The Sweet Taste of Floss Part II

Floss Stick
Floss Stick

In The Sweet Taste of Floss Part 1, I explained the benefits of using our Atomizing Nozzles to apply a liquid flavoring onto floss sticks. With that same customer, we had another opportunity to save them on compressed air and on liquid flavoring.

As described in their setup, they had a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. This operation was manual.  It would take the operators roughly 45 seconds to load the floss sticks.  The conveyor would move the rod through the spraying compartment in about 15 seconds.  The customer was worried about the continuous spraying and wondered if we could help in this operation.

Electronic Flow Control
Electronic Flow Control

They had a good concern because with a constant spraying, they could have an issue with fogging the work area and wasting the liquid cherry flavoring. My suggestion was to use the EXAIR model 9055 Electronic Flow Control (or EFC).  The EFC is a user-friendly controller that combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer.  It has eight different programmable on/off modes to minimize compressed air usage and in this case, liquid spray.  For this type of operation, the EFC worked great.  They did not need to manually turn on and off the system, or purchase a PLC that would require programming.  The EFC is in a compact package that is easy to mount and setup.

In evaluating their application, the Signal “OFF” Delay would be correct setting to run in this operation. (The EFC comes factory set in this mode).  The sensor will detect the part and open the solenoid immediately.  Once the part clears the sensor, then it will keep the solenoid open for the set amount of time.  For this project, they set the timer for 15 seconds.  They mounted the photoelectric sensor at the beginning of the entrance to the spraying compartment.  Once the sensor detected the rod that was filled with floss sticks, it would turn on the compressed air to the Atomizing Nozzles.  After the timing sequence hits 15 seconds, the EFC would turn off the solenoid which would stop the spraying.  It would rerun this sequence every time a rod would pass by the sensor.  This optimized their operation; especially when they had any issues with loading the rod with floss sticks.  It reduced their liquid and compressed air usage by 75%, and it kept the work area free of fog.

If you need an easy way to save on compressed air usage or in this case fluid, the EFC could be the device for you. It can save you much money in your operational costs, and during these economic times, we know that every bit counts.  If you are still a little “foggy” on the EFC, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR for help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.

The Sweet Taste of Floss – Part 1

Floss Stick
Floss Stick

A popular way to floss or clean between your teeth is with floss sticks. The floss sticks have a string of dental floss that is stretched between two posts and is attached to a handle.  This helps to get into those hard-to-reach areas.  A manufacturer of these floss sticks was wanting to put cherry flavoring onto the floss string.  They were not able to dip them, as the concentration of the flavor was too strong.  They needed a better way to apply a light coating of flavor.  In their research, they came across the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles.

As we discussed their setup, they explained that a mini conveyor that would carry a 24” rod that was filled with many floss sticks. The floss sticks would dangle on the rod, as they traveled through two separate compartments.  One compartment would spray the flavoring onto the floss sticks, and the other would dry the solution in an oven.  They gave me some details of the solution that they were using.  It was mainly water, some cherry flavoring, and an alcohol base to aid in drying.  So, the viscosity was very near water.  They did not have a liquid pump to move the solution to their spraying compartment.  This would not be a problem, as EXAIR has Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzles.  It uses compressed air to create a vacuum to lift fluid up to 36” high and to shear the fluid into a very fine mist.  This was key to the customer as they did not want to create any droplets on the handle of the floss sticks.

No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle
No Drip Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle

To determine the correct model, we had to dive a bit more into their application. They mentioned that they did some preliminary testing to find the correct amount of flavoring.  If it was too much, it would be overbearing, and if it was not enough then you would not taste it.  With the conveyor speed and the amount of flavor required, they determined that they needed a liquid flow rate between 1.2 to 1.4 GPH (gallons per hour).   From all the information that they gave me, I recommended 3 pieces of the model SF2020SS.  This is our No-Drip Flat Fan Siphon Fed Atomizing Nozzle.  The flat fan pattern was able to reach across the entire rod and hit all the floss sticks evenly.  With it being gravity fed at about 6” above the nozzles, the liquid flow rate of the model SF2020SS has a maximum of 0.5 GPH.  Thus the reason for 3 pieces in parallel. With a slight pressure adjustment, they could dial in the correct amount of liquid flow rate to get the perfect cherry flavoring.

The No-Drip option for the Atomizing Nozzles is a very nice accessory.  It will stop the liquid solution from dripping when not in use.  When the air pressure is shut off, a positive seal is created to not allow any liquid to bypass.  This was important in this application as the container holding the flavor solution was above the Atomizing Nozzles.  They set up one unit for demonstration, and they were amazed at how easy it was to use and how fine the particle spray was.  They did not have to worry about drips, lost solution, or inconsistent flavoring.

If you have a liquid that you would like to spray evenly, efficiently, and effectively; EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can do that for you. As for the customer above, the Atomizing Nozzles were cherry in applying the cherry flavoring.

 

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo by homejobsbymom with Creative Commons license.