In case you are new to the EXAIR blog, we talk a lot about the intelligent and safe use of compressed air. Most manufacturing facilities in the world have point-of-use compressed air and that will also equal to any that do, probably have a handheld blowgun in their facility which may or may not be safe and efficient. This may very quickly be one of the most common tools used throughout some facilities and is often the most overlooked when safety and efficiency are a concern.
The Soft Grip Safety Air Gun is a versatile safety air gun from EXAIR that can easily replace most of the loud and inefficient blowguns in a facility. The option to choose from 14 different engineered air nozzles, most of which are also available in multiple materials to fit the application just right, will give the ability to fit any operator’s requirement for force and flow. Couple that with the ability to add one of 8 different extension lengths or 6 different stay set hose lengths, and it will give the operators exactly what they need for those hard-to-reach areas while staying out of harm’s way. Lastly, the chip shield adds yet another layer of protection for the users and can be adjusted up and down on the extension to fit each application’s needs.
If you aren’t sure whether the handheld blowguns in your facility would meet or exceed OSHA standards for dead-end pressure and allowable noise level exposure, contact an Application Engineer today and send one to us for a FREE Efficiency Lab and find out which EXAIR Safety Air Gun is going to meet or exceed OSHA standards and your expectations.
Years ago I was working with a pet food manufacturer who was having issues with their bag opening machine. The problem they had with their existing setup was the dust from manufacturing processes would get sucked into the venturi and start to decrease their performance. Hence, they needed a better solution that wouldn’t need to be replaced and could be cleaned.
The bags were empty, and this vacuum generator was positioned to pull the bag open. The bags were made of a non-porous material as they had a coating on them and thus the actual action of opening the bag was not difficult. Enter dust through the throat of a small venturi, and it caused several downtimes that were not scheduled. When looking at the performance characteristics of their existing system I crossed that over to an EXAIR model 840008M – Adjustable E-Vac w/ Straight Through Muffler. This unit was able to open the bag and hold it open for their machine needs. The throat passage of the unit was also larger than their existing generator and the biggest benefit, the Adjustable E-Vac could easily be taken apart and cleaned. To see how easy they are adjusted, which is the same method used to take them apart, check out this previous video blog linked in the image below.
The process changed from changing an existing vacuum generator out, scrapping the old one, and putting in a new one to keeping two on hand. One (EXAIR Adjustable E-vac) that is in operation and functioning, then after a designated amount of time (predictive maintenance), they change it out for the spare (EXAIR Adjustable E-vac) vacuum generator. The second part of the process involves breaking the used one down (without the need for any specialized tools), to clean each of the three pieces on the unit. The refurbished unit is then reassembled, benchmarked for performance, and put on the shelf for the next maintenance cycle.
While this system uses the same volume of compressed air as their previous solution, we still save money in the amount of unusable replacements they were ordering with repairable units, allowing them to keep a working spare on hand. So it saves the customer money on the life of the product. A further benefit is the customer can also get the EXAIR Adjustable E-Vacs quickly as they are standard stock item for us at EXAIR and can ship the same day on orders received by 2 PM ET.
If you want to discuss how an Adjustable E Vac makes sense for you and your team, contact an Application Engineer today!
EXAIR has provided the benefits of vortex tube technology to the industrial world since 1983. Prior to that, French scientist George Ranque wrote about his discovery in 1928 calling it the tube tourbillion. But it wasn’t until German physicist Rudolf Hilsch’s research paper in 1945 on the wirbelrorhr or whirling tube, that the vortex tube entered the minds of commercial engineers. Nearly 60 years later, EXAIR is a leading provider for cooling products utilizing vortex tube technology.
EXAIR Vortex Tubes produce a cold air stream down to -50° F and are a low cost, reliable, maintenance-free (there are no moving parts!) solution to a variety of spot cooling applications. These applications span a wide variety of industries and include cooling of electronic controls, soldered parts, machining operations, heat seals, environmental chambers, and gas samples. We’re always finding compelling new cooling opportunities for the vortex tubes.
So how does it produce the cooling stream? Compressed air is plumbed into the side port of the Vortex Tube where it is ejected tangentially into the internal chamber where the generator is located. The air begins flowing around the generator and spinning up to 1 million RPM toward the hot end (right side in the animation above) of the tube, where some hot air escapes through a control valve. Still spinning, the remaining air is forced back through the middle of the outer vortex. Through a process of conservation of angular momentum, the inner stream loses some kinetic energy in the form of HEAT to the outer stream and exits the vortex tube as COLD air on the other side.
The adjustable control valve adjusts what’s known as the cold fraction. Opening the valve reduces the cold air temperature and also the cold airflow volume. One can achieve the maximum refrigeration (an optimum combination of temperature and volume of flow) around an 80% cold fraction. EXAIR publishes performance charts in our catalog and online to help you dial into the right setting for your application, and you can always contact a real, live, Application Engineer to walk you through it.
EXAIR manufactures its vortex tubes of stainless steel for resistance to corrosion and oxidation. They come in small, medium and large sizes that consume from 2 to 150 SCFM and offer from 135 to 10,200 BTU/hr cooling capacity. Each size can generate several different flow rates, dictated by a small but key part called the generator. That generator can be changed out to increase or decrease the flow rate.
While operation and setup of an EXAIR Vortex Tube are easy, its performance will begin to decrease with back pressure on the cold or hot air exhaust of over 3 PSIG. This is a key when delivering the cold or hot airflow through tubes or pipes. They must be sized to minimize or eliminate back pressure.
I recently spoke with a customer who is a casting / machining manufacturer. They had an automated cell that was finish machining a feature on a cast aluminum part then placing it on a conveyor belt for an operator to pick up and continue processing.
The parts were placed 3 pieces wide per row and the conveyor would index with every three parts. The operator would pick three pieces up and transfer them to another station during the machining time. These parts were carrying residual machining coolant and debris onto the outbound conveyor.
The operator would blow them off with a handheld blow gun and all the coolant and chips would generally end up on the floor in the area causing a slip hazard. The focus of the project is to eliminate the safety hazards and leave the parts as clean as possible for the inspection and further process.
The metal parts were positioned similar to the parts I placed in the mock up picture below. The conveyor the customer has is an open mesh conveyor so the process will work better than if it was a solid belt like in the mock up.
The bulk of the concern from the customer was the outside of the part and they stated that anything to blow out the internal is a bonus. The objective is to get as much coolant off as possible. For that we recommended they span the conveyor with a Super Air Knife Kit to blow all the parts off at once. This is mounted closely in the mock up because the customer had space restrictions.
Then, because the parts are always placed in the same location with the same orientation we can locate the ID hole with a Mini Super Air Nozzle on a Stay Set Hose of varying length to reach each set of parts as they come through. Once I had the idea and the products in place I delivered the customer a quote and dimensional CAD file for each part.
Another recommendation was to use a regulator and filter to control just the knife then operate the three nozzles off their own regulator and filter so that the forces between the two can be varied and the performance of the other is not effected. Accompanying the models were installation sheets for each item as well. Followed by the pictures of this mock up for their application.
Needless to say the customer was amazed that we would go to such lengths just to give them more assurance than our 30 day guarantee. They were extremely thankful and are pleased we shipped from stock and met their installation window.
If you are looking for a creative solution, next level customer service, same day product availability, or just a nice human to talk to about compressed air, contact us.