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

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

If you haven’t received a visit already, a Cub Scout should be coming through your neighborhood, door to door, selling Boy Scout Popcorn. They’ll be fulfilling their part of the Law of The Pack (“The Cub Scout helps the Pack go”) and is their main (and usually only) fundraiser for the year. I hope you’ll consider supporting this fine organization. Also, the Chocolatey Triple Delight is just about the best thing to happen to popcorn EVER. Word of warning: the package says there are 17 servings; I consistently find only three.

In addition to “help(ing) the Pack go,” the boys are also aiming at membership to the $600 Club – sales of this level gets the Scout a variety of prizes: choices of several different Gift Cards, tickets to a Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game, and a very cool little gadget called a Zyclone, which David Letterman seemed to master almost immediately:

Me, I was lucky to clear a couple of feet with my Zyclone (yes, I have one…as our Boy Scout District’s “Popcorn Kernel,” I have one to show off to the Scouts…and it’s a great little perk, I might add), but with a few adjustments of my aim and a little finessing of my technique, I became almost as proficient as my nine-year-old son was on his second shot.

That’s the way it is with a lot of compressed air product applications, too. A Super Air Knife may perform better if you mount it at a different angle or distance from the part(s) you’re trying to cool, dry, or blow off. There are a couple of “tips and tricks” to get a better conveyance rate from a Line Vac. If your Reversible Drum Vac isn’t pumping like it used to, there are quick and easy things to try before replacing it. Same same for Static Eliminators, by the way.

So, if your aim needs adjusted, or your technique finessed, give me a call. I may be relatively new at this, but my learning curve is steep, and I’m eager to share the wealth of knowledge I’m accumulating. If I don’t know the answer, I’m surrounded by those more experienced and knowledgeable than I, who are just as eager to help. And if I just can’t find the answer, I have a Zyclone of my own to put theory to practice with.

Oh, and if your question is about EXAIR products, that’s OK too…if I don’t know the answer, I can tap the brains & know-how of the rest of the Application Engineering team, as well as the resources of our Efficiency Lab to get you the answers you need.

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

Tupperware In The Woods

I use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. What’s your hobby?

OK; I stole that from a t-shirt, but in case you didn’t already know, the hobby in question is geocaching. And I geocache. Last night, in fact, I introduced my Webelos Den (Cub Scouts entering the 4th Grade this year) to the activity.  I put some Boy Scout patches in Zip-Lock bags (Regina won’t let me use the “good Tupperware”), and hid them in the woods & field across the street from my house, creating Waypoints with my Garmin E-Trex Venture HC at each location for them to follow. All in all, we trekked about 150 yards to find the three patches.

I have found my share of “Tupperware in the woods,” though – my trusty E-Trex is near the top of my camping trip checklist. But it’s not just for camping – there are plenty of ‘caches to be found in all levels of civilization. I’ve found them in industrial parks, and on city streets – whoever came up with the “lamp post geocache” was a mad genius. Wherever a ‘cache is hidden, it’s intriguing to see what’s enclosed. Usually you’ll find an arrangement of trinkets and a small notebook to record your visit.

For a few months now, I’ve been diving deeper into the Twitterverse – searching out items of interest from those I’m interested in enough to follow, and re-tweeting them to those who have been gracious enough to follow me. I even manage the occasional original post. Along the way, I’ve become an active participant in “Follow Friday” – look for the #FF in your Tweet stream. It’s a great way to expand your network – and your influence – by tapping into the networks of those already in your Circle of Tweeps.

Turns out, #ff was just the first of a few recently launched methods to help us all grow our social networking prowess and influence. Back in February, #FBLT (Facebook Liking Tuesday) was introduced – by one of our #ff mainstays, by the way – and all of our “likes” are growing weekly. Newer still is LinkedIN Connect Thursday, or #LICT. Check it out tomorrow.

I’m going camping again this weekend, and much to my best friend Andrew’s chagrin, I’m bringing my E-Trex (he’s an unrepentant muggle.) Along our hike, I’ll make brief stops, as the satellites guide me, to marvel at the trinkets (maybe I’ll even take or leave one) and write a brief note in the obligatory notebook.  I sure hope the last person left the pencil behind.

However your interests are fueled, I hope you never stop looking for the next one…whether it’s found in a cleverly placed piece of Tupperware in the woods, or in a less-than-140-character posting of a fellow Tweep, or (I’m going old-school here) a conversation with a new acquaintance at a real live face to face social function.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
39.275761, -84.349582

The Things You Remember

Well, Cub Scout camping season officially kicks off this weekend, with an event known as Webelos Outdoor Weekend. It’s the first time that Cub Scouts in the 3rd grade or older are allowed to go camping without a parent tagging along, so there’s a sense of adventure for the leaders as well as the boys. I’ve been at this for five years now, and was fondly reminiscing about the Cub Scout campouts we’ve had.

On my first Cub Scout camping trip, we got way out in the country, away from the city lights, to watch a meteor shower. We had a great campsite, on one of the boy’s grandpa’s farm, and the weather was great. Brian, one of the other dads, was real outdoorsy – he made Survivorman look like Felix Unger from “The Odd Couple.” Anyway, the meteor shower was supposed to peak around 4:00am, so we bedded down early, and got up around 3:30am. I counted two meteors before I fell back to sleep, spilled my hot chocolate in my lap, and went back to the tent to change my pants. I crawled back in my sleeping bag, and woke up to the smell of frying bacon.  Brian got a job out of state and moved away soon after that.  I seriously miss him.

Another time, we had a “Spy Mission” theme for our campout. We divided up into teams and tracked down clues, broke codes, did covert ops in the woods, and made marshmallow guns. I bet the squirrels and raccoons at Stonelick Lake still anxiously await our return.

We’ve camped under the stars in left field at Great American Ballpark, following a Cincinnati Reds’ game. Turns out, the grounds crew won’t let you stake down a bunch of tents in the outfield of a Major League Ballpark. We’ve slept in the shark tunnel of the Newport Aquarium. When the lights go off, you can only see shadows going through the water, but it sure seemed like the rules were “every fish for himself.” We spent the night at King’s Island last year – the park kept certain rides open late just for the Scouts. My oldest son and his best friend goaded me into riding The Vortex until I almost threw up.

They’re calling for some not-exactly-dry weather this weekend, and there’s been some disappointment expressed about that. Me; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Last year, the Pack’s Spring Campout got cancelled when the river flooded the campground. Yes; a month before the driest summer that I can recall descended upon us. The spring before that, we made it to the campsite, but had to pack up & leave just before midnight, because tornado warnings were being issued all over the area – almost everywhere, except where we were. When we got home around 1:30am, my lawn wasn’t even wet.

To be honest, I had to page through the Pack’s scrapbook to recall some of these events. Nice weather is great for camping; no doubt. When nothing out of the ordinary happens and everything goes as planned, it makes for a nice, fun outing. But I asked my oldest boy and his friends what their most memorable campout was, and they said: “The Webelos Outdoor Weekend where someone’s tent blew through our campsite while we were trying to light a fire to cook our dinner in the rainstorm.” Those are the ones you get the best stories from – the ones that, God willing, he and I will tell my grandsons about someday. While we’re hunkered down in a tent, riding out a monsoon, no doubt. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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