EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products Are Automation’s Best Friend

For decades, children and adults (really cool ones, anyway) have enjoyed the popular board game, Mouse Trap:

The fun of the game is that it exaggerates the notion of providing an overly complicated solution to a simple problem – a notion made famous by Rube Goldberg, whose namesake machines are as thought-provoking as they are entertaining to watch.

As fun as Rube Goldberg machines are, there are actually ways to engineer something “just enough” – that’s what automation engineers strive to do every day; and EXAIR is here to help.

Probably the most popular feature, for automated applications, of engineered compressed air products is instantaneous performance.  For example:

  • When an electric motor-powered blower is used for a blow off, cooling, or drying application, there’s going to be a “ramp-up” period to reach full rated flow.  Not so with an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product, like a Super Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, Super Air Amplifier, etc.  They are generating their rated flow as fast as you can open the supply valve.

    EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products such as (left to right) the Super Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Super Air Amplifier provide instant on/off performance, at rated levels.
  • Likewise, vacuum pumps necessarily take some time to develop their rated vacuum level.  But the venturi in an EXAIR E-Vac Vacuum Generator draws its full rated vacuum flow as soon as the compressed air is turned on.  The peak vacuum level is achieved in the amount of time it takes to pull the air out of the lines or vessel.

    These are all examples of how an E-Vac pick-and-place system is just a solenoid valve away from being an automated process.
  • All EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles can be fitted with a No Drip feature, which allows instant on/off control, simply by opening/closing a valve in the compressed air supply line.  This is often done with a solenoid valve tied in to the machine controls, or with an EXAIR EFC, Electronic Flow Control (more on that in a minute.)  They can handle up to 180 cycles per minute, for quick bursts of atomized mist, on demand.  No other method of liquid flow control can match that kind of performance.

    Fine mist liquid spray, on demand, from an EXAIR No Drip Atomizing Spray Nozzle.
  • EXAIR Spot Cooling Products, Cold Guns, and Cabinet Cooler Systems all use Vortex Tube technology.  This “splits” a supply of compressed air into a hot, and cold air flow.  Unlike refrigerant, chilled water, or cryogenic gas methods, they don’t rely on conduction or convection heat transfer between materials, so cold (and hot) air is produced, at rated flow and temperature, instantly.  They, too, can be turned on & off as often as needed…there are no moving parts to wear or damage.

    The unique phenomenon of the Vortex Tube principle makes cold air instantly for as long – or short – a time as needed.

Automation projects often incorporate existing logic, controls, timers, etc. to actuate the process.  For example, if you wanted to use a Chip Vac to vacuum debris from a chop saw, you can simply wire a solenoid valve into the power switch of the saw…it’ll run while the saw runs, and stop when the saw is turned off.

EXAIR’s award winning EFC Electronic Flow is ready to go, right out of the box.

If there are no existing logic, controls, timers, etc., EXAIR has a solution for those cases too: the EFC Electronic Flow Control.  We have four models to accommodate up to 350 SCFM of compressed air flow – that’s ten feet worth of Super Air Knives.  The EFC consists of a photoelectric sensor that opens/closes a solenoid valve, based on the programming of the integral timer.  It’s a stand alone system that doesn’t require input from, nor is it affected by, any external factors.

Automation projects can get pretty intricate.  EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are aimed at keeping their involvement as simple as possible.  If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Back From Vacation With a Lot of Ideas

Last week I went on the annual trip to Topsail Island, NC with my family and all of the in-laws.   The week lends plenty of time to relax, play on the beach, see a shark 10′ away from you in the water…you know the normal stuff.   I couldn’t help but think as to what my next project at home needs to be, not a “real” project at home but one I will enjoy, a hobby project if you will.   I went to my favorite place in North Carolina for some much needed relaxation and input, Saigon Sam’s, a military surplus store.  It’s really more than just a military surplus store, it has that museum feel as well due to all of the relics and weapons it showcases.

Saigon Sams

 

After seeing how a lot of military items have been re-purposed and watching a few of the old Professor videos, I have decided that my next project for home will be making a Tall Bike.  What is a tall bike you ask?  Absolutely awesome is what I would say.  The legitimate answer would be it is essentially two to three bikes welded together to form one really tall bike that is not easy to get on or off of.

2011-07-02 Bicycle Friends Tall Bike a

My hopes are that it will look something like the one pictured above.   However, due to budget constraints and my love for things that work instead of look good it may appear like the one below.

tandy

Just like here at EXAIR, even at home I am constantly thinking of new projects.   One of the newest projects that has wrapped up at EXAIR is the expansion of our Digital Flowmeter family.   These meters are now available to help you monitor your compressed air use on 1/2″ through 6″ schedule 40 iron pipe OR 3/4″ through 4″ Type L copper pipe.  The EXAIR Digital Flowmeters are simple to install and include a drill guide, drill and jig to make the process even easier. Also available is our USB Data Logger or Summing Remote Display to further the ease of collecting your compressed air use data.   If you want to compare two different lines that are the same size you can simply use a set of block off rings to clamp off the probe area while the Digital Flowmeter is in use on the other line.   This means you can easily use a single Digital Flowmeter and a few sets of block off rings to monitor all of your compressed air lines that are the same size.

dfm_sizes_pr_337w

These Digital Flowmeters are an essential first step toward understanding where your air is used, when it is at its highest use and where it is used. With this understanding, you can begin to work on making your air system more efficient and using your compressed air more effectively. Using flowmeters to monitor compressed air is the intelligent first step toward saving air and money for your company. Saving money on compressed air and operating an efficient system can help secure your competitive position now and into the future.

If you have any questions or want to know more about our Digital Flowmeter family, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_BF
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com