How To Solve A Problem with Compressed Air

In my (almost) six years as an EXAIR Application Engineer, I’ve learned a great many things about the capabilities of our products.  The way we do business sure does make it easy:

  • We readily share application information, as a team.  If you ask me a question, you’re asking all of us.  It does neither of us any good if I tell you something MIGHT work if one of my team knows it WON’T – or if someone knows what else DOES work.  If we can offer a solution, we will.
  • We’ll test your product, free of charge.  This is a popular way of finding out which Line Vac is best for conveying a particular product, for example.
  • If you’re considering a quiet, safe, and efficient EXAIR product as an upgrade, we’ll test your current product in our award winning Efficiency Lab, so you can compare accurate performance data and analyze the expected benefits…which can be dramatic.  Try us on that.
exair-testin
Line Vac conveyance rate testing (left;) Efficiency Lab testing (right.)

 

  • We’ll let YOU test our product, risk-free.  All catalog products come with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee.  We invite you to put it through its paces for up to a month.  If it’s not working out, we’ll arrange return for full credit.
  • We’ll do the math.  But first, a disclaimer: strictly comparing the force or flow of an engineered product to an open-end blow off won’t always tell the tale.  Our Intelligent Compressed Air Products are creating a laminar flow which won’t generate as high of a force/thrust as open-end blowing (which is turbulent by nature,) but is MUCH more conducive to efficiency and noise reduction, as well as similar (if not improved) performance.  But back to the math: if you know the metrics you need to meet for spot cooling (like a Vortex Tube, Adjustable Spot Cooler, Cold Gun, etc.) or for liquid spraying (the liquid flow rate and/or pattern size & shape from an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, for instance,) or the heat load that a Cabinet Cooler System can handle, we’ll do the calculations and specify the appropriate product.

Regardless of the application, if it can be solved with compressed air, it’s very likely that we have a great solution.  Call me to find out how we can help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Stop Trying To Squeeze More Out Of That Air Gun!

At EXAIR, we LOVE to talk about efficient use of compressed air. That’s why I was thrilled to get a call from an engineer that works for a non-profit firm that promotes energy efficiency to enable businesses in their area improve sustainability, improve the environment, and save money.

They were working with a local company to, among other things, optimize their use of compressed air and wanted to take advantage of our free Efficiency Lab service to get the “before” data on the current blow off devices.

Don't let this happen to your air gun...use an EXAIR Precision Safety Air Gun with a quiet, efficient Super Air Nozzle instead.
Don’t let this happen to your air gun…
Squeeze the trigger on a Model 1410SS Precision Safety Air Gun with Nano Super Air Nozzle instead!
Squeeze the trigger on a Model 1410SS Precision Safety Air Gun with Nano Super Air Nozzle instead!

As you can see, they were trying to “squeeze” a little more performance out by, literally, squeezing the tip down.  Thing is, it’s STILL loud and non-compliant with OSHA’s regulations about dead end pressure.  And as far as performance goes, this results in only a slight change in the air flow pattern, with a minimal reduction in compressed air consumption…they’ve changed the geometry of the discharge opening, but not the cross sectional area.  Our Efficiency Lab Test results provide the final answer:

cry for help lab

Efficiency. Saving money. Safety. Sustainability. “Going Green.”   If you’d like to talk about how EXAIR can help you with any…or all…of these things, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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I Love It When They Show The Math

In every math or science class I ever took – from high school Algebra I, to CHEM101 in college, or a variety of classified material courses in Naval Nuclear Power School – it was always good form to show your work. And by “good form” I mean “necessary to avoid an F.” I’ve found, through helping my teenage sons with their homework (whether they want me to or not, but that’s another story,) the same rules apply today. And rightly so.

My oldest is slightly (at least) more interested in athletics than academics. Sunday night, as I was going to bed, I saw him in the living room. His face was not obstructed by his cell phone and he didn’t have his headphones on, so I saw a rare opportunity for a real-time conversation. He was watching game 7 of the NBA Championship, and it was near enough to the end of the game that I figured I could watch it with him and not sacrifice too much desperately needed sleep.

If you watched the series, you saw some phenomenal play by both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. If you saw the end of game 7, you saw “the block” – Cleveland’s LeBron James came out of NOWHERE to rob Andre Iguodala of a quick two points on a breakaway lay-up. During the obligatory replays, I kept thinking that what James had done might border on the physically impossible. Then, ESPN’s “Sport Science” reel put into perspective just how close to that border he came:

Now, we don’t have anyone who can chase down a professional athlete and jump 12 feet in the air to take a basketball away from him, but we DO have a staff of engineers who can test air blow off products and “do the math” on how much better a fit to your application an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product would be. Our Efficiency Lab service is free and tests your current product to provide you a report comparing air savings, noise reduction, force values and a simple return on investment.

In our defense, I believe we are MUCH better at this than LeBron James or Steph Curry would be.
In our defense, I believe we are MUCH better at this than LeBron James or Steph Curry would be.

Do you want to find out how much quieter and efficient an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product might be than what you’re using now?  Give me a call…you can try one of our products in your facility, or we’ll test one of yours in ours.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab can Help With your Energy Audit, Quantify Savings and Provide an ROI

I recently received an inquiry from a customer to test their current air guns through our Efficiency Lab service. According to the operators, the handheld blow gun they were purchasing from a commercial retailer was too loud and complaints were rolling in.  They were also hoping to save some compressed air in the process as they were performing an energy audit at the same time.

Commercial Air Gun w/ Cross Cut Hole
Commercial Air Gun w/ Cross Cut Hole
Cross Cut Hole Nozzle
Cross Cut Hole Nozzle

The gun they sent in looked fairly similar to our Precision Safety Air Gun but it did not have an engineered nozzle on the tip of it.   Instead, it was simply a cross cut hole in a piece of material.   The air inlet to the gun was a 1/4″ NPT just like our Precision Safety Air Gun, the extension on the gun was slightly longer, the only significant variance I saw was the tip.

EXAIR Model 1410SS-CS
EXAIR Model 1410SS-CS
The Model 1110SS Nao Super Air Nozzle and Chip Shield
The Model 1110SS Nao Super Air Nozzle and Chip Shield

To try and get as much information as possible I measured the O.D. and I.D. of the extension, the hole size was approximately .140″.  I measured the extension on our Precision Safety Air Gun just to see what is different, it came in at the same size.  So, I flow tested the competitive blow gun with their tip on it and came up with air consumption of 12.69 SCFM, noise level of 92 dBA at 3′ away, and a blowing force of 11.5 oz at 80 psig.   I then measured the same attributes of EXAIR’s model 1410SS-CS Precision Safety Air Gun at 80 psig inlet pressure.  The model 1410SS-CS measured 8.3 SCFM, gave 8.1 ozs of working force, and only produced a 75 dBA sound level from 3′ away.

The sound level reduction was a total of 17 dBA which is below the OSHA standard for allowable noise level exposure, as well as reduced their air consumption by 4.39 SCFM.  That is almost a 35% reduction in their compressed air usage per gun replaced.  After seeing these levels of reduction the customer had more than enough information to provide management with in order to replace the blow guns not just for noise level reduction but also because it will reduce air use and save money. A clear supportive role in their energy audit.

If you would like to discuss how EXAIR can provide some free force, flow, and noise level testing for your facility, please contact an Application Engineer or check out the Efficiency Lab page on our site.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Calculating Compressed Air Cost & Savings Made Easy

If you have ever looked through our catalog, website, blog, twitter feeds, or even our Facebook page, you will see that we can almost always put a dollar amount behind the amount of compressed air you saved by installing EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products.   No matter which platform we use to deliver the message, we use the same value for the cost of compressed air which is $.25 per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. This value is derived from average commercial and industrial energy costs nationwide, if you are on either coast this value may increase slightly. On the positive side, if your cost for compressed air is a bit more, installing an EXAIR product will increase your savings.

So where does this number come from?   I can tell you this much, we didn’t let the marketing department or anyone in Accounting make it up.   This is a number that the Engineering department has deemed feasible and is accurate.

To calculate the amount we first look to what the cost per kilowatt hour is you pay for energy.  Then we will need to know what the compressor shaft horsepower  of the compressor is, plus the run time percentage, the percentage at full-load, and the motor efficiency.

If you don’t have all of these values, no worries.   We can get fairly close by using the industry accepted standard mentioned above, or use some other general standards if all you know is the cost of your electricity.

The way to calculate the cost of compressed air is not an intense mathematical equation like you might think.  The best part is, you don’t even have to worry about doing any of the math shown below because you can contact us and we can work through it for you.

If you prefer to have us compare your current compressed air blow off or application method to one of our engineered products, we can do that AND provide you a report which includes side by side performance comparisons (volume of flow, noise, force) and dollar savings. This refers to our free Efficiency Lab service.

EXAIR's Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.
EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

If you already know how much air you are using, you can use the Air Savings Calculators (USD or Euro) within our website’s knowledge base. Just plug in the numbers (EXAIR product data is found on our website or just contact us) and receive air savings per minute, hour, day and year. We also present a simple ROI payback time in days.

Now, back to the math behind our calculation.
Cost ($) =
(bhp) x (0.746) x (#of operating hours) x ($/kWh) x (% time) x ( % full load bhp)
——————————————————————————————————————————
Motor Efficiency

Where:
bhp
— Compressor shaft horsepower (generally higher than motor nameplate Hp)
0.746 – conversion between hp and KW
Percent Time — percentage of time running at this operating level
Percent full-load bhp — bhp as percentage of full load bhp at this operating level
Motor Efficiency — motor efficiency at this operating level

For an average facility here in the Midwest $0.25/1,000 SCF of compressed air is accurate.   If you would like to attempt the calculation and or share with us your findings, please reach out to us.   If you need help, we are happy to assist.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Efficiency Lab Provides Specific Benefits

My Ruck sack w/ 20 lb. weight and a flag for the team to carry.
My Ruck sack w/ 20 lb. weight and a flag for the team to carry.

This weekend, myself and many others are going to be participating in an event held all over the country, the Go Ruck Light event.  This test of toughness (mental and physical) is put on by former military personnel and it is based around one of the things they do a lot of at the beginning of their military training.   This is a 7 to 10 mile event that will take up to 4 hours to complete.   It is not like a race or any other obstacle event that we have ever done.   This is an event where the leader, or Cadre, will lead you through the miles and many physical exercises along the way all while carrying a 20 lb weight in a ruck sack on your back.   This not only tests individuals but it also requires the entire group to work as a team to ensure everyone finishes and everyone is together.

While I feel that I am under-prepared for this event physically, my mind is prepared to find out just how much I really can do and it will be at the end of the test that I realize the benefits.

Not many of the tasks I am responsible for at EXAIR require that kind of physical toughness and some of them require the mental toughness. But one instance I am always prepared for is the customer that calls and thinks they have the weirdest application and that there is nothing to solve it.   We actually have this experience quite a bit and it helps make what we do more interesting and fun.  With our diverse background and extensive knowledge, chances are we have experienced the application or we have seen something that is very close.  This helps us to be specific when recommending a solution.

EXAIR feels that the best solutions can also provide information on air and dollar savings as well.  The best savings information can be provided if our customers are willing to provide us details about their current application, and there is no better way to provide us the details than to take advantage of our Efficiency Lab. It is a free service letting you to send in a sample of your current blowoff product (typically homemade nozzles, open tube or pipe, snap together coolant hose, etc.), in return we will test it for you with our calibrated equipment and provide you a detailed report on air volume, force and noise. Then you will know the specific benefits of your recommended solution.

EXAIR's Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.
EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab is a free service to all US customers.

The fact is, we go into every conversation with the mentality of only providing solutions.  If we can’t provide it, we will try to direct you to someone that can.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Hard Work Leads To Good Results

A few months ago I wrote a blog titled Great Team Make-up about being an assistant coach for my oldest son’s youth football team. I take pride in the opportunity to work with young kids in teaching them the value of teamwork and showing them when you work hard, the results will speak for themselves. It’s not just about winning or losing, but rather learning to listen, be respectful (win or lose) and growing as a player.

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6 rushing touchdowns in a single game? I’ll take it.

The first 3 practices were no pads, no contact so these days were spent conditioning and learning offensive and defensive positions. (or as the kids called it – “The most boring thing EVER!”). We have been in full contact practice for the last 5 weeks and it’s pretty cool to see how much the kids have learned in such a short time. We’ve had a couple scrimmages but this past weekend we had our first real game.

As both teams took the field you could see the nervousness of the players and the anticipation of the coaches on both sides. When you start playing at 9:00 AM, with dew on the ground, it’s kind of difficult for 5-7 year olds to hold on to a wet football. The game started pretty slow and by halftime it was only a 6 point difference. The second half was much different, our team really started to “click” on offense. We had some great blocking up front coupled with some determined running backs and scored consecutive 65, 52 and 49 yard rushing touchdowns. On the opposite side, our defense tightened up and held their opponent to only 1 score in the second half leading to a 38-16 victory! It was awesome to see our group of young men (who were very recently mere 5-7 year-olds trying to hang on to the wet ball) so excited about winning and to see their effort pay off. As coaches we were equally satisfied that not only were we able to get the win, but to see these incredible kids execute what they’ve learned in practice and transition that to the game.

Here at EXAIR, our commitment to be the best in the industry is best reflected in the solutions we provide for our customer’s needs. Two of our most informative tools are the Application Database and Case Study Library. The Application Database is over 1000 applications in a problem/solution format, detailing various industrial processes and the EXAIR product solution. Whether you’re dealing with a static electricity issue, needing to provide cooling to critical instruments, drying product, looking to convey media or just needing to provide blowoff, chances are you will find the information you are looking for.

The Case Study Library is a database where you can see quantifiable benefits or ROI of installing EXAIR products. We typically show improvements in dollar savings, compressed air savings, production increases, noise exposure decreases and safety improvements focused on reaching important OSHA standards. We are always seeking new case studies and can offer an incentive or SWAG in return for providing us the details on your application. A great place to start is with our Efficiency Lab, where we can actually gather the details for you.

Some examples of the information we are looking to obtain:

  • A decrease in air consumption
  • Improved safety
  • Lowering noise level
  • Reducing the amount of rejects – increasing production

Give us a call at 800-903-9247 to team up with one of our application engineers to see how we can coach you to a win in your facility.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Harvard Stadium 57240 image courtesy of Ted Eytan, Creative Commons License