The EXAIR Super Air Knife is THE ideal, efficient, and quiet solution for most any blow off application. We know this for a fact; we’ve been making them for years, folks all around the world have been buying them for years, and they keep coming back for more. They’re popular enough that over the years, we’ve introduced Mounting Systems and Plumbing Kits for ease of installation, and when Coupling Kits (to join multiple Super Air Knives together for greater lengths) became big sellers, we “upped our game” and started making Super Air Knives up to nine feet (108″) long. And certain applications (I’m looking at YOU, lumber and paper industries) order multiples of THOSE, and our Coupling Kits. Quite literally, there’s no job too big for EXAIR Super Air Knives.
No matter how long they are, though, the laminar, high velocity curtain of air they generate only moves in one direction. So, if there are significant geometric features (holes, bosses, recesses, “nooks & crannies,” etc.) to be blown off, we’ll have to look at something supplemental.
Enter the EXAIR Blowoff Systems…it doesn’t get any easier than this: an EXAIR engineered Super Air Nozzle, attached to a flexible, repositionable Stay Set Hose, mounted to a Magnetic Base. Put a hard hitting, high velocity, pointed flow of air right where you want it. If the next piece is different, that’s no problem – just bend the hose to re-aim the air flow.
No matter what the requirements of your blow off application are, we have an efficient, quiet, and safe solution. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
When I think of “special” in regard to Air Amplifiers, I’m more inclined to think of the applications they can be used in. I mean, the Air Amplifier itself is about as straight-forward as an engineered compressed air product can be:
Considering the simplicity of the product itself, they can be used for a large variety of “typical” applications:
There are no shortage of “special” applications either. They’re used successfully in Air Operated Conveyance applications (when the stronger vacuum head of a Line Vac isn’t required) and we’ve even got a customer who uses one instead of an E-Vac Vacuum Generator for a “pick & place” operation…they’re picking up small, porous fiber discs (sort of like a coffee filter) one at a time, and the E-Vac wanted to pick up a good part of the whole stack, no matter how low they turned the pressure. And of course, I can’t think of anything more special about Air Amplifiers than this:
With fifteen distinct models to choose from in a range of sizes (3/4″ to 8″,) materials (aluminum or Stainless Steel) and even a High Temperature model that’s rated to 700°F (374°C), we’ve still made a fair number of Custom Air Amplifiers too…thirty-four, to be exact, as of this writing.
I won’t bore you with all the details – I can’t, actually, because some of them are proprietary* – but here are some “regular” examples of “special” accommodations:
Connections: EXAIR Air Amplifiers have smooth bores on the inlet & outlet plenums that you can hose clamp a hose (or round duct) to if you need to get air flow from, or to, one place or another. Sometimes, though, they’re going in to an existing system, so we’ve made them with flanges (150#RF and Sanitary Tri-Clamp, for example) or threads (NPT or BSPP.) If you want to use something other than a standard hose or duct line, we can help.
Material of construction: Our durable, lightweight aluminum Super & Adjustable Air Amplifiers are just fine an awful lot of the time. Our type 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers will hold up to heat and corrosives. We’ve also in PTFE (Teflon™) as well as a range of metal alloys to meet specific corrosion or wear conditions. If your environment calls for a little something extra, we can help.
Assembly: Super Air Amplifiers are fitted with a stock shim that gives you published performance. We’ve got other thicknesses, though, if you need more (or less) flow, though. Adjustable Air Amplifiers are, well, adjustable…you just thread the plug in/out of the body until you get the results you want. Sometimes the user knows what shim they want in a Super Air Amplifier, or what gap their Adjustable Air Amplifier needs to be set to, and we can assemble it accordingly. If you have a ‘tried-and-true’ performance setting and want it met right out of the box, we can help.
Assembly, part 2: Good engineering practices call for lubrication on O-rings and threaded connections, and we use high quality, general purpose compounds when assembling our Air Amplifiers. These are detrimental, however, in certain situations (silicone exclusion areas, I’m looking at you.) If certain chemicals or compounds are prohibited by your application, we can help.
*Let’s say you’ve done the “heavy lifting” to call out one (or more) of these special design features. If we make a custom product (and that’s not just Air Amplifiers, by the way) using directions based on your time and labor, we’ll treat that product as proprietary to you, and you alone.
EXAIR has 208 catalog pages worth of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the shelf…8 of those pages are our Air Amplifiers. If you want to talk about customizing one to meet your needs, give me a call.
“Nothing happens until something moves.” -Albert Einstein
These five words are the foundation on which the science of physics is built upon. This statement not only applies to the things we can see, but to those we can’t…like heat transfer.
OK; technically, we CAN visually observe the EFFECTS of heat transfer…that’s called “reading a thermometer.” But the actual mechanism of heat transfer takes place at a molecular level, and concerns the rate of motion of those molecules: the higher the rate of molecular motion, the higher the heat of the material. Hence, the higher the rate of CHANGE of that molecular motion, the higher the heat transfer rate is.
All you need for heat transfer to occur is a difference in temperature between two materials. Contact, or even proximity, helps…but not always. More on that in a minute. And keeping at least one of the materials in motion can help maintain the temperature differential. We’ll unpack that a little more too.
Let’s start with the three ways that heat is transferred…what they are, and how they work:
What it is: The transfer of heat between materials that are in physical contact with each other.
How it works: If you’ve ever touched a hot burner on a stove, you’ve successfully participated in the process of conduction heat transfer.
What it is: The transfer of heat through a fluid medium, enhanced by the motion of the fluid.
How it works: If you’ve ever boiled water in a pan on a hot stove burner, you’ve successfully participated, again, in the process of conduction heat transfer (as the burner heats the pan) AND convection (as the heated water in the bottom of the pan both transfers heat through its volume, and moves to the surface.)
What it is: Remember what I said earlier about how you don’t always need contact or proximity for heat transfer? Well, this is it…the transfer of heat through empty space, via electromagnetic waves.
How it works: If you didn’t actually TOUCH the hot stove burner, but felt your hand getting hot as it hovered, then you’ve successfully participated in the process of radiation heat transfer. OK; it’s a little convection too, since the air between the burner and your hand was also transferring some of that heat. The best example of STRICTLY radiation heat transfer I can think of is the sun’s rays…they literally pass through 93 million miles of empty space, and make it quite warm on a nice sunny day here on Earth.
Regardless of how material, or an object, or a system receives heat, engineered compressed air products can be used to efficiently and effectively remove that heat. For the record, they employ the principles of both conduction and convection. If you’d like to discuss a heat transfer application, and the way(s) that an EXAIR product can work in it, give me a call.
I don’t want to sound “preachy,” but I’m a stickler for using the right tool for the job. Case in point: just the other day, I noticed (OK; my wife told me about) a loose drawer handle. I went to my toolbox in the garage to get a flat-head screwdriver, even though the drawer in question had a selection of butter knives, any one of which could have been used to tighten that screw.
I can trace this, without doubt or hesitation, to my service in the US Navy, under the direction of Senior Chief Cooper. Proper tool selection & use was VERY important to him. He stressed the issues of safety, quality, and performance, but if that didn’t work, he’d make his point with an offer to demonstrate the use of a specific tool (a ball peen hammer) on a sensitive part of your anatomy (it’s exactly the part you’re thinking of.) At that point, it would have been unwise (and unsafe) to question whether that was a proper use of the tool or not.
Likewise, there are safety, quality, and performance issues associated with compressed air blow offs. At EXAIR, we’re ALL sticklers about this, and we get calls all the time to discuss ways to get more out of compressed air systems by using the right products. Here’s a “textbook” example:
A hose manufacturer contacted me to find out more about our Air Wipes, and how they might be a better fit for their various cleaning & drying applications (spoiler alert: they are.) The blow offs they were using were made of modular hose, designed (and very successfully used) for coolant spraying in machine tools.
The selection process was two-fold: they purchased one Model 2401 1″ Super Air Wipeto verify performance, and they sent in some of their modular hose assemblies for Efficiency Lab testing. The first part was just as important as the second because, no matter how much air they were going to save (another spoiler alert: it was significant,) it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t get the job done. At the station shown above, the Super Air Wipe resulted in superior performance, and a compressed air cost savings of over $400.00 annually. For that one station. Based on that, they outfitted TWENTY FIVE stations with engineered product sized for their different hoses, using our Model 2400 (1/2″), 2401 (1″), 2402 (2″) and 2403 (3″) Super Air Wipes.
If you’d like to find out how using the right product for the job can help your operation, give me a call.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” might be the most popular axiom in any process improvement endeavor. And it’s true. We hear it almost every time we discuss a Digital Flowmeter application, and a conversation I just had with a customer was no exception.
Their business is growing, and they’re pushing the limits of their compressed air system. The use compressed air to run their CNC mills in their machine shop, for blow off/cleaning as they assemble products, as well as a variety of pneumatic tools throughout the shop. The CNC machines’ air load was pretty consistent…the rest of the shop; not so much. So they wanted to find out when their compressed air demand peaked, and what it peaked at, in order to make a more informed decision about upgrading their compressor.
So, they purchased a Model 9095-DAT Digital Flowmeter for 2″ SCH40 Pipe, with USB Data Logger. They installed it immediately, with the USB Data Logger set to record once a second…this told them their consumption at any given time over the course of the day. Every day at closing time, the shop manager pulls the USB Data Logger from the Digital Flowmeter and transfers the data to his computer. After just a few days, he knew exactly how much air they were using…and exactly when they were using it. He’s now using this data (in the short term) to plan certain operations around peak scheduling, and (in the long term) to know what they’re looking at for their next air compressor.
Do you know as much about your compressed air usage as you should? If you’d like to talk about how to measure…and manage…your air consumption, give me a call.
The Super Air Knife has been featured as the cover photo of every EXAIR Compressed Air Products catalog since I got here in 2011…except for Catalog #26 in 2013, which featured the Super Ion Air Knife. BIG difference, right there.
The highlighted application photos may change from catalog to catalog, but one that always remains is the iconic (I think, anyway) image of the Super Air Knives blowing off the orange soda bottles:
This is a darn-near ‘textbook’ application for the Super Air Knives…the even, laminar flow wraps around the bottles, stripping moisture away. Among other reason why this is important, it improves the next step in the process – the labels stick better.
In my younger, intemperate days, I’d join my friends at a popular watering hole to celebrate special occasions like…well, Tuesday, for example. Sometimes, there’d be a ballgame on the TV, or lively conversation, to entertain us. Other times, we’d make a game out of trying to separate the labels from the beer bottles, in one piece.
Some years later, I tried to teach my young sons this game…except with root beer bottles. It didn’t work near as well, because these labels adhered much tighter to the root beer bottles in my dining room than the ones on the beer bottles at the bar.
Some years after that (those boys are teenagers now,) I became an Application Engineer at EXAIR, and found out that this drying-the-bottles-to-make-the-labels-stick-better thing was for real, because I got to talk to folks in the bottling business who told me that the Super Air Knives had made all the difference in the world for their operation.
Just the other day, I had the pleasure of helping a caller who operates a micro-brewery, and had just installed a set of 110009 9″ Aluminum Super Air Knives for the express purpose of (you guessed it, I hope…) making their labels stick better. The only thing that could make it better, according to them, was if they could use less compressed air, and they were interested in what the EFC Electronic Flow Control could do for them.
As a micro-brewery, their production lines don’t run near as fast…nor do they want them to…as some of the Big Names in the business. As such, there’s some space between the bottles on the filling lines, and they thought that turning the air off, if even for a fraction of a second, so they weren’t blowing air into those empty spaces, would make a difference. And they’re right…it’s a simple matter of math:
Two 9″ Super Air Knives, supplied at 80psig, will consume 26.1 SCFM each (52.2 SCFM total). This microbrew was running two 8 hour shifts, 5 days per week. That equates to:
52.2 SCFM X 60 minutes/hour X 16 hours/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/yr = 13,029,120 standard cubic feet of compressed air, annually. Using a Department of Energy thumbrule which estimates compressed air cost at $0.25 per 1,000 SCF, that’s an annual cost of $3257.00*
Let’s say, though, that the micro-brewery finds that it takes one second to blow off the bottle, and there’s 1/2 second between the bottles. The EFC is actually adjustable to 1/10th of a second, so it can be quite precisely set. But, using these relatively round numbers of 1 second on/0.5 seconds off, that’s going to save 1/3 of the air usage…and the cost…which brings the annual cost down to $2171.00*
*As a friendly reminder that the deadline to file our USA income tax returns is closing fast, I’ve rounded down to the nearest dollar. You’re welcome.
That means that the Model 9055 EFC Electronic Flow Control (1/4 NPT Solenoid Valve; 40 SCFM) with a current 2017 List Price of $1,078.00 (that’s exact, so you know) will have paid for itself just short of one year. After that, it’s all savings in their pocket.
You know the drill. In almost any container of popcorn…whether it’s a movie theater bucket, a microwave bag, a stovetop pan (if you’re old school,) or a campfire popper (if you camp with class)…there’s always going to be some un-popped kernels. And if you don’t pay particular attention to them, they might just activate your dental plan.
This is, unfortunately, an unavoidable inconvenience when dealing with freshly popped popcorn. For a company that makes pre-packaged popcorn-based snacks, though, un-popped kernels are a real quality issue. I just had the pleasure of helping a caller with this very issue: although they had a sifter device in place that took care of an awful lot of un-popped kernels, they still had enough getting through to merit a closer look. Since the popcorn already passed through the sifter on a conveyor, the idea was to “float” the popped kernels across a short break in the conveyor, and let the un-popped kernels fall through.
After a short discussion of their needs, I recommended a Model 110224 24″ Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit. By using the Pressure Regulator (included with the kit) to dial in the air flow, they’re able to keep the popped deliciousness moving on for packaging, and let the dental hazards to fall through, where they’re sent back for another attempt at proper popping. So, they’re not only improving the quality of their product, they’re doing everything possible to make sure no kernel goes un-popped.
At EXAIR, we’re all about safety when it comes to compressed air use in industrial and commercial settings. Now one of our products is helping protect peoples’ teeth while they’re eating popcorn snacks! If you’d like to talk about how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product might be able to make things better for you, give me a call.