We run into interesting applications that require cooling all the time. Here’s an example of a spot cooling application for a tire cutting application that used a FLIR camera to show the heat generated within the band saw blade.
The customer is a world supplier of tires for various vehicles from ATV to construction use. And they have a need to cut tires up for quality control testing as well as R&D purposes. They were looking for a low cost and efficient way to cool the blade without using liquid coolant or water as those methods require implementation of waste handling schemes that this customer did not want to deal with. So, they came to EXAIR as they knew we specialized in cold air cooling products. Specifically, they had interest in model 3925 (Dual Point, Adjustable Spot Cooler System). The dual point hose kit would allow for even cooling on both sides of the band saw blade. After discussing their application details, we agreed that model 3925 would be the best offering we could make to the customer. As we have a band saw in our workshop, I located some rubber material that we had with similar properties to a tire and made some quick tests to determine that in fact, model 3925 allowed for only a modest 5°C rise in temperature. The customer was quite satisfied at our test result and purchased 4 units for their band saws.
In this summer of 2016, we are nearing the beginning of one of the largest sporting events on the planet, The 2016 Summer Olympics. At the heart of this celebration will be sporting events of all kinds. And in the tradition of the Olympics there is always a gold, silver and bronze winner to award the top three athletes in each event.
EXAIR is participating in a competition as well. It isn’t one of a sporting nature, but rather, one of ingenuity and innovation. Flow Control Magazine holds an annual competition for innovations in new products available in industry and we have entered the No Drip Atomizing Nozzle into the competition.
In general, Atomizing Nozzles are used for the application of high value fluids within industrial processes. In some cases where the Atomizing Nozzles are mounted above the target, residual fluid that is left inside the nozzle body can drip out when de-energized and cause un-wanted blemishes on the target surface.
EXAIR No Drip Atomizing Nozzles allow for external adjustment of compressed air and liquid inputs to adjust the liquid spray flow rate as well as droplet size for a wide range of applications. That’s pretty common amongst atomizing nozzles in general. So what is so innovative about the No-Drip Atomizing Nozzles?
We have found a way to control the on/off function of the atomizing spray which supports the no-drip feature as well as the atomizing flow with only one compressed air supply. Most other manufacturers require a nozzle that has a separate control for the small valve within the nozzle and another for the airflow that atomizes the fluid coming through. It is this innovation that dramatically improves the simplicity with which these nozzles can be installed into an application and controlled through typical air automation techniques. It was innovative enough that the US Patent Office granted EXAIR a patent on the design (Patent # 9156045). So, we’ve made the No-Drip Atomizing Nozzle available with 3 different spray patterns and 14 different liquid volume options to suit a wide variety of application need. Operating pressures can fall anywhere between 30 – 250 PSIG to atomize fluids up to 300 centipoise.
If you agree with the US Patent Office on the innovation and think that EXAIR’s No Drip Atomizing Nozzles should be a winner in this competition, we would appreciate your official vote.
Copper and its alloys are used in a variety of products from consumer goods like musical instruments, drawer and door pulls, wind chimes, electrical contacts and many other, similar parts that you do not see on more complicated pieces of equipment such as HVAC systems.
Comparatively speaking, copper is quite a malleable metal. That’s what makes it so useful for manufacturing processes such as expanding, reducing, flaring, beading and other similar processes that don’t necessarily involve a cutting or grinding action on the material, but rather a tool that comes into contact with the material to impart a specific shape that makes the made part beneficial to some other product or process.
And so, in the metal forming process, you generally have a hardened alloy tool that comes into contact with the soft copper (or brass) to impart one of the above mentioned effects to the material. With the metal forming process, you have friction that needs to be reduced substantially to aid in the forming process while maintaining the tool integrity and keeping heat generation to a minimum. There are a variety of oil-based lubricants that companies who specialize in this kind of processing, will use to lubricate the raw part prior to forming.
This is the point within the process where EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can play a significant role in application of the lubrication. By atomizing the lubricant, the customer can have a controlled, even application of the lubricant to the tooling and/or material surface prior to putting the material through the forming operation. By applying a controlled layer of atomized lubricant, the customer can apply the lubricant in a sparingly manner to conserve on how much is used for each part formed. They get the benefit of the lubrication without over-doing it and wasting excess volume of lube applied. This, in turn, allows for a cleaner and safer processing area as well as measurable cost savings for the lubricant as well.
For lower viscosity lubricants (< 300 cP) that require only a light application of material, we have model AN1010SS which can provide a Narrow, Round spray pattern to coat smaller parts. If the part is larger or perhaps starts out as a sheet, we do also have model AW1030SS which can provide a Flat, Wide Angle spray pattern. If the lubricant has a viscosity that is higher than 300 cP, we also have a series of External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with similar spray flow patterns that can be selected for high precision adjustment of the liquid flow and droplet size to suit any need.
If you are in the metal forming industry and you are concerned with application of lubricants in your applications, we be glad to help you pick an Atomizing Nozzle to suit your needs. Contact us to discuss your application.
Our distributor from South Africa contacted me recently with a problem that one of his customers were having with their roll forming process. Their business is making metal studs used for erecting walls and covering with drywall. The metal studs start out as a 200 mm wide x 0.5 mm thick roll of sheet metal. The customer feeds the sheet metal through a series of rolling dies that gradually impart the final shape of a metal stud to the material. During this process, a lubricant is applied through a couple of metal pipes with drilled holes in them to disperse the lubricant onto the metal sheet.
The problem with the application is that it makes a total mess because there aren’t any controls on the fluid flow to keep the application rate where it needs to be. All they need is a light coating of the lubricant. What they’re getting now is a constant drizzle from multiple holes. Not only is this wasteful for the use of the lubricant, it causes a huge mess in the form of puddled lubricant on the floor. This problem also presents a slip and fall hazard to the operators as well. See the photo below.
In an effort to help them, my friend Wayne contacted me about the situation and presented a couple of scenarios he had in mind. One was to keep the existing system in place and use a couple of Super Air Knives to blow off the excess lubricant into a catch basin. The other was to apply a couple of our Internal Mix, Wide, Flat Atomizing nozzles into the application to provide a fine spray of the lubricant on both sides of the sheet metal.
After asking a few questions about whether the liquid was under any sort of pressure, its viscosity and the desired application rate I suggested to Wayne that the customer go with (2) pieces of model AF1010SS Internal Mix, Flat Fan Atomizing Nozzle. This Atomizing nozzle is more than adequate to provide the customer with the precise amount of the lubricant onto the sheet metal just prior to forming. The point in recommending the atomizing nozzles is to conserve the customer’s lubricant when it is applied in the first place so that they don’t have the huge mess that ends up developing during continuous operation. In this way, they are not treating a symptom of the problem by blowing the excess lubricant with a Super Air Knife, but rather tackling the problem right at its source by choking back on the application of the fluid in the first place.
After the customer installed their nozzles and made a production run, they were able to dial the application rate in to exactly what they needed. The mess and safety hazard went away and the customer was able to cut their lubricant use by half so far. They say they will continue to try and optimize its use as saving the lubricant used represented a nice cost savings to the customer that they had not thought about prior to engaging our distributor to help them take away this headache. They were simply concerned about the mess in the beginning.
It’s always nice to have such positive knock-on effect when you make process improvements like this.
I had an interesting application from a guy in Kuwait who worked at a plastics plant. They worked with polyethylene pellets for molding processes. In his introduction, the customer said he was looking for something like our Chip Vac product but he wanted to use it with a super sack platform that they elevate up to a high position to allow for cleaning in and around their silos. I mentioned to him that we do have the Chip Vac available to work with a 110 gallon drum. His response was that he knew about that but was not interested as they were set up to move the larger super sacks around their plant. You can see one such set-up in the above photo.
His problem was that he needed a quick and easy way to get the loose PE pellets into his super sack without using a broom and shovel. We had just the solution.
Many years ago when we introduced the Chip Vac product, we did so as a result of customers who knew about our Line Vac but wanted it to be used on a drum. So, we adapted the Line Vac to have the proper, 2 NPT threads necessary to screw into the larger of the two holes in the top of a typical drum. In this situation, we were working the development that we did so long ago in reverse. So, it was a very easy recommendation to set the customer up with a Line Vac to aid in the vacuuming up of the polyethylene pellets and do so in the manner the customer wanted.
After a little discussion to sort out the type of material and the size Line Vac that the customer wanted, we ended up settling on a 1-1/2” Stainless Steel Line Vac Kit, model 6963. The 1-1/2” size allowed for easy connection of a standard size vacuum hose for easy manipulation around the clean-up area. The customer opted for the stainless steel over an aluminum unit as they wanted to be absolutely certain that the product could stand up to their typically rough conditions. He also wanted the kit so he could mount the Line Vac to his platform and have clean, dry air going to the Line Vac to keep it running well for a longer time. Below is a rough sketch of the customer’s idea about how to marry the Line Vac to his super sack platform.
You can notice from the sketch that the customer already had his filtration system thought out to allow the conveying airflow back out of the bag.
The key to this application and the feature that I want to point out is the adaptability of the Line Vac to fit into just about any application. We do have the Industrial Housekeeping products available for ready to use solutions. But, if you have a similar situation where you have part of your “system” that you like for one reason or another, we’re more than willing to discuss what you have at your facility to help you best determine how we can implement a solution that you are happy with. Likewise, if we feel that there is a better way to approach your application, we will be sure to let you know that too!
Give us a ring or send us an e-mail to discuss the specifics of your application today. We’re here to help.
At EXAIR, we get asked a lot of interesting questions about what our products can do. One of them that occurs with some frequency is, “Can your Line Vac convey slugs from a stamping operation?” The answer is usually yes as “slugs” (the material punched out of a sheet of stock to create a hole) are well suited in size, shape and weight to be conveyed effectively with the Line Vac product. We are used to this question from folks who are processing various types of metal sheet. The slugs tend to build up within their tooling and basically get in the way, if not even jam up the tooling from time to time. So getting rid of them from the process becomes a necessity that is, many times, not addressed during the tool making process.
Recently, we had another customer with this same kind of problem with foam. They were processing a foam sheet by punching a many holes in it which generated the waste stream you see above. Little pieces of foam about 8 – 10 mm in diameter and about 40 mm long. As you probably have guessed by now, the area that was set up to receive these renderings quickly became loaded full with the foam slugs. The customer needed to find a way to remove the slugs to a remote area so the receiving container could be switched out easily without stopping production. The original container was small, plastic bin about the size of a kitchen garbage can. The new receiving container was a large cardboard box that typically goes by the term Gaylord. The customer needed to set the Gaylord about 3 – 4 meters away from the die punching area. This is where the EXAIR model 130300 (3” Light Duty Line Vac) comes into play. The customer fabricated a chute that was positioned under the area to catch the slugs. The chute transitions to accept the 3” Light Duty Line Vac for connection at the bottom. Then, a 3” hose is connected to the output side of the Light Duty Line Vac so it could blow the slugs over to the Gaylord.
The customer chose the Light Duty Line Vac because it uses less air than a comparable size of our Standard Duty units. They didn’t need a tremendous amount of suction power due to the light-weight nature of the slugs. They also wanted a 3” unit to make sure none of the product would get caught anywhere within the conveying stream.
With the new Light Duty Line Vac installed, the operators do not have to spend as much time tending to the emptying of the previous, small containers that had to be used due to their size for fitting into the catch area. For an application where thousands of these slugs are produced in an hour, the productivity gain was significant. The customer didn’t place an exact value on the gain, but are considering this method for other, similar processes they have in the plant.
One of our overseas distributors provides solutions for a customer who has bought quite a few of the Ion Air Guns for their production. The customer raised a question for which our distributor requested help to answer. The customer asked, “What exactly is going on in the process, when you blow ions on an item?” There is a large interest in these products and they are interested know more. It is not, that they are afraid of the procedure, they just wonder what physically happens, so my question to you is: Could you write an explanation on what happens within the static eliminating equipment when it is energized?
For the answer, you have to go back to high school science class to remember the definition of an ion. An ion is an anelectricallychargedatomorgroupofatomsformedbythelossor gainofoneormoreelectrons. Put simply, it is an atom with either extra or fewer electrons than it is supposed to have normally. This excess or deficit of electrons makes the molecule attract electrically to atoms or molecules with the opposite charge. Too many electrons = negative charge. Too few = positive charge.
Gases can form ions as a result of an electrical charge. Gas ions are defined as such: oneoftheelectricallychargedparticlesformedinagasbyelectric dischargeorthelike. The atoms we are creating with our static eliminators are oxygen ions or “ozone”. Due to the AC waveform of the electrical supply, the power supply generates 50 Hz signal that produces both positive and negative ions, depending on the phase of the electrical supply. In this way, our static eliminators produce ozone which can eliminate static of either polarity.
What happens at the atomic level is the ions we create are attracted to and combine with the electrostatic field present on material which has a static charge. The electrostatic field present on insulating materials is present because of two possibilities. Either there was some contact & separation of materials, friction (like rubbing a balloon on the hair), or there was a separation of two insulating materials which were previously in intimate (close) contact with one another (like peeling a protective film from a surface). When this happens, the electrons will move from one material surface to another based on their potential to gain or lose electrons (reference Triboelectric Series). The balance of the surface electrons becomes unbalanced as the electrons at the outer layers will be knocked out of their home orbit and take up with another atom to make it negative, thus leaving the previously neutral atom in a positive state.
When one applies a static eliminating ions from one of our products on to an application where static is causing a problem, they are providing those needed electrons to help the charged material balance itself out. The reason that it happens to insulating materials is because they cannot conduct an electrical signal and so the electrical charge remains on the surface until it is dissipated by active means like our static eliminators or by natural means (a much slower process) where air molecules floating around the charged surface will lower the overall charge to a point until it reaches a point of electrical balance. So, our ionizers (also known as static eliminators) simply speed that process up immensely and eliminate static charges in a fraction of a second.