OSHA Safety, Efficiency, and Flexibility from Engineered Compressed Air Nozzles

Throughout my years here at EXAIR as well as my years in the metal cutting industry, one of the most common quick fixes I see in production environments for compressed air blowoffs in a process is an open copper pipe that is contorted into a position, pinched at the end, and more often than not kinked from repositioning. I call this a quick fix because it does blow air, more often than not it will get production up and running, but it does not meet or exceed OSHA standards for safety and is an inefficient use of compressed air. [OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.242(b) and 29 CFR 1910.95(a)]

EXAIR Super Air Nozzles that are easy replacements for 1/8″ and 1/4″ Copper pipe.

The first engineered solution I could offer to prevent any costly OSHA fines and to lower the ambient noise level caused by these blowoffs is to implement an EXAIR Engineered Air Nozzle. We offer a wide variety of nozzles ranging from a 4mm thread up to a 1-1/4″ NPT thread. With this wide range comes a wide variety of forces and flows as well.

Today, I would like to focus on the common sizes of copper blowoffs which are 1/8″ and 1/4″. To simply adapt a nozzle to copper line a compression fitting can be easily sourced, often from EXAIR, and convert the copper tubing in place to an NPT threaded outlet for easy installation of an EXAIR nozzle. More often than not a compression fitting is how the copper tubing is tied into the machine’s compressed air system.

We have a total of 37 engineered air nozzles from stock that will easily fit a compression fitting which goes to a 1/8″ NPT or 1/4″ NPT thread. Several of these are also adjustable through a gap adjustment or a patented shim adjustment to vary the force and flow out of the nozzle from a forceful blast to a gentle breeze in order to me your application needs. What if you want to eliminate the copper line and compressions fittings?

EXAIR offers a replacement option for the ever-common copper tube that is more robust and does not require a tool to be properly repositioned. We currently offer twenty-four different models of our Stay Set Hoses that can be easily connected to any of the nozzles mentioned above. The lengths that are available are 6″ (152mm), 12″ (305mm), 18″ (457mm), 24″ (610mm), 30″ (762mm) and 36″ (914mm).

These lengths are available with two separate connection options. 1/4″ MNPT x 1/4″ MNPT or 1/4″ MNPT x 1/8″ FNPT. The Stay Set Hoses can easily be bent by hand into position for a precise placement of the air pattern from the engineered nozzle attached to it. This permits operators a tool free adjustment for fast and reliable location to keep production up and running. They can also be paired with Magnetic Bases.

EXAIR Magnetic Bases are available in single outlet or dual outlet configurations. Both include a 100 lb. pull magnet that will hold tight to any ferrous metal surface for secure mounting, as well as a quick 1/4 turn miniature valve on each outlet. This permits independent customization of the force our of each output for the dual outlet mag base. Each magnetic base offers a 1/4″ FNPT inlet port and outlet port. We offer these with any of combination of the Stay Set Hoses mentioned above as well as any of the Super Air Nozzles mentioned above.

Mag Bases come with one or two outlets. Stay Set Hoses come in lengths from 6″ to 36″.

The Super Air Nozzles, Stay Set Hoses, and Magnetic Bases can be easily combined before they ship to your facility to make a complete blowoff station that is easily installed and adjusted to fit any of the needs your process may have for a point of use blowoff. If you want help determining how much compressed air you would save by replacing the open pipe blowoffs with an engineered solution like a Stay Set Magnetic Base Blowoff System please contact myself or any Application Engineer here at EXAIR.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

PEEK Super Air Nozzles Resist Corrosion; Won’t Scratch Sensitive Surfaces

Because they might be needed in some pretty aggressive environments, EXAIR offers many of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products in a variety of materials. One particular material of construction, however, has two distinct benefits. PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone, for those of us who ruined the grading curve in CHEM102) plastic offers not only superior chemical corrosion resistance; it’s also non-marring. Since EXAIR introduced the first PEEK Super Air Nozzle in 2005, they’ve been specified all over the world; sometimes for their corrosion resistance; other times so they won’t mar or scratch sensitive surfaces…and every once in a while, for both.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing blow off applications with the production manager of a large anodizing & plating company. The chemicals used in these processes are extremely corrosive, and the equipment used in those areas has to be made of something that’ll handle it. PEEK plastic is just such a material. Also, once they’ve treated their customers’ parts, they need to handle them with care…they’re getting paid a premium to provide nice, shiny parts with a perfect finish. When they’re blowing them off, they need to use something that won’t scratch up the surface if the operator makes incidental contact with the blow off tip. Again, PEEK plastic is just such a material.  Since their existing blow offs were fitted to 1/8 NPT connections, they chose the Model 1102-PEEK Mini Super Air Nozzle.

EXAIR’s PEEK Super Air Nozzles can be mounted in place or on a Safety Air Gun, depending on your needs.

Corrosion resistant and non-marring…EXAIR offers our PEEK Super Air Nozzles in six sizes, from the Atto (M4x0.5 threads; 2.5 SCFM; 2 oz force applied) to our High Force Model 1104-PEEK (3/8 NPT threads; 35 SCFM; 1.9 lbs force applied) for an incredibly diverse range of applications.

If you’d like to discuss what material(s) of construction your application(s) require, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Out Of This World

One of the best parts about being an Application Engineer at EXAIR is the vast array of applications that customers call in with.  Every time the phone rings, a chat notification pops up, or an email to Techelp comes in, another interesting application presents itself and the process of helping to provide a solution begins.

Recently, I worked with an Optical Scientist working on the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promises to to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe.  He made contact with us via chat and said that he had seen a special Safety Air Gun being used to blow off a telescope mirror at a different telescope site.  He said the unit had black plastic nozzles, which was preferred, because they would not scratch or damage the mirror glass. After receiving a photo of the unit, we were able to identify it as the model 1213-4-PEEK, Super Blast Safety Air Gun, with 4 PEEK Nozzles (PEEK  = Polyetheretherketone, a thermoplastic).

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Model 1213-4-PEEK Super Blast Safety Air Gun

The Super Blast Safety Air Gun is one of the EXAIR  High Force Safety Air Gun offerings that provide a strong blowing force with the added convenience of a comfortable soft grip and easy to operate spring-loaded manual valve that automatically shuts off should it be dropped.  The Super Blast Safety Air gun is ideal for long distance, wide area blowoff, cooling and drying applications.  In the case of the telescope mirror application, the mirrors are outside and subject to dust and bird and bat “deposits.”  After a thorough washing, the Super Blast Safety Air Gun provides the method for drying the mirrors. At 8.4 meters in diameter, a strong, far reaching blast of air is required to ensure complete drying of the mirror surface.

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Array of 7 Mirror Surfaces

EXAIR offers a wide range of Safety Air Guns, from those offering small, precise blowoff of 2 ozs. up to large, strong blowing forces of 23 lbs.  To discuss your special blowoff, cooling or drying application, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our  Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Image Courtesy of “Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation”

It’s A Major Award!

As many of us celebrated the Holidays we revisited some traditions. Like a lot of families do, my family also has a  number of traditions.  Ours include:

  • A turkey grilled on my trusty Weber kettle.
  • A thorough cleaning of the house, because my wife says if we don’t, my mother-in-law will want to hire us a maid. I’m still trying to understand how that’s a bad thing.
  • A post-dinner family card game. After all, this is the cleanest our dining room table gets all year.
  • Some late-into-the-evening TV. This usually consists of our favorite holiday movie, “A Christmas Story.” If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a cult classic about a boy named Ralphie Parker, and his mission to obtain a BB gun, his struggles with the neighborhood bully, and, of course, his father’s uncanny fascination with a very peculiar sweepstakes prize:

From left to right: Mr. Parker’s “Major Award” lamp, and the lamp that our Mr. Edwards prefers instead.

At EXAIR, we’re looking forward to news about some Major Awards ourselves. See, four of our new products have been nominated for Product of the Year by Plant Engineering Magazine. If you’re familiar with any of these, and their benefits, we’d appreciate your vote for them:

1104PEEKWhat it is: PEEK 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzles, engineered for high performance.

Why it’s important: Hard-hitting force, low noise, PEEK plastic construction for non-marring protection and excellent chemical resistance. High amplification of airflow produces a blowing force of 1.9 lbs, with air consumption of only 35 SCFM at 80 psig.

 

110108What it is: Our Long Super Air Knives, the longest one-piece Air Knife available.

Why it’s important: Uniform, seamless curtain of air flow. 16 lengths in stock, from 3″-108”. Energy efficient & versatile, all sizes are available in aluminum, 303SS, and 316SS. Infinitely adjustable from a gentle blowing flow, to a hard-hitting blast of air.

 

1109PEEKWhat it is: Our PEEK Pico Super Air Nozzles, designed for precision & performance.

Why it’s important: One of the smallest, most precise engineered nozzle on the market (0.63” long, 0.20” diameter,) perfect for installation in tight spaces. PEEK thermoplastic construction means non-marring protection when used in close proximity to sensitive materials.

 

7096What it is: Our Long Ionizing Bars, low cost, maximum coverage.

Why it’s important: Available from stock in lengths up to 108”, they dissipate a 5,000V static charge in 0.18 seconds. Small profile fits in confined spaces where static electricity is generated. Shockless and safe for superior reliability.

 

You’re going to hear more – a LOT more – about these products in the coming days. In fact, if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve no doubt heard already. Of course, if you’ve got specific questions about how these – or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products – can make an award-worthy impact in your facility, give us a call.

Time is running out to vote for one of our products! The voting window closes January 9, 2015.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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“A Christmas Story” House at Night, Cleveland, OH image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Nell. Creative Commons License.

Lava Lamp image courtesy of Ryan SteeleCreative Commons License.

Model 1109-PEEK Solves Customer Dilemma

1109-PEEK
1109-PEEK Nozzle used in non-marring blowoff application

In a recent application for a new installation, an end user of EXAIR products needed a way to remove defective material from a production line.  At times, the defective items would fall along a conveyor, and the end user wanted to install an effective, efficient blowoff system to address multiple points along the conveyor.  Further to the complexity of the application, the end user needed a product that would not damage the product any further, as they reworked those items to reduce total scrap rates.

Initially, we considered a series of PVDF Super Air Knives, one of which could be triggered “ON” when material was detected.  But, the material size is relatively small, leading to the installation of many, many small Super Air Knives.  This solution was viable from a performance perspective, but further review found a more economic solution.

We then considered Super Air Nozzles.  Perhaps a series of small, efficient nozzles, controlled in groups of (5) or (10), could provide the desired blowoff force.  But, what about the need to not damage the product if in contact with the blowoff device?

This is where the PEEK plastic, model 1109-PEEK, became a perfect fit.  A series of 1109-PEEK nozzles provided the necessary blow off force, consumed minimal compressed air, and provided a non-damaging, non-marring solution.  When controlled in clustered groups, the specific section of the conveyor could be cleared of the defective material, blown into bins for reworking.

These attributes of the 1109-PEEK nozzle, along with high chemical resistivity, and a high temperature range (up to 160°C / 320°F) make it a viable choice for a variety of applications.  Maybe that’s why it is currently nominated for a Plant Engineering Product of the Year Award in the Compressed Air category – Please VOTE for the Precision Air Nozzle here.

EXAIR Application Engineers are well versed in the parameters of our products and a wide range of industrial applications.  If you have a need for engineering support in your application, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Go Vote For The EXAIR 1104-PEEK!

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Plant Engineering Product of the Year Awards

 

In case you missed our blog on EXAIR having 4 finalists for Product of the Year 2014 from Plant Engineering there is a link here.   Today however, I would like to focus on just one of those products, the Model 1104-PEEK, 3/8″ FNPT Peek Plastic Super Air Nozzle.

The Model 1104-PEEK Super Air Nozzle blows off solar panels during assembly inspection.
The Model 1104-PEEK Super Air Nozzle blows off solar panels during assembly inspection.

The 1104-PEEK is constructed out of PEEK Thermoplastic which is designed to be chemical resistant, non-marring, and carries a high temperature rating.  The chemical resistance of PEEK plastic will help greatly in locations such as plating operations, chemical etching or cleaning metals, painting, or glass etching.  The low friction characteristic of PEEK plastic makes it ideal when trying to blow off delicate surfaces which may be scratched by metallic blow off nozzles such as, painted surfaces, glass, plastics, or even polished metals.  The PEEK thermoplastic is rated for environments up to 320°F (160°C).  This can be ideal for paint or coating curing ovens.   This could also come in handy around the exit of a furnace where there may be caustic fumes mixed with elevated temperatures.

When you combine all of the benefits from PEEK plastic with the engineered solutions from EXAIR, you will get an efficient, safe, engineered solution to your blow off application that will work in a caustic or hot environment, yet not mar a delicate surface.

If you have an 1104-PEEK already in your application, or are using another EXAIR product, please go and vote for us in the Plant Engineering Product of the Year awards.   We greatly appreciate all who are willing to vote for any of our products and are proud to continue bringing you the best products we can offer that fit your every compressed air need.

Brian Farno
Application  Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Expanding The Family And Our Product Lines

If you follow my blogs and or Twitter you may know that I am currently the proud father of two wonderful and amazing daughters.   My wife  and I just recently found out that our third child which is due in early December is also a girl.   So I will then be the proud father of three beautiful daughters (and the guy with a really nice shotgun that holds multiple rounds). Some may say I’m overprotective – I’ll just have to agree.

All of our friends continually ask me if I am upset that I didn’t get a son, my truthful response is, “No.”  I am rather pleased to have all three girls for right now.   The fact is, the oldest and now middle daughter are both already working in the garage with me, constantly wanting to do whatever it is I am doing, and they are a blast to be around.   Since they are all three girls I don’t have to worry about giving them that awkward adolescent discussion (I would give that to any boys we may have), and I get to scare whoever tries to come and date any of them when they turn 21 or 25, perhaps 30.

EXAIR is also expanding its family.  We have welcomed a wonderful little PEEK nozzle to our already large Super Air Nozzle product family.   This one comes in with M5 x 0.5 threads, or with a 1/8th” NPT adapter.  The nozzle can produce 5 ozs. of force while using only 4.9 SCFM of compressed air at 80 psig inlet pressure.   The PEEK plastic construction gives it excellent ratings for chemical resistance and temperature resistance while also being non-marring. PEEK thermoplastic fits well into the plating industries, metal etching, pickling lines, sea water environments because it outperforms the 316SS material of our other nozzles when in those environments. The maximum temperature rating for this nozzle is 320F.

1109_peeksan_300x300ce

The picture above shows the nozzle removing excess plating solution which takes advantage of the chemical resistance for nickel plating, as well as the non marring in case of contact with the part.

The wonderful and wacky Professor Penurious has named this little nozzle as our Pico Super Air Nozzle.

If you have an application that needs good chemical resistance, or just an upgrade to save compressed air, contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF