I received an email from an engineer that was looking at our Super Air Nozzles. They currently were using four blow-off lines that were made from 6mm ID copper tubes. The system was designed to blow out holes after machining. The engineer was in charge of the task of optimizing 25 machining stations similar to this one. He was familiar with EXAIR products from his previous employment, and he recognized the waste of compressed air by using open pipe. He purchased four Nano Super Air Nozzle, model 1110SS, for a trial. He was impressed with the performance, the low sound level, and the engineered design in safety. But, for upper management in his company, he had to show a cost savings in order to change all the stations in the facility. He asked me to help him in calculating the compressed air savings.
He gave me some additional details about their application. He was using the compressed air about 30% of the time throughout an 8 hour day at a pressure of 80 PISG. He wanted to present the savings per day, week, and year as well as the payback period in his evaluation. I have performed many of these calculations for other customers and was happy to help. It is sometimes easier to speak in terms of savings, as everyone can relate to money, especially management.
Flow: 1110SS Nano Super Air Nozzle – 8.3 SCFM at 80 PSIG
The Calculator tells us you will see a ROI (Return on investment) is less than 5 days! And will save you $3,033.00 over a full year on compressed air generation cost alone!
Don’t be fooled by the initial cost of a tube, pipe, drilled holes, or a substandard nozzle. You can see by the facts above, if you use any additional compressed air in your blow-off application, it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. If you need any help in calculating how much money EXAIR products can save you, you can use our Air Savings Calculator from our website, or you contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help you.
Well, the obvious answer is, of course, an engineered air nozzle…you’re likely aware of this, or you wouldn’t be reading posts on the EXAIR Corporation blog. We have no issue with narrowing that down a bit, and saying that the answer is an EXAIR air nozzle. I bet you knew that was coming as well. So let’s assume that, because of the cost of compressed air, the potential hazards of its unregulated discharge, and the flat-out racket it can make (unless you do something about it,) you’re looking for something efficient, safe, and quiet.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s unpack that question. The nature of the application will let us know the airflow pattern & characteristics (mainly flow & force) that we need.
For example, if you need just a pinpoint of airflow, our Atto Super Air Nozzle blows a 1/2″ diameter pattern at a distance of 3″. Get a little closer than that, and it’s as tight as you want it to be. Now, it’s only generating a force of 2oz (at 12″ away) but keep in mind that’s all concentrated in a small fraction of an inch diameter. Which is plenty for most applications that need that precise of an airflow.
If you DO need a little more flow & force, our Pico and Nano Super Air Nozzles offer incremental increases in performance. The pattern starts to widen out, but that’s a function of the increased flow expanding in to atmospheric pressure…it has to go somewhere, you know. But, again, the closer you get, the more focused the flow is to the centerline of the nozzle.
On the other end of the spectrum are EXAIR’s High Force Air Nozzles. These are particularly useful for stubborn blowoff applications – a foundry blowing slag off hot strip as it cools, for example. Our largest of these, a 1-1/4 NPT model, generates 23 lbs of force…that’s over 25 times the power of our standard Super Air Nozzle.
Speaking of the standard Super Air Nozzle, it’s the most popular answer to the Big Question. It’s suitable for a wide range of blowoff, drying, and cooling applications, like the kinds of jobs an awful lot of folks use open end blowoff devices on. Open ended tubes blow out a great amount of air, but they’re wasteful and noisy, and OSHA says you can’t use them unless you regulate the pressure to 30psig…where they’re not even going to be all that effective.
If you’ve got a 1/4″ copper tube, for example, it’ll use 33 SCFM when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. It’ll for sure get the job done (albeit expensively, when you think of all that compressed air consumption,) but it’ll be loud (likely well over 100 dBA) and again, OSHA says you can’t use it at that pressure. So, you can dial it down to 30psig, where it’ll be marginally effective, but it’s still going to use more air than the Model 1100 1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle does at 80psig supply pressure. The hard hitting force of the Model 1100, under those conditions, will make all the difference in the world. As will its sound level of only 74 dBA. Not to mention, it’s fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b). Oh…and you can even install it directly on the end of your existing tube with a simple compression fitting.
We’ve also got engineered Air Nozzles smaller than the 1100 (all the way down to the aforementioned Atto Super Air Nozzle) and a good selection of larger ones, including Cluster Air Nozzles that hold tighter airflow patterns than similar performing single Super Air Nozzles. They’re available in materials ranging from Zinc-Aluminum alloy, bare aluminum, brass, 303SS, 316SS, or PEEK thermoplastic polymer to meet the requirements of most any area of installation, no matter how typical or aggressive.
If you have an loud, wasteful, and likely unsafe blowoff, you owe it to yourself and everyone else who has to put up with it to consider a better solution. Call me; let’s talk.
Russ Bowman Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook
The patented design of EXAIR’s 1” and 2” Flat Super Air Nozzles makes them a highly efficient option when seeking a powerful, flat airflow. A precise air gap across the width of the nozzle provides a forceful stream of high velocity, laminar airflow without consuming high amounts of compressed air and also resulting in a greatly reduced sound level compared to some of the alternative flat nozzles available in the market.
Did you know that upgrading to an efficient engineered air nozzle, such as the 1” or 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle, can make you eligible for an incentive from your energy provider? Similar to other energy-saving programs for upgrading to LED light bulbs or high-efficiency HVAC systems, these are made available to you as an incentive to start using more energy efficient products.
The energy costs associated with the generation of compressed air, often referred to in industry as a 4th utility, can make it expensive. These programs are offered to encourage you to use engineered products that are more energy efficient due to the reduction in compressed air consumption. Essentially, they’re offering you free money to implement a solution that will also save you money. It almost sounds too good to be true!! But these products, after implementation and receiving the incentive, will continue to save you money year after year.
The US Department of Energy, in conjunction with the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, provides a website that allows you to search the various programs available to you in your state. The DSIRE® website allows you to select your state, then select your energy provider to determine what programs are offered.
In Southwest Ohio, Duke Energy provides an incentive that offers $40 USD each per engineered air nozzle that is installed. When replacing open pipe or tube, these nozzles generally pay for themselves relatively quickly. But, when combined with a $40 USD rebate, that return on investment happens even quicker!!!
Don’t leave free money on the table. If you’re using open pipe or tube, or inefficient plastic flat nozzles, replace them with an engineered air nozzle from EXAIR. If you need help determining what rebate programs are available to you in your area, we’re also here to help. Contact an EXAIR Application Engineer today!
The EXAIR Soft Grip Super Air Scraper is a great tool for any industrial environment that requires some cleanup. Some examples include removing tapes or sticky metal chips from the floor, scraping material from screening towers or removing stubborn adhesives and labels from workstation tabletops. They are available with extensions up to 72″ so reaching remote areas is also easier.
Today’s video is going to showcase how easy it is to replace the scraper blade within the nozzle and get back to work quickly.
If you would like to discuss how the Super Air Scraper could benefit your facility, contact us.
Compressed air, as a utility, dates back to ancient Egypt, where metal alloy production was enhanced by using bellows devices to force air into furnaces in order to generate the extremely high temperatures needed to meld iron ores. Major industrial use began in the mid-19th century, as pneumatic drills became popular for tunneling and mining operations. With the development and large scale production of the modern air compressor in the 20th century, many other uses for compressed air were discovered.
Among the most prevalent of these additional applications is cleaning & blow off. Mechanical or chemical methods such as washing, scrubbing, brushing, wiping, etc. often take time and considerable effort, when a quick blast of high velocity air from a pressurized source can make quick work of debris and/or moisture removal. Thing is, unfettered discharge of high pressure air without concern for safety or efficiency has consequences:
Open end blow offs without a relief path for the air in case the device is dead ended, can have enough energy to break the skin, causing a dangerous and potentially fatal condition known as an air embolism. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifically addresses this danger in 29 CFR 1910.242(b).
They’re also incredibly loud, usually higher than 100 decibels, which exceeds OSHA’s noise exposure limits per 29 CFR 1910.95(a).
As if that wasn’t enough, they can waste an awful lot of compressed air too. The U.S. Department of Energy even goes so far as to classify it as an Inappropriate Use of Compressed Air.
Given these drawbacks, you might wonder why ANYONE would do such a thing! Well, that’s the nature of our business at EXAIR Corporation: manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry. Among these are the first engineered products developed by EXAIR: Air Nozzles and Jets. No matter what your blow off needs are, we’ve got a solution. Consider:
Durability. Some environments where blow off is required are downright aggressive: high heat, exposure to corrosive chemicals, etc. With these situations in mind, we offer Air Nozzles & Jets in a variety of materials of construction, as shown to the right:
Zinc Aluminum alloy
Types 303 and 316 Stainless Steel
PEEK (polyether ether ketone) thermoplastic
Range of operation. Any blow off device’s performance can be varied by regulating the compressed air supply pressure. EXAIR offers several products with even greater ability for change:
The Model 1009 (Aluminum) and 1009SS (303SS) Adjustable Air Nozzles have a micrometer-like dial that allows you to very precisely set the flow & force to exact requirements.
Adjustable Air Jet Models 6019 (brass) and 6019SS (303SS) feature similar operation with a micrometer-like gap adjuster/indicator.
Our 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles (available in Zinc Aluminum or 316SS) have a replaceable shim. The standard models have a 0.015″ thick shim installed, and the High Power models have 0.025″ thick shims. We also offer individual shims, and sets, ranging from 0.005″ to 0.030″ thicknesses.
High Velocity Air Jets come in brass or 303SS, and also have replaceable shims. The one that comes installed is 0.015″ thick. The Shim Set gives you a 0.006″ and 0.009″ shim.
Function. Most of our Air Nozzles generate a high velocity air stream coming straight from its end. We’ve also engineered some nozzles for specific applications:
Model 1144 2″ Super Air Scraper is our popular 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a corrosion resistant scraper blade, making quick work of removing stubborn materials like tape, gaskets, labels, grease, paint, or sealant. It’s particularly handy when installed on a Soft Grip Safety Air Gun with an appropriate length of pipe extension.
Back Blow Air Nozzles are made to clean out inside diameters or blind holes. Three sizes are available for ID’s of 1/4″ to 16″.
If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can help you get the most out of your compressed air system, give me a call.
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The Second Step to optimize your compressed air system is to Find and fix leaks in your compressed air system. The reason leaks are important to find and fix is because they can account for 20-30% of a compressors total output. A compressed air leak fixing process can save 10-20% of that lost volume.
Unintentional leaks will result in increased maintenance issues and can be found in any part of a compressed air system. Leaks can be found at a poorly sealed fitting, quick disconnects and even right through old or poorly maintained supply piping. Good practice will be to develop an ongoing leak detection program.
The critical steps needed for an effective leak detection program are as follows:
Get a foundation (baseline) for your compressed air use so you have something to compare once you begin eliminating leaks. This will allow you to quantify the savings.
Estimate how much air you are currently losing to air leaks. This can be done by using one of two methods.
Load/Unload systems, where T= Time fully loaded and t=Time fully unloaded:
Leakage percent = T x 100
(T + t)
Systems with other controls where V=cubic feet, P1 and P2=PSIG, and T=minutes
Leakage = V x (P1-P2) x 1.25
T x 14.7
Know your cost of compressed air so you can provide effectiveness of the leak fixing process.
Find, Document and Fix the leaks. Start by fixing the worst offenders, fix the largest leaks. Document both the leaks found and the leaks fixed which can help illustrate problem areas or repeat offenders, which could indicate other problems within the system.
Compare the baseline to your final results.
Repeat. We know you didn’t want to hear this but it will be necessary to continue an efficient compressed air system in your plant.
Safety is a key part of our culture at EXAIR Corporation. We have regularly scheduled, all-hands required, safety training on a number of topics. Our Order Entry team can likely tell you as much about our lockout/tagout procedures as our Machinists can. Nobody even thinks about entering The Shop without safety glasses, and it’s not just because of the signs.
OSHA 1910.242(b) states that “Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. and then only with effective chip guardingand personal protective equipment.“ (emphasis mine) All EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to meet the requirements of the first part (30psi outlet pressure to prevent dead ending…we’ve written about that numerous times, including here, here, and here) and we can also provide pre-installed devices to satisfy the second part: the EXAIR Chip Shield.
Any EXAIR VariBlast or Heavy Duty Safety Air Gun can come fitted with a Chip Shield, and any Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, except for those with Stay Set Hoses, can as well. Safety Air Guns with Back Blow Nozzles automatically come with a Chip Shield. The principle is simple: a clear polycarbonate (so you can still see what you’re doing) round disc slips over a short (or long if you want) pipe extension between the gun & the nozzle. It’s fitted with a rubber grommet so you can position it to where it’s most effective – sometimes that might be closer to the part being blown off; sometimes it may be back a little closer to the operator.
If you already have an air gun that’s doing the job, you can easily add an EXAIR Chip Shield to it. They’re made to fit a wide range of extension diameters, and can even come with the extension if you need it. We also stock a number of adapter fittings; if you know what threads your air gun has (or if you can send us some photos) we can quickly & easily spec those out for you.
Since 1983, EXAIR Corporation has been manufacturing quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products for industry (emphasis mine.) If you have concerns or questions about safety in regard to your compressed air use, call me.
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