Tools Of The Trade: The Rotameter

EXAIR’s Free Efficiency Lab

One of the free services we offer to customers here at EXAIR is our Efficiency Lab. In case you are not familiar here is a brief synopsis. Speak with an Application Engineer about your existing compressed air blowoff/point of use product and that you would like to know how much air it consumes. Fill out the brief survey and send the product you use in to our facility. Let us perform tests on calibrated test equipment to determine the force, flow, and noise level. We will then issue you a report that states what the EXAIR model would best be suited (if applicable) as well as how much compressed air you will be able to save. Order the recommendation and start saving money.

To do these evaluations, we have to have calibrated equipment that is reliable and capable of handling vast range of products we may receive in. For this, we could use a Digital Flowmeter, in some cases that is what has to be done due to large flow rates. For the majority of these though we go old school. We utilize a piece of equipment called a rotameter.

A rotameter pairs nicely with a calibrated pressure gauge as well.
The float can be seen with graduated marks for readings. The taper of the chamber is not easily seen with the naked eye.

This is a device that is designed to measure the flow rate of a fluid within a closed tube. The inside diameter of the tube is varied which causes the float within the meter to raise or lower.  They are calibrated for a specific gas at a given pressure and temperature, most are calibrated for atmospheric conditions, 14.7 psi (1.014 Bar). The meter must be mounted vertically and this is not always best suited for industrial environments.

When testing products the compressed air within the meter is pressurized which means we have to correct the reading for the given pressure, if the temperature is outside of the calibration temp then we must also perform that correction. We do this using a table provided by the manufacturer of the meter or by using the calculations shown to get exact values that may be in between the pressures in the table.

Pressure Correction Table

 

This will allow us to then multiply the Correction Factor by the meter reading and calculate our corrected flow for the point of use device at a given operating pressure and temperature.

Temperature correction table

Knowing where the values that are measured and calculated come from add validity to the reports and understanding all of the variables that go into reading like this helps to better validate the cost savings that can be seen.

In a pinch, for a field estimation, we can also use these Correction Factors and determine an approximate consumption rate of a device that has been measured at a pressure such as our cataloged 80 psig (5.5 Bar). This can often be done on the fly to help determine the flowrates currently on a system. This can be helpful when troubleshooting, giving estimated simple ROIs, and help justify results and reasons for future purchases of engineered solutions.

If you want to discuss the Efficiency Lab or any of the math behind our calculations, contact any Application Engineer, we can all help out.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

EXAIR VariBlast Safety Air Gun

Air guns can be found in nearly any industrial facility that has a compressed air system within it.  From the maintenance department to the production floor, operators potentially use these for anything from, cleaning up work areas,  to blowing product out of a troubled spot in a process. Handheld blowoffs are often overlooked as a means to increase efficiency yet they are often observed as a means to increase safety.

Generic commercial air gun w/ cross cut hole in the nozzle

When evaluating efficiency the length of use for a handheld blowoff is often variable from operator to operator as well as changes even from each use.  Often, operators have several different uses throughout their day that require different levels of force needed to complete the job.  Most safety air guns don’t offer a variable force.  This means operators are full-force for all applications. This means full air consumption whenever that gun is used. EXAIR’s VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun can help to give operators the adjustability they need.

CE compliant, VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun saves air and increases safety.

The VariBlast Compact Safet Air Gun is available from stock with over a dozen options of different Super Air Nozzles as the end defector of the Safety Air Gun.  These are any nozzle up to a 1/8″ NPT thread size.  To couple with these engineered nozzles, we offer stock length extensions up to 72″ (1829 mm)  in length. This makes many applications that are hard to reach easily managed by the operators.

Different Length Extensions To Suit Nearly Every Application

To couple with the extensions and make sure the VariBlast Compact Safety Air Guns all meet or exceed OSHA standards for operator safety, we offer a Chip Shield accessory as well.

Chip Shields

If you would like to discuss how to lower the demand placed on your air compressor from blowoffs and want to better experience what true variability as well as what an engineered blowoff is capable of, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Benefits and Options for Safety Air Guns

EXAIR Safety Air Guns are available, from stock, with Chip Shields.

Throughout industrial environments, there are often manual cleaning or blow-off applications that are performed with compressed air. These operations vary in frequency, intensity, and how critical to the operation they may be.

When it comes to OSHA standards and comfort of operators, many of the solutions found in manufacturing do not meet the standards and are dangerous to operators.

This is where EXAIR steps in and focuses on the end application while coupling a high performing engineered solution with an ergonomic and safe handheld safety air gun. In other words, EXAIR safety air guns are safe, easy to use, and typically reduce compressed air consumption. Currently, we offer four types of handheld safety air guns.

The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun:

This is my personal favorite in our current lineup of safety air guns.  The compact size fits comfortably in the hands of operators. The multi-finger trigger with patented VariBlast function is easily controlled for extended periods of time. The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun also has two compressed air inlets. This gives the ability to plumb compressed air into the bottom 1/4″ FNPT port or the top 1/4″ FNPT which a safe way to run air hoses for virtually any work station. The 1/8″ NPT outlet permits enough airflow to operate up to our High Power 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle all the way down to our Atto Super Air Nozzle.  The patented design also delivers variable flow from any of the nozzles attached to operate anywhere from a gentle breeze up to a forceful blast.

The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun can also be coupled with an extension up to 72″ lengths as well as the Chip Shield to meet or exceed OSHA standards for compressed air cleaning.

The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun:

This safety air gun is the next step up in size and options as far as force and flow of compressed air go. The four-finger trigger and integrated hook design make this safety air gun ideal for industrial environments where a little more force is needed from the air to blowoff products.  The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun offers a 1/4″ NPT female thread inlet on the bottom and is available with up to an 1106 1/2″ Large Super Air Nozzle on the discharge.  This will deliver up to 60 SCFM of compressed air and provide 3.3 lbs of force from 12″ away.  The Soft Grip Safety Air Guns are also available with up to a 72″ extension and a chip shield.

Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns

Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun with extension.
eg. 1350-72

The Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun is even more robust than the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun and showcases a 3/8″ NPT female inlet to provide enough airflow to operate up to our model 1106 Large Super Air Nozzle as well to provide 60 SCFM  of airflow and provide 3.3 lbs of force.  Extensions are available in lengths up to 72″ with the addition of the chip shield.

 

Super Blast Safety Air Guns

Super Blast Safety Air Gun makes short work of large area cleanup.

The final Safety Air Gun offered is the Super Blast Safety Air Guns which are offered in four different NPT sizes. Ranging from 3/8″ NPT up to 1-1/4″ NPT and flows and forces from 56 SCFM providing 3.2 lbs of force up to 400 SCFM giving off 23 lbs of force.  These are available with an optional 3′ or 6′ extension to provide a robust blast for the heaviest cleaning or blowoff operation.

No matter the application, or amount of debris, EXAIR Safety Air Guns have an option that will fit the need while providing a safe and efficient solution. If you would like to discuss these further, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Back To The Basics: Process Improvement Basics

We understand that it is more important than ever to realize savings within manufacturing processes. EXAIR can reduce compressed air consumption and provide simple ROI in a matter of weeks in MANY cases.

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind wherever you are, there are certain processes that become muscle memory for you and certain processes that just work and don’t need any attention. Whether it be a login process for your computer network, the number of steps it takes to fill your coffee cup, or the compressed air applications in your facility.

You know what I am talking about, these items begin to get glanced over and often become overlooked. When going through process improvements or troubleshooting, it is easy to overlook processes which are not causing trouble or that have become “acceptable” because they are producing. EXAIR firmly believes compressed air applications are ripe for improvement, and our product lines are built to replace inefficient compressed air products with engineered and efficient solutions.

When evaluating a process for improvement creating a baseline is the necessary start. With this, we can then start to draw a realistic target of where the process needs to be in order to be optimized and document the changes from our starting baseline.

Much like the 6 Steps to Compressed Air Optimization, which starts with measuring compressed air consumption to provide a baseline.  Sometimes, this may require the installation of a Digital Flowmeter, others it may include taking advantage of our Efficiency Lab service for us to get a baseline of what air consumption and other key performance indicators are for your application.

Looking to “go green?” We can help.

Once we have the baseline and a target, we can then begin to design an improvement process. Whether this is implementing better controls for the air, such as pressure regulators, or implementing controllers such as the Electronic Flow Control, it may even be simply installing an engineered solution.  Once an improvement has been implemented we can then go on to the next testing phase to again gather data to see how much air was saved from the baseline.

EXAIR’s Free Efficiency Lab

Once the performance of the new process is determined then we can take the new cost of ownership numbers and give a simple return on investment back to determine what the actual savings by implementing these process improvements have amounted to.

The below example is from a customer who had already improved their static elimination application by using our Super Ion Air Knife instead of a homemade pipe with drilled holes. They further optimized the application with our Electronic Flow Control.

If you would like to talk through methods for process improvement or how we can help you determine these costs, please reach out.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF