Earlier this morning I received a phone call from a gentleman in search of a more efficient compressed air solution. The application was to remove thermoformed plastics from a mold immediately after the mold separates. In the current state, the application is consuming ~40% of the available compressed air in the facility through the use of (9) ¼” open pipes, consuming a confirmed 288 SCFM at 60 PSIG. Due to the use of an open pipe, this customer was facing a safety and noise concern through the existing solution.
After discussing the application need and the desire to reduce compressed air use, reduce noise, and add safety, we found a suitable solution in the 1101 Super Air Nozzle. Installing (9) of these EXAIR nozzles will reduce the compressed air consumption by over 65%!!! Calculations for this savings are below.
Existing compressed air consumption: 288 SCFM @ 60 PSIG
Compressed air consumption of model 1101 @ 60 PSIG: 11 SCFM
Total compressed air consumption of (9) 1101 nozzles:
This is the percentage of air which the new EXAIR solution will consume. To put it another way, for every 100 SCFM the current solution consumes, the EXAIR solution will only require 34.38 SCFM. Installing these EXAIR nozzles will result in lower operational cost, lower noise levels, and increased safety for this customer – all while maintaining or improving the performance of the blow off solution in this application.
EXAIR Application Engineers are well versed in maximizing efficiency of compressed air systems and blow off needs. If you have an application with a similar need, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’ll be happy to help.
In case it goes unnoticed, EXAIR focuses on engineered compressed air point of use products to ensure that our customers are utilizing their costly utility as efficiently as possible. The main benefits to purchasing EXAIR products are the support you receive from us at EXAIR, the quality of the product, the savings in compressed air, and the increase in safety. Another added benefit is a large number of utility companies are offering rebates on the purchase of engineered nozzles, just like the Super Air Nozzles that EXAIR offers.
Many energy providers offer these energy rebates for commercial or industrial users. Here in the Cincinnati area, Duke Energy offers rebates on items such as lighting, air compressors, engineered air nozzles, heaters / dryers for extrusion machines, energy management systems, variable frequency drives, data center equipment, even food service equipment, custom incentives, and many other items.
For each engineered compressed air nozzle that is installed, in order to meet the rebate requirements they must flow less than or equal to given flow rates in SCFM at 80 psig inlet pressure. The pipe sizes, flow rates, and EXAIR equivalents are shown below.
EXAIR Engineered Air Nozzle Part Number
EXAIR Flow Rate @ 80 psig
#1102/#1103 – 1/8 NPT
#1100/#1101 – 1/4 NPT
All are 1/8 NPT
2.5, 4.9, 8.3 SCFM
#1003 – 3/8 NPT
By just replacing the nozzles the customer saved 2.7 SCFM per nozzle.If we take an example such as the EXAIR Case Study shown below for 1/4″ copper tube that was being used as an open ended blow off. The copper tubes were consuming 19.6 SCFM at 100 psig inlet pressure, there were 10 machines with one line per machine operating 40 hours, 52 weeks per year. The customer retrofitted the open pipes with a model 1100 Super air nozzle and was able to reduce the air consumption by 2.7 SCFM per nozzle. If they were to purchase these nozzles this year, current list price for a model 1100 Super Air Nozzle is $36.00 USD, then apply for the energy rebate offered by Duke Energy and receive $20.00 per nozzle replaced. The total savings and return on investment is shown below.
10 nozzles x 2.7 SCFM = 27 SCFM x 60 minutes per hour x 8 hours per day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year = 3,369,600 SCF of compressed air saved per year.
3,369,600 / 1,000 SCF x $.25 = $842.40 USD savings in compressed air per year.
Cost Savings per week = $16.20 USD
Total purchase cost is $36.00 x 10 nozzles = $360.00 USD
Energy Rebate = @20.00 per nozzle x 10 nozzles = $200.00 USD in rebates.
$360.00 USD purchase price – $200.00 USD energy rebate = $160.00 USD final purchase cost.
Return on investment at a savings of $16.20 USD per week is
$160.00 / $16.20 = Less than 10 weeks pay back!
By applying for the energy rebate this customer could reduce the ROI of this air savings project from just over 22 weeks (which is still very good) to less than 10 weeks.
If you would like to learn more about whether there are Industrial energy rebates available in your area, contact an Application Engineer and let us know where you are located and who your energy provider is.
We will help you determine the correct engineered solution to save your compressed air as well as help you to apply for eligible energy rebates in your area.
We are having a mild winter in Cincinnati, Ohio, and even though the poison ivy seems dead, you can still catch it. My sweetheart was collecting brush, and in two days, she broke out. She had a rash on her arms, legs, face, and stomach. And if you ever had poison ivy, you know how itchy it is. The problem is that if you itch it, you can spread it.
It started me to think of things that are a nuisance in manufacturing, like noise exposure to personnel and wasted costs within processes. The Intelligent Compressed Air Products by EXAIR can reduce noise levels and electrical costs. One very simple exercise would be to locate all your open pipes that use compressed air. They can be located on machines to blow off debris and even on the end of air guns. For every open type pipe, place an EXAIR Super Air Nozzle on the end of it. You will notice very quickly that the noise level is reduced. It can drop the noise by as much as 40 decibels. The other thing that you will notice is your monthly electric bill. By adding our Super Air Nozzles to the end of your inefficient blow off pipes, you can be saving over $1,000/year for every open type pipe.
If you have poison ivy, I would suggest calamine lotion or here are some additional tips. If you have high noise levels and high energy costs, then I would suggest EXAIR products. You can discuss how EXAIR can save you money and reduce your noise level by contacting one of the Application Engineers at EXAIR.
The photos below show one of the most common OSHA violations we see at EXAIR. A 1-1/4” pipe with 5mm holes drilled every 1.5”. Drilled pipe is a common practice in many facilities for two reasons – One, it is quick and two, is it easy. The problem with this type of setup is the safety concern if the drilled hole is dead-ended against skin. A pressure above 30 PSI can force compressed air into the bloodstream, creating the risk for an embolism – a condition which can be fatal. EXAIR’s engineered Super Air Nozzles can save the day.
All EXAIR products conform to OSHA standard CFR 1910.424(b), a standard that regulates dead-end pressure level maximums for compressed air products. The designs of all EXAIR products are developed in such a way that if dead-ended against human skin they will never exceed the maximum pressure mandated by OSHA (30 PSI). In the above case, our Pico Super Air Nozzles are the right solution. With its recent nomination of the 1109-PEEK for the Plant Engineering Product of the Year Award in the Compressed Air Category, I got to thinking about the product. There are the obvious, material-specific benefits such as the chemical resistivity of PEEK plastic, the high temperature range (160°C/320°F), and the friendly, non-marring qualities when in direct contact with other materials. But, there is also another side to the 1109-PEEK nozzle (and every other EXAIR product), and that is the added safety with every installation.
EXAIR can also supply a quick and easy solution to keep you OSHA safe and conserve air at the same time. With EXAIR’s unmatched variety of sizes and material, we have an in STOCK solution for your drilled pipes. With threads sizes ranging from M4 x 0.5 through 1-1/4 NPT on the shelf, we ship orders same day in most cases. That is the quick part of the equation.
The correction for such a condition can be the easy installation of a Super Air Knife, or Super Air Nozzles (below) – This illustrates the easy part of the equation.
The 1109-PEEK nozzles installed above provide the needed safety to this drilled pipe. The same nozzle is also available in 316 stainless steel. If you have an application with a similar need in your facility, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to discuss technical details and specific recommendations.
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.
One of the easiest ways to solve a blow off application is to install an open pipe or tube; it’s generally quick and available. They are easy to make, mainly you just need some pipe, maybe a hacksaw and hammer, and a way to hook them up to your compressed air system. They will provide a good amount of force but at the cost of safety, noise level, and air consumption. That’s right: it will cost you in SAFETY, NOISE EXPOSURE and COMPRESSED AIR CONSUMPTION. I’m going to go out on a limb here (not really) and wager there are a number of folks in any organization unwilling to pay those costs – if you are willing, you may want to reconsider.
I have been to many manufacturing facilities where they have used copper line to bend into a tight space and then pump 85 psi into the pipe in order to try and blow a piece of lint out of a roller or to keep trim from getting caught in a pulley system. In some cases I have seen 3/8″ ID pipe to keep dust and lint out of a pulley.
This is not needed at all. The estimated flow through a 3/8″ ID tube that is around 3′ long would be roughly 109 SCFM when powered at 85 psig. All to keep dust off and loose fiber out of a certain area. The reason they plumbed this large of a piece of tubing into the area was simple, it’s what they had and it worked great (words from the maintenance worker). For additional reference, our 91 SCFM air nozzle produces 4.5 pounds of force which seems a bit of overkill when you can blow dust away with your breath.
In one instance I looked over the material and scrap they were trying to keep from getting to the outer workings of the machine I made the recommendation for them to utilize a model 1100SSW, – a 1/4 NPT Stainless Steel Super Air Nozzle w/ Swivel Fitting. This would give them flexibility to target the right area through the swivel and require them to change the existing tubing out to a schedule 40 threaded pipe, or use a compression style fitting.
By replacing the single nozzle, the customer was able to reduce compressed air consumption in just this single blow off point from 109 SCFM at 85 psig to 14 SCFM at 80 psig inlet pressure. This single replacement equates to saving 95 SCFM, or $11.40 per 8 hour shift that the blowoff is operated. If the customer operated this blowoff 24 hours a day it would take a mere 4 days to pay the unit back in air savings.
The above savings do not include the benefit of being able to reduce the overall operating pressure of the compressed air system feeding this application to 80 psig, instead of 85 psig. In case you weren’t aware, if you lower the pressure value where your compressor shuts off, say from 85 psig to 80 psig, it will save an estimated 2.5% of drive energy for their air compressor. Depending on the type and size of the compressor this could amount to a substantial savings. This system pressure reduction will also lower the operating pressure of any leaks that may be within the system which will also be another amount of savings. All of this is from simply replacing open pipe with an engineered nozzle.
This was just one area where the quick and easy way turned out to be the costly and dangerous path. The best part about our engineered solution is they are all in stock, ready to ship same day. This means you can find the problem today, have a solution waiting to be installed tomorrow.