Compressed Air Uses In Industry

From pneumatic hand tools like impact wrenches or nail guns to larger scale industrial applications like stamping presses, the use of compressed air can be found in almost any industry. In fact, it is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric.

Compressed air is used in virtually every industry!

 

Take for example in construction, workers will use a pneumatic riveter to join steel framing because of the power generated by the tool over an electrically powered device, not to mention it provides for a safer operation by removing an electrical hazard. Many companies use compressed air operated diaphragm pumps or air motor driven pumps to move expensive or viscous liquid from one location to another. These types of pumps are self priming drawing the liquid in and provide positive displacement meaning they fill and empty the liquid chamber with the same amount of liquid through a common inlet and outlet.

Amusement parks have used compressed air in some capacity in the operation of thrill rides like roller coasters or to enhance the effect of certain attractions. Compressed air can be found in hospitals where it is used for specialized breathing treatments or to power surgical instruments in an operating room. Educational facilities use compressed air for laboratory testing. You can even find compressed air in the tires on your car. Basically, when you think about it, compressed air is being used just about anywhere.

Here at EXAIR, we manufacture Intelligent Compressed Air Products to help improve the efficiency in a wide variety of industrial operations. Whether you are looking to coat a surface with an atomized mist of liquid, conserve compressed air use and energy, cool an electrical enclosure, convey parts or dry material from one location to another or clean a conveyor belt or web, chances are we have a product that will fit your specific need.

EXAIR has been providing engineered solutions since 1983.

 

To discuss your particular application or for help selecting the best product, contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247 for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Compressed Air Valves image courtesy of Shane Gorski via creative commons license.

Video Blog: How to Use the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide

Selecting the proper Cabinet Cooler to solve your electrical panel overheating problems is simplified by using the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and allowing EXAIR Application Engineers to calculate which Cabinet Cooler will be best. It is important to size Cabinet Coolers properly to ensure the most efficient cooler is chosen and the proper NEMA rating is chosen for your cabinet. This video illustrates how simple it is to gather the information for a long term solution to heat related problems.

Cabinet Coolers install in minutes, not hours. They protect your electronics from seasonal hot weather spikes, normally high temperature environments, or too much heat dissipation from electrical components in an enclosure. EXAIR’s selection of Cabinet Coolers include NEMA 12, 4 and 4X ratings. They normally operate with a thermostat control to turn themselves on and off as needed throughout the years and this is the most efficient way to run them. They are available from stock to solve your problem quickly and will fit nearly any environment with a variety of materials (Aluminum, 303 stainless steel or 316 stainless steel) and temperature ratings.

If you have any questions, please contact EXAIR.

Brian Bergmann
EXAIR Corporation
Ph. 1-800-903-9247 (U.S. & Canada)   1-513-671-3322
Email: brianbergmann@exair.com

 

An Explanation of NEMA 12, 4 and 4X Enclosure Ratings

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are rated to NEMA 12, 4, and 4X. But what does that actually mean?

NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufactures Association. This organization, founded in 1926, sets standards for the manufacture of safe and effective electrical products. It is an ANSI-accredited standards developer and, as such, has much credibility in the industries it serves. Many companies require or encourage the use of NEMA-rated equipment. Not having it may limit a company’s access to certain markets. In that testing, if required, is not too involved, achieving a rated unit is actually quite doable and, in the long run, worth it for safety-sake. NEMA-rated enclosures are about controlling a substance’s ability to either enter or exit an enclosure protecting electronics. Keeping you, and the electronics, safe is what this is all about. NEMA ratings are 1 through 13 with EXAIR’s cabinet cooler systems meeting NEMA 12, 4, and 4X.

So, what are NEMA 12, 4, and 4X? Simply stated:

  • NEMA 12 = resistant to dirt and oil
  • NEMA 4 = splash resistant
  • NEMA 4X = splash and corrosion resistant
    • To be rated NEMA 12, the enclosure must be built in such a way to prevent solid contaminants like air-born dust, dropping dirt, fibers, fly-off shavings, and lint from getting inside. It must also prevent dripping or slightly splashing water and oil and non-corrosive coolants from seeping, spraying, or being splashed into it.
    • NEMA 4 must be resistant to splashed or sprayed water and rain, sleet, or snow and not be damaged by ice forming on the outside. It must also prevent entry of solid contaminants like dust and dirt.
    • NEMA 4X is identical to NEMA 4 with the addition that the enclosure must be corrosion resistant.

How does this apply to EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems?

With our UL listed NEMA rated Cabinet Coolers, we can cool your cabinet and maintain its original enclosure integrity to protect your electronics just as needed. Our NEMA 12 cabinet cooler system is ideal for general industrial environments. Our NEMA 4 cabinet cooler system incorporates a low pressure relief valve for both the vortex tube and the cabinet air exhaust that closes and seals when the cooler is not operating to maintain the integrity of the NEMA 4 enclosure. Our NEMA 4X cabinet cooler system has the same low pressure relief valve as the NEMA 4 and is made of stainless steel, allowing for protection in corrosive and/or wash-down environments.

To further enhance their effectiveness, EXAIR offers thermostat controls to turn the units on and off as needed, which conserves compressed air. They are available with a simple thermostat (120V and 240V), an electronic temperature control or ETC thermostat (120V and 240V) which is adjustable from outside the enclosure and provides feedback of the internal temperature. Other models include a non-hazardous purge thermostat control, continuous operation, and high temperature versions that comply with NEMA 12, 4, and 4X ratings. We can meet cooling capacities (Btu/hr) at 100psig ranging from 275 to 5600. To assist in determining which system will work in your cabinet, a sizing guide is even available on our website.

Cabinet Cooler Family
EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Systems

If you have a cabinet that needs cooling and it is rated to NEMA 12, 4, or 4X, let us know how we can help. Chances are pretty good we can provide the cabinet cooling system you need.

John Pinchek
Application Engineer
johnpinchek@exair.com
@EXAIR_JP

What Is A NEMA Rating?

With the Summer heat upon us here in Ohio the inquiries for our Cabinet Cooler Systems are increasing by the day.  A question we always ask customers with Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guides is, “What NEMA Type is your enclosure?”  There are quite a few times where no one truly knows what a NEMA rating is. So what exactly is a NEMA rating?

NEMA is the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, one of the many standards they publish is the NEMA rating standard for electrical enclosures up to 1000 Volts.  This standard is where NEMA Types such as 12, 4, and 4X come from (you will also see an international standard reference as “IP”, more on that later).  It categorizes the enclosures by their ability to protect the internal components from things such as corrosion, dust, oil, even external air quality. These standards are reviewed every five years and the last review was done in 2013.  The reviews are generally based on improving safety, clarity of the standard, and testing methods.

So what NEMA ratings does EXAIR offer?  For our Cabinet Cooler Systems, EXAIR offers three very common NEMA types to try an offer a selection to fit the needs that we most commonly encounter.  The NEMA types and their descriptions are below.   For a full list of the Non-hazardous location NEMA enclosure types, click on this link.

EXAIR NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler System w/ Side Mount Kit

Type 12 (IP54): General purpose, indoor use.  Protects against falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings.  Protects against ingress of dripping and splashing water. Rust-resistant Type 12 enclosures do not include knockouts.

 

EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System
EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System

Types 4, 4X (IP66): Water-tight, dust-tight, sleet-resistant.  Resistant to windblown dust.  Indoor or outdoor use.  Also provides protection against splashing and hose-directed water.  The “X” designation indicates corrosion-resistance.

EXAIR's High Temp Cabinet Cooler Systems

The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems also reference an equivalent IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), IP code.   This is a code from the IEC system which specifies the ingress protection which classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. They are a two digit number that represents the level of protection against physical objects and he ingress of water.   Coorelation between NEMA ratings and IP codes is not always possible.  EXAIR has ensured that we also meet the equivalent IP codes shown in the NEMA descriptions above.

If you have a hot enclosure and you are not sure how much cooling is needed or what the NEMA type is, contact us.  We will gladly help you gather the information needed to calculate the heat load requirements and help determine the correct NEMA rating.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

What’s an EXAIR?

Sometimes taking customer’s phone calls remind me of an Abbott and Costello bit (but I have to be Costello). Conversations can feel a bit like twenty questions. Instead of opening with mineral, vegetable, or animal, customers call in wanting more information on an “EXAIR”.  For our brand manager and marketing department, it is a clear sign that what they are doing is working, but to me can be a bit confusing.

Before you start thinking I don’t know my product, please remember an “EXAIR” can be quite few things. We make the broadest variety of problem solving end-use compressed air products for industry which equates to many possibilities of what an “EXAIR” may be. Is it an Air Nozzle, an Air Knife, an Air Wipe, an Air Amplifier, an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, a Safety Air Gun, a Static Eliminator, a Vacuum Generator, a Line Vac, an Industrial Vacuum, a Vortex Tube, a Cold Gun, or a Cabinet Cooler?   Unfortunately, with no moving parts to wear out, our products sometimes will outlast their labels, so the customers don’t have anymore information. Then, I have to ask what the product does.

So I ask the customer, “does the EXAIR blow off, vacuum, clean, dry, cool, convey, evacuate, coat, divert, dust, float, open, lift, purge, or spray?”

And then I wait for the customer’s detailed and eloquent response…”It works”, they sometimes say. But most of the time they respond with all of the details or enough to determine what product they have. In, in the end, an “EXAIR” is generally a Cabinet Cooler or a Vortex Tube (though it may be any of the above selection) – and we won’t complain that our company name can be so closely associated with our products.

We have so many products because compressed air is so versatile and useful.  We have taken our expertise in compressed air and used it to solve numerous problems for our customers. This is not as easy, as it sounds.  First, you need to know how well our compressed air products can perform. Second, you need to know what kind of performance the customer needs to get the job done. For instance when working on a Cabinet Cooler sizing exercise: A customer has a control box that is 24″ tall by  36″ wide by 12″ deep.  This box is reaching temperatures that cause the electronics to fail. Generally, this temperature is going to be between 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature in the plant was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, when it failed.  The customer would now like a Cabinet Cooler System to protect his enclosure from future temperature failures.

To calculate the heat load of the electronics, first we need to calculate the surface area in square feet. In the example above that would be 22 square feet. Second, we need to calculate the temperature differential between the outside and the inside of the cabinet.  The maximum temperature differential is 130 F – 95 F, which is 35 degree differential. With the temperature differential chart from our website, we can calculate the BTU/HR per square foot.

Temperature Conversion Table

For our example, it would be 13.8 BTU/HR/ft^2. Multiply this by our surface area. Our Cabinet Cooler needs to cool at least 303.6 BTU/HR. Our 4308 Cabinet Cooler System would be a good cabinet cooler for this enclosure. It can cool 550 BTU/Hr. It is rated for a NEMA 12 enclosure to prevent dust and oil from entering the cabinet.

To help the customer, you have to first ask the right questions. Most of these questions are listed on the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide on our website. What is the internal air temperature in the cabinet? What is the ambient air temperature? Are their any fans in the cabinet? What is the NEMA rating for the Cabinet? Sometimes it is best to speak with an Application Engineer to know for sure you have your bases covered.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

NEMA What?

With the Summer heat beating down most of the nation this week and the calls for Cabinet Cooler Systems are like the temperatures, through the roof, I thought it would be good to discuss the different NEMA types.  EXAIR offers our Cabinet Cooler Systems in three different NEMA types, 12, 4, and 4X.  Below is a description of what each is suitable for.

NEMA Type 12

NEMA Type 12 enclosures are general purpose use enclosures.  These are designed for indoor use and are designed to provide protection against dust, falling dirt, and dripping non corrosive liquids.  This is generally what the enclosures on most metal-cutting machines are rated.  These enclosures are only available for non-hazardous areas.  An enclosure with a NEMA Type 12 may or may not have a gasket seal on the door and on all electrical knockouts.  The EXAIR NEMA Type 12 Cabinet Cooler Systems for these units are available in cooling capacities from 550 – 5600 BTU/hr. along with continuous operation or thermostat control, non-hazardous purge, high temperature operation, and with the EXAIR Electronic Temperature Control.

NEMA Type 4

NEMA Type 4 enclosures are designed to be watertight / weatherproof.  These enclosures are not corrosion resistant but they are able to protect the inside of the enclosure from  a minimum of 65 GPM from a 1″ nozzle delivered from a distance of 10′ for 5 minutes.  These are found in wash down areas where Stainless Steel is not needed along with outside where corrosion is not a concern.  These units can be used on a NEMA Type 12 enclosure for added protection against oil or dirt in the air.  The EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler Systems are available in cooling capacities from 550 – 5600 BTU/hr. along with continuous operation or thermostat control, non-hazardous purge, high temperature operation, and with the EXAIR Electronic Temperature Control.

NEMA Type 4X

NEMA Type 4X enclosures are designed with the same specifications as a NEMA Type 4 enclosure with the addition of corrosion resistance.   This means the enclosure must be sealed against wash down and be resistant to corrosion.  The corrosion can come from a chemical or environmental conditions such as a food process wash down or outdoors near the ocean such as on an oil rig or ship dock.  The EXAIR NEMA Type 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems are available in cooling capacities from 550 – 5600 BTU/hr. along with continuous operation or thermostat control, non-hazardous purge, high temperature operation, and 316 stainless steel.

If you have a questions about which EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System is the best fit for your enclosure or you need help sizing the system, feel free to give us a call.  You can also find our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide here on the website.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

How to size a Cabinet Cooler

The past few weeks the summer heat has decided to try and burn any vegetation that I might call a yard, so I thought it would be a good time to discuss the information that is needed to appropriately size a Cabinet Cooler® System for your electrical enclosure.

When you are inside your facility sweating because it is hotter inside than it is outside remember to think about how hot is getting in your electrical enclosure.  Maybe you don’t have to remember because the machine has been alarming out because of temperature overloads. Perhaps the operators have opened the doors and area letting all the dirt and dust be blown into the open cabinet by the fan that is now in front of it to cool it down.

I must say the fan in front of an open cabinet is something that I saw quite a bit when I was in the machine tool industry.  I would have to replace entire circuit boards in machines because the metal dust in the air from the metal-cutting had been sucked up by a fan and spit into the machine combined with oil/coolant mist and caked onto the exposed boards.  This of course doesn’t help with the component temperatures because then the heat sinks don’t perform as good.  I’ve even seen board burn, actually burn, because the metal dust had bridged two contacts that have no business touching each other.  These are just a few of the issues I’ve seen in electrical enclosures that are overheating.

With an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler® System the doors can remain closed, there’s no blue filter that can clog or fan that can short or burn up.  You don’t even have to worry about the wash down in the area if you have a NEMA 4 or 4X area because they are UL listed to maintain NEMA integrity.  The Cabinet Cooler® Systems are easy to install and even easier to maintain than any other cooling system I have ever encountered.   Mainly due to the fact that there are no internal moving parts which makes the unit maintenance free.  The only  part you may need help with is how to appropriately size the Cabinet Cooler® System for your enclosure.

In order to correctly calculate the heat load within your cabinet you will need to provide us with a few pieces of information.  We offer the Cabinet Cooler® Sizing Guide which is a simple worksheet for you to fill in the information then send it to us.  The information we’re going to need is the dimensions of the cabinet, don’t worry about whether it’s in inches, feet, centimeters, or meters, we’ll get what we need as long as they are all there.  We need to know what NEMA rating the enclosure is, 12, 4 or 4X.  If the cabinet is wall mounted or free-standing, if the enclosure is vented or not, and if so are there fans.  Then. we need some air temperatures.  In order to get the accurate temperatures a “Temp Gun” should not be used.  An example is shown below of how a roofing company uses both types of thermometers appropriately.

The reasoning for this is, the no contact laser thermometers measure the surface temperature of whatever it’s pointed at.  In order to calculate the internal heat load of the cabinet we need to know the current internal and external air temperatures of the cabinet.  When you point the “temp gun” at a component you may be getting a cool or hot spot.  The air is going to be an average temperature throughout the cabinet and tells us whether the heat is coming from the components inside the cabinet or the environment the cabinet is in.

The only other piece of information we need is the maximum external air temperature of the enclosure. Once we have this information we can easily calculate how much cooling you are going to need and appropriately size a Cabinet Cooler® System for your enclosure.

So make sure you keep the “temp guns” in the tool box and get the old-fashioned thermometer and tape measure out then give us a call.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_BF