It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Static Season

Well the dog days of summer have come to an end, and the cold dry air of winter is on the horizon! There’s one other thing that comes along with the cold dry air of winter, and that’s SANTA! (Sorry that was the child in me).

Actually, it’s STATIC! During the warmer months the moisture in the air does a good job at eliminating a good amount of excess static charge. But as that cold dry air comes into play you need another way to rid your production of static or things will start to go wrong.

Foam Static
Static holding foam bead material to a surface.

In many painting or finishing applications dust and debris from the ambient environment can settle on the part prior to painting or coating. Just blowing them off with a standard air gun won’t remove all of the particles if they’re statically charged. The static must be neutralized in order to remove it or it’ll cause imperfections in the paint or coating. This often results in a high amount of rejected parts that must be scrapped out.

Other processes that benefit from static removal include printing, slitting, molding, sheeting/trimming, shrink wrapping and packaging.

Static Eliminators
Static Eliminators

Break out your fall / winter gear and enjoy the cooler weather and activities that accompany the coming of Fall, but don’t let static wreak havoc in your processes. EXAIR has a wide range of solutions available that are designed to solve these problems. Give an Application Engineer a call and we’ll be happy to help recommend the best solution.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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NFL is Back! But So is Static……

bengals
View of Paul Brown Stadium

I awoke on Sunday with a bit more pep in my step. It’s been a long and dreary past 7 months (8 or more months for unlucky fans like me), but this day marked another early season NFL Sunday. Wives across the U.S. were collectively rolling their eyes as their husbands perched themselves comfortably on the couch, cold beer in hand, glued to the television screen from dawn ‘til dusk. It’s an exciting time for many, especially us Bengals fans, as the season is ripe with hope and cautious optimism. Fantasy leagues are in full swing, and my apologies to any of you who elected to draft Le’Veon Bell with your 1st pick this year….. However, with the arrival of football season, there is  an unwelcome guest that begins to rear its ugly head: static electricity.

As summer ends and moves towards fall and winter, the air becomes much drier. And because moisture in the air can mitigate some static charge, the dry air allows more static to be present. You may be familiar with the unpleasant shock you get from the door knob after walking across a carpeted surface. While this type of shock doesn’t generally cause any sort of problems, in many industrial processes this static electricity can cause a wide range of different issues. These may manifest simply as nuisance shocks to the operator similar to the door knob example, but it can also cause problems with finish quality, materials jamming/tearing, sheet feeding problems, product clinging to itself or rollers, and dust clinging to product.

In many painting applications, particularly in the automotive industry, dust and debris from the ambient environment can settle on the part prior to painting. Just blowing them off with a standard air gun won’t remove all of the particles if they’re statically charged. The static must be removed in order to remove it or it’ll cause imperfections in the finish after painting. This often results in a high amount of rejected parts that must be scrapped out. I recently visited with a company who handles the painting of small interior automotive parts. The parts are housed on shelves in a dusty environment. This dust settles on the parts while they’re waiting to be painted and just using an air gun alone wasn’t taking care of the problem. In this setup, they were rejecting nearly 60% of all painted parts after inspection.

IMG_3902
Automotive parts after painting

We brought with us a Model 8193 Gen4 Ion Air Gun to replace their regular compressed air gun. The Ion Air Gun is an ergonomic handheld gun that combines low air consumption along with an incredibly fast static decay rate. After taking a reading both before and after with a Model 7905 Static Meter, it was clear that the Ion Air Gun was the right tool for the job. The static eliminating ions were carried to the surface of the part which not only removed the static charge, but also the dust particles clinging to the surface. By replacing their two standard guns with Ion Air Guns, the reject rate was reduced to just under 10% after painting!!

GEN4-iag_500xsq
Model 8193 Gen4 Ion Air Gun

Break out your favorite football team’s gear and enjoy the cooler weather and activities that accompany the coming of Fall, but don’t let static wreak havoc in your processes. EXAIR has a wide range of solutions available that are designed to solve these problems. Give an Application Engineer a call and we’ll be happy to help recommend the best solution. And to all of my fellow Bengals fans out there, WHO DEY!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

 

Bengals photo courtesy of  Nunya Biz via Flickr Creative Commons License

PrACTice Like A Champion

If you follow our blog, you know that over the past 2 years I have posted a few blogs related to coaching my oldest son’s youth football team. Well it’s that time of year again as we enter our 3rd season with the team. Each year, the athletic boosters put together a “Spirit Wear” package for the players, parents and coaches to purchase that typically includes a t-shirt, with some type of motivational message, and matching shorts. Last year the slogan was “Out Work, Out Hustle, Out Hit”, and in all honesty, I really didn’t like it all that much. This year’s shirts have the motto “PrACTice Like A Champion” which plays right into the mentality our coaching staff tries to instill in our young players.

The head coach and I attended a youth football coaching clinic over the winter that was put on by our local NFL team, the Cincinnati Bengals, to further develop skills to help our players. During the clinic, one particular NFL positions coach used the term I.M.P.A.C.T. as an acronym for “I Might Provide A Critical Thought, Teaching or Technique”. This message really hit home for us with not only how we communicate with our players but also how we interact with each other, referees, parents, opposing coaches and players, etc. We are dealing with 8-9 year old kids who are very impressionable so how they see their leaders (coaches) act can play a large role in their own behavior.

Over and over we remind the kids during practice and in games that win or lose, we are going to respect the game and play it the right way. Too many times you see professional and sometimes collegiate athletic teams disrespect their respective sport by cheating or playing “dirty” to try and gain a competitive edge. Heck, during some of our own peewee games we’ve had opposing players get frustrated and try to take out key players or have coaches instruct their players to take a cheap shot after a play has been whistled dead. Now, I’m as competitive of a person as there is, but I will NEVER understand this type of mindset. These are young kids, playing a GAME. At the end of the day, you put your uniform on, line up and let the game play itself out – may the best team win. For our team, this year’s motto “PrACTice Like A Champion”, we hope is going to serve more purpose than just relating to our football program but rather as a way they go about each day.

While we don’t compete in sports at EXAIR, we do put in the “Practice” behind the scenes in being “Champions” to our industry. We are constantly working on developing new products to support our customer’s ever changing needs. For example, we recently released our NEW Catalog 31 which features several new products like our VariBlast Safety Air Guns, Sanitary Flanged Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors and our NEW Gen4 Static Eliminators.

Click on the photo to order a FREE copy of our NEW Catalog 31

If you need assistance with selecting any of these new products or to “tackle” a particular application, contact one of our team members and let us put our championship mindset to work for you.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

Review the Tape, Evaluate, Improve

With the first track day of the year under my belt it’s now time to start looking at what I could have done better and make the next track day an even bigger success.   This will be done over the next month or so and I will use pictures, video, and even tire inspection to figure out what I could have done better.   Much like a football team reviews tape and prepares for their next game.

Here at EXAIR we offer a service which is similar to this style of review.  The EXAIR Efficiency Lab will let you send in your blowoff device and we will run it through the paces to find an intelligent compressed air product that will perform better than the previous method.  This is a free service that we offer to any and all customers.  Not only will we tell you what your unit is consuming and possibly costing you to operate but we will show you which of our products will perform the same and how much air and money you will save.   The best part is it’s all for free.

If you have an application that you are trying to improve, let us know and we’ll get you the information to send a test piece in to the EXAIR Efficiency Lab.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Press Your Luck

As we near the middle of January, two things are front-and-center here in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The first is the ever-present coating of snow on the ground that is conveniently (not really) replenished every week or two so that the landscape is continually hidden from view for what seems like a month (and counting).  No worries, predictions are that a fresh batch is on the way this weekend or next week to keep the streak alive.

The second item of interest these days is the NFL playoffs.  Not that our local team is involved, mind you.  There seems to be a long-standing yet obscure rule somewhere in the hidden catacombs of NFL headquarters that states that the Cincinnati Bengals (I believe that Cleveland and Detroit must also be included) must spend a minimum of five years watching from the sidelines following any playoff appearance, and last year was our year.  No, these days those of us in Cincinnati have no local rooting interest.  Like many people, some of us compete in an online pool where we use our considerable professional football knowledge to predict the outcome of the games all season.

[Note to the IRS – nothing for you to see here.  Move along.]

I’ve done surprisingly well this season, and recently moved up to the #2 position for the year.  With the playoffs and Super Bowl ahead, I am faced with an interesting decision.  I managed to move up the rankings by making aggressive picks – not always choosing the favorite but correctly picking when upsets would happen.  It’s a risky move.  Back when I was in the middle of the pack, I figured I had nothing to lose.  I certainly wasn’t going to win by simply picking the favorites each week because most people do that.  To truly move up and give myself a chance to win, I had to throw caution to the wind and play aggressively.  Using this approach, I was either going to move up or move down, but I certainly wasn’t going to finish in the middle of the pack.  With nothing to lose, I pushed on and after a few weeks, now I’m in the #2 position with the leader in sight.

Now that I have managed to make it near the front of the pack, what do I do?  Do I continue to try to pick aggressively and try to take the lead, or do I play it safe and protect my position?

The radio and television airwaves are filled with former athletes and professional talking heads giving their predictions for these games and their “expert” analysis on the factors that will influence the outcomes.  One theme seems clear – it’s too late to change who you are at this stage.  There is no point trying to change your tendencies in any significant fashion because those tendencies got these teams to where they are right now – in the playoffs with a chance to win a championship.

That’s a viewpoint that I can agree with wholeheartedly.  If you are out front, the easiest way to get caught is to stop pushing yourself, slow down, and fall back to the pack.

Here at EXAIR, we are still pushing ourselves as hard as ever.  Proof can be seen in our new Catalog 24, which was released last week.  You can request your copy here.

Catch us if you can.

With that thought in mind, I think I’ll play out the season the same way that I have the past few weeks – by pressing my luck.

No Whammies!

Bryan Peters
President
bryanpeters@exair.com

We Are Who You Thought We Were!

Manufacturing is cool, just like this video courtesy of Dennis Green.

EXAIR has been a manufacturer from the day that we were founded back in 1983.  In those days, our founder (now CEO) answered customer calls and took orders during the daytime and then made the parts at night.  From Day 1, EXAIR designed and manufactured our own line of products because we thought it made us more responsive to our customers.  After all, who can relate better to manufacturing companies and processes than a manufacturer?

Today, 27 years later, we still feel the same.  Being the manufacturer of the products that we are selling puts us in a position to get customers what they need like nobody else in the world.  The front cover of our catalog has the phrase “Manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air Products Since 1983” proudly shown right below our logo.  It is simply who we are as a company.  If you call us today, you can probably have what you need by tomorrow in most cases.  And sometimes even that fast isn’t fast enough.  Sometimes we deliver to customers the SAME day for critical situations.  We’ve been shipping our cataloged products from stock for 15 years and we set the standard for performance and customer satisfaction.

Being a manufacturer also gives us other capabilities beyond just quick deliveries.  We have the capability to customize our products quickly to meet the specific requirements of any customer.  Need a product shorter or longer, with more holes or fewer holes?  We can do that and still deliver quickly.  Because we are a manufacturer.

For years, we were one of the only companies around to offer this kind of service, and we shipped most special products within two weeks of the order, which was unheard of at the time.  But we are never satisfied and we are always trying to improve our products and services.  Back in 2008, we cut our lead times for special length air knives in half.  We simply found a way to improve our processes and raised the bar in order to be even more responsive to customer needs.

Did I mention that we are never satisfied?  Stay tuned for an announcement that dramatically improves our delivery on specialized EXAIR products in the days ahead.

We are who you thought we were!  The best in the world.

Claims are easy.  Proof is hard.

Bryan Peters
President
bryanpeters@exair.com