Doughnuts vs Donuts – Better Quality Thanks To A Super Air Knife

The two words, doughnut, and donut are synonymous with each other.  In research, the spelling donut is another Americanized word that didn’t catch on until the late 20th century. Either way, there are still multiple types of doughnuts. One of my favorites is shown below by one of the best donut manufacturers, NASCAR.

Maybe you are a little riskier and like some donuts that have a little less horsepower and a little more spice to them. Something like a ghost pepper doughnut that has a combination of spicy and sweet flavoring to satisfy your morning cravings for food. If so, you may be interested to know that an EXAIR Super Air Knife could have helped in the manufacturing process.

Animation Dreaming GIF by Matthew Butler - Find & Share on GIPHY

A regional bakery has opened up production and after months of determining their recipe and icing selection, they still needed some help on getting the glazing level correct on the finished doughnuts. The baked goodness would travel under a waterfall of glazing and several variables would lead to the amount of glazing that would build up/ remain on the doughnut. After testing these variables out the customer still wanted a better coating so they called EXAIR.

30″ 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife removing surplus glaze from doughnuts

The solution, a 30″ 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knife to mount over the conveyor and blow down the surplus glazing into the catch pan for recirculation.  The variability in force from a gentle breeze up to a forceful, glaze stripping blast, was exactly what the baker ordered.  This setup has been in practice for months now and nothing but positive results have been tasted, I mean seen.

If you would like to discuss any point of use compressed air application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

1 – One Minute of Donuts with Joey Logano, Pennzoil, Jul 30, 2015 – Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFqjbmsUdIM&feature=emb_logo

2 – Donuts TV -Matthew Butler – retrieved from – https://giphy.com/gifs/animation-sweet-3oKIPCBcZs82sv9nsQ

Variety – The Key for Successful Applications No Matter the Conditions

 

EXAIR has been manufacturing Intelligent Compressed Air® products since 1983.  In the beginning, the Standard Air Knives and Full Flow Air Knives were very effective at that time.  But as leaders in this market, EXAIR did not want to stop there.  We were able to engineer a more efficient, more powerful, and much safer air knife, the Super Air Knife.  In this blog, I will discuss the features and benefits that the Super Air Knives can offer. 

Bernoulli’s principle explains how a high velocity fluid can generate a low pressure.  The Super Air Knife creates that high velocity air stream to produce a low pressure above and below the opening to entrain ambient air.   What does this mean for you?  It will save you much money by using less compressed air.  The mass of the free ambient air is added into the air stream to give a strong blowing force.  The Super Air Knife has an amplification ratio of 40:1. For every 1 part of compressed air, 40 parts of ambient air is drawn into the blowing air stream.  Ambient air is free, and compressed air is definitely not.  EXAIR was able to engineer a design to use the Bernoulli’s principle to make one of the most efficient air knives in the market place.   

Super Air Knife

As a benefit, they blow a laminar air stream which reduces noise levels and create a consistent force along the entire length.  An even force will give you tighter control for blowing applications which will cut compressed air usage unlike the inconsistent and turbulent air flows caused by drilled pipes, manifolds of nozzles or blower-type systems.  Some other interesting features for the Super Air Knives are that they have a compact design to fit into tight places for blowing and cooling.  The footprint is very small as compared to blower-air knife systems.  They do not have any moving parts to wear or maintenance to do.  They only need clean compressed air to work. 

What else makes the Super Air Knives unchallenged?  We manufacture and stock the widest range in lengths and materials.  To start, Super Air Knives range from 3” to 108” (76mm to 2,743mm) in three different materials; aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316/316L stainless steel.  There is no-one else in this industry that can manufacture to those lengths.  EXAIR also offers Super Air Knives in PVDF material with Hastelloy hardware for chemical resistant applications from 3” to 54” (76mm to 1,372mm).  Depending on the temperature requirement, chemical resistance, OSHA and FDA regulations, or application details, we probably will have one on the shelf for you. 

If EXAIR does not stock it, we make special air knives in different lengths and materials to best fit your application.  In some confined areas, the Super Air Knives may have to fit inside a specific width or footprint.  Well, EXAIR can make it to that specific length in a short period.  We have also made special designed Air Knives that were very thin, curved, double-sided, and with distinct mounting holes to easily attach to specific machines or operations.  And if you need a special material, like the PVC Super Air Knife below, we can do that.  EXAIR has a team of Application Engineers that can help you with the design, configuration, and details for special types of Super Air Knives. 

PVC Super Air Knife

Double-sided Super Air Knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also offer the Super Air Knives in kits as a more complete system.  The kit includes a filter, regulator and a Shim Set.  The filter removes the debris and water from the compressed air line to optimize the performance of the air knife as well as keeping your product clean.  The regulator is used to make the “fine” adjustment to the blowing force while the shim set is used as the “coarse” adjustment.  EXAIR sells this kit as one model number for simple ordering, and the accessories are properly sized to not hinder the performance of the Super Air Knife.

Super Air Knife Kits include a Shim Set, Filter Separator, and Pressure Regulator.

With the today’s cost to make compressed air, it is important to do it as efficiently as possible.  The EXAIR Super Air Knives are the most efficient as well as safe and effective.  And if you need a specific design for your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be glad to help you. 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR’s 3″ Super Air Knife Replaces Cheap, Inefficient Plastic Nozzles on Beverage Processing Line

I recently worked with a beverage manufacturer in replacing some inefficient and cheap plastic nozzles on one of their processing lines. The customer manufactures a wide variety of various beverages for consumer use, packaging them into juice-box containers. After sealing, the boxes go through a washdown process to remove any residual that may have spilled onto the outside of the container during filling.

Upon exiting the washer, they travel along a 3” wide conveyor where they’re dried by (2) plastic flat nozzles. After drying, the boxes make their way to a printer that marks the manufacturing codes and expiration date on the top of the container. If any residual moisture is present, they do not receive a legible marking. Since the boxes were not always dead-center on the conveyor, they had to stagger two nozzles in order to ensure the top of the box was dried regardless of its orientation on the conveyor.

Their search for a more efficient solution led them to the EXAIR Super Air Knife. Not only was the knife significantly more efficient, but it was also able to dramatically reduce the sound level as well. The current nozzles consume 56.8 SCFM at a pressure of 80 PSIG. The two nozzles were replaced with (1) Model 110003 Super Air Knife and Universal Mounting System. The knife was positioned directly over top of the boxes, covering the full width of the conveyor. In comparison, the 3” Super Air Knife consumes just 8.7 SCFM of compressed air AND we only needed to use one of them. The customer runs two 8-hr shifts per day, 7 days per week. Exactly how much did they save (assuming $0.25/ 1000 SCF cost of compressed air)?

Before EXAIR: (2) nozzles consuming 56.8 SCFM

56.8 SCFM x 16hrs x 365 days/year = 331,712 SCF of compressed air per year

331,712 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $82.93/ year

After EXAIR: (1) 3” Super Air Knife consuming 8.7 SCFM

8.7 SCFM x 16hrs x 365 days/year = 50,808 SCF of compressed air per year

50,808 SCF x $0.25/1000 SCF = $12.70/ year

This equates to a 75% reduction in compressed air usage per installation. The customer had a total of (4) lines running with the same setup and was able to replace each with a 3” Super Air Knife. In addition to the air savings, the sound level was reduced from 85 dBA to just 69 dBA with the Super Air Knife!

Stop wasting your time with cheap and ineffective plastic nozzles. They’re wasting you a ton of money on your bottom line, not to mention can’t stand up to the ruggedness of our Super Air Knife. Replacing any inefficient blowoff products with an engineered solution can really help during these difficult times, as well as improve the working environment for your operators.

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

EXAIR Standard Air Knives™: Overview

Standard Air Knife

EXAIR manufactures three different styles of Air Knives; Super, Standard, and the Full Flow.  In this blog, I will be discussing the Standard Air Knives.

The Standard Air Knife uses a Coanda profile for blowing.  The Coanda effect was named after a Romanian aerodynamic pioneer, Henri Coanda, where he found a fluid phenomenon.  He stated that “a jet of fluid emerging from an orifice to follow an adjacent flat or curved surface and to entrain fluid from the surroundings so that a region of lower pressure develops” (1).  Being that air is a fluid, it will react in the same way.

Compressed air flows through the inlet (1) to the Standard Air Knife, into the internal plenum. It then discharges through a thin gap (2), adhering to the Coanda profile (3) which directs it down the face of the Air Knife. The precision engineered & finished surfaces optimize entrainment of air (4) from the surrounding environment.

The EXAIR Standard Air Knife creates a high velocity air stream along an engineered profile.  So, as the air “hugs” the profile, a low pressure is created which will draw in ambient air.  What does this mean for you?  It will use less compressed air to save you money.  For the Standard Air Knife, it has an amplification ratio of 30:1.  (For every 1 part of compressed air, 30 parts of ambient air is drawn into the stream).  We can use less compressed air and bring in more of the free ambient air to create a strong blowing force.  This design makes the product very efficient.

We stock the Standard Air Knives in various lengths from 3” to 48” (76mm to 1219mm) in two materials, aluminum or 303 stainless steel.  The unique design is very compact; so, it can fit into tight places for blowing and cooling.  The aluminum version uses a plastic shim to set the gap.  They come standard with a 0.002” (0.05mm) shim installed.  We have additional shims to make the Standard Air Knife more versatile.  The shim set will include a 0.001”, 0.003”, and a 0.004” thickness shim (.03mm, .08mm, and 0.1mm respectively) for controlling the air flow from a small breeze to a blast.  The shims are color coded for easy verification.  The stainless steel Standard Air Knife comes with a stainless steel shim for higher temperatures or chemical resistance.

Standard Air Knife Kit

We do offer the Standard Air Knives in kits for a more complete package.  The kit will include the Air Knife, a filter, regulator and the above-mentioned shim set.  The filter will remove the debris and liquid water from the compressed air line to optimize the air knife as well as keeping your product clean.  The regulator is used to make “fine” adjustments to the blowing force.  The shim set is used as a “coarse” adjustment to the blowing force.  Together, you can “dial” in the right amount of air required to do the job without wasting compressed air.

Universal Mounting System

For easy mounting, we do offer a Universal Air Knife Mounting System.  This kit is used to position your air knife securely and precisely.  It comes with a bracket and an articulated arm that can reach up to 30” (762mm).  You can direct the Standard Air Knife in any position to maximize the effectiveness.  It is easy to use as seen in this video: CLICK HERE.

With the today’s cost to make compressed air, it is important to do it as efficiently as possible.  The Standard Air Knife has the ability to give you the effective blowing to remove debris, dry parts, or cool objects without using a large amount of compressed air.  As another feature, the Standard Air Knife is quiet.  It only has a sound level of 83 dBA at 80 psig (5.5 bar).  So, by using this EXAIR product, you are not creating a noise nuisance in the work environment.  If you have any questions about the Standard Air Knife or if you would like to discuss an application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

 

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

  1.  Wikipedia – Caonda effect.