Super Air Wipes Help a Swiss CNC Machine to be More Accurate

Precision Required

As machined parts require tighter tolerances, machine shops are starting to look at Swiss-type CNC machines.  These types of machines are extremely accurate and very fast in producing small parts.  But in order to reach that level of accuracy, the bar stock may have to be pre-treated by a centerless grinder.

Our customer was using Swiss-type CNC machines with guide bushings to produce a very tight-tolerance part.  Because they were using guide bushings, the outside diameter of the bar stock had to be smooth and concentric.  This helps to reduce any vibration when machining.  A centerless grinder was used to accomplish this.  The bar stock that they used was 10 feet long and it was placed into a bar feeder.  They had to grind the bar to an outer diameter of 30mm with a surface finish of 32Ra.  As they were loading the bar stock, they noticed that the surface finish was scuffed and marred.  This was enough to affect the machining process and not meet the tolerance standard.

As they reviewed the possible causes, they found that after the bar was ground, some grinding remnants were sticking to the outside of the bar.  As the rods were leaving the grinder and placed onto a roller-type conveyor, the oily film and metal shavings were sticking to the rollers.  This would scrape and mark the rods as they traveled along the conveyor toward the Swiss-type machining center.  As an attempt to remove this debris, they attached two copper tubes to blow compressed air onto the top and bottom of the bar.   Not only was this loud and inefficient, it was not effective.  They still had a dirty line along the sides of the rod that remained.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them with this dilemma.

In order to get a consistent blow-off force around the entire circumference of the rod, EXAIR Air Wipes were engineered to be an ideal solution for this kind of problem.  I recommended the model 2482 Standard Air Wipe Kit.  The Standard Air Wipe is designed to blow compressed air in a 360 degree flow pattern.  This air pattern is directed at a 30 degree angle toward the center to blow the debris off of the bar stock.  The Coanda effect maximizes the entrainment of ambient air into the compressed air.  This makes the unit very efficient and powerful.  The model 2482 Standard Air Wipe has an I.D. of 2” (51mm) which gives it enough clearance for the 30mm bar stock.  It can be mounted easily near the exit of the centerless grinder to keep the grinding remnants inside the machine.  The kit includes a filter, regulator, and shim set.  The filter will remove contaminants from the compressed air system to keep from introducing any new grime and to keep the inside of the Air Wipe clean and functional.  The shim set and regulator provide the ability to adjust the air to the ideal force level and remove any debris from the surface of the bar.

Standard Air Wipe with Shim Set

As they removed their home-made copper tubes and attached the Standard Air Wipe, they noticed some great improvements.  The dark lines of debris previously along the sides of the bar stock were gone.  The surface was clean around the entire circumference of the bar.  The customer also noticed that the Standard Air Wipe was much quieter than their home-made solution, as it only has a decibel rating of 77 dBA.  As an added benefit, the Standard Air Wipe was using much less compressed air than the copper tubes.  This is due to its design to maximize the amplification ratio.  With more of the “free” ambient air than the compressed air being moved over the target area, it will save money in compressed air usage.  The ROI could be less than four months.

If you have any items that need to have a 360 degree blowing pattern, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if a Standard Air Wipe could work for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb
Picture: External-Micrometer-Screw-Gauge by Emilian Robert Vicol.  Creative Commons license

Choosing the Right Dry Vacuum – Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac

A common question we get from our customers is, ‘I need a dry vac, should I use the Chip Vac or Heavy Duty Dry Vac.’  This is very good question, and we will take the time to better understand the application in order to best answer that question.

Both the EXAIR Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are designed to turn an ordinary 5 (Chip Vac only,) 30, 55, or 110 gallon open top drum into a powerful, industrial duty vacuum cleaner. Both are powered by compressed air, and have no moving parts to wear out or break, whereas the typical electrically operated system has motors and impellers that clog and break down quickly.  The Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac are also quiet, at half the sound level of electric versions.

The Chip Vac is designed specifically for vacuuming chips. It creates a powerful direct flow that is ideal for metal, wood, and plastic chips.  Because it has a filter bag, in can also handle the occasional dusty material, and keep the surrounding air clean.

If the operation machines different materials, the lid can be removed from one drum and moved to another, to keep the materials separate for easy recycling.

4 R UMAX PL-II V1.4 [3]
The Chip Vac is ideal for vacuuming metal, wood or plastic chips

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac was engineered to vacuum more dry material in less time with less wear. The hardened alloy construction resists premature wear and the increased power makes difficult jobs and harsh environments more easily handled.

110hddvpr_559x447
The 110 Gallon  Heavy Duty Dry Vac provides maximum capacity for spill clean up

The Heavy Duty Dry Vac is ideal for abrasive materials such as steel shot, garnet, metal chips and sand, and is also useful for general purpose applications such as vacuuming floors, machines, work stations and machinery/equipment.

Like the Chip Vac, the Heavy Duty Dry Vac drum lid fits any open top drum, and can be moved from one drum to another facilitating recycling efforts.

Below shows the powerful performance of the Heavy Duty Dry Vac when considering large, heavy material and the increased performance you could expect.

capture
Vacuuming Rate Comparison, for Chip Vac and Heavy Duty Dry Vac

To discuss your application and for help deciding which dry vac would work best, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

EXAIR Chip Vac Removes Swarf and Keeps the Machining Center Running

The word of the day is “swarf”. Swarf is fine chips or filings of stone, metal or other material produced by a machining operation.

A company had four automatic profile cutting machines to cut aluminum stock.  They contacted me for help to improve their operation.  Each machine had a cleated belt conveyor to remove the swarf (or chips) from the cutting process.  Because the swarf was small in size, the chips could get around the edge of the belt and affect the conveying system.  Two of the four conveyors failed, and they wanted to find a better option to remove the swarf and keep the machines running.  They sent me a photo of the type and size of the swarf that was thwarting their conveying system.

Swarf - fine metal chips from machining
Swarf – fine metal chips from machining

EXAIR receives many calls about applications similar to this. I suggested the model 6193 Chip Vac System.  This assembly will fit onto a standard open-top 55 gallon drum which has a much smaller footprint than the conveying system.  The 0.1 micron filter allows for the air to escape and keep the fine particles inside the drum.  For this customer, once the drum was filled with aluminum chips, it was easy to rotate in an empty drum, sending the full drum of material to recycling.  The vacuum generator has no moving parts which makes it quiet, maintenance free, and long lasting.  It also creates a high vacuum level which was very useful when they attached it near the chip collection area.  The Chip Vac System was easy to install and it was very beneficial in keeping the machining area clean and running.

EXAIR Chip Vac
EXAIR Chip Vac

If you find that your chip conveying system is affecting your operations, you should contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR to see if we have a better and more reliable solution to remove your swarf.

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

Back At Ya!

This may not be big news as it happens almost every month.  EXAIR is continuing to grow our product line and this time it is something we have never done before.  This new EXAIR Engineered Solution doesn’t blow debris away, instead, it all comes back towards you.   Why would you want this you ask?  What does this new-fangled contraption look like?  Both of those questions will be answered below.

To answer the first question, why would you ever want debris to come back at you?  Well, this isn’t for just blowing any part or area out, this nozzle has been designed for a special purpose – to blow out pipes, tubes, extrusions, and even some blind holes or pockets.   This is ideal when working on a piping system that you may need to clean out and don’t want to push debris further into the system.   It is a quick and easy way to clean out chips from a saw cut operation for tubing or extrusion.  The nozzle could even be used to clean out cylinders or crank shaft openings on engine blocks.

So what is the name of this new nozzle and what does it look like?

What does it look like already!
What does it look like already!

 

The EXAIR Model 1006SS - Back Blow Nozzle
The EXAIR Model 1006SS – Back Blow Nozzle

This is it, the EXAIR model 1006SS Back Blow Nozzle.   The nozzle features a 1/4″ FNPT air inlet, a 3/4″ O.D. to fit into piping, extrusion, or holes, and two flats which allow for the use of a 5/8″ wrench to install the nozzle.   The nozzle is constructed of 316 Stainless Steel, utilizes  22 SCFM when operated at 80 psig, gives off 80 dBA and is designed for use with 7/8″ to 4″ I.D. pipe, tube, or holes.

The unit will also be available on our Safety Air Guns with Chip Shields to offer cleaning excellence and protection for the operators.  Like all of the stock EXAIR products, this is available with our 30 day guarantee.   So if you are not sure whether this nozzle will work on your application, give us a call, get one in, and put it through the paces.   If the Back Blow nozzle doesn’t meet your needs, simply let us know within 30 days from the date of purchase and we will take it back and provide you full credit.

If you want to discuss this nozzle or any other compressed air application, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Finger Face – Tsahl Levent-Levl , Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Super Blast Safety Air Gun Blasts Chips Out of Bundles of Pipe

This application was a nice and easy one that came in from our Greek Distributor (Technissis Ltd) in Athens.

The end customer produces a variety of copper pipes mainly for export. The diameters range from 6 mm to 105 mm and can be up to 6 meters in length. When cut, chips from the cutting process end up inside the pipes as they are processed into bundles.

Currently, the end customer is using a 2 ft. long piece of ¾” pipe with a valve to blow the chips out from one end to the other. This method proves to be dangerous from health and safety point. The noise produced is quite obnoxious and when in use, the compressed air used is obviously excessive. The pipe is connected to a 25 mm diameter hose. There was no method available to determine how much compressed air was used each time, but the estimate was a rate of about 100 SCFM.

copper pipe blow off

After our distributor made their visit to see the application, they noted that significant improvement in safety, force, flow and noise could be achieved by simply changing out the ¾” pipe with EXAIR model 1213-4 Super Blast Safety Air Gun. The noise dropped to 82 dBA from a previous measurement of 100+ dBA.  The flow required dropped from the estimated 100 SCFM to a known 56 SCFM and the force was regulated to a reasonable 3.2 lbs. of force generated at the target.

1213-4

Part of what the end customer was fighting was an extreme pressure drop over their existing hose. The Super Blast Safety Air Gun was able to resolve this issue to allow for more consistency in the blow off operation.

One last interesting aside was that the 4 individual nozzles of the Super Blast Safety Air Gun would line up nicely with the pipes so 4 pipes at a time could be blown out.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com