Super Air Knives Provide Dry Surface for Printing

I’ve always liked Halloween.  My friends and I got to go trick-or-treating together around the neighborhood, under the supervision of a parent or two, until one year when we were deemed old enough to go around the immediate neighborhood (gasp) by OURSELVES!!!

You need to know that, for any of our Moms, that was a HUGE investment in trust they were putting in us. One that, I’m afraid was undeserved. See, we’d all heard rumors of “tricks” from some cool older kids, and were eager to try our hands at it. Now, we were a relatively mild mannered bunch. We certainly weren’t going to break anything or hurt anyone. But the tales of soaping windows had an irresistible appeal…so, after we donned our costumes that evening, we all sneaked a bar of hand soap out of the house, and set about on our great adventure. Which was not so great, for a couple of reasons:

First, Halloween that year fell on a particularly drizzly night.  We weren’t in danger of a rain-out, but there was a layer of “wet” on everything…especially the windows on which we planned to display our art. That didn’t stop us from trying, though…it just wasn’t near as effective, or fun, as we’d hoped.  Basically, we got some weak smudges here and there.

Second, our parents & neighbors were a lot more savvy than we’d expected. I’m not even sure what happened first…the discovery of the missing bars of soap, or the neighbors calling our parents to tell them what we were up to. We were all punished according to our respective families’ customs, and the next year, we were the oldest trick-or-treaters out there under adult supervision.

I think about that night whenever I see one of those “World’s Dumbest Criminals” shows, but it popped into my head recently while discussing a Super Air Knife application with a customer.  The caller worked in facility that produced pizza dough, and had recently implemented a quality tracking system that applied a temporary code to the rims of the plastic trays that carried the loaves of dough along a conveyor.   Thing is, the trays could still be wet from the wash/rinse cycle, and the ink (which is water soluble and is supposed to be removed by the washer anyway) really, really needs a pretty dry surface, or it’s just going to be a weak, smudgy mess, much like the great Window Soap Fail of 1970-something.

They purchased two Model 110003SS 3″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knives and installed one on each side of the conveyor, just after the rinse tunnel.  The Super Air Knives blow off the rims of the trays, leaving a clean, dry surface for the printer.

EXAIR Super Air Knives come in a wide variety of lengths to suit a wide range of applications.

EXAIR Super Air Knives come in a variety of materials, lengths from 3 inches to 9 feet, and are the quietest & most efficient compressed air operated blow off products on the market today.  If you’d like to find out more about they can help you, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Super Air Knife Helps Make More Candy Bars

It’s known in various places as Beggar’s Night, Trick-or-Treat, or just good old Halloween.  Whatever you call it, many of us have fond memories of donning a costume and a mask and roaming the neighborhood in search of candy.  Most of the grownups we encountered were only too happy to oblige our requests, in exchange for the opportunity to spend some time on the porch, enjoying a brisk autumn evening.  We won’t talk about the times when it may have rained, snowed, or been unseasonably hot…like, in the 80F range (yes, I grew up in Ohio.)

As fond as those childhood memories are, I’ve built a solid arsenal of grownup memories too, both passing out candy to neighborhood kids, and escorting my own kids around the neighborhood…of course, I always “suited up” for the occasion…

My neighbors breathed a collective sigh of relief when my sons became old enough to go Trick-or-Treating without Dad.
My neighbors breathed a collective sigh of relief when my sons became old enough to go Trick-or-Treating without Dad.

It’s probably no great secret that candy manufacturers ramp up their production in preparation for the occasion.  I had the pleasure of discussing an application with one of them recently – in fact, it was for some of the bite-size candy bars that they were about to be “Job One.”  This particular treat is produced as a continuous “strand” of nougat that is extruded onto a conveyor.  It’s then covered in peanut pieces and cut to size before being coated in chocolate.  Now, because these are bite-size bars, they’re making 3-4 times as many cuts as their regular candy bars (you know…the ones you got at the “cool houses?”) there’s 3-4 times as many peanut pieces on the belt.

To recover these pieces, they got a Model 110254 54″ Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit, and installed it to blow a light “curtain” of air across the belt in the area where the cutting takes place.  The excess pieces are blown into a trough on the side of the conveyor, where they’re cleanly and neatly recovered & recycled.  They only need about 5psig of compressed air supply pressure to do this, and it’s timed to the indexing of the belt, so not only is it reliable & effective, it’s just about as efficient as they can get.

The EXAIR Super Air Knife – quiet, efficient, and infinitely adjustable to meet the needs of most any blow off situation.

If you’d like to talk about Super Air Knives, Trick or Treating, or Halloween candy, give me a call.  I know a LOT about all of those things.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Don’t BOO Safety

This week is one the favorite times of year of my son..… HALLOWEEN! The haul of candy aside, he loves getting to wear his new costume (this year it’s Jack Skellington from A Nightmare before Christmas), walking through the neighborhood to see all of the decorations,  and enjoying the other costumes.


We get a lot of traffic in our neighborhood, with 6 streets running parallel and it’s all flat. As a result of the high traffic, some of our neighbors treat this as a time to compete and go all out with the decorations. So not to be outdone, one of them has decided to set up a mini haunted maze in their backyard – complete with smoke machines, strobe lights, bales of hay, cobwebs, spiders, skeletons, headstones and even a working guillotine! The kids are going to enter from the side yard and once they work their way through the maze, they pull on the guillotine’s rope to reveal the (skull) bucket of candy! Pretty ingenious and WAY more work than I would have done, but I am sure it will be a huge hit!

As they were showing me their “invention”, I started to wonder how safe this was going to be and could only imagine that some parents are going to be like me, a little concerned. They assured me that everything was going to be fine, they had our Township office inspect the maze and were able to secure a permit. Since the Township is aware that the neighborhood draws a lot of visitors, they even agreed to have volunteer firefighters assist with the operation and provide a safe(r) attraction.

Safety should also be a primary concern when implementing compressed air applications in your workplace. By using open ended pipe or tubing, you are creating an unsafe work environment, risking serious injury due to high pressure and extended exposure to extreme noise levels. All of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products have been designed and engineered to meet or exceed OSHA Standard 1910.242(b) for 30 psi dead end pressure and OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a) for allowable noise exposure.

OSHA Standard 1910.242(b):
Compressed air used for cleaning. 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 guarding and personal protective equipment.

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a):

OSHA Noise Level

To discuss how EXAIR can help improve your plant’s safety and meet OSHA compliance, please contact an Application Engineer.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer


Halloween Pumpkins image courtesy lobo235Creative Commons License

Compressed Air and Halloween Candy

Tomorrow night is Halloween. I live in a suburban subdivision with a high ratio of young families, which makes for a target-rich environment for Trick or Treaters…my boys included. We’ll allow them to enjoy a sensible portion of their haul tomorrow night, and the rest will go into the cabinet over the stove for rationing out over the next week or so.

First to disappear will be the brand name chocolates, candy bars, peanut butter cups, etc. The occasional bags of pretzels/salty snacks will find their way into school lunch bags quickly. Novelty lollipops – the kind with candy or gum in the middle – go fast in my house, but only after the chocolate has been completely exhausted. Individual hard candies linger at the bottom until they’re forgotten about, and eventually get thrown away the next time we need one of those pans we keep in that cabinet…usually when we’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner.

One of the trade publications I read regularly is “Compressed Air Best Practices” Magazine. Every month, there are featured articles that highlight how someone just saved a TON of compressed air by applying various methods and fixes to their systems. Understandably, the opportunities for the largest savings are the most popular…let’s call these the “brand name chocolates.” Common examples of this are:

  • Fixing leaks – I know of a company that saved a million SCF per year this way. (Spoiler alert: it was us.)
  • Replacing open ended blow offs with engineered products. (Spoiler alert again: we’re the undisputed industry leader for this.)

Of course, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you’re serious about efficiency, you’ve already got flow meters in place. If not, it’s time for a look at what’s available, and how much of a benefit you’ll get from knowing what your usage is at any given time. Continuing with my candy surplus analogy, these could be considered the novelty lollipops. Departing from the analogy, though, this should be done first (OK; it’s not a perfect analogy). An EXAIR Digital Flowmeter will give you instant, accurate indication of your air usage, and you can make a “before/after” comparison, once those leaks are fixed and your blow offs are upgraded.

Lastly, don’t forget about regular maintenance. Our USB Data Logger is a great addition to the Digital Flowmeter – it allows you to track your usage over time. Those leaks you just fixed weren’t there when the system was new. If you start to see your usage creeping up, you’ll want to find out why. Our Ultrasonic Leak Detector is a great tool for periodic checks. Use it to find any new leaks that pop up, and you’ll stop throwing away compressed air like it was candy.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Halloween / Harvest and left over pumpkins.

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.  I remember last year blogging about a transformer costume that was amazing.   I think this year the best costume I have seen so far has been this Iron Man cosplay.

At my house however the costumes aren’t quite technology advanced.  This year we will have Cinderella with red hair, and a new baby pumpkin.  Along with several jack-o-lanterns that will be carved this weekend.  Then the question is what to do with all the left over pumpkins.

The perfect answer, use compressed air and see how far you can launch them.  This is quite honestly the best recreational use of compressed air I have seen.  That’s right, I’m talking about Pumpkin Chunkin’.  This is exactly what happens when you have people with a certain skill set and some idle time.  While there aren’t any EXAIR products being used currently in this field it is still entertaining.

Since there weren’t any EXAIR products being use to chunk pumkins, I would like to share this video which shows several EXAIR Adjustable Air Amplifiers helping to create air flow and cool the brand new Corvette motor while it is dyno tested.

If you have any questions on how to use compressed air in your applications feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

Angry Pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is set to be in full swing as people begin to celebrate Halloween, and I’m eager to do something different this year.  I’ve already begun my PLC ladder logic for the Christmas lights and I’ve decided to continue with this “geeked-out” mannerism when I carve my pumpkin.  Initially, I had no big idea for the carving, but a colleague of mine sent me a link to a site showing how to make a “Deathstar pumpkin”.  I was hooked.  But, the deathstar is a bit elaborate and time consuming so I decided to brainstorm a little.

As I considered the alternatives I found that my ideas were either way too elaborate, or completely non-existent.  I thought a bit more, trying to tie into my son’s costume this year (Captain Hook) – still nothing.  Finally, I had the idea when he asked to play his favorite game on my phone – Angry Birds!

I’ve decided to make a relief sculpture of the infamous red angry bird, with hopes my efforts turn out as well as the picture below.

I wrote last week about seeing things from a different point of view, and how we at EXAIR strive to give effort to this on a daily basis.  Our approach towards many applications often gives rise to the specific solution or sparks a series of ideas which lead to the solution.  Always brainstorming and weighing ideas against a desired outcome is one of the engineering department’s strong suits.  Whether we’re facing space restraints in an extrusion process, static control on a production line, or what to carve on a pumpkin, our minds are always working.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Halloween is on the Way!

Halloween you say? Isn’t it a bit early for Halloween? Not if it’s the first one with your baby, like it is for me…

Halloween brings on one of my favorite times of year.  Here in Cincinnati it is getting to be the perfect weather to sit outside after work and have a nice fire in the fire pit while enjoying the weather.  This year is fairly special to me because, instead of just sitting out with a bunch of friends surrounding our fire pit and handing out candy to all the neighborhood kids, my wife and will be taking our daughter for her first ever Trick or Treat experience.   Now she is only 7 months old so chances are she isn’t going to get very far or remember it.  There is also a very high chance I am going to be the one eating the candy she does get.  She is going to be dressing up as a bunny rabbit, while the costume is a disguise it still will not disguise just how cute she really is.  (Picture to come to Twitter closer to Halloween I’m sure.  EXAIR_BF)

I can remember being a kid and always trying to think of what I was going to wear for Halloween.  Normally we would make our costumes and it would start right around this time in order to have something picked out and made by the end of October.  I believe one of my favorite years was when I dressed up as Pac man and had my friends dressed up as the blue ghosts.   Keep in mind this was not a store bought costume and was all made by hand. Granted they were not as cool as this Bumblebee costume is, but to us they were.


Most of my friends on the other hand would go to the store and always try to buy the most popular disguise or mask just so they could have the best costume.  But the costume actually being the best was normally far from the case.  They would buy a costume because the picture on the package or the guy wearing it around the store just simply looked amazing.  Then, when they got it home and put it on it would never fit right, or it didn’t look anywhere near as good as the one they had seen. This was always a big let down and disappointment. 

Well, this is the same thing that happens to some customers when they buy a product from a company and they get it in only to find out they need dozens of other pieces or it is not of the same quality as the unit they saw in the advertisement.  This isn’t the case with EXAIR.  If you look at a product in the catalog, the picture  will properly represent the product you are getting.  We don’t hide things that you will need in order to operate the product properly just so you have to come back later or go to another company and get it.  Instead, we offer kits and systems in order to keep it easier for you, our customer.  This is yet another way that we are able to be a one stop shop for your compressed air product needs. 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer