So Many Holes

I remember the book and movie about a young teenager who gets sent to a prison/ work camp that all they do is dig holes. Yeah, there’s a much deeper story line there and that isn’t the point of this blog. The point is, that movie is all I thought of when I encountered this customer’s nozzle solution. Their ejector nozzle on a recycling conveyor was using too much air and was too noisy.

Upon receiving the nozzle to do a free EXAIR Efficiency Lab, we were absolutely amazed at the level of care taken to make something like this. The nozzle was purpose built and definitely got the job done, it also drained their compressed air system at times and made a lot of noise while it did the work. So what did this nozzle look like, now keep in mind, this was not the customer’s design, it was a solution from the machine manufacturer.

For an idea, the customer nozzle was a 3″ overall length, and had a total of 162 holes in it. There were two inlets for 3/8″ push to connect tubing. The holes were very cleanly drilled and we used a discharge through orifice chart to estimate the consumption before testing. Operating pressure were tested at 80 psig inlet pressure.

Discharge through an orifice table.

Our estimations were taken from the table above. We used a pin gauge to determine the hole size and it came close to a 1/32″ diameter. With the table below we selected the 1.34 CFM per hole and used a 0.61 multiplier as the holes appeared to have crisp edges.

Estimation Calculation

Then, we went to our lab and tested. The volumetric flow came out to be measured at 130.71 SCFM. This reassured us that our level of estimation is correct. We then measured the noise level at 95.3 dBA from 3′ away. Lastly, we tested what could replace the nozzle and came up with a 3″ Super Air Knife with a .004″ thick shim installed. To reach this solution we actually tested in a similar setup to the customer’s for functionality as they sent us some of their material.

Now for the savings, since this customer was focused on air savings, that’s what we focused on. The 3″ Super Air Knife w/ .004″ thick shim installed utilizes 5.8 SCFM per inch of knife length when operated at 80 psig inlet pressure. So the consumption looks like below

That’s an astounding amount of air saved for each nozzle that is replaced on this line. The line has 4 nozzles that they want to immediately change out. For a single nozzle, the savings and simple ROI looks like the table below.

Air Savings / Simple ROI

That’s right, they will save 115.02 SCFM per minute of operation. These units operate for seconds at a time so the amount of actual savings is still to be determined after a time study. In videos shared, there was not many seconds out of a minute where one of the four nozzles was not activated. Once the final operation per minute is received we can rework our calculations and see how many hours of line operation it will take to pay back each knife purchase.

If you have any point of use blowoff or part ejection and even have a “nice looking” blowoff in place, don’t hesitate to reach out. These are still very different from our Engineered Solutions. We will help you as much as we can and provide test data, pictures, and even video of testing when possible.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Customized for Your Process: Special Pneumatic Conveyors

For many, material conveyance is a necessary factor in their manufacturing and processing procedures. Much of the time our large array of different Line Vacs (air operated conveyors) can suit a large array of different conveying applications; but sometimes the stock item is just not the right fit for a specific application. Fortunately, since we manufacture everything here in Cincinnati, OH we have the flexibility to provide custom products throughout all of our 16 product lines. The Line Vac product line, even as large as it is, is a pretty common product for us to customize and manufacture. The following are a few examples of special Line Vacs that we have made in the past.

Liner Vacs connect to a hose, tube or pipe to create a powerful inline conveyor, powered by compressed air.

The Special Mini Line Vac:

This special was designed with barbed fittings for easier installation for a manufacturer of integrated circuit chips. It was used to remove microscopic debris. The small body and high vacuum flow made it a perfect fit for the confined working space.

Special Mini Line Vac

The PVDF Line Vac:

This 1 ½” flanged Line Vac was designed using PVDF to provide a superior chemical resistance. In this case the unit was going to be exposed to a chloride wash which will corrode all versions of steel including stainless steel. The QF Flanges were also added to provide easy disassembly when the Line Vac was scheduled for cleaning.

Special Flanged PVDF Line Vac

The Special Flanged Line Vac:

This next special Line Vac was used to convey a measured granulated material into a pouch. The funnel side was loaded with the pre-measured material and pushed into a mesh pouch when the air was activated.

Special Flanged Line Vac

Special Flanged Refumigation Line Vac:

This flanged Line Vac was used to retrofit existing machinery to remove acidic vapors resulting from surface etching of a silicon wafer. Where this would typically be a nice fit for a Stainless Steel Air Amplifier, the existing exhaust piping was lengthy with many bends that would have caused back pressure on any Air Amplifiers. In this case, they needed the additional force from the Line Vac to overcome this downstream resistance.

Special Flanged Line Vac

As you can see there isn’t much that we can’t do for you. The sky is the limit when it comes to thinking up of a custom-made solution for your application. Our Application Engineers are just the right folks to work with when considering a custom solution for your process. They have seen and heard many requests and past success stories, which can aid with any future solutions you may need. Whether it is for a blow off application using air knives, cooling application using vortex tubes, or of course conveyance application using a Line Vac.

If you have questions about our custom made Line Vac solutions or any of our engineered Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR or any Application Engineer.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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