Application Database: Compressed Air Use in the Food & Beverage Industry

EXAIR uses many different methods to connect with our customers.  We have our website, social media, blogs, publications etc. We like to share solutions for some of the most common pneumatic problems in the industry.  EXAIR generated a large collection of application information where EXAIR products have already solved problems and improved processes.  We organized them by Application and by Industry.  In this blog, I will show you how to use the Application database; specifically, for the Food and Beverage Industry.

Compressed Air Systems are considered to be a fourth utility within industries because they use a large amount of energy.  Whether an air compressor uses fuel for portable units or electricity, it is important to use this system as efficiently as possible.  This would apply to the Food and Beverage industry.  EXAIR has a library of different processes in which we already improved these areas safely and efficiently.  If you are in the Food and Beverage industry, it would benefit you to take a peek at the implementations where we already improved, establish OSHA safety, and saved money.

Here is how you can find this library.  First, you will have to sign into EXAIR.  Click here: Log In.  Once you fill in the proper information, you can then retrieve a great amount of resources about EXAIR products that we manufacture.   The Application Database is under the Knowledge Base tab.  (Reference photo below).

At the Application Search Library, we have over one thousand application that we reference.  In the left selection pane, we organized then in alphabetical order under two categories, Applications and Industry.   (Reference photo below).

Scroll down in the selection pane until you come to the sub-category: Industry.  Under this Sub-category, you will find three selections that are related to this blog: Food and Beverage, Food Packaging, and Food Processing.  We have other applications that may relate to your process like; Beverage Bottling and Beverage.  You will find many applications that EXAIR has already helped to improve and it is documented.

Why is this important?  If you are a plant manager or owner, the value of the Application Database can improve your current processes with pre-qualified results.  Within the Food and Beverage industry, simple solutions can be found to address those “nagging” issues that you see every day.  For crisis situations and shutdowns, EXAIR categorized these applications in a way to reference quickly and easily.  And since EXAIR has a high volume of stocked quality items, we can get the parts to you very fast; minimizing downtime.

In today’s market, companies are always looking for ways to cut cost, increase productivity, and improve safety.  EXAIR can offer engineered products to do exactly that.  With the “been there and done that” solutions already described in the Application Database; you can have confidence in finding a way in solving pneumatic issues.  If you do not sign up at www.EXAIR.com and take advantage of these offerings, you will be missing out on a great tool in optimizing your compressed air system.

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

 

 

Solving Static and Increasing Print Quality on Food Packaging

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A yogurt company printed bar codes on every cup that they produced. This was necessary for registering and tracing their product. After failing a bar code reader quality test, they started noticing some print issues during batch runs. They would have to stop their system, clean the inkjet printer head, and scrap product that would not register with the bar code reader.

This affects production rates, scrap rates, and overall cost. They stated that they threw away 30 to 40 cases per batch of yogurt due to this problem. They had an EXAIR catalog where they found a similar application within our Gen4 Static Eliminator product line. They contacted us to see if we could find a solution.

With non-conductive material like plastic, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather. Static can be in a negative state or a positive state dependent on the material. For opposite charges, things are attracted to each other and will “stick” like magnets. For similar charges, they will repel each other. The higher the static charge, the stronger the force.

For the company above, the yogurt cups moved along a 7” (178mm) wide conveyor before they reached the bar code printer. This movement causes static to be generated on the surface of the cups. But, what about the inkjet printer? The function of the printer charges the ink droplets for direction and positioning. Since the ink droplets and the cup surfaces have the same charge, the droplets were being “pushed” back toward the printing head (reference photo below). Thus, the ink would dry on the surface and affect the quality of the bar code.

Bar Code Printer

When it comes to removing static, EXAIR is a leader in this market. We have a large product line of different types of Static Eliminators. Our design generates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge. Since we only had to remove the static from the surface of the cup, I recommended a Gen4 Ionizing Bar. With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before the bar code printer with only one Gen4 Ionizing Bar. For this application, I recommended the model 8003 3” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and a model 7960 Gen4 Power Supply. Together, it was very easy to mount and start using. EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day. When you are losing 30 to 40 cases, time matters. And for this company, they received the items the next day to correct the misprints and short printing runs.

Gen4 Ionizing Bar w/ power supply

When problems occur, time can be of the essence. This is why EXAIR stocks our cataloged items for fast delivery.  For the company above, they had an EXAIR catalog which helped them to find a solution. If you would like to have an EXAIR catalog, you can click here to get one.   After they started using the Ionization Bar, the static was removed, the bar code was clean, and the operation ran smoothly. If static is causing issues for you, you can contact EXAIR and speak to one of our Application Engineers. We will be happy to assist you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Compressed Air Use in the Food and Beverage Industry

On our Website we have a comprehensive database of applications we have worked on with our products. These are pretty easy to find, Johns Blog will walk you through the process on how to access these applications.  While John covered Compressed Air Use in the Construction Industry, I will be covering Compressed Air Use in Food and Beverage Industry.

Appdata2
Application Database

EXAIR products are very commonly used in the food and beverage industry, from blowing water off cans before labeling, to conveying food products to hoppers for processing.  See three examples from our application data base;

foodbev1
Super Air Knife in meat processing
foodbev2
EXAIR Line Vac used in almond packaging process
foodbev3
Super Air Knife clean excess flour off belt

Use our Application Assistance Worksheet to submit information about your application. When you submit this information, we will respond with our recommendation for the EXAIR product best suited for the application. Please complete the Application Assistance Worksheet and click submit or print the completed .pdf file and fax it to us at (513) 671-3363. For immediate help, call our Application Engineering Department at 1 800 903-9247.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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Twitter: @EXAIR_JS

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers Eliminates Worry of Shutdowns

316SS Electrical Panels

A food and beverage company had 316SS NEMA 4X (IP66) electrical panels inside their facility.  The reason for the stainless-steel construction and NEMA 4X or IP66 rating was for the periodic washdowns with an aggressive cleaner.

This particular company had a bottling process and inside each panel, sensitive electrical components would control the operation of the system.  The panels were fitted with Freon type air conditioners to keep the electrical components cool.  One day, they had an A/C unit that failed, and it shut down their system for half a day.  For a bottling company, a shutdown for this long stopped many bottles from being processed which costed much money from loss of production.

They had four panels that were setup similar right next to each other.  They were fitted with 1,700 BTU/hr freon system on each panel.  In this situation, one of the refrigerant compressors failed.  They had to hire a mechanical serviceman with a license to work on Freon systems.  Because of the length of time to get their system restarted, they were losing money every minute.  This emergency call really hindered the entire bottling process.  In fear of another shutdown, they contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them.

Even with constant maintenance, the life span of a Freon system is only around five years.  (It can be even shorter if preventative maintenance is not scheduled regularly). Any mechanical system with moving parts will wear out and fail.  EXAIR Cabinet Coolers use the power of a Vortex Tube which only needs compressed air to generate cold air.  With no moving parts to wear or unsafe Freon to leak, they are designed to keep your electrical components cool and operating for a very long time.  Trying to predict failures with refrigerant systems is very difficult to determine; but, with the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems, it takes that worry away.

EXAIR NEMA Type 4X Cabinet Cooler System

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are manufactured in a variety of options and types to meet different application requirements.  For the food and beverage company above, I recommended the model 4830SS-316 Cabinet Cooler System to replace each of the A/C refrigeration systems.  The model 4830SS-316 would meet the cooling requirement with 2,000 BTU/hr capacity, the NEMA 4X (IP66) rating of the panel, and the 316SS construction to withstand washdowns.  The complete system includes the Cabinet Cooler, a filter, cold air distribution kit, a thermostat and a solenoid valve.  The thermostat is preset at 95 deg. F (35 deg. C), and it operates a solenoid valve to only turn on when cooling is needed.  EXAIR has this model in stock as well as many others for quick delivery, reducing any downtime.  After the installation of the Cabinet Coolers onto the panels, the worry of production stoppage due to a failure with an A/C system was alleviated.

Maintenance departments have many concerns in keeping a system running smoothly and uninterrupted.  Why add additional worries with coolant based panel coolers?  If you have electrical panels that can stop your operation like the bottling company above, an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler will be a reliable solution.  You can fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and an Application Engineer can determine the best model for you.

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