For many years we as Americans wanted to biggie size, super size, or mega size anything and everything we could. For myself that mainly meant the fries and drink I used to get at any local fast food joint. Now that I have hit my mid-30s and all of that has started to catch up to me, I don’t always want the large fry or any fries at all, instead I might try a new salad and trying to eat healthy. Here at EXAIR, we don’t always associate bigger with better but we do always fill the need when we don’t have something off the shelf.
However, there are still occasions where going super size is necessary and this week, we did just that. We had a customer ask if we can go bigger on our Super Air Wipes. We simply asked how big they needed to go and what the reasoning is for it. Turns out, the reasoning for the larger Super Air Wipe was a newly designed automated cell in a pipe manufacturing facility. The stock 11″ was too small to fit the 11″ max. diameter piece through to blow off debris so they requested a 12″ Super Air Wipe. To top off the customization, they were also in need of BP threaded air inlets.
Within a matter of weeks our customer has gone from a product they didn’t know was possible, to shipping out to their site. This is a one off, custom machined, Super Air Wipe that has a 12″ Throat Diameter. The only parts on this that are from our standard stock are the bolts, stickers, and the connecting / hinge plates(The clam shell design requires these.).
If you have an application where you don’t think we have exactly what you need or maybe you need to go bigger, or smaller, than what we show in the catalog don’t move on and try to find something else. Give an Application Engineer a call and we will see how we can tailor our products to your exact needs.
Below is a video showcasing the model 6850 Drum Cover. The Drum Cover is a new product from EXAIR that will help to filter pneumatically conveyed products from the air used to move them. If you would like to discuss a conveyance application or whether this product would fit your need, please contact an Application Engineer.
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.
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.
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.
When the operating air pressure within a manufacturing facility drops it is easily noticed. This is because the equipment that is depending on that air pressure to stay above a set point will generally stop working and halt in an alarm state safely. (This is not always the case and in fact I have personally seen machines crash due to low compressed air pressure.) This creates down time, safety hazards, equipment hazards and is all around not good for production. This is why low pressure alarms are taken very seriously in most facilities.(See the video below.)
Sometimes the reason behind low air pressure in areas is easy to find. If the alarm happens every time a machine reaches a point in the production cycle where air is used to blow parts off then the point of use blow off can be looked at to see how its efficiency can be maximized. Other times it is not so simple. There may not be a pattern to when the low pressure alarm goes off and therefore cannot be easily traced. This is where the 6 Steps To Compressed Air Optimization comes in to play. The best way to narrow down what area the fault is generating in is to get some base line measurements on the total air usage for the system by using a product like the Digital Flowmeter with USB Data logger.
Once the baseline is known for the complete system, measuring the main branch lines for the systems will then need to be performed. This could be on the main header where it branches off to individual areas of the plant, or if it is a small shop any line that is off the main header. By recording the usage over a period of time it will highlight use trends including low use/high use times and random spikes in demand you may not be aware of. The next step would be to then look further into the high use and random spikes. If a flow meter is placed on individual legs of the air system, it will be easier to determine what area of the plant is causing high use, or knowing what processes occur during the time period shown in the data.
By having flow meters on individual branches the cause of the high demand on the compressed air system will become very clearer, whether it be an open pipe blow off, stuck valve on a drain, or just an operator not paying attention, the cause will be able to be determined and eliminated.
EXAIR offers a full range of Digital Flowmeters with USB data loggers and we offer custom calibrations as well as sizes to fit virtually any compressed air piping you may have within your facility. Feel free to contact an Application Engineer to discuss the possibilities.
Over the past year I received a contact from a professor and student combination from Madison Area Technical College inquiring about the sizes available for our Line Vac products. They were using a 2″ Line Vac in one of their automation class labs and wanted to try something a little bigger for a new project. The 2″ Line Vac was one they had used in the past on different projects and had always worked well. The new project however increased the bag size and made the conveyance difficult for the 2″ Line Vac.
With the picture below of their current setup and a good understanding that they will be placing three items into a heat sealed bag that is roughly 3″ long and 2″ wide we settled on using the 3″ Aluminum Line Vac at a low pressure to convey the baggies to their secondary function. As you can see in the video below, the Line Vac is activated by a sensor and operates for just seconds in order to convey the bag of parts successfully to the other side of the machine cell where the bag is then picked and placed by a robotic arm.
After the project was completed we received a mention through social media, as well as a brief video showcasing the Line Vac in use. The video showcases how easy it is to install an EXAIR Line Vac into a tight space where adding other conventional mechanical conveying systems would be considerably more elaborate. The Line Vac is being controlled via a PLC that energizes a solenoid valve on a timer to convey the package in a matter of seconds.
We are very pleased to see the projects these kids turned out, and the leadership shown by Peter, their instructor. Manufacturing programs such as this one at Madison Area Technical College are important for our economy and for the future of these kids. We’d like to congratulate them all on their accomplishment.
If you have a project you are trying to move products from one point to another, contact us. If you are a professor, student, or even a mentor to an educational program that would benefit from EXAIR products, please contact me directly.