Video Blog: Which EXAIR Air Knife Is Right For You?

The following short video explains the differences between the 3 styles of Air Knives offered by EXAIR – The Super, Standard and Full-Flow. All of these Models are IN STOCK, ready to ship, with orders received by 3:00 PM Eastern.

If you need additional assistance choosing your EXAIR Air Knife, please contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Drying and Cleaning Tubes Using The Standard Air Wipe

A tubing manufacturer called looking for a better way to dry their 3″ (O.D.) tubes after a rinse application. In their current setup, the tubes are being cut by a band saw, which uses flood coolant to keep the blade cool and evacuate chips. After the tubes are cut, they are then bundled together and dipped into a rinse tank to remove the cutting fluid and any machining debris on the surfaces. The tubes are then fed, one by one, through a series of blower driven air knives placed around the outside  of the tubing to dry and clean them before a painting and bar code process. The air knives were working somewhat, but they were seeing some residual streaking on the surface of the tubes that needed to be manually cleaned by hand, slowing down the process.

Example of a typical band saw used for cutting metals and other rigid material.

I recommended the customer use our 4″ Standard Air Wipe in their application. EXAIR Air Wipes provide a 360° uniform, high velocity airflow that adheres to the outside surface, as it passes through the throat of the device. Here is a short video we made showing the cleaning power of our Standard Air Wipes.

The Standard Air Wipe is available in stock sizes from 1/2″ up to 11″. The aluminum construction and PVC hose (included on sizes up to 4″) is suitable for most “general” industrial environments with ambient temperatures reaching as high as 150°F. We also offer Stainless Steel Super Air Wipes, which have the same performance as the Standard, for processes requiring superior corrosion resistance and/or where higher temperatures are possible, up to 800°F.

Super (left) and Standard (right) Air Wipes – ideal for drying, cleaning or cooling round shapes like tubing, hose, pipes, etc.

For help selecting the best product to fit your particular need, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

FMB FMB Titan Bandsaw Gravity Feed image courtesy of Kitmondo Marketplace via Creative Commons license.

Cleaning Motor Fan Covers Using The Vac-u-Gun

Having a background in industrial process pumps prior to my time here at EXAIR, I have become quite familiar with many different  abbreviations used in the selection of a motor for a particular process. Terms like ODP – Open Drip Proof or TENV – Totally Enclosed Non-Vented all refer to the NEMA rating of an electrical motor. Since all of the products we manufacture here at EXAIR are compressed air operated and don’t require any electricity or motors to operate, these terms haven’t been as frequent in my day to day conversations with our customers.

However, last week that changed when I took a call from an industrial motor manufacturer looking for a way to draw cast iron chips out of the fan covers used on their “TEFC” motors or Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled. A TEFC motor,  the most commonly used motor in general duty, industrial processes, has an external fan on the back of the motor and provides cooling by moving air over the outside of the motor housing. After the fan covers are formed, they are sent to a mill where the vent holes are cut, which creates small chips that settle on the inside and outside of the cover. They have been using an air gun to blow the chips away but some of the chips have made their way behind the fan blades and settled on the shaft, resulting in damage to some fans and motors themselves during testing. They wanted some type of small, handheld device that would allow them to treat the individual opening and grooves on the cover to vacuum the chips away and carry them to a scrap recovery bin.

Example of a TEFC fan cover on the back of an industrial motor.

Once again, EXAIR had the perfect solution, the Model # 6292 Vac-u-Gun Transfer System. The Model # 6292 Transfer System includes the Vac-u-Gun, a 10′ transfer hose, extension wands and additional crevice, brush and skimmer tools. A Vac-u-Gun is an air gun which can used as both a blow gun to blow away debris or a hand held vacuum to suck debris into a filter bag or moved through a hose into a collection vessel (drum, tote, garbage can). This would provide them with the desired handheld device that would easily allow them to transfer the scrap chips the to their scrap recovery bin.

Model 6292 Transfer System

The Vac-u-Gun, like most of our products, are IN STOCK, ready to ship. Give me a call for help with product selection or to discuss your particular process.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN
Back of Motor image courtesy of Shane Gorski via Creative Commons license.

Mini Cooler Improves Custom Cutlery Production

Vortex Tubes use compressed air to create a stream of cold air and a stream of hot air. As the compressed air enters the unit, it travels through a spin chamber which spins the air at speeds up to 1,000,000 RPM producing temperatures ranging from -50°F to +260°F and providing cooling up to 10,200 Btu/hr. With no maintenance requited and no moving parts, they have become quite popular in large and small scale cooling applications in place of more conventional methods of cooling.

How an EXAIR Vortex Tube Works

EXAIR has incorporated this technology into several different products like our Cabinet Cooler Systems used to cool electrical panels and our Cold Guns commonly used to replace messy mist systems in tool cooling, milling and machining operations. For smaller scale processes we offer our Mini Cooler System which provides a 50°F temperature drop from the compressed air supply temperature and 550 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity.

I recently worked with a small, custom knife manufacturer who was looking for a way to keep his tooling cool during production. As the blades are made, he uses a small rotary die tool to shape and sharpen the blade. He also makes his own handles out of materials like wood, ceramics or other metals, which get etched with a custom design into the surface. The heat generated during theses processes, causes the tooling to either bend or break completely, resulting in damage to the knife blade and burns or breaks in the wood and ceramic handles. After looking at our spot cooling products online, he familiarized himself with the Vortex Tube technology but with only 12.9 SCFM of air available, he was unsure what product would best fit his application.

With the limited amount of air available, the Model # 3808 Mini Cooler System was the perfect solution. The Mini Cooler uses only 8 SCFM @ 100 PSIG, falling well within the capacity of his current compressor. The integral magnetic base would ensure an easy installation and with the included flexible hose, he could direct the cold air to the needed area.

The Mini Cooler is ideal for small tool and part cooling applications.

For help with your spot cooling needs or to discuss how the Vortex Tube technology could help in your process, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

Super Ion Air Knife Removes Foil Dots In Lid Cutting Operation

I recently received an inquiry from a food manufacturer about a packaging line they were having issues with.  The plant fills continuous rows of thermo-formed cups which is then sealed with a single foil lid. Once sealed, a machine cuts the row to separate the cups, which creates small scrap pieces of foil. After the cutting operation, they try to collect as much of the waste trim as possible but some small pieces of foil, they call “dots”, cling to the surface of the cup and cutter due to static charge.  The company installed a vacuum collection hood in this area, to try and help keep the foil pieces or any dust from falling onto the cup during the process. While this did help somewhat, some dots would remain and eventually fall off further down the line, making small piles that needed to be manually cleaned to avoid potential jams, which slowed down their production cycle.

The cups are filled and separated on a 44″ wide, mesh-screen conveyor with individual lanes to process multiple rows of cups. After being cut, the cups are moved to the inspection area and then packaged for shipment.  I recommended they mount a 48″ Super Ion Air Knife above and below the cups and direct the airflow to the end where the vacuum collection hood is located. The idea is, as the ions eliminate the charge, the small foil dots will release and the laminar airflow would keep the parts moving toward the vacuum hood, thus removing all foil trim and preventing any piling of trim further down the production line.

The Super Ion Air Knife produces a sheet of ionized air capable of dissipating 5 kV in just a fraction of a second!

EXAIR offers a wide selection of Static Eliminators for use in a variety of industrial processes. If you are experiencing static concerns in a particular area or to discuss a specific process, please contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

Super Air Knife Cleans Rotary Mesh Screen

Last week I worked with an OEM who was looking for a more effective method of cleaning the wire mesh on the rotary screeners they manufacturer. Rotary screens, also know as trammel screens (think of a washing machine drum), separate solid materials by passing the parts through a rotating perforated cylinder, typically elevated on the feed side, to help keep the material moving through to the exit side. With the spiraling motion of the cylinder, the smaller parts begin to pass through the mesh screen, where they are commonly recovered in some type of hopper or fed onto a conveyor system.

Example of a screener/trammel used to separate gravel and sand.

In this particular application, their proprietary machine design features a non-vibratory system used in separating pet foods. The screener is working as far as separation but the problem they were having was as the pet food passes through the rotating mesh cylinder, it leaves an oily residue on the screen. Due to this being a food application, they are unable to use any type of cleaning brush over concerns that some of the fibers may break loose, contaminating the finished product, so they were looking at using air as an alternative solution.

I recommended they incorporate our 48″ Stainless Steel Super Air Knife in the application. The Super Air Knife is our most efficient unit, as far as compressed air usage, using only 2.9 SCFM per inch of knife when operated at 80 PSIG supply. The end to end, high velocity airflow produced by the unit would span the 48″ width of the screen. The top of their machine is removable, so I suggested they also incorporate our Model # 9060 Universal Mounting System. The Model # 9060 provides for an easy installation as well as a simple way to change the distance and direction of the knife to provide the most effective blowoff. With the cover off, they could easily move the knife into position to perform the cleaning.

Super Air Knife mounted to Universal Mounting System. (note: longer knives require multiple systems)

If you are considering an Air Knife to use in your process and would like to discuss the application, please give us a call at 800-903-9247.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Trommel and sluicebox image courtesy of Roy Luck via Creative Common License

Cooling Nylon Parts and Brushes with the Adjustable Spot Cooler

A robotics company called last week looking for a recommendation for a cooling device to use in their nylon plastic machining operation. They have a six axis robot, fitted with abrasive brushes, that “cleans” the part profiles as they are being moved from the milling area to the inspection location. The brushes were effective in removing the fines and particulate from the parts but they were starting to experience an increase in the amount of rejects as the brushes were generating heat, causing deformities to the profile.

Their initial thought was to use a liquid type method of cooling but with the parts having some small recesses and cavities that might trap fluid, this wasn’t going to be a reliable option for them. Another area of concern with using an air cooling device, was if the airflow was too forceful, the smaller parts they process may have the potential to “move” while being held by the robotic arm which could scratch or blemish the part.

After further conversation about the process, I recommended they use our Adjustable Spot Cooler in the application. The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a Vortex Tube to produce a cold airstream as low as -30°F with an ambient air supply temperature. Using the temperature control valve, they can easily adjust the temperature drop and the volume (SCFM) of air being exhausted, to “dial” in the device to provide an adequate level of cooling while controlling the outlet flow to not disrupt the hold on the part itself. With the integral magnetic base and flexible tubing, they could easily mount the unit to the arm of the robot while directing the cold air to blow across the brushes and the part to keep them cool.

Model # 3825 Adjustable Spot Cooler System includes 2 extra generators to allow for more or less cooling capacity and airflow.

EXAIR offers a wide variety of spot cooling products for many different processes and uses. For help selecting the best option to fit your need or to discuss another product, give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

 

 

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