One of the easiest ways to solve a blow off application is to install an open pipe or tube; it’s generally quick and available. They are easy to make, mainly you just need some pipe, maybe a hacksaw and hammer, and a way to hook them up to your compressed air system. They will provide a good amount of force but at the cost of safety, noise level, and air consumption. That’s right: it will cost you in SAFETY, NOISE EXPOSURE and COMPRESSED AIR CONSUMPTION. I’m going to go out on a limb here (not really) and wager there are a number of folks in any organization unwilling to pay those costs – if you are willing, you may want to reconsider.
I have been to many manufacturing facilities where they have used copper line to bend into a tight space and then pump 85 psi into the pipe in order to try and blow a piece of lint out of a roller or to keep trim from getting caught in a pulley system. In some cases I have seen 3/8″ ID pipe to keep dust and lint out of a pulley.
This is not needed at all. The estimated flow through a 3/8″ ID tube that is around 3′ long would be roughly 109 SCFM when powered at 85 psig. All to keep dust off and loose fiber out of a certain area. The reason they plumbed this large of a piece of tubing into the area was simple, it’s what they had and it worked great (words from the maintenance worker). For additional reference, our 91 SCFM air nozzle produces 4.5 pounds of force which seems a bit of overkill when you can blow dust away with your breath.
In one instance I looked over the material and scrap they were trying to keep from getting to the outer workings of the machine I made the recommendation for them to utilize a model 1100SSW, – a 1/4 NPT Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle w/ Swivel Fitting. This would give them flexibility to target the right area through the swivel and require them to change the existing tubing out to a schedule 40 threaded pipe, or use a compression style fitting.
By replacing the single nozzle, the customer was able to reduce compressed air consumption in just this single blow off point from 109 SCFM at 85 psig to 14 SCFM at 80 psig inlet pressure. This single replacement equates to saving 95 SCFM, or $11.40 per 8 hour shift that the blowoff is operated. If the customer operated this blowoff 24 hours a day it would take a mere 4 days to pay the unit back in air savings.
The above savings do not include the benefit of being able to reduce the overall operating pressure of the compressed air system feeding this application to 80 psig, instead of 85 psig. In case you weren’t aware, if you lower the pressure value where your compressor shuts off, say from 85 psig to 80 psig, it will save an estimated 2.5% of drive energy for their air compressor. Depending on the type and size of the compressor this could amount to a substantial savings. This system pressure reduction will also lower the operating pressure of any leaks that may be within the system which will also be another amount of savings. All of this is from simply replacing open pipe with an engineered nozzle.
This was just one area where the quick and easy way turned out to be the costly and dangerous path. The best part about our engineered solution is they are all in stock, ready to ship same day. This means you can find the problem today, have a solution waiting to be installed tomorrow.