Taking Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone

During the warmer Ohio weather months, April through October, my blog posts may include information about taking my motorcycle to some road course tracks (and now even a cold month or two).  I take my bike to open track days where (mostly) amateur riders can get on a proper race course. There are people on the track for the first time and people who race professionally.   They will generally divide the riders into several groups, Novice, Intermediate or Advanced.  The control riders/coaches at the track will help you to determine what group you should ride in and then help you throughout the day.   Below is a video of a control rider that is also a professional rider at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.  (Don’t mind the music, it’s not my cup of tea either.)

For the novice group there are classes after each session, as well as skills practiced in every session.  This is to help teach the beginning track rider that the same habits you use on the street are not meant for the track, as well as how to be as safe as possible while being on the track.  This is the most watched and controlled group due to the fact it generally has the most riders and they are all the newest to the track.

For intermediate group there are optional classes and you just run your own pace.  They step up the skill level by not enforcing you to focus on a skill during each session or requiring you to go to a class after each session of the day.  The pace is considerably faster than novice and the only ways to get instruction are to either ask a control rider for it or if they see something to help you with they will generally stop you and coach you on how to do it better.

The final group is advanced, or race class.  This has the same elements as a professional race minus the grid at start-up.   There aren’t really any passing rules and the control riders are mainly all professional racers or former racers who can still make your head spin as they fly past you.  Similar to the intermediate group the only way you will get help is to ask for it.

For the past two years I have been running in the intermediate group and it is a serious meat grinder.  You will have people in there that are fast enough to be in advanced group, but are too scared.  As well as having people who let their ego and pride tell them they don’t need to learn anything from a novice class and should really be in novice learning as much as they can.  I stayed in Novice for over the first year of track riding that I had done.   Some people choose to never leave the novice group because that is exactly where they are comfortable.  They don’t want to worry about the other classes and are perfectly fine with not even being the fastest person in Novice.  This is perfectly acceptable for some, but I had to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to really enjoy the entire experience.  Even though I have been to the track several times now I am always out of my comfort zone in intermediate because there are always new people showing up and you never know when you will running with a group that should be racing, or a group that should be getting coached in novice.

Here at EXAIR we have customers that could fit into each of these groups also.   The customer who doesn’t know what an engineered solution is and doesn’t understand the cost of compressed air.  The intermediate user who has used some of our products in the past but is encountering new issues and knows that we can help lead them in the right direction.  As well as the advanced users who know exactly what they need and sometimes even request a special unit to fit their exact needs.

No matter the case, we can help as well as coach even the most advanced users of our products on how to use compressed air better.  If you are reading this and you don’t know the difference between a Super Air Nozzle and an open pipe, then give us a call.  We will help teach you the differences as well as make sure you understand the need for engineered solutions on your compressed air system.  It may be out of your comfort zone for the first few calls but we will make sure you get to the level you want to be so you get back into your comfort zone.

Brian Farno
Advanced Application Engineer


Short fast week. No shortage of success.

That’s right everyone, it’s Friday.   I’m blogging again which means everything went according to plan on Monday and Tuesday at Mid Ohio.  Myself and everyone I went with all stayed shiny side up so we consider it a complete success.  Even though it’s been a short week for me here at EXAIR there hasn’t been a lack of applications coming across my desk.  As Lee mentioned in his blog yesterday a good number of them are Cabinet Cooler inquiries seeing as how much of the US is well into the Summer temps now.  One of the applications that came across stood out though.

There was a customer who started out the conversation with, “I’m not a compressed air person.  I normally work with electricity.”  He was given the task of trying to figure out how to cool down a part as it exits a drying oven.  The parts were fairly flat and being conveyed on an overhead conveyor system.  They slowing down production of the parts because he couldn’t package the parts after they exited the drying oven because the heat from the part was not only too much for the operators to handle but it was also too hot for the packaging.  When the part would go in too hot the packaging would slightly mar the surface finish of the coated part.  This meant the customer was placing parts on drying racks and letting them cool which slows down the production line.

The customer initially wanted to cool down the part using a Vortex Tube to do so.   After a brief discussion I found out that the ambient environment of the cooling area was considerably cooler than the part and the parts were around 11″ long.  This means by using a 12″ Super Air Knife we can entrain a large volume of free ambient air and move the air over the surface of the part to strip the heat away from the part.  This will get the parts down to near ambient conditions so the operators can place them straight into their packaging instead of holding up the line or placing them on a cooling rack.

The customer initially contacted us looking for something that puts out cold air, he hadn’t thought about just using a large volume of cool, free ambient air to move over the part and get the same performance.   After a little talking he decided to test out two 12″ Super Air Knives.  He knows if they don’t work as predicted then they can simply let us know and send them back within 30 days. A similar application is shown below.

The customer received the units yesterday and this morning I had a message from the customer saying that the knives are working wonderfully and he is not using any cooling racks, they were even able to speed up the production line.

This made my week go amazing; it started out with two days of a beautiful race track, going faster than I ever have and stepping up to the next class of racing, then finishing it out with a success story from a customer who can now relax on the weekend.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer