Solving Performance Issues of Air Operated Industrial Vacuums

This blog will focus on the EXAIR Chip Vac, but the troubleshooting process and steps for achieving optimal performance are consistent among EXAIR’s entire line of air operated industrial vacuums.

There’s really not that much that CAN go wrong with an EXAIR Chip Vac System. They have no moving parts to wear or electrical components to burn out. As long as they’re supplied with clean air, they’ll run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.

Murphy’s Law, of course, is still in full force, so if something CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong.  The Chip Vac is, alas, no exception.  Good news is, because of the Chip Vac‘s simplicity, troubleshooting is simple as well.  The most common problems we see with ANY of our engineered compressed air products (not just the Industrial Vacuums) are related to compressed air supply:

  • New users might not consider the air demand required by a new product, and may provide an inadequate supply line.  The Chip Vac, for example, will consume 40 SCFM @80psig for rated operation, and will need a 1/2″ (inside diameter) hose to supply that, assuming a length of no more than 20ft.  Hooking one up to a common 3/8″ hose on a 50ft reel, for example, will “starve” the Chip Vac, resulting in degraded performance.
  • Also, the preferred method of connection is a hose with threaded fittings on the ends.  A local hydraulics/pneumatics shop can likely make these, while you wait.  Push-to-connect quick connect fittings are restrictive by nature, and should be avoided.  Quarter turn claw-type fittings are great…the main drawback (which can be solved with an upstream shutoff valve) is the line has to be depressurized to make or break the connection.
  • If you absolutely want to use a push-to-connect type, you can oversize it (use one made for larger hose with, say, 3/4 NPT fittings) and use bushing/adapters to get to your actual hose size.

    If you must use quick connects, the 1/4 turn claw type (left) is the least restrictive. Push-to-connects (center) are likely to starve your product, unless you oversize them (right) like we do in our Efficiency Lab.
  • Speaking of supply issues, make sure nobody’s bumped into a valve handle & partially closed it (I have,) ignored the maintenance schedule & didn’t change a clogged filter element (I have,) or ran something into a copper line hard enough to crimp it, but not rupture it (I haven’t…that was Tim, who, aside from this incident, was really pretty good with a forklift.)

The issues above apply to not only any compressed air system, but most fluid power/fluid handling systems.  Since this blog is about Chip Vac troubleshooting, let’s move on to some specifics.  If you’re sure you’re getting proper air supply to the Chip Vac (by the way, a pressure gauge right at the inlet – like the one that comes with our Premium Chip Vac System’s air hose – will eliminate any doubt,) then let’s look at some potential issues downstream:

  • Dirt & debris can collect inside the Chip Vac itself, obstructing the outlet holes, and lowering your vacuum flow.  You can disassemble and clean it pretty easily, though.
  • The Filter Bag can get clogged, especially if you’re vacuuming up a lot of dust or powdery materials.  If this happens, turn the Chip Vac off and shake the Filter Bag to dislodge the material, allowing it to fall back into the drum where it belongs.
  • Speaking of which, if you find that, all of a sudden, the Filter Bag is clogging, remove the drum lid and check for the Silencing Hose.  This serves two functions…the first is in the name (just a little discharge hose mitigates the sound level of the Chip Vac‘s exhaust flow.)  Secondly, it directs the vacuumed material positively into the drum, limiting the amount that is “dust-storms” in the upper area of the drum, where it’s more prone to make it into the Filter Bag.
Pro tip: check for the Silencing Hose when you remove the lid to empty the drum. DON’T throw the Silencing Hose in the trash.

I’m not going to unequivocally state that this is an all-inclusive list (see “Murphy’s Law,” above,) but these are the Usual Suspects if you’re just not getting the most out of your Chip Vac.  If you ever have any questions, though, give us a call.  We’re here to help.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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HEPA Vac Improves Cleaning Process AND Keeps Operators Safe!

On a recent visit with our Hungarian Distributor, I had the pleasure of visiting an automotive leather manufacturing plant. They process and cut to order a wide variety of different styles of leather used in the manufacturing of European automobiles. In one of their machines, a grinding process is performed that smooths out the cut edges of the material before they’re stitched together.

The grinding process itself is self-contained within the machine, but the significant amount of leather dust created needs to be periodically cleaned out. If not, it ends up accumulating on some of the internal components and increasing the downtime and maintenance required on the machine. Due to this, they implemented a 2x per shift cleaning operation.

The machine has several tight spaces inside where the dust accumulates. They’d shut off the machine and blow out the dust. Then, sweep up all of the dust into a dustpan and dump it in the trash. This entire process took approximately 30 minutes each time for 1-hr/shift. With three shifts operating 24/7, that’s 3-hrs/day of lost production time for this particular cleaning process, still less than what they were experiencing as a result of the machine downtime when they weren’t regularly cleaning it.

HDHEPAVac559

However, the primary concern of theirs was that they were now blowing dust all over the shop causing a potential health hazard to their operators. They wanted a solution that would allow them to clean the machine, without presenting an additional hazard. We tested with a Mini Chip Vac first, but the dust was a bit too fine and was still passing through the filter bag.

For fine dusts such as this, the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac is the more suitable option. After testing the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac, it was clear that this was the solution they were hoping for. The high-powered vacuum made quick work of the dust inside, while keeping it contained inside of the drum by the HEPA filter.

They still need to stop and clean the machine out 2x/shift, but now the process only took 10 minutes. They reduced their overall downtime on this machine per day by 2/3 to just 1hr, while keeping their operators safe. While this wasn’t the reason for looking at new solutions, it was definitely an added benefit. If you’re looking for a maintenance-free vacuum system for cleaning up in your facility, EXAIR has a wide range of Industrial Housekeeping solutions available from stock.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Video: EXAIR Drum Vacs Selection For Solid Materials

EXAIR Corporation has engineered compressed air solutions for Industrial Housekeeping…among them, a full line of drum mounted vacuums for dry/solids cleanup.

If you’d like to find out more, please give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Compressed Air Vacuums and Their Advantages Over Electric Vacuums

EXAIR‘s line of Industrial Housekeeping Products consist of liquid and dry vacuums that utilize compressed air to operate. They do not have loud electric motors which most ‘all purpose’ electric vacuums rely on.  In industrial settings with harsh conditions and rugged use, EXAIR’s Industrial Housekeeping Products are better suited for the everyday wear and tear of typical manufacturing, commercial and construction environments.

When you look at EXAIR vacuums, you’ll notice there is not an electrical cord.  Because the EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products utilize compressed air for operation. This means they do not have the same maintenance issues of an electric motor which breakdown and fail when dirt, dust and temperature take their normal toll on moving parts. With EXAIR vacuums there are no moving parts: no motors to burn up, no bearings to wear out, and no impellers to clog in the vacuum units. They also run quieter than a typical electric vacuum.

They are maintenance free, just supply clean and filtered air, and they can operate for many, many years.

 

EXAIR’s liquid vacuums, there is a built in pressure/vacuum relief device and auto safety shut-off to prevent over-filling.

The Reversible Drum Vac is a two-way liquid pumping system, also made for mounting on standard steel drums…closed top drums, in this case.  They can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds.  Options include 5, 30, and 110 gallon drum sizes, and a High Lift model – increased suction head for deep wells, underground tanks, or higher viscosity liquids, up to 1,400 cP.

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The heart of our popular coolant filtration system: the EXAIR Chip Trapper.  A Filter Bag in the “fill” line traps chips, swarf, and shavings.  The liquid passes through, and is able to be immediately pumped back out.  Not only is coolant life extended, regular cleaning of the coolant sump prevents loss of coolant flow due to clogging of the supply lines.  The Chip Trapper is available in 30, 55, and 110 gallon sizes, and also in the High Lift version.

Chip Trapper Family
30 gallon, 55 gallon, and 110 gallon Chip Trapper

EXAIR’s dry vacuums provide many pickup and filtration options. They withstand harsh environments, have many filtration and power options and run quieter than electric vacuums.

The EXAIR Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac is a powerful industrial vacuum for use on wet or dry chips. Both are for use with 30, 55, or 110 gallon drums, and the Chip Vac can also be used on a 5 gallon drum. The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac has the added benefit of the HEPA quality filter system.  Filtration per IEST-RP-CC-007 to 99.97% minimum filtration at the 0.3 micron level ensures performance meets the needed criteria.

The Chip Vac is also 50% quieter than a comparable electric vacuum at only 77 dBA!!

Chip Vacs-all
From left to right: 5 gallon, 30 gallon, 55 gallon, and 110 gallon Chip Vacs are sized for any cleanup need.

If you would like to talk about Industrial Housekeeping products or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact  myself or one of our Application Engineers we can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web http://www.exair.com/28/home.htm
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Built to Last Liquid Vacuum Systems Made by EXAIR

Baseball season is in full swing, temperatures are climbing, and there’s pollen in the air. It must be spring!! The coming of spring means it’s time to start opening up the windows and tidying up around the house. It also means an increase in rain showers. To those of you out there that have experienced the joy of walking down into the basement only to find a nice pool of water I feel your pain. A crack in our foundation allowed a significant amount of water to seep inside, of course all over the brand-new carpet!!

I went out to the garage and grabbed the ol’ trusty shop vac and began vacuuming up as much residual water as I could. Shop vacs are a great tool for cleaning up a variety of messes in your home. However, the very same shop vac is not suitable for use in an industrial environment. EXAIR manufactures a variety of compressed air operated industrial vacuum systems. For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to highlight the systems suitable for use with wet materials.

Electric vacuums have impellers that can clog or break, the motor will eventually burn out, not to mention the risks associated with using electrical products near liquid. With no electricity and no moving parts to wear out, EXAIR’s Industrial Housekeeping products are much better suited to withstand a harsh industrial environment.

The Reversible Drum Vac attaches quickly to any closed head 30, 55, or 110 gallon drum. It’s capable of filling a 55 gallon drum in as little as 90 seconds! With a simple turn of the knob, it’s able to quickly pump the liquid back out of the drum. Coolant sumps can easily be refilled, floor spills contained, or contaminated liquids can be transferred to filtration tanks in minutes.

The High Lift Reversible Drum Vac operates just the same as the standard, but provides a higher-powered vacuum for use with thicker liquids or for applications that need to lift the liquid from below grade work areas up to 15’ deep. Both the standard and High Lift Reversible Drum Vacs have an automatic safety shutoff valve to prevent the drum from overfilling.

CTR_dirtychiptrapperfamily

The Reversible Drum Vac is also the heart behind our award-winning coolant filtration system: the Chip Trapper. The Chip Trapper is a fast and simple way to clean chips, swarf, and shavings suspended in the coolant sump of your CNC machines. The liquid and suspended solids are vacuumed up into the drum. A filter bag inside traps the debris, chips, and shavings and allows you to pump clean liquid back out of the drum. The filter bag can be removed and cleaned for repeated use. Each system will come with (2) bags to get you started. Not only does this extend the life of your coolant, but can also eliminate the potential for chips and shavings to get clogged in the coolant system and reducing coolant flow. It, too, is available as a High Lift Chip Trapper System for thicker liquids or sumps that are below ground.

If you’re looking for a vacuum system that’s Built to Last, EXAIR has the right tool for you. All of our vacuum systems have no moving parts to wear out and are maintenance-free when supplied with clean and dry compressed air. With all systems available in stock and same day shipment for stock items, you can have one just in time for your annual spring cleaning!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR Industrial Dry Vacuums, A Solution For Every Application!

It seems we have broken out of this deep freeze here in Cincinnati and spring has taken hold. Spring cleaning is also taking hold. That means it’s time to start looking for ways to make that chore as easy and hassle-free as possible! If you’re like me and enjoy spring cleaning the EXAIR dry vac products are right for you!

EXAIR has three dry vacuum systems, and they each have a application that fits their performance and abilities.

The first is our Chip Vac System

cvfam
EXAIR’s Chip Vac Family

The Chip Vac is designed specifically for vacuuming chips. It creates a powerful direct flow that is ideal for metal, wood, and plastic chips.  Because it has a filter bag, in can also handle the occasional dusty material, and keep the surrounding air clean.

4 R UMAX PL-II V1.4 [3]
The Chip Vac is ideal for vacuuming metal, wood or plastic chips
If the operation machines different materials, the lid can be removed from one drum and moved to another, to keep the materials separate for easy recycling.

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Chip Vac’s consume 40 SCFM @ 80 PSI while the 5 Gallon size consumes 33 SCFM @ 80 psig.  All 4 models are rated at a super quiet 77 dBA!

The second is our Heavy Duty Dry Vac

HDDV
EXAIR Heavy Duty Dry Vac Family

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac was engineered to vacuum more dry material in less time with less wear. The hardened alloy construction resists premature wear and the increased power makes difficult jobs and harsh environments more easily handled.

110hddvpr_559x447
The 110 Gallon  Heavy Duty Dry Vac provides maximum capacity for spill clean up

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac is ideal for abrasive materials such as steel shot, garnet, metal chips and sand, and is also useful for general purpose applications such as vacuuming floors, machines, work stations and machinery/equipment.

Like the Chip Vac, the Heavy Duty Dry Vac drum lid fits any open top drum, and can be moved from one drum to another facilitating recycling efforts.

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Heavy Duty Dry Vac’s consume 68 SCFM @ 80 PSI and have a sound level of 82 dBA.

Below shows the powerful performance of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac vs the Standard Chip Vac when considering large, heavy material and the increased performance you could expect.

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Vacuuming Rate Comparison, for Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac

Last but not least is our Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family
Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

The HEPA Vac (High Efficiency Particulate Air) has the added benefit of the HEPA quality filter system.  Filtration per IEST-RP-CC-007 to 99.97% minimum filtration at the 0.3 micron level ensures performance meets the needed criteria. Like the Chip Vac and the Heavy Duty Dry Vac it will attach to ordinary open top drums as well.

hepafam_collection
Heavy Duty HEPA Vac

The 30, 55 & 110 Gallon Heavy Duty HEPA Vac’s consume 68 SCFM @ 80 PSI and have a sound level of 82 dBA.

Vac-u-Gun

For a limited time, order an EXAIR Industrial Vacuum, and we will include a complimentary Vac-u-Gun (valued at $112)!Offer ends April 30, 2019.

To discuss your application and for help deciding which dry vac would work best, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac Fills A 55 Gallon Drum in 90 Seconds Flat, And Empties It Just As Fast

There are a few ways to get the liquid out of a drum:

  • You can use a pump.  Some pumps are even made to mount straight onto the lid of the drum.
  • You can siphon the liquid out, if you can get the drum higher than where you want to put the liquid.  And if you have the time.
  • You can turn the drum over.  I used to do field service in chemical plants…some of them had drum handlers on fork trucks that could pick up and tilt the drum to pour the liquid out.  Some of them pushed the drum over and simply let the liquid spill into a pit or below-grade sump.

But pumps break down.  Siphoning is finicky and slow.  I’m loath to knock the skills of the fork truck operator that can pour out a drum like a sommelier pours a fine wine.  And I’ll never forget the first time I saw an operator half-roll/half-dance a drum to the edge of that pit and let the liquid dump as he dropped it precisely where he wanted it…however, even in the context of the inner recesses of a chemical plant, it was simple, but inelegant.

EXAIR has an engineered solution that preserves the simplicity, though: the Reversible Drum Vac.  Thread the standpipe into the bung connection and the RDV itself into the vent, and that drum is now a two-way pumping system, able to be emptied via a 10 foot long Vacuum Hose in as little as a minute and a half.  Turn the knob on the RDV to switch modes, and you can fill that same drum just as fast.

With a simple turn of the knob, the Reversible Drum Vac can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac Systems come with a variety of configurations and options:

  • Made to fit an existing 30, 55, or 110 closed top steel drum in good condition.
  • Mini Reversible Drum Vac System comes with a 5 gallon drum.
  • Deluxe Systems add a Drum Dolly and a set of tools.
  • Premium Systems add a drum (30, 55, or 110 gallon,) an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools, and a 20ft compressed air supply hose with shutoff valve and pressure gauge.
  • High Lift Reversible Drum Vacs generate a suction head of 180″H2O for maximum lift.  They’re also specified for higher viscosity liquids.

Below is a great video that showcases just how easy it is to from installing the Reversible Drum Vac to using the Reversible Drum Vac and just how fast the RDV operates.

If you’re looking for a fluid handling solution for liquids in drums, give me a call and we’ll talk about which Reversible Drum Vac System is right for you.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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