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;

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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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Compressed Air Use in the Construction 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 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 Construction Industry.

Compressed Air Systems are considered to be a fourth utility within industries because they use a large amount of energy.  Whether it is an air compressor using fuel for portable units or electricity, it is important to use the compressed air as efficiently as possible.  This would apply to the construction industry.  From blowing off sheets of lumber to cleaning sites with an EXAIR Industrial Vacuum to cooling hot melt on window frames, EXAIR has a library of different processes in which we already accomplished these improvements.  We like to use the expression, “Why re-invent the wheel” at EXAIR.  If you are in the construction industry, it would benefit you to take a peek at the implementations where we already improved, made safe, 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 applications 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: Construction; Construction and Mining Equipment; and Construction, Lumber.  You will find many applications that EXAIR has already improved and 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 construction industry, simple solutions can be found to address those “nagging” issues that you encounter 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 items, we can get the product 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

Porous and Non-Porous E-Vac Vacuum Generators

Getting a vacuum from compressed air seems a bit like magic, but it works and it works well. EXAIR’s E-Vac® Vacuum Generators are compressed air powered, single stage vacuum generators. They are a low cost way to create vacuum for pick and place, clamping, lifting, chucking, vacuum forming and other applications.

The Low Vacuum Generators are ideal for ‘porous’ types of applications.  When we say ‘porous’ we are describing those processes where a lighter vacuum level combined with higher vacuum flows are needed. A good example of this is lifting a cardboard box. The cardboard is not air tight, and when you place a vacuum on it, air is able to be pulled through the cardboard. To maintain the vacuum level, the air needs to be able to be pulled through the cardboard and exhausted as fast as it is being pulled through in order to maintain the vacuum level. This requires higher vacuum flow and the design of the Low Vacuum Generator allows for the development of a good vacuum level and a high rate of vacuum flow.

The High Vacuum Generator is ideal for ‘non-porous’ type of applications. ‘Non-porous’ are those processes where the material is air tight, and no or very little air can pass through. Material such as glass, ceramic, and steel are ‘non-porous’. Because little or no air passes through, the need for high vacuum flow is not as important, and the highest of vacuum level can be achieved. A perfect vacuum is 29.92 in-Hg, and the High Vacuum Generator is designed to reach vacuum levels of 27 in-Hg, or a 90% vacuum level.

 

E-Vac Video

 

Click above Image to View the Video

Both the Low Vacuum and High Vacuum Generators come in 7 different sizes, ranging from light to very strong vacuum capabilities, to match any application. Special Kits are  available as a way to experiment with an assortment of vacuum cups to determine the best configuration.

evac_nonporouskit
E-Vac Kit

And for maximum flexibility, EXAIR offers the Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generator. Engineered for high efficiency, compressed air can be minimized due to the ability to adjust and tune the vacuum flow and level to perfectly match the application requirements.

adjevac
Lifting a Concrete Block with the Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generator

If you have questions about vacuum generation and the E-Vac or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

 

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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The EXAIR Chip Trapper™ System Extends Machine Coolant Life

Have you realized that you spend too much time cleaning out your CNC machine?  Do you find that It is messy and backbreaking work?  Do you spend too much money replacing the coolant in your system?  If you answer yes to any of these, EXAIR has a product for you; the Chip Trapper System.

EXAIR created this product to reduce the down time and extend the life of your coolant.  This device will save you money and time with productivity, coolant, and repairs.  In this blog, I will go over some of the features and benefits with the Chip Trapper Systems.

EXAIR offers two types, the Chip Trapper and the High Lift Chip Trapper.  They are designed to move fluid into the drum to be filtered, and to allow the clean fluid to be placed back into the sump.  The Chip Trapper works great for quick coolant cleaning at the floor level.  The High Lift Chip Trapper is ideal for cleaning viscous fluids as well as for reservoirs below the floor level.

Both types use a pneumatic two-way pump to move the fluid.  They come in three different drum sizes, 30 Gallon (114L), 55 Gallon (208L), and 110 Gallon (418L). So, you can clean large sump tanks with only one cycle through the cleaning system.  They come standard with a 5-micron bag filter that can hold over 5 gallons of material.

EXAIR can also offer filter bags in 5 other micron ranges from 1 micron up to 200 micron.  And if you are not sure on the other filtration ranges, EXAIR offers a filter sample pack, model 901060-SP, that includes one of each type.

Chip Trapper Cut Away

The Chip Trapper System includes the drum, the two-way pneumatic pump, a drum dolly, a directional flow valve, 10 feet (3m) of vacuum hose, 20 feet (6m) of compressed air hose, a chip wand, a shut off valve, and two additional filter bags.  All you need to do is to attach the Chip Trapper System to a filtered compressed air source.

The High Lift Chip Trapper offers a more powerful pneumatic pump which can fill a 55 gallon (208L) drum in 85 second from 15 feet (4.5m) below.  And, instead of the 10 feet (3m) vacuum hose, it will come with a  20 feet (6m) vacuum hose.

The unique features with the Chip trappers are the abilities to clean the CNC sump very quickly and with less mess.  Also, by using compressed air to pump the coolant in and out of the drum, it will aerate the coolant.  This will reduce bacteria growth and extend the life of the coolant. Thus, saving you money with those more expensive coolants.

Another benefit is that the pneumatic pump does not have any moving parts to wear out.  So, it will last you a long time without worrying about motor failures or loud noises.

You can watch the video of the operation here:

A list of some benefits that you will see if you purchase the Chip Trapper System is as follows:

  • The number of complete coolant change-outs are reduced.
  • The speed to get the CNC machines back operational to make parts.
  • Reduce the number of barrels of coolant concentrate per year.
  • Bacterial growth dramatically reduced as the Chip Trapper aerates the coolant.
  • Filter bags will remove the chip fines and some tramp oils keeping the coolant fresh.
  • Quiet and long lasting
  • A complete system that is easy to use.

As an added note, some CNC machines come with a spindle coolant feature.  This new technology helps in the need to increase speeds and feed rates.  The coolant is pumped to the top of the machine and fed directly through the spindle.  This type of spindle uses a rotary union which allows the coolant to the spindle as it spins at a high rate of speed.  The rotary unions are very expensive and costly to replace.

These spindles are very susceptible to dirty coolant.  If a seal within the rotary union begins to leak inside the machine, you will not be able to diagnose the problem until they have a machine failure.  The Chip Trapper with help eliminate this chance and keep your machine from an extreme expensive breakdown.

When your machine is not operating, your productivity is lost.  The EXAIR Chip Trapper Systems can be that product for you to get you back up and running is a short period of time, extend your coolant life, and keep the area clean and safe.  A win-win proposition in saving money and time.

For U.S. and Canadian customers, EXAIR offers a 30-day unconditional guarantee to try.  And, for a limited time.  an end-user will get a free EXAIR Vac-u-Gun, a $112.00 value, with any purchase of a Chip Trapper or High Lift Chip Trapper.

If you want to learn more about the EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products, you can contact an Application Engineer.  We will be happy to help you.

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

 

Vacuum Generator Accessories

In my last blog, I went over How to Choose/Build an E-Vac system, and you can read about that here–  The E-Vac’s are a compressed air powered, single stage vacuum generator, providing a low cost solution for creating a vacuum for many applications. Today, we will look at the many accessories that are available to complete a vacuum system best suited to your vacuum application.

For pick and place operations and hold down or clamping processes, we offer an array of Vacuum Cups. Available from stock are small and large Round, Oval, and Bellows styles. Round cups are best suited for smooth, flat surfaces.  Oval cups provide the most vacuum due to the larger surface area, making them ideal for lifting heavy loads. The Bellows style is best suited for textured or uneven surfaces, where the folds provide a collapsible area that allows the cup to compress and seal to the uneven surface.

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Small and Large Round, Oval and Bellows Vacuum Cups

For vacuum processes where personnel are nearby, there are two (2) types of mufflers available to reduce the sound level to comply with the limits OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95(a) has established. The EXAIR E-Vac Mufflers are designed so that the E-Vac exhaust is not impeded, so that the highest and fastest vacuum response is achieved. The Standard Muffler (for use with In-Line E-Vacs only) has a closed end and is best suited for vacuum draws that are free from dust and debris.  The Straight Through Muffler is open all the way through and is recommended for those vacuum draws where there will be dirt and debris, since it will not plug up. The Straight Through style offers the best sound level reduction, up to 26 dBA.

E-Vac Mufflers
Standard and Straight Through Mufflers

The vacuum port of the E-Vacs has an NPT threaded connection and with a suitable connector, a vacuum cup can be closely installed, minimizing the system air volume. When vacuum cups are to be remotely mounted, Push-In Connector Type Fittings of assorted styles are available along with the polyurethane tubing to make the installation and vacuum plumbing a cinch.

E-Vac Fittings
Push-In , Swivel Elbow, Swivel Branch Tee, and Bulkhead Connectors

And finally, to get the best performance and maintenance free operation from your E-Vac, always use a source of clean, dry compressed air. We can help you do that with a wide array of Automatic Drain Filter Separators and Oil Removal Filters sized to pair up with the various E-Vac’s. Also available are Pressure Regulators, Vacuum Gauges, Manual Shut Off Valves, Solenoid Valves, and Compressed Air Hose.

If you have questions about E-Vacs and accessories or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer
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Industrial Vacuums For Most Any Cleanup Need

Vacuum cleaners…most of us think of the electric-powered devices that we clean our carpets at home with. The idea of utilizing vacuum in cleaning applications, however, predates the widespread introduction of electric power by a couple of decades. The original idea was to marry a manual vacuum generating device to a carpet sweeper. These had been around for some time, and they’re still seen today: the beater brush turns as the sweeper is pushed across the floor; it picks up dirt in the brush bristles, and deposits it in an internal receptacle. You’ve probably seen them used in restaurants to tidy up small messes on the floor, in lieu of dragging out the noisy vacuum cleaner while folks are eating.

Anyway, these first vacuum cleaners relied on a bellows, piston cylinder, or other such device that was operated by hand, foot – or, according to one source, a rocking chair – to generate a vacuum. Since it took one person to operate the vacuum generating part, and another to push the sweeper, they weren’t very popular at a time when folks were generally looking for labor SAVING products.

The proliferation of electric power around the turn of the 19th/20th century brought about electric vacuum cleaners.  Most homes have one…including the ‘shop vac’ in my garage, my home actually has three.  These are great for home use; many have long cords that allow you to clean the floors in adjacent rooms without unplugging & re-plugging, and most come with a convenient set of tools for baseboards, furniture, HVAC vents, etc.  For carpet & upholstery, they can’t be beat.

In industrial settings, though, the electric-powered models can find themselves at a disadvantage.  The impellers can clog or break, and the electric motors will, in time, burn out.  If used in wet environments, great care must be used (as with any electric products) or there can be a very real shock hazard.

EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products offer a solution to all of these issues.  With no moving parts or electric motors, they are extremely reliable.  If you supply them with clean air, they can run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.  And no electric power means no shock hazard.

We have a variety of products to meet most any need.  Our Chip Vacs and Heavy Duty Dry Vacs are made for dry material cleanup.  They install (in minutes) on an open top drum, and are available with a variety of accessories…tools, drum dollies, tool holders…even the drum itself if you need one.  The Chip Vac is specified for most ‘general purpose’ jobs; the Heavy Duty Dry Vac is more powerful, and abrasion resistant, for more aggressive needs.  Both exhaust the vacuum air flow through a Filter Bag to contain the particulate in the drum.

The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac features the same high power and rugged construction as the Heavy Duty Dry Vac, but replaces the Filter Bag with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter for maximum dust containment.  These are used where critical dust removal, mold & allergen containment, or trapping airborne irritants are called for.

(Left to right) Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac, Heavy Duty HEPA Vac
Reversible Drum Vac Family

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.

Chip Trapper Systems come complete, ready to go, right out of the box.

The Reversible Drum Vac is also at the heart of our popular and award-winning 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.

Speaking of two-way operation, the EXAIR Vac-u-Gun is both a vacuum AND blow gun…simply reverse the orientation of the nozzle insert to reverse the operation:

EXAIR’s Vac-u-Gun transforms in seconds from powerful vacuum to efficient blow gun.

The Vac-u-Gun is an efficient, quiet, and versatile tool with numerous applications, from vacuuming sawdust or shavings, to conveying small parts or pellets, to blowing off chips, water, coolant, or scrap.  And, just in time for Spring Cleaning season, we’re letting you find out just how handy it is, for free – by including one with any qualifying Industrial Vacuum purchase, now through April 30, 2019.

If you’d like to discuss a cleanup application, and how an EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Product can suit your needs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Choosing the Best Chip Vacuum for Your Application

One Christmas, a long time ago, my Mother In Law gave me a beautifully wrapped present, and a great big smile.  I opened it up…it was an extension cord.  One of those heavy duty orange, indoor/outdoor, 100 foot long models.  I returned her smile, while thinking about all the things I might be able to use it for…and not coming up with anything really solid.

As the family continued to open presents, she disappeared into the other room, and came back with a much larger package and handed it to me…still with that great big smile.  It was a convertible string trimmer; one that worked as a ‘weed eater’ or, with a twist of the handle, an edger.  And it was electrically operated…NOW I knew what the extension cord was for.  As great and useful a gift it was – eighteen years on, and I’m almost competent at edging the sidewalk – I got a valuable lesson from it: accessories make a great gift better.  Since then, I’ve always thoughtfully considered:

  • If I give someone a battery operated gift, I give them batteries too.
  • If it comes with its own rechargeable battery, I carefully open the package and charge it up, before I wrap it up.
  • If accessories are available, I think about how they might use it.  I’ve even presented them with the accessory first, in tribute to my wonderful wife’s wonderful Mom.
  • If there’s a “deluxe” or “premium” version, sometimes it’s worth it to just go all out…again, after consideration of how they might use it.

Now, this is not only the case with presents…many household, commercial, or industrial products offer Deluxe or Premium packages…like the EXAIR Chip Vac System.

At the most basic level, a Model 6193 Chip Vac System for 55 Gallon Drum is all you need to turn an existing drum into a powerful, reliable, durable industrial vacuum.  It comes with a lid & latch ring, Filter Bag, 10 foot vacuum hose, a set of plastic tools, and of course, the Chip Vac itself.  All you need for simple, on-the-spot cleanup purposes.

Model 6193-30 is also available for your existing open-top 30 Gallon Drum.

Sometimes you might have (literally) more ground to cover: the Model 6293 Deluxe Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility, and a Tool Holder to keep the attachments handy.

Deluxe Chip Vac Systems come with a Dolly and Tool Holder in 5 Gallon (left,) 30 Gallon (center,) and 55 Gallon (right) sizes.

Other times, you may just be looking for a complete system, ready to handle everything, right out of the box.  Enter the Model 6393 Premium 55 Gallon Chip Vac System, which adds a heavy duty steel drum, an upgrade to Heavy Duty Aluminum Tools & Static Resistant Vacuum Hose, and a 20ft Compressed Air Supply Hose with Pressure Gauge & Shutoff Valve.

Premium Chip Vac Systems are ready for any cleanup job, right out of the box, and come with 30, 55, or 110 Gallon Drums.

Or, if you’re looking for something lightweight & compact, the Model 6193-5 Mini Chip Vac System comes complete with a 5 gallon drum, and the Model 6293-5 Deluxe Mini Chip Vac System adds a Drum Dolly.

The Mini Chip Vac System comes complete with a 5 Gallon Drum, and the Deluxe System adds a Drum Dolly for mobility.

With no moving parts to wear and no electrical components to burn out, the EXAIR Chip Vac is a virtually maintenance free replacement for noisy, damage-prone electric vacuums.  If you’d like to find out just how handy they are, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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