On October 24, 2023, I presented a live webinar covering the methods and advantages of turning the compressed air off when it’s not in use or unneeded.
Compressed air is often referred to as one of the major utilities in most manufacturing facilities due to the cost to generate it. A major benefit to utilizing compressed air is the speed at which it can be shut off and re-energized for use – in fact, this can be done instantaneously. Shutting down the supply of compressed air to an application while it is not needed can drastically reduce the compressed air consumption of the process over time. This is an easy tactic that can produce significant savings for your process and your facility, even if you have high efficiency pneumatic equipment installed, this can still garner notable savings.
Here is the playback for that webinar!
If you would like to discuss any of EXAIR’s safe, quiet & efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call or shoot me an email!
In case you don’t follow me on Twitter / X or know me personally, you may not know my educational background. Well, I received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. Then a few years ago I went back to school at Northern Kentucky University to achieve a Master of Business Administration. The path I took to get there was drastically different from my undergrad and experiences through life are great teachers to what is important.
You see, when I left UC, I was at a point where I had struggled and came out triumphant, started working in the metal cutting industry and the amount of experience I was gaining was like a fire hose constantly. I was attending training, shadowing, and constantly researching or reading. Then, that started to slow, and I started to give the training and write the documentation that others were reading. The draw to learn new skills was still strong, so I continually signed up for more training or would research different aspects of the equipment I was working on to learn more about what they are capable of and the best ways to use them.
Once I transitioned to EXAIR I had an entirely new set of skills to hone, and an extensive product offering which led to weeks of training and reading. Slowly but surely I was able to gain an understanding of our product offering as well as continually conduct testing on products or processes in order to ensure I have a strong understanding of our products how they work, and what is possible to achieve with them. I then got the wild idea to learn more and push my limits, so I started my MBA and really stretched the limits of my ability to consume material and apply the knowledge. This was all a path to improve myself and my ability to serve EXAIR as well as our customers. The truth is, my mindset for online learning this go around was drastically different, and I looked forward to the challenge and structure then being able to apply some of the concepts in my day-to-day life.
The point is that we should never stop learning. When I was younger I didn’t see any value in learning more past my undergrad. Then, I learned you have to continue to learn, and so I continue to do so. Even today, after my MBA I still look for articles, classes, and events to gain more knowledge. This is also why I am glad that EXAIR hosts a wealth of knowledge available to our customers, and we also continually release new content.
The next installment of some knowledge from our team is happening at the end of the month, the EXAIR Webinar. Our own Jordan Shouse will be discussing ways to save compressed air by simply turning it off. Register today to save your seat and then show up for the live event on October 24, 2023 @ 2 PM ET.
So last week I blogged about how I was using my leaf blower to disperse colored powders at a Color Fun Run for a school event. Well, while it did work, the outcome was not our desired effect. Instead of getting a nice plume, we got a considerable cloud/smoke screen of colored dust. It looks like a pollen tornado. So we had to scrap it. Were still able to make the event a blast and my ruck is still covered in purple powder from a reloading mishap. We learned a tremendous amount though. We also built a nine-square game for the first time and learned how not do put it together as well.
During the testing, we tried several introduction methods for the powder and where we ultimately landed was, we need way less air and intermittent bursts. Much like a Line Vac with an Electronic Flow Control set to a few seconds of cycle time. Then fill the breech of the powder cannon with a charge of colored powder. The trick is just enough of a blast of air to entrain the powder and discharge it, not a ton of air like a leaf blower gives off.
The best part of this process is the number of middle schoolers that got involved throughout the process of us testing it before the event. The ideas, the questions, the shock and awe that we would try something like this, and then the disgust when we told them they weren’t allowed to use it because we didn’t like the performance. What it did give me the chance to discuss with them each though is one of my favorite sayings, “You can’t teach experience.” They didn’t all get it. So we would share with them how we thought it would work, we tested, we changed variables, and ultimately, it didn’t work. What did work though is our ability to recognize what changed and to come up with a plan for next year that will give us some more time and testing and what didn’t work.
Experience is what EXAIR brings to the table with all of our Application Engineers. We all have different backgrounds, and we all have experienced a lot of things throughout life. Some of us have also found out that we can be somewhat of a slow learner sometimes too and that’s okay. If I don’t have experience and confidence in an application here, I may discuss it with one of the other AE’s, or I may just go and test the closest setup I can get. The point is, we put the effort in, we try, and we do it all to help our customer’s experience improve. This also gives us a chance to grow.
If you would like to discuss an application or experience you have and need help with, contact an Application Engineer today!
I know it has been a little while since I blogged about something with a motor so it should be no surprise that this one ties to something with a combustion chamber. This all starts with an Italian physicist, Giovanni Battista Venturi. His career was as a historian of science and a professor at the University of Modena. He gave Leonardo da Vinci’s creations a different perspective by crediting da Vinci to be a scientist with many of his creations rather than just an amazing artist. He then began to study fluid flow through tubes. This study became known as the Venturi Tube. The first patents in 1888 came to fruition long after Giovanni passed away. So what was this Venturi effect and how does it tie in to carburetors let alone compressed air?
The illustration below showcases the Venturi effect of a fluid within a pipe that has a constriction. The principle states that a fluid’s velocity must increase as it passes through a constricted pipe. As this occurs, the velocity increases while the static pressure decreases. The pressure drop that accompanies the increase in velocity is fundamental to the laws of physics. This is another principle we like to discuss known as Bernoulli’s principle.
Some of the first patents using Venturi’s began to appear in 1888. One of the key inventors for this was Karl Benz who founded Mercedes. This is how the Venturi principle ties into combustion engines for those that do not know the history. This patent is one of many that came out referencing the Venturi principle and carburetors. The carburetors can vary considerably in the complexity of their design. Many of the units all have a pipe that narrows in the center and expands back out, thus causing the pressure to fall and the velocity to increase. Yes, I just described a Venturi, this effect is what causes the fuel to be drawn into the carburetor. The higher velocity on the input (due to this narrowing restriction) results in higher volumes of fuel which results in higher engine rpms. The image below showcases Benz’s first patent using the Venturi.
While carburetors slowly disappear and now can mainly be found in small engines such as weed eaters, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers, the Venturi principle continues to be found in industry and other items. Needless to say, I think Giovanni Battista Venturi would be proud of his findings and understanding how monumental they have been for technological advancements. For this, we will recognize the upcoming day of his passing 199 years ago on April 24, 1822.