EXAIR, Manufacturing Locally Equals Quick Customizations

Dryer with corn cob material

A manufacturing company contacted EXAIR about their metal tube processing. They made industrial precision tubes from start to finish. This would include turning, cutting, coating, washing and drying metal tubes to specific diameters and lengths.

For one specific problem area, they manufactured a tube with the dimensions of 1” (25.4mm) in diameter and 6” (152mm) in length. They would run a batch of 750 tubes through a wash cycle and then through a vibrating dryer with a drying material made from corn cobs. At the bottom of the vibrating dryer, the tubes would fall to an open mesh shaker table to transfer the tubes to Quality Control. The idea was to remove the excess cob material from the surface of the tubes before inspection and to recycle the drying material. But the problem was static.

When non-conductive materials slide, hit, peel, and vibrate; electrons from the surface can move from one atom to another; thus, creating static. The type of material and the amount of movement governs the positive and negative charges, and the amount of static forces.

The corn cob material is a non-conductive material, but what about the metal tubes? Since the metal tubes were coated for corrosion and abrasion protection, the surface is now a non-conductive area which will contain static. Since opposite charges attract each other, the cob material would cling to the outside surface of the metal tubes (reference photo below). Being a precision tube manufacturer, they did not want to send “dirty” tubes to their customers or allow the drying material to contaminate their measuring equipment. And, with the required quality control, the measurements had to be exact.

Tubes with cob material

The shaker table was 8 feet (2.4 meters) long and 2 feet (0.6 meter) wide with rigid walls. The top of the shaker table was covered with a canvas to allow for a vacuum system to collect the excess material and dust. About half way down, there was a 2” (51mm) drop to help jolt additional cob material off of the tubes as they landed. But the static forces were too strong to release the material. Thus, the static had to be removed from the surface, so they contacted EXAIR to see if we could find a solution.

They sent photos of their setup which always helps us to diagnose and find solutions. The target place that they suggested would be near the 2” (51mm) drop as the tubes would be suspended for just a moment. My recommendation was to use a Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife to blow ionized air around the tubes as they fell. By blowing air, we can use the non-contact force to remove the static and the cob material at the same time. But we had two issues to overcome. The width was fixed at 2 feet (0.6 meter), and the operation controls were 10 feet (3 meters) away from the mid-section of the shaker table.

Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives

EXAIR stocks many Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives ranging from 3” (76mm) to 108” (2.74meters) in incremental lengths for quick shipments. But our standard 24″ product was not able to fit inside that area nor was the five foot electrical cable long enough to reach the control panel. (As a note, it was important for the operator to be able to manually turn on and off the unit from the control panel.)

EXAIR uses an electromagnetically shielded cable to carry high voltage from our Gen4 Power Supply to our shockless, non-radioactive Gen4 Ionizing Bar. Our  stocked length for our armored cable is 5 feet (1.5 meter). After discussing the amount of movement with the table and the desired distance to the control panel, EXAIR could not use an item off the shelf. But not to worry… Since we are the manufacturer, we have the ability to make a special design for this customer.

Super Ion Air Knife Part Numbering System

I recommended a model 112220-10 special length Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife Kit. (Reference model numbering system above). Specials are non-returnable and non-cancelable, but for this customer, it was exactly what they needed. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Knives are engineered to efficiently blow ionized air to the target and remove static charge and debris.

For this special model, it was made to a specific width where the Super Air Knife was manufactured to a length of 20” (508mm), and the high voltage cable was lengthened to 10 feet (3 meters). The kit includes the Gen4 Power Supply to power the Ionizing Bar, a filter to clean the compressed air, a regulator to control the force, and a shim set to change force rates. This complete kit had everything required to begin operations to remove static and cob material from their precision tubes. The customer was able to mount the special length Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife within the shaker table and mount the power supply near the control panel.

Static can be an issue even with coated metal parts. For the customer above, EXAIR was able to make a special length Gen4 Super Ion Air Knife to work in their system. If you believe that static is causing issues, EXAIR has a great range of Gen4 Static Eliminators to remove that nuisance. You can discuss further with an Application Engineer as EXAIR for help; even if you need a custom product.

John Ball, Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR’s 2015 Year End Review!

In case you were too busy to notice, it’s 2016!  With the start of the new year I would like to review just a few milestones EXAIR reached which will help continue to serve our customers and provide solutions to manufacturing problems. The year was extremely busy for us and so far, 2016 is looking to be even better.

Throughout the course of the last year EXAIR has released hundreds of new products. We continue to increase our Atomizing Spray Nozzle product line and we received the official patent on our No Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzles. The No Drip versions of our spray nozzles have a patented design which helps conserve precious liquids, including water, while also preventing drips which could affect your product finish.

Stay up to date with EXAIR Press Releases
Stay up to date with EXAIR Press Releases

Our new line of Back Blow nozzles have been created to clean the inside of pipe, tube, hose, channel or shafts and prevent the operator from pushing debris further inside by directing the airflow and debris back out toward the nearest end. We have also outfitted our air guns with these nozzles to provide an easy to activate and ergonomic solution. EXAIR also expanded our swivel fitting, air operated conveyor, industrial housekeeping and Cabinet Cooler product lines. See our website for more information on these products. These new stock products ship same day on orders received by 3 PM EST for orders within the United States.

Custom products helped solve problems for hundreds of customers with manufacturing solutions that just didn’t quite fit the bill of our off the shelf products. Since we are a manufacturer (located in Cincinnati, OH) we have the ability to modify stock products, create custom solutions, provide timely information and fast lead times for special products. We blog about specials a lot and we continue to help customers with custom fit products that will surpass their expectations.

With all of the new products and customs, we continued to achieve higher levels of shipping accuracy.  We now have a 20 year streak of shipping complete, on time, correct orders if over 99.9%! There are not many companies that I deal with on a personal level or through EXAIR which can claim their accuracy is this high.

When we weren’t shipping orders or helping customers with custom solutions we also managed to post more than 1 blog per business day, I don’t even want to count the thousands of other Social Media posts we have done, and released numerous videos of tips and tricks for many of our products.

The message I am trying to get across is that we press forward here at EXAIR.  We are constantly making moves and trying to ensure that we offer our customers every item they may need, in a timely manner, correctly, of high quality, and easy to do business with.

That is the only way that we can continue to be the best company for Intelligent Compressed Air Products!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

First Time For Everything

We’ve got a lot to be proud of at EXAIR. Over 32 years of experience in providing superior engineered compressed air products for demanding applications worldwide. A 19 year track record (we can only claim 19 years because it’s when we started keeping track) of over 99.9% on-time shipments. 35 Industry Awards (and counting) for new product excellence.

The thing I want to brag on today is…well, me. OK; not just me, but the whole Engineering staff at EXAIR. See, in addition to knowing the ins & outs of 192 pages of compressed air products and accessories in our catalog, EXAIR Application Engineers are well-versed in the situations where our products will…and won’t provide a successful solution.

Sometimes, a user is looking for something different. Same principle of operation, functionality, method, etc., but in a different size. Or shape. Or material of construction. And that’s where the Design Engineers come in…we’ll work together to determine the best way to apply all those years of experience and successful track record and solve your application. And usually, pretty darn quickly.

Case in point: I had the pleasure of discussing an application requiring a special Super Air Knife yesterday afternoon with a caller. Seems they had a tight spot that they needed to fit the Air Knife into, and saw that we had made a special flat Super Air Knife:

Flat Super

This design goes back about 16 years, and has been No, at times, for other applications as the need arises. Because of the large variety of these simulations, we’re probably already pretty close to the next simulation. I realized this was the case when, within 5 minutes of submitting my request to Design Engineering, the office printer (which sits next to my desk) started up, and one of our Design Engineers was on his way over to retrieve the print…of an approval drawing for my caller. Not to swell any heads around here (past our current level of well-deserved swagger, that is,) but this was just about the same amount of time that it took the caller to communicate the requirements to me, and for me to transcribe them into my inter-departmental request.

There’s always a first time for everything…and we look forward to each one of them. If you need help with a compressed air solution, give us a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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