Here at EXAIR we pride ourselves on the number of problem solving products we have on the shelf that can ship same day if ordered by 3 PM Eastern Time. But some times a stock product doesn’t quite fit the bill for every application.
Since EXAIR manufactures our products at one location in Cincinnati, Ohio, this gives us the flexibility to do many things like making custom configurations with our Line Vac Systems. Here is one example of a custom Line Vac and how the customer is using it!
The photo above shows two custom 1″ Aluminum Line Vacs with custom threaded outlets. This customer wanted to use the line vac to remove fumes from a welding application and wanted to attach one of their flame retardant filter bags to the outlet of the Line Vac! These custom threads allowed them to screw the filter bag directly onto the line vac with the added insurance of a threaded connection to prevent sparks from escaping the bag.
No matter what your application is EXAIR is capable to work with you to create custom solutions for your application. Whether you need a different material, size or dimensions or design, EXAIR is able to meet your requirements. These Line Vacs represent only one of our many product lines that can be custom made to your specifications.
For more information on EXAIR’s Line Vacs or help with customizing any of EXAIR‘s Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
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.
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.
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.
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
Because EXAIR designs and manufactures our own products here in Cincinnati, we can take advantage of the speed, control, and flexibility that comes with full service manufacturing. If you need a customization of a current production product or if you would like to start a compressed air application from scratch, we can probably help. This is true throughout our entire product line, the following custom examples are of our Super Air Knife products.
Do you have an application that may not be best served by one of our stock Super Air Knife products? While we have quite a variety of both materials, sizes, and connection types sometimes a special application requires a special solution. For this reason, EXAIR manufactures special Super Air Knives suited EXACTLY for the type of application or environment that it’ll be operating in.
Unique applications are fairly common, and the Super Air Knifeprovides a great solution to many of them. Consider these situations:
A machine builder had to fit an air knife in a 43″ channel. We had it covered: we made them a custom (non-stock) 43″ 303SS Super Air Knife and shipped it in three days.
A user needed 15″ (and only 15″) of air flow. A Model 110018 18″ Aluminum Super Air Knife, off the shelf, would provide an “overflow” which would disturb product in the vicinity of the blow off. We had it covered…a custom shim can be made to provide 15″ (and only 15″) of air flow out of an 18″ Super Air Knife. It only takes a couple of days to get the special shim. We can make shims to center the airflow, keep it all on one side of the knife, have it come out two separate areas etc.
Our customer needed the lightweight of the aluminum air knife, but the ambient air temp was causing the stock plastic shim to melt and cause leaks. So we made a custom 4″ Super Air Knife and installed a Stainless Steel Shim.
We’ve also made a variety of special Air Knives, when more than just length is a consideration. So, even if your application is “Unique” it’s very likely that we still have you Covered. Give us a call and we can prove it to you!
Because EXAIR designs and manufactures our own products, if you need something a little different we can probably help. This is true throughout our entire product line, the following examples are of our Line Vac products.
Do you have an application that may not be best served by one of our stock Line Vac products? While we have quite a variety of both materials, sizes, and connection types sometimes a special application requires a special solution. For this reason, EXAIR manufactures special Line Vacs suited EXACTLY for the type of application or environment that it’ll be operating in.
This special Miniature Line Vac was manufactured with barb fittings and designed for a manufacturer of integrated circuit chips. It was used to remove microscopic debris during the chip making process. It’s small overall footprint makes it ideal for applications requiring tight mounting conditions. It has also been used by other manufacturers to vacuum liquid and chips from small drilled holes. While the Line Vac isn’t typically suitable for liquids, the higher vacuum level associated with the smaller Line Vacs makes it a possibility.
This next special Line Vac was used to convey fine powders or granulated materials from a hopper. While this is a pretty straight-forward application for a standard Line Vac, their material could sometimes be moist which would pack the tube and restrict the flow of material. The funnel-shaped design created a suction on the existing tube that permitted a continuous product flow.
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 high velocity airflow from the directed nozzles of the Line Vac to overcome this downstream resistance.
In addition to making Line Vacs in different shapes and sizes, we can also use special materials. In this instance, the special flanged Line Vac was manufactured out of PVDF (Polyvinylidene Flouride) due to its superior corrosive resistance. The Line Vac would be regularly exposed to a chloride wash that would corrode even stainless steel. It was also manufactured with special QF flanges to allow for easy assembly and removal of the conveying hoses for cleaning purposes.
As you can see the sky is the limit when it comes to potential styles of Line Vacs. Don’t think just because you don’t find something you need in the catalog that EXAIR can’t do it! We’ll create special manufactured products for just about anything that you can find in the catalog, not just the Line Vacs. Whether it’s custom-length Super Air Knives or special Air Amplifiers we can make it happen. Reach out to an Application Engineer today for help designing a solution, just for YOU!