Air Knife Shim Adjustment can be Key to Successful Applications

On January 2, 1960 Little Anthony & The Imperials appeared on The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show to sing Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop. While I wasn’t around at that time, I have heard the song quite a few times and get it stuck in my head more than I have heard it. What does that song and EXAIR have to do with each other? Well, we shimmy shimmy Super Air Knives to dramatically increase or decrease their flow and force.

The stock shim that is assembled in every Super Air Knife is a .002″ (0.05mm) thick. This sets a continuous opening the full length of the knife that drives the performance of the knife. The shim sets the gap height between the cap and the body of the Super Air Knife. If we evaluate a 24″ Super Air Knife with the stock shim installed we could calculate the airflow opening of the knife as the surface area of a rectangle.  To obtain the surface area we take the length of the air knife times the thickness of the shim.  See the example below.

As you can see with the stock .002″ thick shim installed we are actually operating at a surface area opening of 0.048 square inches.  If we were to install the .004″ thick shim into the knife then we would double the height which in turn doubles the surface area, shown below.

This doubling effect will increase the force out of the Super Air Knife when applications require more power.  Thinning out the shim will have the exact opposite effect, if the shim thickness is reduced to .001″ thick then the air consumption and force will be reduced.

Changing the shims out of the Super Air Knives is a fairly simple task as shown in the video below.  Installing a different thickness of shim is a coarse adjustment to the volumetric flow needed for your application.  Then a pressure regulator can be used to fine tune the needed force and flow for the ideal setting to meet your needs, and operate at maximum efficiency for the application.

If you would like to discuss this further or even see what kind of custom thicknesses we can offer on the shims to truly make a tailor fit Super Air Knife for your application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer


Little Anthony & The Imperials “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” – [Merlin] XelonEntertainment, WMG (on behalf of Turntable Recordings LTD); ARESA, LatinAutor, União Brasileira de Compositores, Spirit Music Publishing, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, Abramus Digital, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., and 4 Music Rights Societies –

Video Blog: How To Rebuild Pressure Regulators

Today’s video blog is a how-to on rebuilding EXAIR pressure regulators.   Regulators can wear out over time and extensive adjustment as well as if they are not used on a clean compressed air supply.  If you have any questions on an EXAIR product, please contact an Application Engineer.

Thanks for watching!



Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

New Products, New Q & A, and New Projects

LSR 1900

On April 2, 2013, I wrote about my big Springtime Project. It is now a month and a half later and I have successfully completed my first “boot job” as they call it. I put the boat in the water last weekend and was so proud………….it didn’t sink!  Admittedly, I did keep it on the trailer while in the water at the ramp for about 15 minutes though and checked all round in the engine compartment to make sure nothing was coming through.   As many of you know, it is always a good feeling of achievement when you dig into something you know little about, research it and are able to make a successful repair. I did check with the repair department at a local marina and found out that it would have cost $1,400.00 to have them do it. Since I was able to do it for less than half of that in parts cost, that just reinforces benefit of doing it myself. I asked a lot of questions before and during the process and received a lot of good advice.

At EXAIR, I have recently fielded some questions about some of our newer products to help dispel any misnomers and bring to light some of the differences between the various models so customers can make an informed decision when they begin to look at our products and aren’t quite sure what to think…….much like me and the boat project.

One customer had asked me, “I have a lot of pneumatic actuators, a couple of Air Knives and some E-vacs on a compressed air line. I would like to mount a Digital Flow Meter to the line to know how much air we are consuming. Is it OK to permanently install the Digital Flow Meter or should I only use it on a temporary basis?”
The answer is that the Digital Flow Meters are intended to be installed permanently on a pipe for continued monitoring of compressed air flow for as long as the line is in service. In fact we have other accessory items such as the Summing Remote Display and the Data Logger which aid in monitoring flow over longer time frames.

Another customer asked, “You have quite a few different Industrial Vacuums for solid material pick-up, how do I know which one will work best for my material?  Is there a specific particle size range that each should be used for?”
The answer is that all of our solid pick –up, Industrial Housekeeping products: Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac and Heavy Duty HEPA Vac can pick up most any solid materials as long as they will fit into the hose without clogging it. Think of the Chip Vac as our standard duty unit, the Heavy Duty Dry vac as the Heavy Duty pick-up unit and the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac the one that gives the best all round performance and can also work to filter very fine dust particles down to 0.3 micron at 99.97% efficiency.

In effect, all of our Industrial Vacuums are well suited for shop and industrial type uses. However, if you are the type of person who wants a bit more power, then HD Dry Vac and HD HEPA Vac are for you. If you have a large quantity of a very fine dust you are working with and don’t want to be clogging your filter bag immediately, then the HD HEPA Vac is our newest and best offering.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We make every effort to allow people to contact us in a variety of ways, so keep them coming. We can walk you through and help you get to a good point in your project.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer

Video Blog: How to Rebuild an EXAIR Safety Air Gun

While EXAIR’s safety air guns are of robust design, they do see some harsh environments and eventually some of the moving parts can wear out. EXAIR offers rebuild kits.

  • For the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun use part #1901A or #1901
  • For the Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun use part #1902

Here is a video on how to install the new components.

If you need help give our application engineers a call 1-800-903-9247

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363

Video Blog: How To Replace An EXAIR Filter Element.

Today’s video blog is going to discuss the options and proper way to replace a filter element in an EXAIR Auto Drain Filter Separator.   This is done to ensure your compressed air system is still running efficiently and maintains the quality of the compressed air in your system.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

I’m Not A Shadetree Mechanic But….

If you were to ask any of my neighbors who is the guy on our street who is most likely to be found, in his driveway, changing his own oil, lubing the outdrive on his boat or doing a complete brake job on his truck, they would all point at me. I do not necessarily take any insane pleasure out of doing these things myself. I just can’t stand paying someone else to do something that I know I can do quite easily (or maybe not so quite easily) myself.

Early on, it was really born out of necessity as I was putting myself through school and my ’79 Monte Carlo was your typical late 70’s GM bucket of bolts that I was lucky to keep running until after I graduated from college. Back then, I actually took pleasure in being able to work all day on a car project to replace ball joints, tie rod ends or to re-build my 4 barrel carburetor.  I was learning. I’m sure that a few of you reading had the same experience.

These days, I view automotive maintenance as more of a challenge. If I can get my 8 year old Camry over the 200,000 mile mark, I will consider that to be an achievement well worth pursuing with the benefit of not having a car payment for as long as I can manage. I’m hoping to shoot for 300,000 miles. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one. I could probably afford a car payment, but I just don’t WANT to.

The other day, my Camry needed a rear wheel bearing / hub assembly on the passenger side replaced. I had already changed the oil and filters.  I was only going to do some exploratory “surgery” to see what I was getting myself into for “next weekend”. Next thing I know, I’ve got that corner of the car torn down to where the backing plate and wheel hub fall off.

Needless to say, I had a good deal of difficulty separating the hub and the backing plate due to rust, lots of it.  This is the point in a project that I always seem to forget about; dealing with rusty bolts, nuts, seized up brake lines and bearings that always leave me wondering, what I have gotten myself into. I was at that point of no return. You know that point where you have to essentially break or destroy something to get it apart and hope that a replacement is available at the local auto parts store?

The next day, I was able to get what I needed and put the rear wheel assembly back together.  During this process, I ended up bleeding the rear brakes, cleaning the drums and adjusted the rear brakes so they were once again a useful part of the braking system.  This was a task that I was not intending to make part of this project but I’m now glad that I did. And the sense of confidence that I know for a fact that I’m riding on a job well done, really helps to reinforce the fact that the money that I did spend for the parts was well spent. Not just handing over five hundred bucks to a tire shop to do it for me and not really be sure if they did everything that I asked.

What does this have to do with a blog page about compressed air issues?  The fact of the matter is that many of you who we speak to and e-mail with on a daily basis are Do-It-Yourselfers. Many of you have the same attitudes toward problems, solving them and working toward a solution as we do. When it comes to problems in the realm of compressed air systems and energy savings, you don’t have to go it alone. We are here to assist you with trouble-shooting expertise, advice and the best products available to help you solve your industrial processing problems.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer