Clean Up Clean Up… Everybody Do Your Part

Okay, if the title doesn’t get the song stuck in your head, maybe the YouTube video will. Whenever our kids were younger, my wife and I would start to sing this song when the kids didn’t want to help clean up, and then we would just be singing and trying to get them to clean up with the words. Eventually, they would help…

1 – Clean Up – Barney

So what does this have to do with industrial compressed air? Well, the compressed air system generally starts in a remote corner or location in the facility that not many people venture to. It is often where there is minimal routine cleaning that can directly impact the well-being of the air compressors for a facility.

We’ve blogged about this many times on critical ways to improve your compressed air system, and we often touch on ensuring you have clean compressed air. That all starts with the room or areas the compressors are housed in. If you keep the area clean and keep the air exchanging there, then the compressor has clean, fresh air to entrain and begin the compression process. If your compressor condensate drain just goes into a puddle and oil dry gets thrown on top of it, then that dust and debris all begin to become airborne over time. That gets entrained into the intake and not to mention the smell and biomass that begins to generate is rather foul. If oil or some other lubricant gets spilled and not cleaned up when it happens, then when a real leak develops on the compressor it can’t be found because the area is already covered in oil and grime that never gets cleaned.

The notorious “Compressor Closet” that never gets opened in a small shop.

When trying to perform preventative maintenance and the area is littered with debris, oil dry, unused parts, and dimly lit, you can’t easily see or find all the maintenance points on the equipment and will often spend more time trying to clean the area up than the actual maintenance takes. Adding a cleaning process to the weekly routine of the area is one of the best things that can be done for the compressor room/area. It makes operators more aware of where the compressed air is coming from and should anything not look right, it makes it easier to see and report.

If you would like to talk about other key components to optimizing your compressed air system, contact an Application Engineer today.

Brian Farno, Application Engineer

Advantages of EXAIR’s Threaded Line Vacs

EXAIR Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design of the generator creates a high velocity of air to create a low pressure on one side and a powerful thrust on the other. The Line Vac can pick up and move solid material from light and fluffy batting to dense, heavy and abrasive material and parts.  They can transfer product horizontally up to 100 feet (30 meters) away and vertically up to 20 feet (6 meters) high.  You can watch a video on the operation of a Line Vac HERE.  Compared to other vacuum or conveying systems, the EXAIR Line Vacs are very quiet, rugged, and powerful. They are exceptionally simple to install and solve many “bucket and ladder”, loading and scrap removal applications. EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials to best fit your application.

The standard Line Vac is the most versatile product in this family.  EXAIR stocks a wide range of sizes, materials, and styles to target the best solution for moving material.  We have two types of connections, slip-on, hose barb type ends for hose connections and male NPT threaded ends for pipe connection.  EXAIR can swap the connections with a slip-on hose on one end with a threaded connection on the other.  They range in diameters from 3/8” (10mm) up to 5” (127mm).  We manufacture the Line Vacs in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS; but don’t let that deter you if your need them manufactured in any other type of material.  We have high temperature models that can withstand temperatures up to 900 deg. F (482 deg. C).  These Line Vacs work great in applications for loading plastic pellets in hoppers, discarding scrap pieces, trim removal, and transferring material.  If an operator has to carry a container of dry material and climb stairs, a Line Vac could be a much better alternative.

EXAIR Corporation 3 NPT Heavy Duty Line Vac™ Conveys Plastic Cap Nails.

The Heavy Duty Line Vacs are made from a hardened alloy steel for abrasion resistance.  The generators inside these Line Vacs are more powerful than the standard models; so, that they can also convey heavier materials at higher conveyance rates.  They can reach rates as high as 40 lbs./min. (18.2Kg/min) of material.  With the hardened alloy construction, they are great for sand blasting applications, ceramic, glass and steel shot.  They are manufactured with inlet and outlet connections for ship-on hoses or threaded pipes.  EXAIR stocks the Heavy Duty Line Vacs in the range from ¾” (19mm) to 3” (76mm) for both hose and NPT connections.  These Line Vacs are our most powerful design with great wear resistance.

Both the Standard and Heavy Duty Line vacs can be offered as Threaded Line Vacs which converts the smooth OD for hose slip over to a Male NPT to connect common plumbing fittings to they are both available in a range of different materials: Aluminum, Type 303 Stainless Steel, Type 316 Stainless Steel, and as a Heavy Duty conveyor constructed of a proprietary hardened alloy steel for use in abrasive applications.

Each style of Threaded Line Vac is also available as a High Temperature option. By replacing the traditional o-rings with graphite seals, we’re able to provide a solution capable of withstanding temperatures up to 900 °F!!!

EXAIR Line Vacs are also sold in kit format.  A kit will include a filter, regulator and a bracket.  (A bracket is not sold with the Light Duty Line Vac kits.)  The filter will help keep the compressed air passages inside the Line Vac clean as well as the product that it is conveying.  The regulator is a great tool to increase and decrease pressure as needed to vary the conveyance rates for better control.  The mounting bracket allows the user to securely mount the Line Vac to a sturdy base for support. 

If you have any questions on how our Line Vacs can help save you money give us a call! One of our application engineers will be happy to assist!

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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TurboBlast Safety Air Guns – Up To 23 Pounds Of Force At The Push Of A Button

I had the pleasure, recently, of talking with a customer at a paper good manufacturing facility who needed an air gun with a LOT of force for some applications, a little less for others, and was hoping to find one device that gave the operator control over it. They were using a piece of 1/2″ pipe on the end of a ball valve. The operators were trying (and mostly failing) to get precise control by throttling that valve. When they needed a LOT of force, it was no problem – just open the valve all the way. Unfortunately, though, ball valves aren’t known for being precision throttling devices, so most of the “little less” force jobs were getting too much force (and making a bigger mess) or not enough (leaving the existing mess) around the machinery.

After reviewing our Safety Air Guns catalog, they decided to try the Model 1927 TurboBlast Safety Air Gun. They liked:

  • Hard hitting power – the Model 1118 High Force Super Air Nozzle‘s flow (when supplied @80psig) generates 15 pounds of force at a distance of 12″ from the target.
  • Nozzle Guard – there was a great potential for the tip to get banged up from incidental contact with the machinery. The rugged Nozzle Guard protects not only the Air Nozzle, but the equipment as well, as the Zinc Aluminum Super Air Nozzle could have left scratches in some of the parts that were painted.
  • Adjustable Gate Valve – this provides the precise control their operators need to clean up the aforementioned mess, without creating a bigger one.
  • Pushbutton control – the low profile button trigger actuates with just a slight squeeze. Much more ergonomic than having to grasp the ball valve’s handle tight, especially when they needed it in a partially open position.
Features & benefits of the new TurboBlast Safety Air Gun

No matter what the scope of a blow off application is, EXAIR has a wide selection of Safety Air Guns to meet your needs. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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EXAIR Safety Air Guns Reduce Air Consumption & Sound Levels Without Sacrificing Performance

I recently had the pleasure of discussing Safety Air Gun performance with the Safety Director of a manufacturing facility who needed to address the high noise levels in their machine shop. They were using inexpensive thumb trigger blow offs:

The sound level generated by this air gun was 87dBA, when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. That’s just under the 90dBA maximum allowable noise exposure per OSHA Standard 1910.95(a) for 8 hour exposure.

It’s important to note that handheld blow off devices are RARELY operated continuously, but even in short bursts, excessively high noise levels like that (even if they’re technically within OSHA limits) aren’t a lot of fun to be around, and Safety Directors aren’t the kind of folks who are typically OK with operating right at a published limit. I know EXAIR’s Safety Director isn’t, and neither is this company’s.

After discussing the specifics of what they use these for, we determined that two specific EXAIR Safety Air Guns would meet their machinists’ needs at different machines: Model 1699-CS VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun with our Mini Super Air Nozzle & Chip Shield, and Model 1809-PEEK-CS VariBlast Precision Safety Air Gun with our Pico Super Air Nozzle (PEEK thermoplastic for non-marring performance in case of incidental contact with the parts they’re blowing off) & Chip Shield.

The VariBlast Compact Safety Air Gun (left) has two ports to choose from – this one uses the one on the back of the handle. The VariBlast Precision Safety Air Guns (right) have a molded plastic grip for ergonomics. Both feature a variable flow trigger to give the operator total control of the flow & force generated from the efficient & quiet Super Air Nozzle.

The sound level of the Mini Super Air Nozzle on the Model 1699-CS is only 71dBA, and Pico Super Air Nozzle on the Model 1809-PEEK-CS is only 68dBA. Those sound levels are barely discernible in a typical machine shop during normal operation…and FAR less than OSHA’s limits, in any case.

In addition to the sound level reduction, the compressed air consumption was greatly reduced as well. Their device was tested in our Efficiency Lab, and uses 22.3 SCFM @80psig. The air consumption of the Model 1699-CS is only 10 SCFM @80psig, and Model 1809-PEEK-CS uses only 4.9 SCFM @80psig.

The additional benefit of the operators being able to control the flow & force by the variable flow trigger will almost certainly reduce ALL of those values as muscle memory ‘fine tunes’ the amount of pull they apply to the trigger. I think that qualifies for a win-win-win, any day.

If you use air guns in your facility, and they’re not EXAIR Safety Air Guns, you owe it to yourself – and your electric bill & your co-workers’ hearing – to check us out.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
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