The EXAIR Super Air Knife is a Highly Engineered and intelligently designed point of use compressed air powered device that delivers a 40:1 air amplification ratio! This simply means that for every one part compressed air supplied to an EXAIR Super Air Knife it will entrain 40 parts ambient air into the exiting compressed air stream. Almost as good as “money for nothing”! Also the EXAIR Super Air Knife is designed to provide an even or “laminar” flow of air. This is due to it being an intelligent, highly engineered compressed air product.
However if an EXAIR Super Air Knife is not connected to the compressed air supply with the appropriate number of inlet ports being fed, poor and/or erratic performance is likely. This would manifest itself as uneven air flow and lower performance from the air knife. In order to make this plumbing easier we offer optional plumbing kits for all Super Air Knives starting with the 24″ length all the way up to the 108″! The 24″ and longer Super Air Knive’s require that compressed air must be supplied to multiple air inlets along its length for optimal performance. This will ensure that the air flow is laminar and the force is even across the entire length of the Super Air Knife. All our products are shipped with an installation guide referencing the proper recommended pipe sizes for various lengths of supply pipe.
I recently worked with an OEM on a cooling application for a gelatin pill forming machine they designed for their customer. In their machine design, the gelatin film leaves an extruding machine then travels between 2 punch rollers to form the pills. After the pills are formed, they are supposed to drop onto a chute feeding a conveyor to carry the pills to the bottling/packaging area.
The problem they were having was the film was retaining heat which caused the pills to occasionally stick to the roller, resulting in rejects and lost production time. They were looking for an economical way to blow cold air across the rollers and film but were concerned about putting too much demand on their customer’s compressed air system.
After reviewing the photos and discussing the details, I recommended they use our Model # 3308 Mini Cooler System with dual point hose kit. The Mini Cooler provides a 50°F temperature drop from the incoming supply air temperature and provides 550 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. The system includes a swivel mag base for easy installation while the dual point hose kit would allow them to direct the cold air to blow across both rollers from a single device. Compressed air demand is minimal, at only 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, alleviating their concern for the customer’s compressed air system.
If you are having heat related issues with your process or to discuss a particular application or product, give me a call, I ‘d be happy to help.
Incorrect plumbing is an all too common problem we deal with on a regular basis here at EXAIR. Many times we receive calls from a customer saying that their Air Knife isn’t producing a high velocity or they are seeing an uneven airflow. In fact we have written many blogs touching on this subject, such as the one I posted a few weeks ago titled, Proper Air Supply & Installation Provides Best Performance or the one titled Typical Compressed Air Plumbing Mistakes by our International Application Engineer John Ball.
Using undersized supply lines can cause excessive pressure drops because they aren’t able to carry the volume of air necessary to properly supply the compressed air device. We commonly reference trying to supply water to a fire hose with a garden hose, it is the same principle. Using restrictive fittings, like quick disconnects, will also contribute to this effect as the ID of the fitting is much smaller than the NPT connection size. Example: Say you are seeing 80-100 PSIG upstream of an air knife at the pressure gauge, by the time the air passes through a quick disconnect or small ID line and fitting, the actual pressure being delivered to the unit will be much less, possibly as low as 20-30 PSIG depending on the installation. One way to measure the actual pressure being delivered to the air knife would be to install a pipe tee with a pressure gauge right at the inlet of the air knife.
All of our products are shipped with an installation guide referencing the proper recommended pipe sizes for various lengths of supply pipe. When dealing with our Air Knives, since we offer lengths up to 108″, you need to plumb air to multiple inlets for knives that are 24″ and larger. To simplify the installation process, we offer our Air Knife Plumbing Kits. The Plumbing Kits include properly sized nitrile/PVC compressed air hose and brass fittings for our aluminum units. In addition, we now offer 316ss pipe and fittings for our stainless steel and PVDF Super Air Knives for applications requiring superior corrosion resistance. Using the plumbing kits eliminates pressure loss and the need for searching for the proper fittings or possibly using incorrect pipe size.
If you think you are experiencing less than expected performance from one of our products, please give us a call so we can help.