In The Sweet Taste of Floss Part 1, I explained the benefits of using our Atomizing Nozzles to apply a liquid flavoring onto floss sticks. With that same customer, we had another opportunity to save them on compressed air and on liquid flavoring.
As described in their setup, they had a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. This operation was manual. It would take the operators roughly 45 seconds to load the floss sticks. The conveyor would move the rod through the spraying compartment in about 15 seconds. The customer was worried about the continuous spraying and wondered if we could help in this operation.
They had a good concern because with a constant spraying, they could have an issue with fogging the work area and wasting the liquid cherry flavoring. My suggestion was to use the EXAIR model 9055 Electronic Flow Control (or EFC). The EFC is a user-friendly controller that combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer. It has eight different programmable on/off modes to minimize compressed air usage and in this case, liquid spray. For this type of operation, the EFC worked great. They did not need to manually turn on and off the system, or purchase a PLC that would require programming. The EFC is in a compact package that is easy to mount and setup.
In evaluating their application, the Signal “OFF” Delay would be correct setting to run in this operation. (The EFC comes factory set in this mode). The sensor will detect the part and open the solenoid immediately. Once the part clears the sensor, then it will keep the solenoid open for the set amount of time. For this project, they set the timer for 15 seconds. They mounted the photoelectric sensor at the beginning of the entrance to the spraying compartment. Once the sensor detected the rod that was filled with floss sticks, it would turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzles. After the timing sequence hits 15 seconds, the EFC would turn off the solenoid which would stop the spraying. It would rerun this sequence every time a rod would pass by the sensor. This optimized their operation; especially when they had any issues with loading the rod with floss sticks. It reduced their liquid and compressed air usage by 75%, and it kept the work area free of fog.
If you need an easy way to save on compressed air usage or in this case fluid, the EFC could be the device for you. It can save you much money in your operational costs, and during these economic times, we know that every bit counts. If you are still a little “foggy” on the EFC, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help.