Compressed Air – Diagnose a Car Problem or Simulate Ape Breath

At the end of this week and all through next week, I will be taking my family to the “most magical place on earth!”  Keep in mind, I have three daughters at the ages of 5 (almost 6 if you ask her), 3, and 1. (Not to mention my wife who has spent endless hours researching and scheduling our events for the week.) It’s not just my household that is going on this trip though, it is my entire family, parents, siblings, teenage nieces, and one nephew.   I honestly don’t remember the last family vacation we went on with all of us there so it is going to be an amazing experience no matter what.

Cin-Orl
Cincinnati to Orlando = 13 hours (not with kids)

The trip from Cincinnati, OH to Orlando, FL is approximately 13 hours, factor in the children and parents ages and I am going to go ahead and say we are looking at 24 hours of travel, at least.   Now I am being smart, we are breaking this trip up into two days. I envision something that will look like a military convoy going down I-75 when the 3 vehicles all get going, the painful truth is it will look more like the Clampets move to Hollywood.

In preparation for the trip I have been doing some routine maintenance on our family van and discovered what I believed to be a rather bad coolant leak.  Now, I didn’t see the leak but I noticed the lack of coolant in the system.   So I started to conduct a few tests and oddly enough, they involved compressed air.   First I filled the system and pulled a vacuum on the entire cooling system to draw out any air.   Once I pulled around 11″ of mercury, I went ahead and turned off my compressed air vacuum generator and tried to see if it would lose vacuum.  It didn’t, so I then hooked a hose to a container of coolant and slowly released the vacuum sucking the coolant down into the system and eliminating the risk of air bubbles.

Since I couldn’t see a loss in vacuum I decided I would test the system under pressure.  To do this I simply removed the radiator cap and attached a special tool which would pump air down into the radiator and put the entire system under pressure, much like it would be during normal operation.  Once I built the pressure up to 15 psig, the factory cap was rated for 16 psig,  I let it sit.  I scoured every single coolant line I could find and came up dry.  Couldn’t find a single drop of coolant escaping the system at all and it even held pressure for a solid hour. Coming up with no leak I decided to give it a test drive and low and behold, I have yet to find a leak.  My only theory at this point is during some warranty work a dealership must have disconnected a hose and forgot to fill it back up, or it is normal evaporation seeing as how I don’t remember the last time I topped off the coolant.

The entire time I was troubleshooting this system I found it interesting I was still using compressed air in some form, even on a liquid cooling system.  I then started to wonder if I am going to be able to see any EXAIR products while at that magical park in Orlando, hopefully something like the Roaring Banana Breath that is featured in our Super Air Amplifiers section of the catalog. Our amplifiers also get used to puff air at folks during other “4D” experiences throughout the world.

banana
EXAIR Super Air Amplifiers help disperse banana scents into the air and into the face of patrons at a theme park ride.

Nonetheless, compressed air helped me determine that my family’s vehicle is not going to be spraying coolant on the roadway during this trip and I am glad for it.

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

 

Another Piece To The Puzzle

With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house.   Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up.  (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.

Cabinet Cooler

Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle.   Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit.  This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel.  More often than not, it’s not that easy.  We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.

This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us.  If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving.  It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.

The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options.   We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.

30 Day Guarantee
30 Day Guarantee

If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.

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

The Value Of Knowing

One of my many favorite shows as a child was the animated series G.I. Joe.  Through the main story line, they tried to teach a life lesson at the end of every episode.   Then the famous saying would come out.   “Knowing is half the battle.”  This has proved to be extremely true and helpful throughout my life and my career.

The biggest lesson that I believe I have learned is that when you don’t know the answer, ask for help.  Knowing the right person to ask is quite often just as good as knowing the information yourself.   This is why the Application Engineering team here at EXAIR is comprised of people from such diverse backgrounds.

If one of us is unfamiliar with your application there is most likely someone nearby who has been exposed to your industry or specific process.  For instance, I have a machine tool background, and you call to discuss discharge of our Reversible Drum Vac versus some other mechanical pump, then I may ask Justin Nicholl or Russ Bowman about the mechanical pump for help with understanding your situation.  This also showcases just how much of a team effort goes into solving problems for our customers.

Fortunately for us, the company also backs us up when we run across an unfamiliar process or problem. EXAIR’s 30 day guarantee allows us to get the product into your hands so you may test it risk free for 30 days. Test it within your facility under your conditions for a real world result. We enjoy learning about new processes and problems, plus we get to add this knowledge to our diverse experience.

Just in case you were wondering what kind of experience we have at our disposal, here is a brief listing of our core knowledge. If we were to include our internships, educations, field experience and people who are still at EXAIR but were once in the Application Engineering department, this list would go on and on:

  • Machine Tool
  • Injection Molding
  • Industrial Pumps
  • Natural Gas Regulators
  • Petroleum Nozzles
  • Compressed Air Hand Tools
  • Industrial Supply
  • Electronic Sensors / Transducers
  • Aerospace
  • Mechanical Power Transmission

So as you can see, if we don’t know about it or haven’t seen something like it,  chances are you have a unique application that we are still going to do our best to help with.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss one of our compressed air applications, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Knowledge Is More Powerful than Hardware

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went shopping for a wearable baby carrier for our new son. We had searched on the internet for prices and materials for the carriers, but to make the final purchase, we wanted purchase it from a store. With the rest of our baby purchases, I was able to talk to my brother, sister-in-law, or coworkers to get a feel for brands and products.  For some items, a brand name was well worth the expense, and for other items any version would do.  Some of the great advice we got was that any garbage can with a lid made a good diaper pail, because even the best smell eliminating filtration would not contain the smell that will build up, if you don’t change the bag early and often. However, when it came to a wearable baby carrier, it was a new age item in my family, so no one we knew had one we could try.

Also, we didn’t know anyone who was currently using a brand that gave a good review or had a lot of experience, so we had to rely on what we could put together from the internet. We surfed the internet and found videos put out by several companies and how-to’s done by the DIY folks, but couldn’t determine a clear way we wanted to go, because on the internet everything seems great. So, we pack the 5 day old infant up in the SUV, and head to the store to see what we can find. We went to the big box store and found some inexpensive carriers that came with all sorts of nylon fiber, straps,  and snaps, but no one was there to help us or had any idea, which product might work better for us.

book of knowledge

 

With the cost of the this carrier in mind, we went to the more boutique shop to see what we might find. The store is a small shop that is known for selling specialty products that are outside of the normal baby shower gifts. Here, we were greeted at the door by a helpful gentleman, who asked how he could help. He promptly pointed us the carriers he stocked and encouraged us to look around and open the packaging to see, if his products would work out for us. He freely admitted that he did not have a lot of experience with the specifics of each brand, but gave us the name and contact number of a clerk who specialized in the field. This clerk also taught classes to better understand how to use the product. The man encouraged us to attend the class and advised us, if we want to get one today, we would be welcome to return it. My wife was able to try the different brands, and see what work for her. With the baby carrier we eventually bought, we found detailed print instructions and a website that we could pull up on our phone with video and photos of several applications. She went ahead and tried out the carrier with the baby, and we browsed through the rest of the store.  After 45 minutes of shopping, my son was sleeping in the carrier and my wife successfully avoiding the women’s clothing section of the store. Whew

We purchased the carrier that day feeling confident that it would work for us, but knowing that if we had a problem that a person would be able to help us, if we returned the item. Though the man minding the store didn’t know the answers to all our questions, he did know how to get the answers to our questions, and encouraged us to try out his products to see, if they would fit our needs. When we got home and looked at what we bought, it really was a simple device – some fabric and a few metal rings that we may have been able to make or source ourselves. In most instances, I would have had a small amount of buyers remorse, because the product I had purchased was more expensive than what we could have purchased at the big box store. But with the confidence I had that the purchase was perfect for us, I would buy the same product again.

Working at EXAIR, I really enjoying sharing our success stories with other customers.  Though we are always going to speak about our products in the best light, we can tell you with confidence whether or not our products are going to work in your application. Having a knowledgeable sales staff that knows our products and its application is not an easy commodity to come by, but one that I value in the businesses from which I purchase. EXAIR’s Application Engineers are available over the phone, through email or with a chat. Don’t hesitate to ask any question about our products or your application.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

Image from Tessss. Creative Commons License

Who You Gonna Call?

This week the world lost a great writer, actor, and comedian with the death of Harold Ramis. Ramis is famous on screen for playing Dr. Egon Spengler in the movie Ghostbusters. What he wrote surprises me even more. Looking through Ramis’s IMDB page, I find most movies that I loved as a kid or that my dad quoted to me on a regular basis had Ramis’s name as a writer. Just to recap for the uninitiated in the cult of Ramis, his writing credits include Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This. He also directed Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Multipilicity, Bedazzled, and Year One. He also has a severely overlooked scene in Knocked Up as the grandfather to be. Talking to my wife I discovered, that she may or may not have seen the entire Ghostbusters movie, so now we have our big weekend plans.  I tried to get her to watch already, but she seemed distracted. I will just try again this weekend.  I’m thinking a Ramis marathon is in order.  I’m thinking CaddyShack, Ghostbusters, Ghostbuster 2 and Groundhog Day.

ghostbusters

The closest thing to a family rated movie in the list is Ghostbusters, though as I was reminded by my colleagues there are some off color jokes. Maybe it is best to find it on TV, if you are going to watch with the kids. One of my favorite scenes is when the hotel manager, played by Michael Ensign, has to call the Ghostbusters as a last resort. The hotel is a very ritzy joint, where problems like physics, logistics and ghosts should obviously be no problem for the immense amount of money it costs to rent out their grand ballroom. It is not in the movie, but you could imagine the Michael Ensign character has already called an exterminator, a priest, and the police.  None of these people have had any luck removing the green slimy ghost from the hotel. Therefore, on the night of a great party for an important guest, he has to stoop to calling the Ghostbusters.  Hilarity ensues.

After this scene, we are reintroduced to the great Ray Parker Jr.’s great Ghostbusters theme song known in my house as ““Who You Gonna Call?” Well if you have an industrial compressed air problem or general manufacturing question, EXAIR is a great place to start. With over 100 years of industrial experience available and 45 years with the company, the Application Engineers who answer technical questions here at EXAIR should be able to help you. Even if we don’t have the product/process for you, we have a wealth of contacts that provide cooling, blow off, coating, cleaning and painting options to help you solve your problem. Just don’t call us about ghost, we’ve got nothin’. We could help you create a ghost effect for your April Fools joke.  Air Amplifiers and some neon streamers under a black light can scare anyone, but I will use that in some other blog.

Harold R

Bye Mr. Ramis you will be missed!

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

Experience Is What Matters

Collectively EXAIR’s application engineers have 45 years with the company and 100 years of industrial experience. Each application engineer comes to us with “shop” experience and a college education. Between the two disciplines (real world and college experience), we can marry the practical with the hypothetical to find  the best answer to your compressed air challenges.

eng group

For me, I have industrial engineering and business management degrees. I’ve been a machine shop manager, manufacturing engineering manager, and a marketing product manager. Kirk comes from a family of industrial distributors and sold mechanical power transmission equipment for years, he also has a masters degree. Brian has mechanical engineering technology degree and was a service tech for a machine tool builder. Russ is schooled by the U.S. Navy in nuclear technology and has years of experience in the pump industry. Dave has a degree in mechanical engineering and worked as an application engineer prior to coming to us. Neal has a degree in industrial technology and worked his way through the ranks in the injection molding industry prior to EXAIR. Lee has an electro-mechanical engineering degree which he finished while working as an automotive technician and is also a six sigma black belt.

All this knowledge and experience is not confined to one individual.  Our cubicles are arrange so as to be in ear shot of one another. When you call in for technical support, you not only have the expertise of the engineer you are talking with,  but the entire engineering staff.

Being on the technical support line, we come into contact with hundreds of engineers from most every facet of manufacturing.  Be it industrial, textile, automotive, mining, power generation, paper/pulp, pharmaceutical or medical, we have had experience in serving these customers and more.

Need to update your compressed air system? Are you wanting to save energy by reducing you compressed air consumption? We would sincerely welcome the opportunity to serve you. Call one of our application engineers at 1-800-903-9247 [list of engineers ]

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

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