Celebrate Earth Day 2018!

Earth Day is one of those days not everyone is aware happens, even with all of the news and notable facts about our resources and pollution. EXAIR is committed to raising awareness of Earth Day and encourages everyone to find an activity which produces action in the spirit of Earth Day. For example, could you help clean up a riverbank in your town, or plant some trees in a park, or recycle your household plastic/glass/aluminum/cardboard? The Earth Day website has a bunch of great suggestions for you to make a difference.

Volunteers help cleanup

At my home, we recycle our glass, metal, plastic and cardboard. At EXAIR we continue to make progress in reducing our overall footprint as well.

Sunday, April 22nd marks the 48th annual Earth Day and it will be observed in 192 countries. For EXAIR, this year marks our 35th year helping compressed air users save compressed air energy and electrical resources. It is also another year that we continue to focus on manufacturing our products with minimal impact and doing our part to help protect our planet. We are proud to manufacture efficient products, implement processes and programs throughout our facility to help use our resources wisely and recycle everything we possibly can.

First and foremost, we manufacture and sell Intelligent Compressed Air Products that are specifically designed to reduce the use of compressed air throughout facilities. On top of that, when you purchase an EXAIR product it will arrive in fully recyclable packaging and, in most cases, is made from a material that will be recyclable should it reach a point it is no longer useful.

In the past year we have improved the efficiency of our computers and computer servers which require fewer Kilowatt hours (KWH) per day . We have been able to reduce KWH/day by over 56%! This reduces our impact on the local electricity provider and further shrinks our impact upon precious resources.

EXAIR recycles 100% of the metal scrap from our machining processes, which equates to 6.5 tons. Our cardboard and mixed paper products are also recycled 100%. Of the waste we place into our trash dumpsters – 80% is recycled and 20% is sent to the landfill. The paper products even get down to all of paper towels that are used and all the scratch paper that the office utilizes. In total, EXAIR recycled 35.4 tons of paper and cardboard in 2017. We focus on more ways to improve this percentage every year.

Another waste reducing factor that has proven to work out well for EXAIR is asking every customer if they accept digital invoices rather than requiring them to be printed and mailed. Thanks to our wonderful customers we have been able to eliminate 91% of all printed and mailed invoices which helps to reduce our resources used as well as the amount of materials that are possibly turned into solid wastes at their facilities. This also prevents the gas and vehicles necessary to deliver all of these invoices by mail.

To get back to what EXAIR products have done to help reduce waste, we were also able to optimize our own compressed air system by eliminating air leaks and have saved 1 million cubic feet of compressed air. We have also utilized our very own Chip Trapper Systems in our manufacturing areas and extended the water soluble coolant life from 6 weeks per changeover to 6 months per changeover. Keeping our coolant clean allows us to minimize the total amount of wastewater we recycle each year.

We continued to reduce our wastewater for reclamation – in 2017 we recycled 795 gallons, a reduction of 213 gallons compared to 2016, due to extending the life of our coolant.

On top of all the efforts above, we also continue to maintain RoHS compliance on all electronic products, as well as actively track our supply chains to ensure no Conflict Minerals are being sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If you have any questions on how we can help your facility reduce their use of compressed air or why we continue to reduce our wastes and increase our recycling efforts, contact us.

To see our full Sustainability Plan follow this link.

Enjoy Your Weekend,
EXAIR Corporation

 

Thank you to Kate Ter Haar for the Happy Earth Day image. Creative Commons License.
Thank you to AFS-USA Intercultural Programs for the volunteer image. Creative Commons License. 

What is a GEN4 Ion Air Cannon?

Quite simply the GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is based on the mechanics of the 2″ diameter Super Air Amplifier that has static reduction capabilities and as its name implies it amplifies the supply air up to 25 times!

This highly engineered product is very effective at cleaning product and reducing static at distances of up to 15′ away.

GEN4 IAC

The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon comes in a handy stand/mounting unit for easy installation in a wide variety of applications. It can be mounted to machine frames, mounted out of the way from a process, or placed on a bench top.

GEN4 IAC Dimensions

The GEN4 Super Ion Air Cannon can work with as little as 10 PSI supply pressure.

GEN4 IAC Performance

The GEN4 Ion Air Cannon is used in many applications such as bottling, manufacturing of solar panels and preparing new automobile car bodies to be painted – to name a few. Wherever static reduction and/or cleaning is required the Ion Air Cannon can contribute.

It is offered in a kit that can include the 7960 power supply, pressure regulator for fine adjustments, filter/separator to keep the air clean and dry and a shim set for gross adjustments or just the GEN4 Ion Air Cannon and the 7960 power supply.  Of course all components are also available individually.

If you would like to discuss reducing static and/or cleaning materials, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Steve Harrison
Application Engineer

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Super Air Knife Helps Plastic Injection Molder

EXAIR commonly works with plastic injection molding companies. They produce top quality plastic parts from both commodity and engineering-grade resins for many diverse industries. The customer reached out to us with a problem. A mold that they were running was having some issues. The parts were not releasing and ejecting properly, causing the need to use a mold release, which was slowing down the process by a manual operation to the process.  Also, the parts were seeing push pin marks, causing cosmetic issues with the parts.  The customer wanted to explore using compressed air to blow the parts free.

Plastic Injection Mold
Typical Plastic Injection Mold

Based on the mold size and layout, a pair of 12″ Super Air Knives was installed.  The knives are oriented to blow straight down along the face of the mold, one knife per part tree.  The strong laminar flow of air hits the parts causing them to release and drop without the use of release agents.  Also, the push pin marks are within normal standards, eliminating the the cosmetic concerns.

gh_Super Air Knife 750x696

This is just one example of how intelligently using compressed air can help improve a process.  By using air knives for wide areas or using a 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle for very small parts, or anywhere in between, we can help to solve your part ejection issues and make your process run better, faster, and with higher quality.

1126
1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with Changeable Shims

If you would like to talk about Super Air Knives, Flat Nozzles or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Injection Mold Photo – “Creative Commons Injection Mold” by Mitch Barrie is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Stainless Steel Line Vac turns Super Sack into a Large Vacuum Bag

LV PE pellet application2

I had an interesting application from a guy in Kuwait who worked at a plastics plant. They worked with polyethylene pellets for molding processes. In his introduction, the customer said he was looking for something like our Chip Vac product but he wanted to use it with a super sack platform that they elevate up to a high position to allow for cleaning in and around their silos. I mentioned to him that we do have the Chip Vac available to work with a 110 gallon drum. His response was that he knew about that but was not interested as they were set up to move the larger super sacks around their plant. You can see one such set-up in the above photo.

His problem was that he needed a quick and easy way to get the loose PE pellets into his super sack without using a broom and shovel. We had just the solution.

Many years ago when we introduced the Chip Vac product, we did so as a result of customers who knew about our Line Vac but wanted it to be used on a drum. So, we adapted the Line Vac to have the proper, 2 NPT threads necessary to screw into the larger of the two holes in the top of a typical drum. In this situation, we were working the development that we did so long ago in reverse. So, it was a very easy recommendation to set the customer up with a Line Vac to aid in the vacuuming up of the polyethylene pellets and do so in the manner the customer wanted.

After a little discussion to sort out the type of material and the size Line Vac that the customer wanted, we ended up settling on a 1-1/2” Stainless Steel Line Vac Kit, model 6963. The 1-1/2” size allowed for easy connection of a standard size vacuum hose for easy manipulation around the clean-up area. The customer opted for the stainless steel over an aluminum unit as they wanted to be absolutely certain that the product could stand up to their typically rough conditions. He also wanted the kit so he could mount the Line Vac to his platform and have clean, dry air going to the Line Vac to keep it running well for a longer time. Below is a rough sketch of the customer’s idea about how to marry the Line Vac to his super sack platform.

 

LV setup

You can notice from the sketch that the customer already had his filtration system thought out to allow the conveying airflow back out of the bag.

The key to this application and the feature that I want to point out is the adaptability of the Line Vac to fit into just about any application. We do have the Industrial Housekeeping products available for ready to use solutions. But, if you have a similar situation where you have part of your “system” that you like for one reason or another, we’re more than willing to discuss what you have at your facility to help you best determine how we can implement a solution that you are happy with. Likewise, if we feel that there is a better way to approach your application, we will be sure to let you know that too!

Give us a ring or send us an e-mail to discuss the specifics of your application today. We’re here to help.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com
@EXAIR_NR

Where Did All The C Clamps Go?

Over the past week I visited a local company here in Cincinnati that utilized a decent number of flat plastic air nozzles on their production lines.   This style nozzle had been used for many years but were the reason their engineering department contacted EXAIR.   The nozzles they had in place were used in many different applications from ejecting bad parts, holding up box flaps, and even positioning product correctly on the production line.   Every nozzle was tied to a regulator somewhere on the machine and all of the regulators were tuned to different pressures.

The customer was experiencing, at certain points during the day, a pressure drop throughout the entire system that would cause packaging lines to shut down due to low air pressure faults. The customer called EXAIR because they determined the plastic nozzles were using too much compressed air and were also a constant maintenance problem. Primarily, they wanted to see if we had a solution to lower compressed air while still achieving the desired production results.

Being local we were able to visit the customer and after discussing the applications we set out through the manufacturing area to discover if we could offer solutions for the problematic areas. We got about 10′ away from a casing machine and I heard a loud hiss of compressed air.   This was even with my foam ear plugs in.  Once we reached the edge of the machine I was quickly able to trace the sound down to a plastic flat nozzle that had been mounted to the machine, broken and held back in place by a large C clamp like seen below.

IMG_5777.JPG

As we went through the rest of this production line and the rest of the packaging facility, it was clear the customer had settled on using flat plastic nozzles throughout the plant. Generally we see this because the nozzles are cheap – when you forget to consider operating and maintenance costs. This was not the only broken nozzle being held in place by a clamp and it is also the not the only one that was using more compressed air than necessary.

After finishing the tour and performing some tests here in our lab I recommended that they utilize our 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle with a .005″ thick shim installed.   By installing the 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle they are going to be able to mount the metal nozzles with minimal modification to their existing setup as well as lower air consumption and noise level. The metal construction makes them more durable and long lasting in an industrial environment. These nozzles will not break when an operator bumps it and the maintenance department will be able to reclaim all the C clamps that are distributed throughout the facility.

Once we have final numbers on how many nozzles have been replaced and what pressures each nozzle is operated at we will provide the customer the air consumption savings as well as the noise level reduction that they are seeing throughout the plant.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Stack’em Up

Pick and Place Robot Arm
Pick and Place Robot Arm

A customer was having a problem with stacking plastic parts after an injection molding process.  The robotic arm removes the part from the mold, trims the part by a die cutter, and then stacks the part into a tote.  The problem occurred when stacking the plastic part into multiple columns inside a tote for shipping.  Static was generated and became strong enough to “slide” the part out of position.  They needed a solution to reduce the downtime required to realign the stacks.

Knowing that non-conductive materials can generate static from rubbing, sliding, and trimming, we focused on the best area for elimination.  With this application, we went after the trimming process.

When it comes to static elimination, EXAIR has multiple products for multiple applications.  Due to the process, we were dealing with varying distances between the static eliminator and the stacked parts.  Two Super Ion Air Knives (SIAK) were chosen to both cover the area properly and to provide a static eliminating air stream over the necessary distance. Being that the ions will not pass through the product, we had to use one SIAK for the top of the target and another SIAK for the bottom of the target.  The idea was to hit both sides of the target to completely neutralize the parts.

We were able to locate one SIAK about 12” (30 cm) from the bottom surface of the part.  The robot arm was able to carry the part across the ion air stream from the die cutter to the tote.  We located the second SIAK near the tote to neutralize the top of the parts.  The tote was 36” (91.5 cm) deep and we had to accommodate for the variation in distance caused by the stacking height, we used a longer SIAK to “shoot” the entire area inside the tote with ionized air.  As the parts were placed in each column, the top surfaces of the parts were now neutralized.  The parts were able to be stacked onto each other as originally designed.

With a variety of static elimination products, EXAIR is able to accomplish many more solutions for difficult applications.  If you feel that static is an issue, you can always contact one of our application engineers to help you.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @exair_jb

 

Image courtesy of Nick O’Neill Creative Commons License

Static Eliminator Helps With Video Inspection

Being that many products are now made of plastic, we encounter many more problems with static electricity.  I have a customer that uses a video camera to check instrumentation appliques before assembly into a vehicle cluster.  The video camera would check for quality defects over the lighted details.  It would check for both light spots and dark spots.  The problem that kept occurring was a defect that was detected with a dark spot.  In closer examination, the dark spot was a piece of debris that was sticking to the applique from static attraction.  The plastic polycarbonate sheets can generate large amounts of static as it goes through the conveying process.  Thus, it added additional cost in having an operator to wipe the applique and re-insert them back into the video booth.  The customer called EXAIR to see if we could solve his problem.

In looking at the process, we decided to use the Super Ion Air Knife.  It would be able to accomplish both routines automatically.  The ion bar will neutralize the plastic applique and particles, while the air knife will gently blow the particles off.  With this combination of air knife and ion bar, the Super Ion Air Knife will generate a laminar flow of ionized air to carry debris away.  This air curtain can keep the applique clean before it goes into the video booth.  We were able to eliminate the “false” rejects, and the operator was able to continue checking the “positive” rejects for quality control.

Super Ion Air Knife
Super Ion Air Knife

Like with video inspections, you can use this ionized air curtain to keep plastic parts clean.  Other applications that use this process are circuit boards (or any product during packaging) before they are stored in bags and plastic components being stored in an enclosed storage bin.  With the Super Ion Air Knife, you can make sure your parts are clean from those little charged dirt particles.  As with any of our products, you can always talk to an Application Engineer here at EXAIR.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email:
johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb