On October 24, 2023, I presented a live webinar covering the methods and advantages of turning the compressed air off when it’s not in use or unneeded.
Compressed air is often referred to as one of the major utilities in most manufacturing facilities due to the cost to generate it. A major benefit to utilizing compressed air is the speed at which it can be shut off and re-energized for use – in fact, this can be done instantaneously. Shutting down the supply of compressed air to an application while it is not needed can drastically reduce the compressed air consumption of the process over time. This is an easy tactic that can produce significant savings for your process and your facility, even if you have high efficiency pneumatic equipment installed, this can still garner notable savings.
Here is the playback for that webinar!
If you would like to discuss any of EXAIR’s safe, quiet & efficient compressed air products, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call or shoot me an email!
In case you don’t follow me on Twitter / X or know me personally, you may not know my educational background. Well, I received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. Then a few years ago I went back to school at Northern Kentucky University to achieve a Master of Business Administration. The path I took to get there was drastically different from my undergrad and experiences through life are great teachers to what is important.
You see, when I left UC, I was at a point where I had struggled and came out triumphant, started working in the metal cutting industry and the amount of experience I was gaining was like a fire hose constantly. I was attending training, shadowing, and constantly researching or reading. Then, that started to slow, and I started to give the training and write the documentation that others were reading. The draw to learn new skills was still strong, so I continually signed up for more training or would research different aspects of the equipment I was working on to learn more about what they are capable of and the best ways to use them.
Once I transitioned to EXAIR I had an entirely new set of skills to hone, and an extensive product offering which led to weeks of training and reading. Slowly but surely I was able to gain an understanding of our product offering as well as continually conduct testing on products or processes in order to ensure I have a strong understanding of our products how they work, and what is possible to achieve with them. I then got the wild idea to learn more and push my limits, so I started my MBA and really stretched the limits of my ability to consume material and apply the knowledge. This was all a path to improve myself and my ability to serve EXAIR as well as our customers. The truth is, my mindset for online learning this go around was drastically different, and I looked forward to the challenge and structure then being able to apply some of the concepts in my day-to-day life.
The point is that we should never stop learning. When I was younger I didn’t see any value in learning more past my undergrad. Then, I learned you have to continue to learn, and so I continue to do so. Even today, after my MBA I still look for articles, classes, and events to gain more knowledge. This is also why I am glad that EXAIR hosts a wealth of knowledge available to our customers, and we also continually release new content.
The next installment of some knowledge from our team is happening at the end of the month, the EXAIR Webinar. Our own Jordan Shouse will be discussing ways to save compressed air by simply turning it off. Register today to save your seat and then show up for the live event on October 24, 2023 @ 2 PM ET.
It has been a long cold winter this year and I just got my utility bill in the mail. I almost fainted. Sad to say, I’m told that I should expect rising utility costs due to the increased cost of producing electricity.
Rising utility costs has a trickle down effect and no one is exempt. Manufacturers, retailers, farmers, food service, etc. all share the same duress. As the cost to do business increases, prices go up. It’s almost like I’m taking the hit twice.
A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Energy showed that for a typical industrial facility, approximately 10% of the electricity consumed is for generating compressed air. For some facilities, compressed air generation may account for 30% or more of the electricity consumed. Compressed air is an on-site generated utility. Very often, the cost of generation is not known; however, some companies use a value of 18-30 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of air.(ref. DOE)
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to work with a customer who was familiar with our product and was looking to roll out EXAIR’s Super Air Nozzle in various parts of the plant. Before purchasing our products, the customer was using (4) open 5/16″ aluminum tubing to move or “float” a 12 inches by 12 inches plate of aluminum. This plate is .187 inches thick and needed to be moved six inches against the wall of their conveyor. The (4) open tubes moved the plate, but the customer had some safety concerns. First, the open pipes violated the OSHA standard 1910.242(b) that any open pipe that can be dead ended must only be pressurized to 30 PSIG. Second, to move the plate successfully the shop pressure needed increase to 100 PSIG which increases the amount of load on the compressor and could lead to higher maintenance in the future. Finally, the noise level of open pipes was well over 110 dBA which was another OSHA violation.
Considering all of these problems the customer contacted me, looking for an air nozzle to use instead of the open pipe. After a short discussion we decided to try (3) HP 1125 nozzles. Once the customer installed the air nozzles, they only used 2 of the air nozzles, and they were able to move the plate easily across the conveyor. This netted them several key results. The most noticeable at the plant was how quiet the operation became. Instead of dealing with noise levels in excess of 110 dBa (which is equivalent to the noise level of a turbo-fan aircraft at take off) the HP1125 comes in at 83 dBA which is roughly the noise of a milling machine. This was much more pleasant to the operator and any plant passersby. The most important was the operation now complied with OSHA safety requirement of 1910.242(b). Because of the width of the Flat Nozzle and the overhang of the cap, the nozzle can not be dead ended. Since the unit can not be dead ended, pressure above 30 PSIG can be safely used. Finally, the most economically result was that the air savings for the units.
The 5/16 tube had an ID of .183 and was 18″ long. When supplying it with 100 PSIG of compressed air, it will flow 22.8 SCFM of compressed air, so the customer was using 91.3 SCFM. The HP1125 nozzle uses 37 SCFM at 80 PSIG, so they were able to use 74 SCFM, which means each minute they were using 17.3 fewer cubic feet. At a cost of $0.25 per 1,000 Cubic feet, the HP1125 saved $0.26 per hour or $6.23 per day or $1,557 per year with 250 working days.
Replacing (4) open tubes with (2) HP1125 Flat Super saved $1,557 per year in compressed air savings, an OSHA violation, employees hearing, and lowered the system pressure from 100 psi to 80 psi. Needless to say the customer was sold on the benefits on our products, and is looking for any more open pipes in his facility.