You Might be Freezing, but Your Electronics Can Still Overheat

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere it can be easy to be overrun by static elimination problems during these winter months.  But, colder outside temperatures don’t always mean cooler temperatures for the electronics used in production processes.

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This cabinet was facing unaddressed overheating issues before exploring a Cabinet Cooler solution

I received an email from one of our distributors this week describing two applications with failing electronics (shown above and below).  The root cause of failure for both applications was excessive heat inside the enclosures which house electronic devices, even though the ambient air temperatures weren’t abnormally high.  So, we used the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide to determine the heat load of each application and make recommendations for proper Cabinet Cooler model numbers.

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This cabinet was also overheating, causing problems in the processes controlled by the components inside the cabinet.

What we found was that the heat load in both cases was rather low, but in each case it was enough to cause the electronics to overheat.  When the temperature of the electronic devices exceeds their specified temperature range, they cease to operate, causing downtime of every device tied to the processes they control.  By installing a Cabinet Cooler onto each enclosure, the overheating problem will be quickly and easily solved.  And, because of the relatively low heat load in this application, a small NEMA 12 type Cabinet Cooler was the perfect solution.

If you have an overheating electrical enclosure, whether during the Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Solving a Printing Problem with EXAIR Static Eliminators

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Unrolling plastic into this machine created a static charge throughout the process

One of the most common sources of static electricity in automated processes is friction.  As two (or more) materials move against each other, static is produced due to the triboelectric effect.  By definition, the triboelectric effect is a type of contact electrification in which certain materials become electrically charged after they come into frictional contact with a different material.  If these materials are non-conductive, or if they are not grounded, the static charge will remain.  This was the case for the machine shown above.

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Multiple stations of this machine, all experiencing static problems

This machine is a Chesnut 150 Gravure Print Station.  It is used for printing, coating, laminating, and sometimes die cutting of paper, light paperboard, films, polyester, flexible packaging and aluminum foil.

In this application, a roll of plastic is dispensed, but a static charge is preventing proper printing on the plastic as it travels from roll to roll.  As the film is separated from the roll, a static charge is produced, and this charge is carried through the process at values ranging from 3,000 – 20,000 volts.  The manager for this production area contacted EXAIR to see if there’s a viable EXAIR solution to remove this static charge.  They were interested in a solution that could eliminate static on the full width of the plastic, could be mounted 200-300mm away from the rollers, and could be replicated at multiple places along the machine.

With this in mind, the best solution was to use a series of 18” Super Ion Air Knives installed periodically along the path of plastic within the machine.  Operating at a low pressure of 1-2 BARG (14.5 – 29 PSIG), the Super Ion Air Knives create an evenly dispersed, quiet airflow of static eliminating ions with a low compressed air consumption.  Using the laminar, static eliminating airflow from the Super Ion Air Knife, this solution can be mounted away from the static charge, allowing the ions to “rain” down on the affected areas.

For this application finding a solution meant finding a method to keep production on schedule.  Without static elimination this machine faced defects, downtime, and decreased efficiency.  Using EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives brought this application back up to optimal operating speeds, keeping the revenue generating process of this manufacturer ongoing.

Colder weather is here and static comes along with it.  If you’re experiencing a static related problem in your facility, contact one of our Application Engineers.  We’d love to help you find a solution.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Removing Debris from Jars Prior To Filling

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These PET jars needed a way to remove static dust prior to filling with product

Back in the spring of this year I had some interaction with a customer in India about a Vortex Tube application.  At the time, they were facing an overheating condition and needed some guidance as to which model would provide the best solution.

Fast forward to this week and this same customer reached out to me again, this time for a static problem.  The application in question was plagued with difficulty in removing small dust particles from the inside of PET jars (shown above).  The jars range from 220-260mm in height (8.6”-10.25”), 80-100mm (3.1”-4”) in diameter, and travel through the process at a speed of ~40 units per minute.

Due to static charge, the dust in this application would adhere to the inside of the jars, presenting a problem with filling during the next stage of the process.  What this customer needed was a way to remove the static, blow away the dust, and then pull a slight vacuum on the jars as a safeguard against any remaining dust.

The solution was to use the Stay Set Ion Air Jet to blow into the jars, removing the static and blowing away the dust, followed by a Super Air Amplifier to remove any dust particles which were not removed by the Ion Air Jet.

The customer was happy with this solution, but there was a bit of hesitation as to whether the Air Amplifier would be able to truly remove debris from the jars.  In an effort to visualize the effects of an Air Amplifier on this type of application I made the short video below.

This video shows paper pieces inside of a cylinder of comparable height to the jars in this application.  After the paper is placed in the cylinder the model 120021 Super Air Amplifier is used to pull the paper out of the cylinder, mimicking the effect it will have on residual dust in the customer’s application.  After seeing the video the customer was confident in the application solution.

Providing this type of assistance for our customers is nothing new for us at EXAIR.  We’re available via phone, online chat, or email for all of our customers, and commit to taking the time needed to really provide the assistance needed.  If you find yourself in need of solid engineering support for an application in your facility, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

 

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Solving Static Problems with an Ion Point

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An Ion Point can provide static elimination with a small footprint and easy installation

I came into the office today to find an interesting application in my inbox.  A small plastic parts manufacturer was facing a problem when sealing their items inside of plastic bags.  The problem arose from an inability to properly place a small strip of glue on the bags, resulting in unwanted glue on the parts and, at times, the exterior of the bags.  What should have been a small strip of glue ended up as a random spread of adhesive due to a static charge on the plastic bags. So, they contacted EXAIR for a static solution.

In this application the first important parameter to check was the type of glue in use.  Some glues are flammable and the vapors from them can be potentially ignitable, so making sure there was no risk for explosion was our first priority as our products are not recommended for use in potentially flammable or combustible applications.

After determining there was no risk for explosion, we then considered the application in more detail.  The static solution needed to be small, effective, and there was an important aspect for this application – the solution could not have any airflow.  The parts which are placed into these bags have low weights, and even a small airflow could remove them from the bags.  So, we needed an airless solution that was compact and effective.

The solution was an Ion Point.

An Ion Point creates a small ionizing “zone” of approximately 2” x 2” (51mm x 51mm) without any airflow.  At this distance, the static elimination from an Ion Point can dissipate a 5kV charge in 0.24 seconds.  The small footprint and airless operation of the Ion Point made it an ideal candidate for this application.

By installing an Ion Point between the bag opener and the glue applicator, the static charge was eliminated and the process disturbance was removed.  We were able to solve this problem, offering a readily available solution (from stock) that fit the specifics of the application.

As the temperature and humidity in the northern hemisphere drop, static problems become more prevalent.  (Click here or here to read about why this happens.)  If static problems arise in your facilities, consider an EXAIR solution.  We’re available to discuss applications and solutions M-F, 8-5 EST.

 

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Replacing Water Cooling With Air Amplifiers

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Copper tubing in need of air-powered cooling

The copper tubing shown above is heated in an annealing furnace to a temperature of 175°C (347°F).  This tubing is stacked on racks in 100kg rolls, with 4-6 rolls of copper per rack, and then fed into the oven shown below.  When the tubing exits the oven, water is used to cool the copper to a temperature of approximately 35°C (95°F) with an ambient temperature of ~20°C (68°F).  While effective, the use of water to cool the copper is something the manufacturer would like to replace due to constant maintenance, safety issues and cleanup time, preferring instead to use air to provide the required cooling.

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The copper tubing travels through this oven

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The racks used to stack the copper tubing

I’ve blogged before about the process of determining how much air volume is needed to remove a specific amount of heat.  (You can read previous blogs here and here.)  This application was no different, and I used the flow chart shown below to determine the volume of 20°C ambient air needed to cool this aluminum.

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Airflow calculation process

Using the process outlined above, I determined the application would need 1,133 CFM of air at 20°C to cool these copper coils in one minute. This application, however, has up to 20 minutes available to cool these coils, allowing for a reduced volume of air.  Extending the time available to 2 minutes, and thus reducing the volume requirement to 566.5 CFM (566.5 CFM for 2 minutes = 1,133 CFM for 1 minute), we can definitively say that a series of our model 120022 Super Air Amplifier will be able to provide ample cooling.  (See below for airflow from model 120022 at 5.5 BARG (80 PSIG) at a distance of 6” from the Air Amplifier outlet.)  And, in order to evenly cool the coils, (4) of these Air Amplifiers were recommended, distributed evenly around the coils.

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Performance for model 120022 operated at 80 PSIG shown in the red circle on the right

Using a bit of calculation, we were able to provide a specific solution for this customer, eliminating the need for water in the cooling phase of this application.  If you have a similar application, or would like to discuss a compressed air solution for your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

EXAIR Cold Gun Provides Dry Cooling for Gang Drill

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A gang drill in need of dry cooling

When working with machining centers of any sort, proper cooling is critical to producing in-spec parts.  Inadequate cooling deteriorates the tooling and can lead to defective or rejected parts, so most of us try to avoid overheating whenever possible.  Traditionally, the best way to cool the cutting blade or bit of a machining center was to use liquid coolant, routing the liquid to the required areas of the machine, and then reclaiming the coolant to be used again while cleaning the finished parts of the coolant residue.

This process, while effective, creates a considerable amount of cleanup, both for the machining area, and for the machined parts.  Because of this, dry cooling can provide distinct advantages when compared to a traditional setup.

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Liquid cooling spilled onto the floor as a result of machining operations

In the setup shown above, a gang drill with 24 drill heads cuts into various aluminum profiles.  As shown in the picture, the process generates a significant strings and chips, and the current setup using liquid cooling results in coolant outside of the desired workspace (see the red arrow in the bottom right, highlighting liquid coolant on the floor – a potential safety hazard).  The end user in this case was in search of a way to maintain cooling for the drills while eliminating the liquid spillover.  The solution, was the EXAIR Cold Gun model 5315 with two cold outlets

When faced with the potential to outfit a machine with a completely new cooling system, we’ve found that a short test can go a long way toward implementing a proper solution.  So, testing a single Cold Gun with two outlets can be tested on a single drill head, with the results reviewed before installing additional units onto the machine.  Our Application Engineering team is available to assist this customer every step of the way with product selection, installation and testing results, and full machine outfitting.

Providing a viable solution and service to the customer have opened the door to removing liquid cooling from this machine.  This will eliminate cleaning of the aluminum profiles after machining, thus reducing the total input required to produce a finished product, and it will eliminate the safety hazard of having liquid coolant on the floor surrounding the machine as well.

If you have a similar application or would like to speak to an Application Engineer about dry cooling, give us a call – we’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Blowing Water from Hard-To-Reach Places

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Cables boxes stacked after leak testing

One of the areas of expertise for our Application Engineers is in compressed air blow off applications.  Finding the proper Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, or Safety Air Gun to suit an application can be as simple as considering a few variables (such as the required force to blow off the item in question), or as complicated as examining tolerance specs within the application to determine whether our products are the right fit (hint: we have CAD drawings available on our site to help with this, too).

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These boxes needed a better way to remove water after submerged leak testing

Earlier this week I was contacted by an industrial service provider which performs leak testing on cable boxes.  The boxes (shown above) are submerged in water as part of an inspection process, and after this process is complete, the water needs to be removed.  The current method of drying the boxes is to allow the boxes to drip-dry, but this presents several problems.  Firstly, drip-drying does not remove all the water from the crevices of the heat sinks, and it leaves unsightly water stains on the outside of the boxes (a small problem, but something to be avoided, if possible).  But, most importantly, allowing the boxes to drip-dry creates a bottleneck in the testing process, reducing throughput due to increased time needed for drying.  So, the service provider reached out to EXAIR in search of a solution to easily, effectively, and quickly remove the water from the heat sinks of these cable boxes.

In order to determine the best solution, we discussed application parameters surrounding the process.  The most important aspect, after determining how much force is needed, was the degree to which the process is automated vs. manual.  Due to the manual nature of the process, a manual blow off would be most suitable, and we determined that the model HP1230 Soft Grip Safety Air Gun would be the best fit for this application.

Coupled with a model 9008 pressure regulator to allow for reduction in line pressure (if needed) this solution provides an efficient, safe, and repeatable means to blow off the water from these cable boxes.  If you have a similar blow off application, or would like to discuss another application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

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