EXAIR’s EFC is THE Way to Save Compressed Air

waste

Compressed air is the most expensive utility for most industrial facilities. The energy costs associated with the generation of compressed air can be very high. Because of this, EXAIR manufactures a wide range of products geared towards reducing your overall compressed air consumption.

The best way to save compressed air is to simply turn it off when it’s not being used. This might seem pretty simple, but there may be processes in your facility where this couldn’t be achieved by just turning a valve. In applications where product is traveling along a conveyor, and must be dried, cooled, or blown off, there is likely some spacing in between the parts. It isn’t necessary to keep the blowoff running constantly if there’s periods of intermittent spacing. To help reduce the overall load on the air compressor, implementing a solution to shut the air off in between each part can have a dramatic impact. EXAIR’s Electronic Flow Control, or EFC, is designed to improve efficiency by reducing overall compressed air usage. It utilizes a photoelectric sensor that detects when the part is present. When it’s not, it triggers a solenoid valve to close and shut off the compressed air supply.

efcapp

 

Let’s take a look at an example that shows just how much air (and $$) an EFC can save. We had a manufacturer of car bumpers that was using a Model 112060 60” Super Ion Air Knife supplied at 40 PSIG to remove dust prior to a painting operation. The bumpers were moving at about 10’/minute and had 1’ of spacing in between each part. The bumpers are only under the blowoff for 10 seconds, while 6 seconds passed with no part present. With a (3) shift operation, this translates to 1,440 minutes of nonstop compressed air usage per day.

A 60” Super Ion Air Knife will consume 102 scfm at 40 PSIG. Their current method was using a total of 146,880 SCFM.

102 SCFM x 1,440 minutes = 146,880 SCF

With the EFC installed, the air was shut off for 6 seconds reducing the airflow by 37.5%. With the EFC installed, the compressed air consumption per day was reduced to 91,800 SCF.

146,880 SCF x .625 = 91,800 SCF

As a general rule of thumb, compressed air costs $0.25/1,000 SCF. By saving 55,080 SCF per day, this manufacturer was able to save $13.77 per day. Since this was a 24 hour/day shift running 7 day/week, total savings for the year came in at $5,012.28. This easily recoups the costs of the EFC and then begins to pay you in less than 6 months.

55,080 SCF x ($0.25/1,000 SCF) = $13.77

$13.77 x 7 days/week x 52 weeks/year = $5,012.28

The EFC models available from stock can accommodate flows up to 350 SCFM. For applications requiring more compressed air, EFCs with dual solenoids are also available. If you have an application in one or more of your processes where intermittent compressed air use could help save you money, give us a call. We’d be happy to take a look at the application and help determine just how quickly the EFC could start paying YOU!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mal : TylerDaniel@Exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Drying A Heat Exchanger In Thailand

heat exchanger 1
Heat exchanger
heat exchanger 2
Heat exchanger

I was contacted by an end user of EXAIR products in Thailand looking for a way to remove water within their process.  The exact need was to blow off heat sink fins of a heat exchanger after leak testing.  To leak test, they would pressurize the heat exchanger and submerge in water, checking for air leaks.  After passing this test, the heat exchanger is transported to a conveyor line to be heated and dried.

Heat Exchanger schematic
Schematic of the heat exchanger drying process

The heat exchanger is rather large and heavy – 1200mm wide x 3000mm long x 500mm tall (approximately 47.25” wide x 118” long x 20” tall) and 300 kg (660 pounds) – and it slowly moves down a conveyor at 5m/min (16.5 ft/min).  When travelling down the conveyor, a need was identified for an efficient blow off to remove the residual water from the heat exchanger fins.

To remedy this need, we (EXAIR and our Thai distributor, OilPure) recommended (3) 48” Super Air Knives, installed along the width of the heat exchanger.  Two of these units are to be mounted on the top to blow the water through the fins of the heat exchanger, and a third is to be mounted on the bottom to remove any residual water left clinging to the fins.  Here’s a schematic of the proposed setup. We ultimately recommended to blow the top Super Air Knives straight down for maximum force air to assist the water through the fins.

heat exchanger solution
To support the knives, (3) 9060 Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems are recommended (per knife)

We added an Electronic Flow Controller to turn off the compressed air  during down time between heat exchangers.  By turning off the compressed air when no blow off is needed, we save compressed air and save cost in the process.

By understanding the need and specifics of the application, we were able to make a confident recommendation for this customer.  If you have a problem in your application and think an EXAIR solution could help, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help sort out all the details.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Get the Right Tool With the Features You Want

3914369090_4c586467d7

This year I made a decision to buy a new lawn mower. The previous one I had been using was purchased new about 15 years ago. Just like any new thing any technical oriented type of person buys, you have your own, personal critique of the things you like and don’t like about the current tool that affects your buying choices for the new one.

My old lawn mower was a front wheeled, self-propelled one that was either engaged all the time or off depending on the position of a locking lever you would push. To release it, you had to let go of the safety bar that kills the engine which then killed the engine. Not the best of designs. Also, the front wheels being propelled and not the back ones meant that the wheels with the least amount of weight bearing down on them had to pull the weight of the mower around. This was especially noticeable when the grass catcher bag was full. With this arrangement you end up with wheels digging into the grass/dirt and not really pulling the mower well. A side effect of that over the years; the drive wheels also wear down to a point where there’s no tread and in fact, holes where the nice tread used to be. The old mower did have a bagging attachment but the springs that hold the door down when in mulch mode wore out, so the wind created by the blade would blow grass clippings out all over the operator. A bucket and bungee cord fixed that issue.

Lastly and probably most importantly, the old mower was hard to start. It took the strength of a grown man to get the motor spinning fast enough that the spark would actually ignite the gas and the thing would run. To be quite honest, it never was really all that easy to start and keep running. But that’s one of those things you don’t figure out until you get the thing home and un-packed out of the box. I know, there’s the return policy from the store you buy it from, but that’s never as easy as advertised either. So, I messed around with it and tweaked here and there for 15 years.

This spring, I did my research on-line as well as in the store, comparing all the models available. I must say that there’s no shortage of features and accessories that the lawn mower design guys have cooked up. You can get electric start, self-propelled, 2 wheel drive, all-wheel drive, mulch, bag, side discharge, one blade, two blades, blade stop, electric, gas. You name it. You could get anything from an old-fashioned “reel” mower all the way up to a unit priced more than $1,000.00 USD for a residential quality, walk-behind mower.

I ended up deciding on the features and accessories that were important to me and selecting a middle of the road model that did have the all-wheel drive feature that would kick in and out depending on the position of the handle that the operator pushes on to get it to move. So, it matches the pace of the operator which is very cool and the wheels don’t spin all the time so you don’t tear up your turf or wear down the drive wheels. The unit started on the first pull each time and runs strong even through the thick, spring-time grass we have at the moment. I’ve used it twice now and am very happy I opted for a few of the features that I thought would really take away a lot of the pain in dealing with the “tool” to get the results I wanted with my “application” – cutting my grass.

At the end of this story, what does my lawn mower buying experience have to do with EXAIR and compressed air products?  The point is this, when you are looking at a Vortex Tube, an Air Knife or perhaps a Line Vac, remember, that we provide all of these items with all the possible accessories that one might need in an application to make for easy and convenient installation. Perhaps it is as simple as installing a suitable filter/separator that we recommend which keeps the air clean and dry or a regulator to give you finite control over blowing force from a Super Air Knife. Maybe you would even opt to install an Electronic Flow Controller in line with your Super Air Nozzle array so that it only operates when a target to be blown off is actually present.

EXAIR products are great at helping our customers manage their compressed air based applications. The accessories are also an invaluable set of tools to make the installation and use of our products a real pleasure. Back that up with our 30 day guarantee and a great group of Application Engineers to answer all your questions about the product and you begin to understand the kind of company that EXAIR strives to be.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com

 

Lawnmower image courtesy of jeffcovey.  Creative commons license.

Super Air Knife Used For Product Sorting

We recently announced the launch of the new 1126 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle, a marvel of its kind – compact, fully laminar, adjustable, and quiet.

Another laminar airflow product we manufacture is nothing new.  The Super Air Knife has been tried and tested for decades with new applications coming to light every day.  For example, in the sketch below we worked to integrate an EXAIR Super Air Knife (Aluminum) into a conveyor application in order to laterally move a low weight item from one belt to another.

SAK for product sorting

The air knife solution provides a vital function for multiple conditions in this application.  It allows for product movement in a fully lateral plane with little to no product disorientation in the event of a defect, or an overage on the main conveyor line.  Rejected items and workflow backup were causing unnecessary costs for this producer, and we were pleased to offer a solution.

When coupled with a PLC (similar to the EXAIR EFC – Electronic Flow Controller), the application was integrated with a time delay so that maximum energy efficiency was achieved.  No compressed air was wasted, and instantaneous blow off force didn’t have to be sacrificed.

This is an excellent example of how a disciplined and educated approach benefited an application.  If you know of an application with which EXAIR may be able to help, give us a call, email, or tweet.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE