EXAIR FAQs: A Hidden Nugget of Information

The pneumatic industry is huge. Almost every manufacturing plant around the world uses compressed air in one way or another. EXAIR has manufactured Intelligent Compressed Air Products since 1983, and in that time we have gathered much information. We sorted this data and placed it in our Knowledge Base section for all to see. Now, if you have a compressed air system in your plant, EXAIR probably has information about usage, optimization, and application details where we were able to solve or improve the settings with cost savings, efficiency, and safety. In this blog, I will cover one section of the Knowledge Base categories; FAQs.

FAQ Page

FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions, is a library of inquiries that our customers have asked in the past. We compiled this collection that end-users, resellers, OEMs and distributors asked; and, we placed them in one area to be found quickly and easily. The FAQ library is located under Knowledge Base (reference photo above). We separated the FAQs by product groups to find more information like maximum temperatures, pressures, viscosities, etc. This in-depth assortment of information can help to swiftly answer some obscure questions that may be important for your application.

RDV How It Works

As an example, I recently received a call from a customer requesting information about the Reversible Drum Vac. This product is a two-way pump that uses compressed air to transfer liquid in and out of steel drums. They do not have any motors to wear or electricity to work; so, they are very reliably and long-lasting. This pneumatic pump works wonderful for transferring coolants. But this customer wanted to know if it can transfer hydraulic fluids; and if so, how fast. I was able to direct them to our FAQ library. We found that it can pump 10 gallons/minute or 38 liters/minute of hydraulic fluid. They also noticed that the Reversible Drum Vac can pump even more viscous fluids, like 15W40 motor oil. It opened their eyes on the capabilities of the Reversible Drum Vac for other applications in their facility.

Of course, Application Engineers at EXAIR are always available to answer questions about our products or about your applications. But if EXAIR is closed and you want to buy right away, the FAQ section could be a great place to find that “nugget” for a quick answer.

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

Photo: FAQ Magnifying Glass by loufre. Pixabay License – Free for commercial use

About Dual Acting Reciprocating Compressors

When it comes to generating compressed air there are many types of compressors to utilize within a facility.  One of those types is a dual acting reciprocating compressor.  This is a type of positive displacement compressor that takes advantage of a piston style action and actually compresses air on both directions of the stroke.  Below you can see a video from a company that showcases how a dual acting compressor works and gives a good representation of how it is compressing the air on both directions of travel.

Dual_Recip
Click on this image for video

The reciprocating type of air compressor uses a motor that turns a crank which pushes a piston inside a cylinder; like the engine in your car.  In a basic cycle, an intake valve opens to allow the ambient air into the cylinder, the gas gets trapped, and once it is compressed by the piston, the exhaust valve opens to discharge the compressed volume into a tank.  This method of compression happens for both the single and double acting reciprocating compressors.

With a single acting compressor, the air is compressed only on the up-stroke of the piston inside the cylinder.  The double acting compressor compresses the air on both the up-stroke and the down-stroke of the piston, doubling the capacity of a given cylinder size.  This “double” compression cycle is what makes this type of air compressor very efficient.  A single acting compressor will have an operating efficiency between 100 cfm / 23 kW of air while the double acting compressor has an operating efficiency between 100 cfm 15.5 kW .  Therefore, electricity cost is less with a double-acting reciprocating air compressor to make the same amount of compressed air.

These compressors are ruggedly designed to be driven 100% of the time and to essentially be a Clydesdale of compressors.  They are commonly used with applications or systems requiring higher pressures and come in lubricated or non-lubricated models.

If you would like to discuss air compressors or how to efficiently utilize the air that your system is producing so that you aren’t giving your compressor an artificial load that isn’t needed, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Watch EXAIR Webinars On-Demand

That’s right, just like your local cable or satellite TV provider, EXAIR offers On-Demand content that can be streamed and used for training, education, help with cost justification, or improve awareness around compressed air costs and safety.

The best part about this content is that you don’t have to pay for it, simply register on our website (where your information is not shared) and go to the Webinars section of our Knowledge Base.  Then gain access to the library of five webinars that have all been broadcast around compressed air safety, efficiency, and optimization.

EXAIR.com – Webinars On-Deman

The current On-Demand offering is listed below:

Intelligent Compressed Air Solutions for OSHA Compliance
Intelligent Solutions for Electrical Enclosure Cooling
Optimize Your Compressed Air System in 6 Simple Steps
Simple Steps for Big Savings
Understanding Static Electricity

The most recent webinar we created is currently only On-Demand for registered attendees and will soon be added to the Knowledge Base library.  If you did not get to see it live, the content was extremely helpful for anyone that works within a facility that uses compressed air.  Use This Not That – 4 Common Ways To Save Compressed Air In Your Plant, keep an eye out for the release date in our On-Demand section.

If you would like to discuss any of the webinar topics further, please feel free to reach out to an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Supply Side Review: Heat of Compression-Type Dryers

The supply side of a compressed air system has many critical parts that factor in to how well the system operates and how easily it can be maintained.   Dryers for the compressed air play a key role within the supply side are available in many form factors and fitments.  Today we will discuss heat of compression-type dryers.

Heat of compression-type dryer- Twin Tower Version

Heat of compression-type dryers are a regenerative desiccant dryer that take the heat from the act of compression to regenerate the desiccant.  By using this cycle they are grouped as a heat reactivated dryer rather than membrane technology, deliquescent type, or refrigerant type dryers.   They are also manufactured into two separate types.

The single vessel-type heat of compression-type dryer offers a no cycling action in order to provide continuous drying of throughput air.  The drying process is performed within a single pressure vessel with a rotating desiccant drum.  The vessel is divided into two air streams, one is a portion of air taken straight off the hot air exhaust from the air compressor which is used to provide the heat to dry the desiccant. The second air stream is the remainder of the air compressor output after it has been processed through the after-cooler. This same air stream passes through the drying section within the rotating desiccant drum where the air is then dried.  The hot air stream that was used for regeneration passes through a cooler just before it gets reintroduced to the main air stream all before entering the desiccant bed.  The air exits from the desiccant bed and is passed on to the next point in the supply side before distribution to the demand side of the system.

The  twin tower heat of compression-type dryer operates on the same theory and has a slightly different process.  This system divides the air process into two separate towers.  There is a saturated tower (vessel) that holds all of the desiccant.  This desiccant is regenerated by all of the hot air leaving the compressor discharge.  The total flow of compressed air then flows through an after-cooler before entering the second tower (vessel) which dries the air and then passes the air flow to the next stage within the supply side to then be distributed to the demand side of the system.

The heat of compression-type dryers do require a large amount of heat and escalated temperatures in order to successfully perform the regeneration of the desiccant.  Due to this they are mainly observed being used on systems which are based on a lubricant-free rotary screw compressor or a centrifugal compressor.

No matter the type of dryer your system has in place, EXAIR still recommends to place a redundant point of use filter on the demand side of the system.  This helps to reduce contamination from piping, collection during dryer down time, and acts as a fail safe to protect your process.  If you would like to discuss supply side or demand side factors of your compressed air system please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Heat of compression image: Compressed Air Challenge: Drive down your energy costs with heat of compression recovery: https://www.plantservices.com/articles/2013/03-heat-of-compression-recovery/

 

Pressure – The Inner Working of the Basic Pressure Gauge

Everyday here at EXAIR we talk about pressure, specifically compressed air pressure. The other day I was looking up our model 9011, 1/4″ NPT Pressure Gauge , and it got me to wondering just how does this small piece of industrial equipment work. The best way to find out is to tear it apart.

9011_exair

Most mechanical gauges utilize a Bourdon-tube. The Bourdon-tube was invented in 1849 by a French watchmaker, Eugéne Bourdon.  The movable end of the Bourdon-tube is connected via a pivot pin/link to the lever.  The lever is an extension of the sector gear, and movement of the lever results in rotation of the sector gear. The sector gear meshes with a spur gear (not visible) on the indicator needle axle which passes through the gauge face and holds the indicator needle.  Lastly, there is a small hair spring in place to put tension on the gear system to eliminate gear lash and hysteresis.

When the pressure inside the Bourdon-tube increases, the Bourdon-tube will straighten. The amount of straightening that occurs is proportional to the pressure inside the tube. As the tube straightens, the movement engages the link, lever and gear system that results in the indicator needle sweeping across the gauge.

Pressure Gauge Top

The video below shows the application of air pressure to the Bourdon-tube and how it straightens, resulting in movement of the link/lever system, and rotation of the sector gear –  resulting in the needle movement.

If you need a pressure gauge or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Nice & New FAQs

In Russ Bowman’s most recent blog, More Power? I DO Think So…, he mentioned several key questions that an EXAIR Application Engineer will ask whenever we are troubleshooting a compressed air application that is not performing to the standards needed.    The blog talks about very common questions that we will ask customers when they call in with an existing compressed air application.   He then goes on to explain the usefulness of how many of the EXAIR products are adjustable using shims which are more often than not, patented.

Knowledge Base
EXAIR’s Knowledge Base is a wealth of knowledge.

 

Answers to questions that we frequently get from customers, on almost every single product we offer are all available for free, without even having to call, write, or tweet an Application Engineer. In the EXAIR Knowledge Base we offer a full section on FAQs.   This section is broken into each product category, and contains a wealth of information.  Most of these answers can also be found within our full catalog but we have streamlined to the most commonly asked questions in the FAQ section.

All of the product categories have even been recently revised to include questions for our products that have been released throughout the year.   There are now questions that have answer for the 108″ Super Air Knife, High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, and even PEEK Super Air Nozzles.   We will also continue to expand this section of our website to include any new products and or questions that start to arise.  So if you have a question that you don’t see on there, let us know and you just might see it get posted.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Knowledge Is More Powerful than Hardware

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went shopping for a wearable baby carrier for our new son. We had searched on the internet for prices and materials for the carriers, but to make the final purchase, we wanted purchase it from a store. With the rest of our baby purchases, I was able to talk to my brother, sister-in-law, or coworkers to get a feel for brands and products.  For some items, a brand name was well worth the expense, and for other items any version would do.  Some of the great advice we got was that any garbage can with a lid made a good diaper pail, because even the best smell eliminating filtration would not contain the smell that will build up, if you don’t change the bag early and often. However, when it came to a wearable baby carrier, it was a new age item in my family, so no one we knew had one we could try.

Also, we didn’t know anyone who was currently using a brand that gave a good review or had a lot of experience, so we had to rely on what we could put together from the internet. We surfed the internet and found videos put out by several companies and how-to’s done by the DIY folks, but couldn’t determine a clear way we wanted to go, because on the internet everything seems great. So, we pack the 5 day old infant up in the SUV, and head to the store to see what we can find. We went to the big box store and found some inexpensive carriers that came with all sorts of nylon fiber, straps,  and snaps, but no one was there to help us or had any idea, which product might work better for us.

book of knowledge

 

With the cost of the this carrier in mind, we went to the more boutique shop to see what we might find. The store is a small shop that is known for selling specialty products that are outside of the normal baby shower gifts. Here, we were greeted at the door by a helpful gentleman, who asked how he could help. He promptly pointed us the carriers he stocked and encouraged us to look around and open the packaging to see, if his products would work out for us. He freely admitted that he did not have a lot of experience with the specifics of each brand, but gave us the name and contact number of a clerk who specialized in the field. This clerk also taught classes to better understand how to use the product. The man encouraged us to attend the class and advised us, if we want to get one today, we would be welcome to return it. My wife was able to try the different brands, and see what work for her. With the baby carrier we eventually bought, we found detailed print instructions and a website that we could pull up on our phone with video and photos of several applications. She went ahead and tried out the carrier with the baby, and we browsed through the rest of the store.  After 45 minutes of shopping, my son was sleeping in the carrier and my wife successfully avoiding the women’s clothing section of the store. Whew

We purchased the carrier that day feeling confident that it would work for us, but knowing that if we had a problem that a person would be able to help us, if we returned the item. Though the man minding the store didn’t know the answers to all our questions, he did know how to get the answers to our questions, and encouraged us to try out his products to see, if they would fit our needs. When we got home and looked at what we bought, it really was a simple device – some fabric and a few metal rings that we may have been able to make or source ourselves. In most instances, I would have had a small amount of buyers remorse, because the product I had purchased was more expensive than what we could have purchased at the big box store. But with the confidence I had that the purchase was perfect for us, I would buy the same product again.

Working at EXAIR, I really enjoying sharing our success stories with other customers.  Though we are always going to speak about our products in the best light, we can tell you with confidence whether or not our products are going to work in your application. Having a knowledgeable sales staff that knows our products and its application is not an easy commodity to come by, but one that I value in the businesses from which I purchase. EXAIR’s Application Engineers are available over the phone, through email or with a chat. Don’t hesitate to ask any question about our products or your application.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

Image from Tessss. Creative Commons License