, commercial-grade air guns which were strapped in place and had the triggers taped down, to provide a continuous, hands-free, blow off. He wanted to put something in place that would be safer (they discharged air through an open end, with no dead-ending protection), quieter, and more efficient with their use of compressed air.

With the same quickness and ease that my doctor was able to prescribe those eye drops, I offered the following solution:

*Model 1100 Super Air Nozzles to provide a high volume, high velocity air flow in a safe, quiet, and efficient manner.

*Stay Set Hoses for quick and easy positioning, to mount the Super Air Nozzles and direct their flow exactly where they want it.

*EFC Electronic Flow Control to turn the air flow on when it’s needed, and off when it’s not.

I got the feeling that those air guns had been strapped up and taped down for some time now…do you have any less-than-optimal compressed air blow offs that you’d like to do something about? If you’re stroking your chin right now while you think about, it, STOP IT! Unless you just washed your hands, that is. Even then, the safest and most efficient thing you can do – for your health and your facility’s – is to give us a call!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

The Pinewood Derby and The Golden Mousetrap

My youngest son and I are in the process of making our last “official” Pinewood Derby Car. I say “official” because it’s the last one he’ll be racing as a Cub Scout…he’s crossing over into Boy Scouts in March. Between the four cars he’s made thus far, the five his older brother made, and the three that I’ve made (we incorporated a “Big Kids” race in addition to the formal Scout’s race a few years ago), the Bowman Garage has yet to generate a win. Or a place, for that matter. They have all finished, and not everyone can say that.

Regardless, we’ve kept trying, and I’m hoping for a winner this year. Maybe more so than my son – he’s having a ball just cutting, sanding, and painting, as usual. I’d love to see him win, but watching the joy he gets just from participating makes me about as proud as I think I could get anyway.

Here at EXAIR, we just got the exciting news that some new products are in competition for Design News’ “Golden Mousetrap” Award. Another is in the running for a Plant Engineering “Product of the Year.” We’ve had several that made it into Plant Service’s “Battle Royal,” a not-as-prestigious but still-very-fun online voting competition. And, going into the company’s 30th year in business, we’re proud to announce that we’ve achieved 99.9% on-time shipments for the 17th (SEVENTEENTH) consecutive year.

Now, the kinds of pride I take in being part of a winning Pinewood Derby Car “team” and being part of a successful manufacturing team are different, for sure, but I’m trying to enjoy them both to their fullest.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

More Than One Way To Stay Cool

Camping season begins (for me, anyway) this weekend. Our Cub Scout Pack Spring Campout is this Friday night. This is a mere warmup act for our 3rd and 4th Grade boys, who will then be going to Webelos Outdoor Weekend, at Dan Beard Council’s Camp Friedlander, the following weekend. My best friend Andrew and I will be camping with our sons next month, for our seventh annual Father’s Day weekend.

I would describe my camping ideology as “moderate.” I’m a tent-camper who laughs at people with RV’s equipped with air conditioning and satellite dishes. I do, however, generally stick to State Park campgrounds, and I’m not ashamed of paying a buck or two extra to get a site with an electrical outlet (yes, for my air mattress pump) that’s close to the shower house.

As deep as my disdain for refrigerant-based air conditioning at the campground may be, I must admit that I find it difficult to sleep if it’s too hot. This used to mean I didn’t really like to camp between the Fourth of July and Labor Day, but, a couple of years ago, I happened upon a solution that didn’t involve buying a Winnebago: Turns out, if you fill a cooler full of ice, open the top and blow a fan across it, you can achieve a fair degree of cooling inside the relatively small confines of a tent. So, for a couple of weeks before any mid-to-late-summer campout, I recycle some milk jugs, fill them with water and freeze them. Then, I put them in my “spare” cooler, load up a small box fan (another reason I prefer sites with electric hookup), and I’ve got an air conditioned tent.

Now, I’m not knocking refrigerant-base A/C…I’ve got it at the house, and it’s AWESOME. There are situations, though, where other methods prevail, and I’m not just talking about tent camping.

Electrical enclosures that contain sensitive electronic devices often require a means of cooling those devices. With lower heat loads in mild environments, a vent fan may be all that you need. Higher heat loads will need more cooling than you can get from a flow of ambient air, though. Refrigerant panel coolers are certainly an option, but installation and maintenance can be costly, and they’re prone to failure in dirty industrial environments when dust & dirt can clog the filter.

Conversely, EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems offer the following benefits:

*Easy to install: They mount in minutes through an electrical knockout, and are powered solely by compressed air.

*Extremely dependable: There are no moving parts, and, when supplied with clean air (from the Automatic Drain Filter Separator that’s included), will run indefinitely, maintenance free. If high ambient temperatures are a concern, we offer High Temperature units, good in areas up to 200F (93C).

*Clean, cool, and dry: Even if your enclosure is located in an aggressive environment like a chemical plant or foundry, a properly installed EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System will ensure that the only thing the internals of your cabinet are exposed to is clean, cool, dry air.

*Efficient and practical: When equipped with Thermostat Control, they’ll conserve your compressed air supply by only running when necessary to maintain a factory preset temperature of 95F (35C). The thermostat is easy to reset, if you desire a different temperature.

*Prevents contamination: While in operation, an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler will maintain a slight, 1-2 psig, pressure inside the enclosure. We also offer a Non-Hazardous Purge option for our Thermostat Controlled units, which will pass 1 SCFM through the cooler when the solenoid valve is closed.

If you have an electrical enclosure that needs easy, efficient, dependable cooling, let us know – we can help.  You can also send us a request for sizing help directly from the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide on our website…with a few key pieces of data, we can accurately and quickly determine the correct model for your application.

Stay cool,

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

It Looked Good On Paper

“It looked good on paper…” – this has been the Call to Retreat for many a good-intentioned project, and it’s been on my mind as I prepare for a little construction undertaking this weekend. A few of my fellow Cub Scout leaders and I are going to let our 9 & 10 year-old Scouts build a bridge. See, when we have our Blue and Gold Banquet in a few weeks, the 10 year old Webelos II Scouts will be “crossing over” to Boy Scouts, and the common ceremonial prop we use to do that is a small bridge – their Cub Scout leaders remove the blue loops from their epaulettes before they go across, and their new Boy Scout leaders put the green loops on when they get to the other side. It’s been almost a year since my oldest crossed the bridge, and my pride over that still hasn’t subsided enough to keep me from mentioning it again!

Anyway, we drew up a nice little sketch of this nice little bridge, we’ve dug out our saws and hammers, all of our cordless drills’ batteries are on their chargers, and our materials list is ready for the hardware store, so we’re as prepared as we’re going to get. Until, of course, we get started, and realize what we forgot. We actually did plan for this contingency, though…Mr. Rob and I are the “Second Trip To The Hardware Store” team.

Every once in a while, though, it’s good to have a reminder that there are certain immutable physical principles that bear out from the drawing board to the plant floor. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of assisting a customer with a Super Air Knife system installation. Here’s how it went:

They had recently purchased (2) 54” Super Air Knives, and had installed them to blow debris from sheets of plywood. This should be a slam-dunk: you simply can’t find a more “textbook” application for a Super Air Knife. Unfortunately, the air flow rate wasn’t sufficient to produce good results, so I asked about the compressed air supply. They had 60 feet of ¾” pipe supplying these two units from their 80 PSIG air header, but were getting only 30 PSIG at the inlet to the Super Air Knives. Now, I knew instantly from looking at the Super Air Knife Installation Manual (registration required for access) that this was undersized, since the recommended size for that length of piping, and that amount of Air Knife, would be 1-1/4”. When I calculated the compressed air pipe pressure drop I used these parameters: a flow rate of 313 SCFM (total flow rate of two 54” Super Air Knifes at 80 PSIG supply pressure), 60 ft of ¾” pipe (0.82” ID), and 80 PSIG initial pressure. The results were a pressure drop of 50.45 psi, which is pretty darn close to their 80 PSIG header pressure, minus the 30 PSIG they were seeing at the Air Knives!

I guess the moral to this story – from my perspective, anyway – is that “it looks good on paper” is a harbinger of doom if a trip to the hardware store is involved. When it comes to applying the laws of physics, it comes down to the accuracy of your calculations. As we’re reminded in this  video, the laws of physics are absolute, and, as the engineer in the video says, “if you make physics mad, physics will hurt you!”

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: http://blog.exair.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair