EXAIR Provides Quick Blowoff Solution for Gauge Manufacturer

I was recently contacted by a manufacturer of custom measurement systems. They were working on a design for a system that could measure (2) different sizes of gears with a high degree of accuracy. A robotic arm would pick up the gear off of a conveyor and deposit it onto a gauge for inspection.

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The two gears being measured

During the initial quoting phase of the project they had been a little misled. They were told that the gears would be completely clean and free of debris before being deposited on the conveyor and picked up for inspection.  It turns out this would not be the case. Chips, oil, or debris remaining on the gear would result in false part rejection. With the required completion date looming, they reached out to EXAIR for some help in implementing a solution to clean the gear before inspection.

While blowing off the oil or chips from the gear was the primary concern, having this debris flying around inside the machine could have been problematic as well. We needed to find a way to contain the chips and remove them. In the process, there was a brief moment that the robot arm held the gauge in place just prior to depositing it onto the gauge. It was there that we identified an opportunity to both clean and remove the chips that were blown off the gear. Using a Model 1105 3/8 NPT Super Air Nozzle and Model 9068 Swivel, they were able to precisely position the blowoff to hit across the bottom of the gear where the chips were located. They then 3D printed a shroud to contain the area where the gauge was held and the blowoff would be performed. They designed the shroud with a 1-1/4” outlet to connect directly to our Model 6082 Line Vac. The intake of the Line Vac was installed right at this point and was set to activate as soon as the air nozzles began their cleaning cycle. The chips were blown off of the gears, contained by the shroud, and taken away to a bin underneath the machine by the Line Vac. The crisis was averted!!

This was the first time they had implemented some type of method to clean the part before measuring. In the past, they had lost potential projects due to the inability for them to provide a clean part for measurement. With this newfound method of part cleaning, they’re now able to be a more complete solutions provider to their customers. They’re able to design the part cleaning feature into the process from the start, rather than retroactively as they had to do here.

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Model 6082 Aluminum Line Vac

At EXAIR, we understand how problems can crop up during design and cause potential delays in the completion of a project. For this reason, we keep all of our catalog products in stock and ship same day with an order placed by 3:00 pm EST. This customer was local and was able to call in with a problem, determine a solution, and come pick up their order the same day. If you are having difficulty cleaning or drying machined parts, give us a call. EXAIR has the solution, in stock, ready to ship to you immediately.

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

Threaded Line Vacs: Low Cost Conveyor Uses Ordinary Pipe!

EXAIR’s Threaded Line Vac air operated conveyor takes an ordinary pipe and converts it into a powerful conveying system.  A fast, low cost way to convey items such as pellets, scrap trim, bulk solids, chips, paper, small parts, sawdust, granules, and so much more. The Threaded Line Vac attached easily to plumbing pipe couplers, like PVC or iron, making it easy to build a complete system with parts readily available from your local supply house or hardware store.

The Threaded Line Vac are ideally suited for conveying large volumes of materials over long distances.  Like the standard, smooth bore ended Line Vacs, the unit works by ejecting a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum suction on the inlet side and a high output flow from the outlet side.  By using a pressure regulator to control the compressed air supply pressure, the rate of conveyance can be controlled to match the application needs, while minimizing the compressed air usage.

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Models are available from 3/8 NPT to 3 NPT with materials of construction of aluminum and types 313 and 316 stainless steels (excellent corrosion resistance.)  High temperature versions of the stainless steel Threaded Line Vacs are available as well, for temperatures up to 900°F.

For those processes requiring the highest rates of conveyance over the longest distances and/or the most abrasive of materials, the Heavy Duty Threaded Line Vac is the right choice.  Designed with the most rugged industrial processes and applications in mind, the special hardened alloy construction helps prevent premature wear that could occur with standard aluminum or stainless steel models, under the harshest of conditions.  The performance has been boosted, to be able to convey more material, over longer distances and higher vertical rises.

HDLV

To select the right model, information regarding these criteria is helpful-

  • Size of parts and bulk density of material being conveyed
  • What size hose, tube, or pipe is desired
  • Target conveyance rate
  • Distance of conveyance, both horizontal and vertical legs
  • Preferred material of construction

For another look, please see the video available that provides more details about the Line Vac family.

If you would like to talk about Line Vacs 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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Heavy Duty Line Vac Helps to Fill a Scrubber with Aluminum Pellets

Aluminum granules

An overseas company was using aluminum granules to react with caustic vapors inside a scrubber system.  The scrubber was a large tank that stood 4 meters high (13 feet), and it was located outside of the facility (see photo below).  Their current process was to refill the scrubber tank with aluminum pellets every three to four months to replenish the bed.  In order to refill, they would use a ladder with a bucket to pour the aluminum in the top opening of the tank.  This was a time-consuming process as well as an unsafe practice.  They contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them.

Scrubber Filling scenario

In discussing the details further about their application, the aluminum pellets were stored in 208L (55 gallon) drums.  The diameter of the pellets ranged from 5 to 15mm (0.2 to 0.6 inches) and the bulk density was 1500 Kg/m^3 (94 lbs/ft^3).  The maximum conveyance distance was 4 meters (13 feet) horizontally and 4 meters (13 feet) vertically.  The customer required a simple device to transfer the material from the drums to the scrubber tank safely and ergonomically at the fastest conveyance rate possible.

Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit

From the information above, I recommended the EXAIR model 152200; 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit.  This vacuum generator is made from a hardened steel construction which is very resistant to wear.  It is also designed for higher vacuum levels to convey heavier materials at a faster rate.  The Line Vac is operated by compressed air to generate a Venturi vacuum, and the kit will include a filter, regulator and a bracket for cleaning, controlling and mounting.  The vacuum generator does not have any motors or moving parts to wear, and the inline design makes it simple to attach a hose to the vacuum and exhaust side.  Now, the operator could place the hose inside the scrubber tank, stand near the drum with the Line Vac; open a valve to regulated air, and watch the Line Vac move the entire drum of aluminum granules inside the tank.  Instead of multiple trips up and down a ladder to pour in buckets of aluminum, the operators can fill the scrubber tank easily and quickly.

The EXAIR Air Operated Conveyors, or Line Vacs™, are great tools for conveying items in a “bucket and ladder” type of application.  If your company manually moves product from point A to point B, you can contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to see if an Air Operated Conveyor could improve your process.  For the overseas customer above, the model 152200 Heavy Duty Line Vac Kit improved the manual operation of filling while reducing hazardous issues.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

EXAIR’s Super Air Amplifier Removes Scrap Label Trim

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Placement of the Super Air Amplifier tucked away in the machine

Recently I worked with our distributor in Peru that had a customer who was experiencing a nuisance issue one of their production lines. The company is a graphics company that serves many different food manufacturers in the Peruvian market. In this case, they were making a label for a salad dressing company. During the converting process, scrap trim is produced. This was falling to the ground, building up over time, and eventually would need to be cleaned up. To do so, they had to stop production and have an operator manually clean up the mess before restarting the machine.

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EXAIR’s Model 120021

Enter EXAIR’s Model 120021 Super Air Amplifier. The customer positioned the amplifier so that it would catch the scrap trim and convey it away from the machine. They positioned a waste receptacle about 6’ away and ducted the amplifier to carry the scrap to this bin. This eliminated their need to stop production and allowed them to run continuously. Before installing the Super Air Amplifier, they had to stop the machine approximately 4x or more per day for cleanup. At 10 minutes per, this was 40 minutes of lost production time per day! After proving the concept on this machine, the customer now plans to outfit another 3 with the same setup.

Because the material was so light and was only traveling a short distance, the Super Air Amplifier was a suitable solution. We’ve blogged in the past about similar applications where scrap trim is conveyed using a Line Vac. This is also a suitable solution, the Line Vac can be sized to accommodate your material and prevent excess scrap from accumulating and causing problems in your processes.

If you have a converting application that produces scrap trim, give us a call. We can help size an appropriate solution and make sure you’re not wasting valuable production time cleaning up the mess!

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

When Efficiency And Practicality Collide

Even if you’re a casual reader of our blogs, you already know that EXAIR Application Engineers LOVE to preach efficiency in the use of compressed air…it’s our “bread and butter;” the very nature of our business. This year, we’re celebrating thirty-five years of leading the way in the development of efficient, safe, and quiet compressed air products. Our track record of success as a solutions provider across a diverse range of industrial and commercial applications is well documented in our blogs, as well as Knowledge Base and Case Study Libraries.  We devote considerable resources (engineering, research & development, product testing, etc.) to making certain that EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products cost less to operate, and perform better, than whatever you’re using right now.

Strange as it may seem, though, sometimes our products are EXTREMELY popular in cases where they INCREASE a facility’s consumption of compressed air…by replacing something that DOESN’T use compressed air at all:

*I’ve written before about how our Large Maximum Cold Temperature Vortex Tubes have replaced liquid nitrogen rigs in freeze sealing operations.  Now, a Vortex Tube directs a portion of its air supply to (usually) unusable hot exhaust, in order to generate the usable flow of cold air.  When compared to the costs of liquid nitrogen and the resources involved to get it where it needs to be, though, the cost of the compressed air needed to operate the Vortex Tube is indeed the practical solution.

A 1/4 ton of refrigeration from a product that fits in the palm of your hand, and all you need is a supply or compressed air!

*Line Vacs are probably THE prime example of the value of using compressed air where it wasn’t used before…replacing a “bucket and ladder” operation:

Straight from our Catalog, a perfect example of using valuable compressed air to save even more valuable resources.

*Then there are the situations that just come down to time.  In large spaces, our Super Blast Safety Air Guns can be used to “sweep” the floor in a fraction of the time it takes an operator with a push broom.

Super Blast Safety Air Gun makes short work of large area cleanup.

To make a long story just a little bit longer…if you’re using compressed air, you can use it better with EXAIR’s engineered compressed air products.  And there are plenty of practical applications where you’re not using compressed air right now too.  If you’d like to find out more about either one, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs™: Overview

Threaded Heavy Duty Family

Do you have operators climbing steps to dump bags of material in hoppers?  Or do you need a faster way to remove scrap from your process?  Or do you have budgetary constraints in trying to move material from pont A to point B?  If you answered yes to any of these, EXAIR can help you.  We manufacture an air operated conveyor that does not have any moving parts, very compact in design, and has a high throughput capacity.  They can attach easily to standard hoses, pipes, or sanitary flanges.   These inexpensive conveyors are designed to make conveyance safer and ergonomically better for your operators.  EXAIR calls this product line, Line Vacs™.

The Line Vacs use a small amount of compressed air to generate a vacuum by a Venturi effect.  The unique design of the generators creates a high velocity to create a powerful vacuum on one side.  Once the product reaches the throat area of the Line Vac, the compressed air will carry the product the rest of the way.  We can reach horizontal distances up to 100 feet (30 meters) away and vertical heights up to 20 feet (6 meters).  EXAIR manufactures a variety of Line Vacs in different sizes, styles, and materials.  In this blog, I will cover the Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs.

Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vac

The Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vacs are designed to convert regular piping into a powerful conveying system.  They range from ¾” NPT to 3” NPT and can connect easily to PVC and pipe fittings.  The construction is made from a hardened alloy steel to resist abrasion which can occur prematurely with aluminum or stainless steel.  The Threaded Heavy Duty Line Vac can create a higher vacuum level to pick up heavier objects as well as conveying larger volume of material.  As a kit, the Line Vac will come with a filter, regulator, and a mounting bracket.  This adds overall value in mounting, controlling, and protecting the Line Vac for years to come.  This simple device is a great product to use in rugged industrial applications.

If you need to convey heavy materials like steel shot or abrasive products like ceramic or shot-blasting media, the Heavy Duty Line Vac could be a blessing for you.  Not only can they transfer material safely and quickly, but they also will help in saving the backs and knees of your operators.  If you would like to discuss your application further, please contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

316 Stainless Steel Line Vac Conveys Cookies in Creamery

Cookies in need of pneumatic conveyance at creamery

An overseas ice cream manufacturer reached out to me recently with a request for assistance.  They were in search of a better means to transfer “inclusions” from a storage bin into the blending tanks of their creamery.  The “inclusions” in question, shown above, looked familiar.  I’ve found identical cookies stashed in my sons’ favorite places around the house, so I’m somewhat familiar with their transfer from one place to another.  Fortunately, in this application the cookie transfer is deliberate whereas it is always “magic” or “no one knows how it got there” when it happens at home.

Both solid cookies and crumbs (shown above) are conveyed.

Seeing as how this application involves the transfer of foodstuffs, we immediately explored a 316 grade stainless steel solution, and gathered the necessary data for determining the proper pneumatic conveyor (an EXAIR Line Vac).  Our Line Vacs utilize a high velocity airstream which travels along the ID of a conveyance tube to move material.  Because of this, application specifics like material/material size, bulk density, conveyance height and distance, and required conveyance rate play a key role in proper sizing.  Here’s how the specifics looked for this application:

 

Material:  Dry cookies and cookie crumbs, 8mm-50mm in diameter (5/16” – 2” in diameter)

Bulk density:  0.69 g/cm³ (43 lb./ft.³)

Conveyance height:  None

Conveyance distance:  5m (16.5 feet)

Required conveyance rate:  As high as possible, preferably in the range of 500kg/hr. (1100 lb./hr.)

Available compressed air supply:  170m³/hr. @ 5.5 BARG (100 SCFM @ 80 PSIG)

Material constraints:  316SS mandatory

 

With these details well defined, I used our empirical test data to appropriately size a suitable Line Vac.  In this case, we had a viable solution in our Heavy Duty Line Vac with regards to conveyance rate, but this solution is not the proper material.  So, we matched performance of a Heavy Duty Line Vac in our 316SS Line Vac using model HP6064-316.  Model HP6064-316 is not a stock option and not shown on the website, so having a proper dialogue with an Application Engineer was critical to dialing in on the right solution for this application.

Once the solution was confirmed, this customer was all set.  We worked with them on every aspect of the application solution and ended up shipping them (3) specialized Line Vacs in 316 stainless steel.  The Line Vacs are up and running, helping to make delicious ice cream for expecting customers.

If you have a similar application or are interested in exploring a Line Vac solution, now is the time to act.  We have a Line Vac promotion running through the end of October that includes a free 2” Flat Super Air Nozzle with the purchase of any Line Vac.  Application Engineers are available for any questions you may have via phone (1-800-903-9247), email (techelp@exair.com), and online chat.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE