Since EXAIR manufactures and distributes our own products, we have the flexibility to provide custom products, special processing, unique packaging and more. If your process or specifications are something special, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate any special considerations you might need. Following is one example for a customer who purchases air guns.
Several months ago I received a call from a company that was looking for a specialized air gun. This company was involved in the servicing of highly specialized measuring equipment and needed a safe, quiet, & efficient air gun that also had to be completely oil/contamination free. This was to ensure no contamination would result from using the air gun on any of their equipment. Ultimately this meant that every air gun component needed to be washed, rinsed and dried to ensure there was no residual oils or dirt from manufacturing left on or in any component of the gun.
Our customer decided on the highly versatile Vari-Blast Compact Safety Air Gun with the award-winning Nano Super Air Nozzle, specifically models 1698SS and the 1698SS-6. EXAIR presented a written process to the customer. This process explained how we would identify and manufacture their specific air gun in order to assure the customer that would receive a consistently clean air gun, every time.
Additionally the customer had specifications requiring special packaging as they were going to ship these globally to their service team members. To ensure safe arrival no matter where they are shipped, EXAIR provides special handling and packaging which exceeds their requirements.
Also, when you are looking for expert advice on safe, quiet and efficient point of use compressed air products give us a call. We would enjoy hearing from you!
A metal fabricator used a cutting machine to cut different sizes and shapes of stainless steel tubing. The process was automated and the machine would cut two tubes at a time. After the cutting operation, the machine would deposit the tubes into a nearby bin. The operator would then stack the tubes in a wooden container as shown above. Before the tubes could be transported to another department, the operator would have to clean the inside of each tube. The current method was to attach a rag to the end of a rod and pushed it inside the tube to remove any coolant and chips that remained from the cutting operation. Of course, the ability to clean thoroughly with a rag is reduced greatly after a short time of use. The cleaning process was very time consuming, and when the rag was not changed in a timely manner it did not clean effectively. The inside of the tubes would get marred from the excess chips that remained on the rag. This would visually affect the surface finish of the stainless steel. They emailed me the application detail as they were looking for a non-contact way to clean the inside of the tubes.
The first question from the customer was if we could customize our air nozzles to clean the different diameters and shapes that they were cutting. EXAIR has made special air nozzles to accommodate unique applications, but I wanted to first make sure that EXAIR did not have a manufactured nozzle in stock to fit this application. I requested the dimensional information, and the customer sent me the sizes and shapes of the tubes that were ran through their cutting machine. (Reference Table 1 below).
EXAIR manufactures three different sizes of Back Blow Air Nozzles that are designed to clean inside tubing, pipes, hoses, and channels. They can range from internal diameters from ¼” (6.3mm) to 16” (406mm). The 360o rear airflow pattern can “wipe” the entire internal surface clean and can remove coolant, chips, and debris. In reviewing the dimensions from Table 1 above, I was able to recommend just one Back Blow Air Nozzle for all the tubes; even the square and rectangular ones. It was model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle. This 316SS robust designed nozzle can fit inside and clean tubes with internal dimensions ranging from 22mm to 102mm, and it was perfect for all of these tubes.
The customer indicated to me that the tubes were all cut to identical lengths at 550 mm (21.7”). Being that this was a manual operation, I suggested the Back Blow Air Nozzle with our Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. This ergonomically designed Safety Air Gun is designed for hours of use without fatigue. In combination with the nozzle, we are able to add extensions and chip shields. With extensions, EXAIR has a range of lengths from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm). With the designated length above, I recommended the model 1206SS-24-CS which has the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, the model 1006SS Back Blow Air Nozzle, a 24” (610mm) extension, and a chip shield.
The configuration allowed for the operator to reach through the tube to clean with only a one-time pass. The CS designation is for a chip shield which will protect the operator from any excess debris and coolant. With the model 1206SS-24-CS, the operator could now pick up a tube, use the Soft-Grip Back Blow Safety Air Gun to remove the debris and coolant from within the round tubes, square tubes and rectangle tubes. Also, they did not have to worry about changing the rags when it got dirty. What an amazing purchase for this company, as they increased the speed of the cleaning operation by 70% without affecting the inside finish of the stainless-steel tubes.
If you need to clean the inside of tubes, hoses, pipes, etc., EXAIR has the perfect nozzle for you, the Back Blow Air Nozzles. EXAIR can attach these nozzles on our VariBlast Compact, Soft Grip and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns for easy-to-use manual operations. For this customer above, they were glad that they contacted EXAIR about their application. If you require more details, you can share your application with an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be happy to help.
EXAIR has designed a new nozzle called the Super Air Scraper. This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. It creates a mechanical force with a compressed air force to remove stubborn sticky material. This patent-pending nozzle can be added to the EXAIR Soft Grip Air Gun to create a powerful scraping tool.
Let’s breakdown the nozzle. The 2″ Super Air Scraper nozzle is a model 1144 which has a ¼” NPT female connection. The model 1144-A includes a ¾ – 32 UN adaptor for connecting to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun extensions. The scraper can be changed when worn with a replacement blade; model 902007. To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set, model 1132SS, can be used to modify the blowing force. With these combinations, the nozzle complements the scraper as an effective way to clean with compressed air.
To get pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper nozzle to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun. This gives a comfortable and ergonomic way to use and operate this product. We offer different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length. With the extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installed an additional foam grip sleeve. This gives additional leverage for scraping material at a distance like floor level. Chip Shields are also offered to prevent blow-back onto the operator. You can view the details of the new product at this link on our website: Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.
To give some ideas for applications, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can be used for removing tape, gasket material, caulk, adhesive, paint, labels, and more. With the addition of air, the detached material is blown away during scraping, keeping the area clean to target the remaining “stuck” material. If gummy or flaky substances are a nuisance for workers, the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper can keep the machine or work station clean and operational.
Just like all cataloged items for EXAIR, we stock these parts for same day shipment with orders placed before 3 p.m. EST. We offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to allow you to see how great this product can work in your application. If you have a sticky, flakey, or greasy substance that needs to be removed, the Soft Grip Safety Air Scraper is up to the challenge. If you have any questions about the product or your “gummy” situation, you can contact an Application Engineer for help.
One of the easiest ways to find out if your compressed air guns are safe for operation is by looking at the nozzle. First, take your current compressed air gun and disconnect it from the compressed air line. Second, look directly into the end of the nozzle where the air comes out. If you can see the inside of the nozzle, then your air gun or blow-off device is unsafe. Nine out of ten compressed air guns are considered to be dangerous. In this blog, I will go through the dangers and violations of compressed air guns and nozzles that are very common in the market place.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, is an organization that enforces standards for safe and healthy working environments. They have training, outreach programs, and educational assistance for manufacturing plant. But, they will also enforce these standards with heavy fines for violations. The two most common violations with compressed air guns and nozzles are 29CFR 1910.242(b) for dead-end pressure/chip shielding and 29CFR 1910.65(a) for maximum allowable noise exposure. If you are unfortunate in receiving an audit, the OSHA agent will target your compressed air guns and blow-off devices.
Here is the first example of a nozzle that I would like to discuss. As you can see, there is only one opening where the air can come out from the nozzle. Other types of nozzles that would fall into this category will include copper pipes, extensions, or worn nozzles. They are dangerous as the compressed air cannot escape if it is blocked by your skin. An air embolism could occur within the body which can cause bodily harm or death. If operated above 30 PSIG (2 bar), these nozzles would violate the OSHA 29CFR 1910.242(b) for dead-end pressure. This is a hazard which can be avoided by using EXAIR Super Air Nozzles and Safety Air Guns. The nozzles are designed to utilize fins to allow air to escape and not penetrate your skin. With EXAIR products, you will not violate this standard even if you go above the 30 PSIG (2 bar).
To counteract the dead-end pressure violation, some nozzle manufacturers created a hole through the side of the nozzle (Reference photo below). This will allow for the compressed air to escape, but, now the issue is noise level. With an “open” section in the nozzle, the compressed air is very turbulent and very loud. They state that 70% to 80% of all hearing loss within a manufacturing plant is caused by compressed air. For this, OSHA 29CFR 1910.65(a) was created to show the maximum allowable noise exposure. This chart shows the time and noise limits before requiring hearing protection. The EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are designed to have laminar flow which is very quiet. With our typical Safety Air Gun, model 1210, the sound level is only 74 dBA; well under the noise exposure limit for 8 hours.
Why do I bring these points up? Because safety is everyone’s responsibility. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, has an overview of how to handle hazards in the workplace. They call it the Hierarchy of Controls (click). This is a means to best protect workers from dangers. The most effective way is by eliminating the hazard or substituting the hazard. The least effective way is with Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. For your unsafe compressed air nozzles and guns, EXAIR can help by substituting the hazardous air gun and nozzle with an engineered solution designed with safety in mind.
In my opening statement, I explained a quick and easy method to determine if your compressed air guns are dangerous. To keep your company compliant and safe, EXAIR offers a variety of different types of nozzles and Safety Air Guns to best fit your requirement. If you find that you are using hazardous blowing equipment, you can contact an Application Engineer to find a safe and effective alternative.
EXAIR’s highly engineered and efficient Back Blow Nozzle’s provide a powerful 360° airflow through an array of holes to remove coolant, chips or debris. Back Blow Nozzle’s are the perfect solution for cleaning out the inside of any pipe, tube, hose or channels.
Over the last several weeks, you may have read blog posts regarding the EXAIR Safety Air Guns. You can find the blogs here, here and here. We are also in the midst of a Safety Air Gun Promotion, please click HERE for more details on how you can get a free 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle. Today, I want to review a few available options for the Safety Air Guns.
Protect Workers From Flying Debris! – Chip Shields are durable polycarbonate shields that protect the operator from flying debris often seen when blowing off chips from machined parts. They are also useful to prevent coolant from splashing back, creating a mess during drying processes.
The Chip Shields are available for EXAIR’s VariBlast, Soft Grip, and Heavy Duty Safety Air Guns. The Chip Shield can be used on Safety Air Guns with or without an aluminum extension. They may be purchased as part of a new air gun system, or retrofitted as a Chip Shield Kit. Consult an Application Engineer for selection assistance.
If you have a blow-off process where the air is to be directed at a distance away from the operator, or into a hard to reach location an extension is the solution. Available in lengths from 6″ (152mm) to 72″ (1829mm), with sizes as shown below, a length to meet most any requirement can be found. To add an extension to an air gun, simply add -xx to the current part number.
And, if you need a 12′ coiled air hose, to use with your Safety Air Gun, we have them available and in stock. Available with 1/8 NPT, 1/4 NPT or 3/8 NPT male end swivel connections. Avoid tangled and messy air lines and keep things neat!