Proper Labeling of Piping Systems Increases Safety

Industrial facilities can have a multitude of piping and utilities within them. Some of the piping can all look similar, especially if it is not labeled. water, sprinkler lines, compressed air, even steam, and refrigeration lines are just a few of those that can easily be seen within a number of manufacturing facilities. Proper labeling of these helps to ensure plant safety and can also lead to higher efficiencies within the system.

Properly labeled compressed air piping.

So how does labeling lead to safety? Well, in more than one occurrence I have been inside of facilities where piping that was not intended for compressed air, such as PVC was used for it. When the incorrect piping gets used it can become easily confused and if the contractor that is installing new equipment doesn’t do their homework then it can lead to catastrophic errors. For instance, piping can rupture, or even worse, you could easily pipe the incorrect utility into a piece of equipment. Imagine seeing PVC pipe, which is used for water, and hooking it to a rinse application only to find someone improperly used the piping for industrial compressed air. Or vise versa, an unlabeled pipe thought to be compressed air is actually city water and the next thing happening is water raining down on a packaging blowoff.

Cold Water Piping Labeled properly.

This all can and should be easily prevented by properly labeling any and all piping systems thoroughly throughout the facility. This not only names the utility but generally shows the flow direction as well which an help determine where the source is coming from as well. When performing the first step in the 6 Steps To Compressed Air Optimization knowing the direction of flow is critical when installing a Digital Flowmeter in order to assess system efficiency for compressed air.

The proper labeling and utilizing proper piping within industrial environments can easily prevent accidents and ensure ease of troubleshooting or new installations because the piping is already labeled. If you would like to discuss more on what types of piping are acceptable to use with compressed air, feel free to contact an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Need to Remove Stubborn, Sticky & Difficult Debris from a Surface? Try this.

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Model 1244-48 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

EXAIR has designed a new type of nozzle called the Super Air Scraper.  This nozzle combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle.  Together, it creates a mechanical force with an 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. 

Model 1144 Super Scraper Nozzle

Let’s breakdown the nozzle.  The 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. 

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To control the pressurized air to the nozzle, EXAIR attached the 1144-A Super Air Scraper to the Soft Grip Safety Air Gun, model 1244.  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 at the 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 2 p.m. EST.  For U.S. and Canadian customers, we offer a 30-day unconditional guarantee to see how great this product can work for your application.  If you have sticky, flakey, or greasy substances that need 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. 

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

Solving a Static Electricity Problem when Applying Labels

Gen4 Static Eliminators

A company was applying labels to their plastic containers.  The labels were 4” (10cm) wide by 9” (23cm) long in size with a protective backing.  The backing material had to be removed prior to applying the label to a 9” (23cm) tall container.  With their label applicator, the label would wrap around the container.  They started to see misalignment and wrinkles in the labels when they were applied.  For the nonconforming parts, they had to remove the label and clean the surface to reapply another label.  This was time-consuming and a pain in the neck.  Since winter is here in the Northern Hemisphere, the drier air makes static very easy to create and will cause issues.  They contacted EXAIR to ask about our Gen4 Static Eliminators.

 With non-conductive materials like plastic and paper, static is easily generated; especially during cooler weather.  Static can be in a negative state or a positive state depending on the type of material.  With opposite charges, things are attracted to each other and will “stick” like magnets.  For similar charges, they will repel each other.  The higher the static charge, the stronger the force.  Static is generated from rubbing, hitting, and peeling which can cause electrons to be stripped from a surface.  For the customer above, the peeling away of the backing from the label caused the negative electrons to build on one surface.  And with the containers shifting, bumping and moving along the conveyor; static was also being generated.  Since like charges repel each other, the labels were not able to stay aligned and were creating bubbles on the surface.

When it comes to removing static, EXAIR is a leader in this market.  We have a large product line of different types of Static Eliminators.  Our design generates both positive and negative ions to remove any type of static charge up to 20 feet (6m) away.  In this application, I wanted to target two areas where static is present; the labels and the containers.  Since we could get close proximity to the label and the containers, I recommended using the Gen4 Ionizing Bars.  With a quick static decay rate, we can remove the static right before applying the label.  For this application, I recommended the model 8006 6” Gen4 Ionizing Bar and two model 8009 9” Gen4 Ionizing Bars.

EXAIR’s power supplies are what gives the Gen4 Ionizing Bars energy to create ions.  EXAIR offers two models of Gen4 Power Supplies; model 7960 which can power up to two Static Eliminator products and model 7961,  which can power up to four Static Eliminator products.  Since the Gen4 Ionizing Bars were mounted in the same area, the model 7961 Gen4 Power Supply was used to run three Ion Bars at once.  This helps to save money as they did not need to buy multiple power supplies.

Together, it was very easy to mount and start using.  The model 8006 was mounted right after the backing was removed from the label.  One model 8009 was positioned in the front of the container; and the second model 8009 was positioned in the back of the container.  Now they were able to remove all the static before the label was placed on the container.

EXAIR stocks lengths from 3” (76mm) up to 108” (2743mm), and we can ship a solution the same day.  When you are losing time and working hours due to static buildup like the company above, the Gen4 Static Eliminators can resolve it quickly and easily.

If you are having problems with static in alignment, jamming, contamination, or shocking staff; you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  The Gen4 Static Eliminators can remove the static and keep your process running smoothly.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

The Soft Grip Super Air Scraper Easily Cleans Floors

Scrape off, and blow away, stubborn debris with the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper.

Have you ever tried to remove a sticky substance with a putty knife? You scrape and scrape, then stop to remove the loose material. Then start scraping again that same area which has material remaining. It can be very time-consuming. And, if the material is on the floor, it can ergonomically hurt your back and knees.

A subcontractor that worked for an automotive company contacted EXAIR for a solution. They needed a faster, better, and easier way to remove tape from the floor. Personally, I have been through many automotive plants, and they have everything marked with tape. They use different sorts of tape to mark pedestrian walkways, machine locations, and fork truck lanes. So, when a work area gets new equipment or altered for better workflow, the tape has to be removed. And since downtime affects productivity, the work has to be done quickly. Their current mode of operation was for the staff members to work on the floor with hand scrapers to remove the tape.

The answer to the subcontractor’s problem was the EXAIR Soft Grip Super Air Scraper. This product uses a nozzle that combines a scraping blade with our 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle. It uses the mechanical force of a blade with the force of compressed air to remove stubborn sticky materials. The corrosion-resistant steel scraper is robust and durable, and they can be easily sharpened or replaced when worn. To add flexibility to the Super Air Scraper, a shim set can be used to increase the blowing force. This combination of the nozzle and the scraper is an effective and powerful way to remove material with compressed air.

Soft Grip Super Air Scraper

To get pressurized air to this patent-pending nozzle, EXAIR attached the Super Air Scraper to our Soft Grip Air Gun. The Soft Grip Air Gun has an ergonomic soft handle and a full-grip trigger for hours of use without fatigue.   We include different extensions for hard-to-reach applications ranging from 6” (152mm) to 72” (1,829mm) in length. With extensions that are 36” (914mm) and longer, EXAIR installs an additional foam grip sleeve. This gives more leverage for scraping material at a distance like at the floor level. Chip Shields can also be added to prevent blow-back onto the users.

For the subcontractor above, this was the perfect tool for their next assignment. I recommended the model 1244-36 Soft Grip Super Air Scraper which had a great length to reach the floor and a foam grip to force the blade under the tape. With the compressed air, it helped to keep the area clean during scraping and aided with the tape that was really stuck. They ordered six pieces, one for each staff member, to work the entire area to remove tape. The subcontractor was able to cut his scraping time by 75% as compared to the putty knife method above. And the staff members appreciated the need to not get on the floor.

To give some other areas for the Soft Grip Super Air Scraper, they can be used for removing gasket material, caulk, adhesives, paint, labels, and much more. If you have a “sticky” situation at your facility, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to discuss it with you.

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