Think Of Quality And Service, Think Of EXAIR

As an Application Engineer at a direct sales manufacturing company, I get to talk to a LOT of people about potential uses for our quiet, safe, and efficient compressed air products. And, I’m happy to say, most of them I can even help with…even if the answer is “that’s just not gonna work.” Those are few and far between, however, and we can usually point someone in a better direction in those cases.

By the time we’ve “drilled down” into an application discussion far enough to make a product recommendation, we’ve got a pretty good feeling about it, and a vast majority of the time, our product solves the application in a big way. So big, in fact, that it makes them think of EXAIR again, and again.

Case in point: not long after I started here in 2011, I had the pleasure of helping someone out with some pick-and-place rigs on their packaging line…small products, bulk packaged for shipment to retail outlets. They used our Model 810003M E-Vac High Vacuum Generator and 900762 Small Round Vacuum Cups. Over the years, they’ve added some new products, and some more of the E-Vac pick-and-place rigs. It’s always good to hear from them, and I really believe the feeling is mutual.

EXAIR E-Vac Vacuum Generators provide a simple and reliable solution to pick-and-place applications.

Now, they want to automate a little clean-up operation where pilot holes are drilled in a plastic part, and are considering an intermittently operated vacuum. The concern is, if they use an electric powered one, the starting & stopping will take a toll on the motor. And they’re right.

So, the Model 6193-5 Mini Chip Vac System is up for consideration. Because it’s compressed air operated, constant starting & stopping is no problem…and, it’s generating vacuum immediately, so it’s ideal for quick bursts of cleanup suction action. No electric motor to burn out, no moving parts to wear – it’s a long term, maintenance-free solution.

Quiet and compact, the Mini Chip Vac is an ideal solution for a variety of industrial housekeeping needs.

If you’re an EXAIR engineered compressed air product user, I want to thank you for your business. If you’d like to discuss a particular compressed air product application (regardless of whether you’re a current user or not!) give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Improved Safety Benefits Employees & the Company

“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility” is a slogan that companies around the world have adopted.

A refinery that processes palm oil from palm seeds had pipes throughout their facility to transport the oil. They would periodically have to clean the 10” diameter pipes as part of a maintenance program.  To do this, they would use a rubber plunger-like device called a pig to move through the pipe lines.  When they opened the piping system to install the pig, palm oil would leak onto the floor.  In their safety protocol, they would place adsorbent barriers around the spills and use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the waste oil.  They would discard the liquid in a vat for disposal.  The wet/dry vacuum was limited in size to only hold 5 gallons because the operators would have to lift the container to dump the oil in the vat.  If the oil spills exceeded 5 gallons, then they would have to make multiple trips.  They wanted to get a better system as time was of the essence when you have oil on the floor.

6296 Deluxe RDV System

In speaking about their operations, they were needing to improve on their process and safety. I recommended the model 6296 Deluxe Reversible Drum Vac System.  This system uses a two-way pump and siphon tube that mounts into a 55 gallon drum easily without any modifications.  The pump uses compressed air, not electricity, to quietly generate a vacuum to a level of 96” of water. It does not have any moving parts, no motor or bearings to wear out, so it is very reliable and maintenance free.  The deluxe system comes with our Spill Recovery Kit for complete liquid pickup, a drum dolly, vacuum hose, and tool accessories with a holder.  In replacing their current system with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac, they could now vacuum a larger volume of liquid during excessive spillage without stopping.  Once the waste oil was vacuumed and contained, they could then just push their drum to the disposal vat.  With a simple turn of the knob, the two-way pump changes from a vacuum system to dispensing the waste oil into the vat.  This removed the need to lift any containers which could cause back damage to the operator.

Easy to change the operation

Easy to change the operation

As stated in the OSHA website, “Businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses — expenditures that come straight out of company profits. But workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. In today’s business environment, these costs can be the difference between operating in the black and running in the red.” Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and in using EXAIR products, you can do your part like the refinery above.

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

Choosing the Right Dry Vacuum – Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac

A common question we get from our customers is, ‘I need a dry vac, should I use the Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac.’  This is very good question, and we will take the time to better understand the application in order to best answer that question.

Both the EXAIR Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are designed to turn an ordinary 5 (Chip Vac only,) 30, 55, or 110 gallon open top drum into a powerful, industrial duty vacuum cleaner. Both are powered by compressed air, and have no moving parts to wear out or break, whereas the typical electrically operated system has motors and impellers that clog and break down quickly.  The Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are also quiet, at half the sound level of electric versions.

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.

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.

4 R UMAX PL-II V1.4 [3]

The Chip Vac is ideal for vacuuming metal, wood or plastic chips

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.

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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.

Below shows the powerful performance of the Heavy Duty Dry 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

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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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EXAIR Chip Vac Removes Swarf and Keeps the Machining Center Running

The word of the day is “swarf”. Swarf is fine chips or filings of stone, metal or other material produced by a machining operation.

A company had four automatic profile cutting machines to cut aluminum stock.  They contacted me for help to improve their operation.  Each machine had a cleated belt conveyor to remove the swarf (or chips) from the cutting process.  Because the swarf was small in size, the chips could get around the edge of the belt and affect the conveying system.  Two of the four conveyors failed, and they wanted to find a better option to remove the swarf and keep the machines running.  They sent me a photo of the type and size of the swarf that was thwarting their conveying system.

Swarf - fine metal chips from machining

Swarf – fine metal chips from machining

EXAIR receives many calls about applications similar to this. I suggested the model 6193 Chip Vac System.  This assembly will fit onto a standard open-top 55 gallon drum which has a much smaller footprint than the conveying system.  The 0.1 micron filter allows for the air to escape and keep the fine particles inside the drum.  For this customer, once the drum was filled with aluminum chips, it was easy to rotate in an empty drum, sending the full drum of material to recycling.  The vacuum generator has no moving parts which makes it quiet, maintenance free, and long lasting.  It also creates a high vacuum level which was very useful when they attached it near the chip collection area.  The Chip Vac System was easy to install and it was very beneficial in keeping the machining area clean and running.

EXAIR Chip Vac

EXAIR Chip Vac

If you find that your chip conveying system is affecting your operations, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better and more reliable solution to remove your swarf.

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

Compressed Air Vacs have Advantages Over Electric Vacuums – Durability, Reliability, Noise Levels

Have you ever heard an electric vacuum toward the end of its life? It gets this high pitch annoying noise caused by the bearings going out.  I spoke recently to a customer who was hearing it about every two months.   This company cuts ceramic tiles with a diamond-tooth circular saw.  During this operation, a lot of dust is being created.  He would attach an electric vacuum to the dust port of the saw housing.  The vacuum was to remove as much dust as possible from the sawing operation to keep the area clean and the operators safe.  After about two months of operation, they would start hearing that “moan” from their electric vacuum.  The performance of the vacuum started to drop off, and it would allow more dust to collect in the saw room.  This was a hazard as it would make the floor slippery.  The operators then had to stop operations early to clean the floors at the end of each shift.  After their second electric vacuum failed, they started looking for a better alternative.

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

Heavy Duty HEPA Vac Family

When they contacted me about their issue, I knew immediately which EXAIR product would serve their need very well. I suggested our new model 6399-30, 30 gallon Premium Heavy Duty HEPA Vac system for this operation.  The 30 gallon size is the smallest in the Heavy Duty HEPA family which made it easy to fit behind the saw table away from the operators.  The HEPA filter inside has an efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 micron.  So, the dust will remain in the drum and not migrate back into the ambient air.  The EXAIR vacuum generator has no moving parts or bearings to wear.  It is made from a hardened steel construction which is very resistant to wear and abrasion from materials like ceramic.  The EXAIR design can generate a high vacuum level to draw dust material at an extremely high rate, and it only has a decibel level of 82 dBA.  With clean compressed air, this vacuum will last for years and years; not months.

As this company installed the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac into their system, the first thing that they noticed was how quiet it operated. The constant loud noise from their electric vacuum was gone, making it a better working environment.  They also noticed that the dust was being removed very quickly by the powerful vacuum pressure.  This meant that the amount of dust that could collect on the floor and equipment was greatly reduced.  Since the floors were cleaner longer, it decreased shut down times and removed the constant hazard of a slippery floor.

If you find that you are going through your electric vacuums or just would like to reduce the noise levels, EXAIR has a large line of Industrial Housekeeping Products. You can contact us to see if we have the right vacuum product for you.

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

Line Vacs Save Your Time, Your Backs – and Your Money

A while back, I wrote about how Line Vacs Save Time And Backs. Well, it’s happened again, and this time, it’s saving a customer some money, too.

A major manufacturer of machined products used portable electric vacuums to remove chips and coolant from their machines. These electric vacs continually broke down due to clogging, coolant getting into the electric motors, vacuum hose deterioration, etc…all of which caused down time and lost production. They were failing pretty consistently after about 3 months of use.

Electric Vacuums are prone to clogging, wearing out, and motor failure.

Electric Vacuums are prone to clogging, wearing out, and motor failure.

The tanks needed to be emptied on a regular basis as well, meaning the machine operator had to stop what he was doing (which makes the company money) and spend 10-15 minutes emptying out the tank (which does NOT make the company money,) three times per shift, on average. Additionally, the tanks could weigh up to 100lbs when full, so it was no small chore. Although this company reported no injuries (yet,) a common first line in a LOT of workplace back injury reports start out with: “While attempting to lift a 100 pound _____” You get the idea.

After hearing about the EXAIR Line Vac and calling us to discuss, they decided to try a couple of Model 6064 2″ 303SS Line Vacs. These were mounted near the machine with a short section of suction hose to reach inside, with a discharge hose taking the chips & coolant to the disposal bin. So, with a little help from EXAIR, they’ve saved:

*TIME: Machine operators never have to leave their workstations to lug the heavy tanks across the shop for emptying, meaning no work stoppages.

*BACKS: Because they don’t have to worry about those heavy tanks anymore, they’ve eliminated the risk of lifting-related injuries.

*MONEY: With no moving parts to wear or electric motors to burn out, the Line Vacs will run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.  For an investment of $3,700.00 (2016 List Price for a Model 6064 2″ SS Line Vac is $370.00 x 10 machines,) they’re saving $5,400.00 annually (the current replacement cost of the electric vacuums is $135.00 per unit x 4 per year x 10 machines) for a first-year savings of $2,700.00.

A Line Vac and two pieces of hose are all you need for a durable, easy to use, no maintenance, reliable vacuum conveyor.

A Line Vac and two pieces of hose are all you need for a durable, easy to use, no maintenance, reliable vacuum conveyor.

The first two Line Vacs worked out so well for them, they were able to justify adding them to the other eight machines in their facility. These are operated intermittently, so there’s not a drastic impact on their compressed air system demand. It’s a win-win-win…win.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products can produce “wins” for you, give me a call. We ARE keeping score.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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What Size Air Compressor Do I Need?

This is a common question from callers who are inquiring about the use of our products. Oftentimes, they’re going to be using significantly less air than they’re using right now, considering the low compressed air consumption rates of our engineered Intelligent Compressed Air Products. Sometimes, though, we have the opportunity to talk to someone at a small commercial or home operation, where they may have limitations on compressed air supply. While a Model 6084 2″ Aluminum Line Vac would do GREAT at conveying wood pellets from a storage bin to the furnace room (this is a very common call from folks who are taking advantage of high efficiency wood burning stoves for home heating,) they won’t convey more than a few pounds at a time with the compressed air being generated & stored by a typical home-use air compressor.

Limitations, of course, aren’t always a “stopper.” I just had the pleasure of talking to a Reversible Drum Vac user who simply needed some guidance on refurbishing his unit…it wasn’t performing as well as when it was new. Luckily, we have a solution for that, and it won’t cost you anything but about 10 minutes and some dish soap (or mild degreasing agent of your choice.)  Here’s a short video that shows you how it’s done:

https://blog.exair.com/2011/07/05/how-to-rebuild-your-reversible-drum-vac/

So, this got my caller “back in business” – conservation business, that is.  He operates a small garage, and recycles his waste oil.  The Reversible Drum Vac is used to clean up spills and empty drain pans into a central drum, which he then transfers to his main recycling tank.

This is all done with his shop’s small air compressor.  Even though it only produces about 8 SCFM @100psig, it has a 60 gallon tank, which allows the Reversible Drum Vac to operate for about 2 minutes…plenty of time to empty a drain pan or vacuum up some spills, and just enough to pump out the drum, even if it’s full to the top!

Sometimes a small air compressor is a “stopper;” sometimes it’s not.  If you’d like to discuss a potential compressed air product application, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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