How To Plumb and Use EXAIR Model 9040 Foot Valve

If you’re looking for a convenient, hands-free (but still operator controlled) method of operating a compressed air product, look no further than the EXAIR Model 9040 Foot Valve. Here’s how to install and operate it:

This is one of many ways we can help you optimize, automate, and simplify your use of your compressed air.  If you’ve got an application you’d like assistance with, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Why Use Oil Removal Filters For Compressed Air

If you’re even an occasional visitor to the EXAIR Blog, you’ll know we like to write about compressed air filtration.  One reason is that many of our products have relatively small passages that can become fouled with dirt from the compressed air supply, and performance will suffer.   Even if you find yourself in that situation, though, the good news is, it’s easy to clean many of those products…worst case, some disassembly is required, but we’re here to help with that if needed.

The more pressing reason for many users is, whatever’s in your compressed air is going to get on whatever it’s coming in contact with.  That means if you’re blowing dirt or water off a part with a Safety Air Gun, you could be blowing dirt, or water ONTO it if you’re not using proper filtration.  Clean, moisture free air is a MUST for a lot of Line Vac Air Operated Conveyor applications where exclusion of contamination (food and pharma, we’re looking at you) is critical.  It’s also quite important to Cabinet Cooler System applications – dust, water, and electronics DON’T mix.

That’s why all EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product Kits include a Filter Separator with a particulate element to remove solids, and a centrifugal element that spins out any moisture in the air flow supplying the product.  Sometimes, though, another  contaminant may be present, and may need to be addressed: oil.

Oil is often introduced into a compressed air system on purpose, via a lubricator installed in the supply line to pneumatic tools, to keep their moving parts, well…moving.  This is generally not a problem, as long as the lubricator’s downstream line only leads to said tools.  The most common method for UNWANTED oil to enter is from the compressor.  This happens when internal parts start to wear (like the piston rings of a reciprocating compressor,) allowing oil from the gearbox into the air side.

Just as water & dirt in your air will get on whatever you’re blowing onto, so will oil.  That’s where our Oil Removal Filters come in.  The coalescing element removes any trace of oil from the air flow, and also provides additional particulate filtration to 0.03 microns.

When properly installed downstream of an Automatic Drain Filter Separator (left,) an Oil Removal Filter (center) will provide clean, oil free air to the Pressure Regulator (right) and all downstream components.

If you want to get the most out of your compressed air system and the devices it operates, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Safety Air Guns: Quiet, Safe, And Efficient Blowoff (Literally) In The Palm Of Your Hand

One of the more popular uses in industry for compressed air is blowing off parts or products, and one of the more convenient methods of doing so is by use of a handheld blow off device.  Given this combination of popularity and convenience, the manufacture and use of air guns is prolific.  They come in all shapes & sizes, and can be made simply and cheaply.

Simple and cheap is fine, in most cases, for the air gun itself.  The part that the air comes out, however, can make all the difference in the world when looking at the cost of operation, environmental effects, and the ability to use the device safely:

  • Cost of operation: the simplest design of an air gun is a trigger device that starts & stops the flow of compressed air through an open discharge.  Throttling this down through a narrow passage increases the velocity of the air flow, making for a more powerful blast of air.  Thing is, this still uses a LOT of compressed air to create that powerful blast…much more than an engineered product. 
  • Environmental effects: By this, I mean noise.  Air guns with a simple open discharge can be LOUD – over 100 dBA in many cases.  It’s been well documented, for a long time, that high noise exposure is bad for operators’ health…and not just in the obvious manner of hearing loss.  Among these other effects are high stress, hypertension, and sleep disorders.
  • Safe use: Open ended blow offs are in violation of OSHA’s directive 1910.242(b,) which regulates the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.  The big hazard is dead-ending the device into your body…the pressurized air can literally tear your skin open, and inject itself inside.  This creates a dangerous and often life-threatening condition known as an embolism.
Thumb guns are a perfect example of the above mentioned “popularity and convenience.”  They can be made efficient, quiet, and safe by replacing the open end discharge fitting with an engineered product like the EXAIR Super Air Nozzle.  Chip Shields provide additional protection for blown back particulate as well.

EXAIR Corporation offers a diverse line of Safety Air Guns that address all three of these items:

  • Our Super Air Nozzles use a smaller amount of compressed air flow to entrain an enormous amount of “free” air from the surrounding environment to generate a resultant high volume, high velocity air flow.  So you get the same job done, using less compressed air.
  • Another benefit to their specific design is that the entrained air forms a boundary layer that attenuates the sound level of the primary flow, resulting in extraordinarily quiet operation, while still producing a very usable air flow.
  • And…they’re fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b) because they can’t be dead ended.

If you’re looking for additional encouragement to try one out, consider this:  Order an EXAIR Safety Air Gun right now, and get a FREE Model 1126 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle.  This versatile little engineered blow off device has a number of applications…not the least of which involves its installation on an air gun.

Whichever Safety Air Gun you buy, you get to try a 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle too.

If you’d like to talk about efficiency, sound level reduction, and safety in regard to your use of compressed air (hand held or other,) give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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When Air Flow, Not Force, Makes The Difference

I recently had the pleasure of talking with a CAGI Certified Compressed Air Systems Specialist, who was working with a client to improve energy efficiency in the use of their compressed air. One particular application that was particularly taxing on their system is the use of hose barb fittings (basically, an open blow device) to fold over a cardboard box flap on a packaging line.

We discussed the possibility of trying something out, but the client wanted to look at some data, showing what their expected savings could be. Hose barb fittings are quite common, and they DO focus the flow of a compressed air discharge into a forceful little blast, which is quite effective at folding a box flap.

The client’s main concern was the force applied. In truth, there’s no better way to maximize force than by discharging a compressed gas directly through an open ended device. Excessive force, however, isn’t the only way to solve an application like this, as I proved in a test in our Efficiency Lab.  Here’s what happened:

EXAIR 1″ and 2″ Flat Super Air Nozzles can be fitted with a variety of shims for variable performance.
  • All of them folded the box flap easily.  The Model HP1125 folded it just as far as the hose did in the test I rigged, and with a 37% reduction in compressed air consumption.  The others folded it very nearly as far, with 62% (Model 1122) and 70% (Model HP1126) reductions.
  • Not to mention the drastic reduction in noise levels.

Lastly, I documented it all in a short video:

We field calls all the time from callers wanting to know how much force our Intelligent Compressed Air Products can generate.  Applications like part ejection do indeed require a certain amount of force to, say, move an object in motion from a conveyor belt…that’s just physics.  Most blow off applications (and folding over a flat box flap, for instance,) just need air flow…which engineered products from EXAIR Corporation can handle just fine, and at a fraction of the compressed air use & sound levels associated with open end blowing devices.

If you’d like to find out how EXAIR Corporation can help save you money on compressed air consumption, and ear plugs, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Air! image courtesy of Barney Moss  Creative Commons License